Roy Henry

Roy was born into a military family in New Zealand and, after moving to Australia with his family, joined the Australian Army. 

29 November 2019

Roy Henry with his family at the AWMRoy was born into a military family in New Zealand, with both his mum and dad serving in the New Zealand Army. After his dad retired from a 22-year career in 1988, the family migrated to Perth – the place Roy now considers his hometown. Roy attended Melville Senior High School and joined the military as a 17 year old in January 1996.

Roy began his career in the Army at the Australian Defence Force Academy as an Arts student, and graduated from the Royal Military College as an Infantry Lieutenant. He went on to enjoy a varied career, with most of his time spent in regimental units in Forces Command. 

With fond memories of his time in the military, Roy considers himself fortunate to have been given so many great opportunities. He was deployed on Exercise Long Look to Cyprus with the British Armed Forces, he went to East Timor twice and was deployed on Exercise Chapel Gold in Thailand.

One of Roy’s highlights was his two-year posting to Thursday Island in the Torres Strait. He reflects on the posting as a wonderful, unique and truly underrated experience, suggesting others express an interest in such a role.

Another of Roy’s highlights was the two months he spent in California mentoring US Marines before they deployed to Iraq.

“It was an absolute honour for me to mentor the Marines before they deployed. I think I learnt more from them than they learnt from me,” Roy said. 

Roy was pleased to be able to fulfil leadership roles and pass on some of his experience and knowledge to the Infantry Corps’ newest Sergeants, Lieutenants and Warrant Officers. The posting was professionally rewarding for Roy, and he was pleased to have the support of such a fantastic team.

Roy decided to transition out of the Army in 2018. He wanted to settle down and provide a consistent education for his high-school aged children. Roy left the Army without a job lined up, although was confident that the skills, experience and networks he had gained throughout his Army career held him in good stead for future success.

Accessing Defence’s Career Transition Assistance Scheme (CTAS), Roy secured work experience with PwC. Through CTAS, Roy became PwC’s very first work experience ‘kid’ in Australia. After just three days, PwC recognised that Roy’s skills and experience were invaluable and offered him a job. He stayed with PwC for eight months as the Project Management Office Lead on the Defence IT Upgrade.

Roy with his work colleagues in front of Parliament House, Canberra. They are wearing hi-visibility, construction clothing and hard hats.

After being offered a spectacular opportunity to contribute to the physical and electronic security upgrade at Parliament House, Roy now works as a Consultant Project Manager at RPS. Roy enjoys the culture at RPS and likens the teamwork and support there to that which he experienced in many of his favourite positions in Defence.

Outside of work, Roy loves spending time outdoors. In his spare time, you’ll find him swagging it down the coast with his son, skiing with his wife, or a enjoying a spot of gardening. He also values the extra time he has with his family, spending his weekends as ‘Dance Dad’, ‘Soccer Dad’ and ‘Tennis Dad’.

Roy relates his transition experience to his younger self leaving home to join the Army. While it was a somewhat difficult and emotional time, he is incredibly grateful for all of the support he received and the opportunities he was given. He values the great people he worked with throughout his career and still keeps in touch with the mates he served alongside.

“I strongly recommend maintaining connections with your mates and ex-service personnel in general. I found they are more than keen to help you transition back to civilian life successfully,” Roy said.

“I have also kept in contact with great mates that I served with in the Battalion from 2001 and we make sure we do an annual catch up to solve the world’s problems over beer and cards – this year it is in New Orleans.”