Veteran Employee of the Year
Image of Michael Quinney

A self-professed ‘Army brat’ and fourth-generation serviceman, Micheal (Mick) Quinney considers himself to have been predestined for Australian Defence Force service.

Following deployments to Solomon Islands and East Timor in 2003 and 2004, Mick served two separate tours in Afghanistan. It was the desire to be closer to his wife and expand their family that led Mick to transition to the Air Force for seven months, before leaving the ADF altogether in 2011.

Mick wanted to find a role that didn’t involve operating heavy machinery, recognising it as a major trigger for recurring trauma. He was successful in applying for a Trades Assistant role as part of Downer’s Defence Fuel Installation contract in Townsville.

Within the Townsville team, Mick quickly established himself as a top performer and natural leader. His eagerness to learn saw him upskill at an impressive rate, learning the administrative and back-office support functions that led to his promotion to Works Manager with Downer’s Defence Estate Maintenance and Operations Services. Mick has flourished in this position and is celebrated by his colleagues, customers and supervisors for his efficiency and exceptional people management skills.

Mick is a staunch advocate for fellow veterans, dedicated to raising awareness of the challenges faced by so many during and beyond their transitions to civilian life. Mick proactively organises fundraising opportunities for the Black Dog Institute, coordinating the events and speaking openly to Downer Defence colleagues and Defence personnel about his own mental health journey. His talk at last year’s event left those in attendance with a renewed understanding of the importance of meaningful connection.

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