Lieutenant Commander Gourlay originally joined the RAN in Jan 1973 as a Junior Recruit and spend 12 months training at was then known as HMAS LEEUWIN in Perth WA.
Selected for Writer training upon graduation from HMAS Leeuwin, Ordinary Seaman Gourlay then spent the first half of 1974 at HMAS CERBERUS undertaking the initial Writers course. Postings as a Writer included HMAS HARMAN, HMAS CRESWELL.
He joined HMAS BRISBANE in Darwin during operation ‘Clean up Darwin’ following cyclone Tracy in Dec 1974. Before actually joining the ‘Steel Cat’ he spent a week working with the RAN divers following the Tasman bridge collapse.
After time aboard HMAS Brisbane, he spent time at FOCAF at Garden Island in Sydney. It was during this posting that ABWTR Gourlay developed an interest in the Law.
He sailed with one of the Fleet Legal Officers at RANSA who passed on some invaluable information about becoming a lawyer which led to ABWTR Gourlay leaving the Navy and becoming a Legal Clerk with a prominent legal firm in Hobart.
He then spent some considerable years as a Paralegal until completing a Law degree at UTAS.
He was granted an exemption to undertake ‘Articles of Clerkship’ due to RPL and was admitted as a Legal Practitioner in 1998. He then managed a small boutique legal firm in Hobart as an associate partner. During this time he was afforded experience as the Command Legal Officer at HMAS CERBERUS whilst a Reservist and in December 1999 he was then offered a full-time position as a Legal Officer. He also spent time on HMAS TORRENS, BRISBANE during this period.
He was then posted back to HMAS CERBERUS and then to HMAS STIRLING as the Personnel Legal Officer. He undertook these duties for 3 years then was appointed the Command Legal Officer in 2004 until 2008 when he was appointed as the Executive Officer of Navy Headquarters Tasmania. He was promoted to LCDR in 2006.
In January 2011, LCDR Gourlay was posted back to Western Australia as the State Manager of the Defence Reserves Support Council. He undertook this role for 3 years and then moved to Darwin when he became the Deputy Fleet Legal Officer attached to the Patrol Boat Group. Upon completion of this posting, LCDR Gourlay returned to WA in his current role as the State Manager of the Defence Reserves Support WA.
LCDR Gourlay’s additional qualifications include a Graduate Certificate in Legal Studies, Graduate Diploma in Military Law.
He is admitted as a legal practitioner in TAS, NT and WA and currently holds an unrestricted practising certificate.
LCDR Gourlay has 2 adult sons.
His interests are sailing, ship modelling and playing the drums.