The Spitfire Memorial Defence Fellowship

Please help us to help Australia and our Defence Forces

During the Second World War Australian service men and women played a vital role in every theatre of the conflict, leading to the successful outcome in 1945 and celebrated this year with the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and the 70th anniversary of victory in Europe and the Pacific. These Australians who played such an important role in securing peace in 1945 are among a long line of distinguished Defence Force personnel; as strong today as it was 75 years ago.

Recognising the need to be ever vigilant, the Spitfire Memorial Defence Fellowship was conceived by pilots of 457 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), including the late AVM Lyndon Compton AO OBE RAAF, the late Flt Lt Edward (Ted) Sly DFC, the late Flt Lt Peter Watson DFC and the current Treasurer of the Association, and president for many years, Flt Lt Lysle Roberts, in his nineties and still going strong. Their vision for the Fellowship was as an ongoing living memorial rather than a traditional granite and bronze monument.

Ted Sly worked tirelessly for the Fellowship and saw it officially launched with a formal dinner at the Officer’s Mess at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) at the UNSW Canberra campus on 5 May 1998. At its launch, the Fellowship was supported by $150,000 donated from companies, individuals and the University. With many subsequent donations over the last two decades, the capital now stands at more than $1.2 million and growing. The Fellowship provides encouragement for the development of advanced knowledge and expertise which will aid in the defence of Australia, offering recipients financial support as well as significant public recognition.

The Spitfire Memorial Defence Fellowship is proudly administered through UNSW Australia. Since its inception in 1998, a total of 16 Fellowships have been awarded. Several of these recipients have been former Australian Defence Force personnel and all are distinguished engineers or researchers who have been recognised for their excellent research. As new security threats emerge around the world, it remains vital that we continue to support Australian researchers who are keeping our military capabilities at the cutting-edge; technologies that can save lives, protecting our soldiers and civilians from harm. To help grow the Fellowship into the future, we need to continue to raise money and public awareness today.

Donations can be made to the Spitfire Memorial Defence Fellowship and are tax deductible.

Fellowship Contact Details

Life vice-President

Mr Lysle Roberts
Mob: +61 (0) 412 433 512


Mr Geoff Zuber
Mob: +61 (0) 409 773 840 Spitfire Association

UNSW Canberra

Ms Rachel Hunter
Phone: +61 2 6268 8499