Gordon, Ian Campbell (Major General, b.1952)

Accession Number PR00198
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 20 cm; 8 wallets
Object type Document
Maker Gordon, Ian Campbell
Place made Israel: Jerusalem, Timor-Leste, Western Sahara
Date made 1990-2002
Access Open
Related File This file can be copied or viewed via the Memorial’s Reading Room. AWM371 92/0750
Conflict East Timor, 1999-2013
United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) 1948 -
Copying Provisions Copying is permitted for the purposes of research and study, subject to physical condition

Collection relating to the service of Lieutenant Colonel (later Major General) Ian Campbell Gordon with UN Peacekeeping operations in the Western Sahara and East Timor. Included in the collection is Gordon's United Nations Identification Certificate and three diaries relating to his service commanding the Australian contingent with the UN Mission for the Referendum in the Western Sahara (MINURSO). The first diary covers the period 2 May 1991 to 26 August 1991; the second 27 August 1991 to 6 February 1992; and the third 7 February 1992 to 17 May 1992. Diary entries reflect the planning, preparation and execution of the operation in the Western Sahara and Gordon's personal reflections on his contributions to the events.

Also included is a diary covering the period between 18 September 2001 and 14 August 2002, relating to Major General Gordon's service in East Timor as the Deputy Force Commander with the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor, Peace Keeping Force (UNTAET PKF). Gordon primarily writes of the daily meetings, briefings and diplomatic liaison with international representatives he was involved in whilst in East Timor. A computer-generated work calendar diary also contains emails, press clippings, programs for military ceremonies, memos and briefs.

The collection also contains five further diaries from 3 October 2006 until 16 January 2009, relating to Major General Gordon's appointment as Head of Mission, United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO). Based in Jerusalem, UNTSO's primary task was (and remains as at 2019) providing a military command structure to the peacekeeping forces in the Middle East. UNTSO was tasked with monitoring ceasefires, supervising armistice agreements, preventing isolated incidents from escalating and assisting other UN peacekeeping operations in the region to fulfil their respective mandates. In these diaries, Major General Gordon records observations, the political climate and diplomatic meetings in Golan Heights, Israel, West Bank, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. The diaries contain occasional newspaper clippings relating to Palestinian territorial issues and Middle Eastern affairs. The fifth and final diary contains Gordon's own 'end of assignment' report of his time with UNTSO.

History / Summary

Major General Ian Gordon graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1973 and was allocated to the Royal Australian Corps of Signals. He attended the Royal Military College of Science at Shrivenham, United Kingdom and the Australian Army’s Command and Staff College course at Queenscliff in 1985.

In 1990 Ian was posted to command the 1st Signals Regiment in Brisbane and in 1991 the first Australian Contingent with the UN Mission for a Referendum in Western Sahara. For his service at the 1st Signals Regiment and with the United Nations he was made a Member of the Order of Australia.

Ian was Director of the Royal Australian Corps of Signals from 1993 until 1995, and in 1996 he attended the Australian College of Defence and Strategic Studies. In 1998 he was appointed as Commandant of the Army Command and Staff College.

In September 2001, Ian was promoted to his Major General and posted to East Timor as the Deputy Force Commander in the United Nations Transitional Authority in East Timor. On return to Australia he took up the appointment as Commander, Training Command – Army and then Deputy Chief of the Army in May 2004. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2006 for his distinguished service to the Australian Defence Force in senior command and staff appointments.

In December 2006, Ian was seconded to the United Nations to serve for two years as the Head of Mission of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation in Jerusalem.

Ian retired from the Regular Army in May 2009. He is now a full-time carer for his wife Ula who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2006 and they have three children.

Ian had his book Strike and Strike Again, a history of 455 Squadron RAAF, published by Banner Books. In 1999 Ian established his own publishing business, Barrallier Books Pty Ltd and Echo Books which continues to publish, print and sell books for Australian and New Zealand authors.

Ian is a Director of Multiple Sclerosis (ACT/NSW/Vic) and Multiple Sclerosis Australia, and Chair of the Multiple Sclerosis Advisory Board in the ACT. He has been deputy chair of the Peacekeeping Memorial Committee and maintains a close interest in Peacekeeping and the work of the United Nations.