Air Vice-Marshal Julie Hammer, an electronics engineer, is the most senior woman in the Australian Defence Force. She was the first serving woman to achieve One Star rank, on promotion to Air Commodore in 1999, and subsequently the first woman to achieve Two Star rank, on promotion to Air Vice-Marshal in 2003. She is the only woman in the history of the Australian Defence Force to have achieved 'starred' rank. She completed her schooling in Brisbane and in 1971 was placed 8th in the Queensland Senior Public (Matriculation) Examination. She joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1977 after completing a B.Sc. (Hons) in Physics at the University of Queensland. She also holds a Masters degree in Aerosystems Engineering and a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Studies. Currently the Deputy Chief Information Officer for Defence, she has served in the fields of aircraft maintenance, technical intelligence, electronic warfare, and command, control, communications and intelligence (C3I) systems acquisition and support. She was the Commandant of the Australian Defence Force Academy during 2002 and 2003.
Julie Hammer was the first woman to command an operational unit in the RAAF, the Electronic Warfare Squadron, and was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross for that command. She was the recipient of the 1996 Association of Old Crows (Australian Chapter) Award for Distinguished Service to Electronic Warfare. She was awarded the 2001 Sir Charles Kingsford Smith Memorial Medal by the Royal Aeronautical Society to recognise her contribution to Australian aerospace and delivered the 2001 Kingsford Smith Memorial Lecture. Julie is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is one of the inaugural Board Members of the Centre for Engineering Leadership and Management within the Institution of Engineers Australia. She served for three years from 1996 to 1998 as one of the Prime Minister's representatives on the Governor General's Australian Bravery Awards Council.