Georgeina Whelan graduated from Officer Training into the Australian Army in June 1988. She has extensive experience in the command and management of Defence health systems and military disaster response. As an Army Officer Brigadier Whelan deployed to East Timor in 1999 as the Operations Officer of the 1st Health Support Battalion and to Banda Aceh, Indonesia on Operation Sumatra Assist in command of the ANZAC Field Hospital in 2005.
Georgeina Whelan completed the Defence Command and Staff Course in 2000, the US Army Military Medical Strategic Leadership Program in 2008, Higher Defence College in 2012 and the Senior Executive Leadership Program at the National Security College, Australian National University in 2016. She recently qualified as an All Hazards – Level Three Incident Controller.
Georgeina joined the Emergency Services Agency as the Chief Officer of the State Emergency Service in late October 2017 having completed 32 years of military service, most recently as the Director General, Select Strategic Issues Management in the Office of the Chief of the Defence Force and Chief of Staff, Australian Defence Force Headquarters. In August 2019, Georgeina was appointed as the first female Commissioner of the ACT Emergency Services Agency.
Georgeina Whelan was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) in 2004 and was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2006. More recently she was awarded a Bar to her Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2016 Queens Birthday Honours List.
Georgeina Whelan is a Member of the Champions of Change Fire & Emergency Group which was established in 2017 in partnership with the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council (AFAC). The group includes Chief Executives and Commissioners leading more than 30 agencies responsible for fire, emergency and land management services across Australia and New Zealand. The group is committed to advancing gender equity, inclusive cultures and achieving significant and sustainable improvements in the representation of women in their workplaces.