If you met Warrant Officer Steve Weaver out on a base, you’d be inspired by his passion and commitment to Air Force and its people.

That’s why it’s no surprise he’s been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for exceptional service in the Australia Day honours list.

Recognised for his role in physical training development and Indigenous cultural advancement, Warrant Officer Weaver says both areas are linked very closely to his passion for people development.

Warrant Officer Weaver said being recognised in this way was surreal and he’s still trying to take it all in.

“I’m a small town country boy who was a jackaroo before I joined up,” Warrant Officer Weaver said.

“My grandfather was named citizen of the year when I was about 14 and I remember how proud I was of him at the time, so I can only imagine how proud he and dad would be looking down today, as well as my kids, grandkids and mother.

“My mother and father shaped my community spirit and sense of service before self, so I stand on the shoulders of giants and I am truly grateful for their faith in my abilities.

“No one fits this description more than my wife, Kelly, who has kept me grounded, lifted me up and believed in me, all at the right time.”

Warrant Officer Steve Weaver delivers a Welcome to Country in his Wiradjuri language during a NAIDOC Week morning tea at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney in November 2020. Photo: Sergeant Dave Morley.

Warrant Officer Weaver is a proud Wiradjuri man who enlisted in Air Force in 1987 as a supplier, before remustering to physical training instructor in 1996.

As a physical training instructor he re-developed the trade to focus on injury prevention and vocational strength.

Warrant Officer Weaver said a determination to create a workplace that allows people to be their best is what gets him out of bed each day.

“The past few years of my career have really been about ensuring our women and men leave work each day better physically and mentally than when they started,” Warrant Officer Weaver said.

“I have focussed on reducing preventable injuries, building mental and physical strength and conditioning and developing a culturally safe Air Force that is inclusive and understanding of First Nations cultures.

“My philosophy is simple: improve people’s quality of life and workplace culture and, as a side effect, this increases capability.”

For Warrant Officer Weaver, this honour has given him a chance to reflect on his achievements, including developing the Indigenous liaison officer network and developing health and fitness systems to protect our workforce.

Warrant Officer Weaver is currently posted to Air Mobility Group at RAAF Base Richmond.

“I see my role at Air Mobility Group as pivotal in enabling programs that develop organisational and personal resilience, increasing human performance, enabling an environment that encourages innovation, and developing a culture where looking after and looking out for our mates is the norm,” Warrant Officer Weaver said.

“No matter where I go, people will be central to everything I do.”

For the full list of ADF recipients in the 2022 Australia Day honours: https://.news.defence.gov.au/people/australia-day-honours-announced