Brigadier Craig Furini was born and raised in Sydney. After completing his education at Northholm Grammar School, he attended the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Royal Military College commissioning into the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery in 1990. Since then he has gained experience at the tactical, operational and strategic levels across a range of disciplines. He is currently the Director General Plans/J5 at Headquarters Joint Operations Command.
At the tactical level, Brigadier Furini initially served as a Lieutenant with 8th/12th Medium Regiment, returning to the Regiment in 2000 as a Battery Commander and again in 2007 as the Commanding Officer. He also served as a Forward Observer in 4th Field Regiment and 26 Regiment (SP) (Royal Artillery). Other artillery appointments have included: student on the UK’s Gunnery Staff Course (which prepared artillery officers for command, operational and technical appointments within the joint fires community); and instructor at the School of Artillery. He also served as a junior officer as the Staff Officer Grade 3 Operations/Plans on Headquarters 1st Brigade (Mechanised).
Following Staff College, he was posted to the UK’s Defence Intelligence Service (DIS) where he was involved in supporting capability development and operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. On return to Australia he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and posted to the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) as the Deputy Director Weapons Systems (Land). Whilst at DIO he identified an ADF capability gap and was instrumental in establishing the Counter IED Task Force. For his work in DIO, and the UK, he was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross.
Following promotion to Colonel in December 2010, he served in multiple appointments at the operational and strategic levels. He served as the Director of Global Operations/J35 Global at Headquarters Joint Operations Command (HQJOC). He was subsequently seconded to the National Security Staff in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet as the Senior Adviser Defence Policy and Operations. In 2013 he completed the Defence and Strategic Studies Course before becoming the Chief of Staff to the Chief of the Defence Force. He was subsequently promoted to Brigadier and deployed as the Director Plans of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve. On return to Australia he assumed the position of Director General Plans at HQJOC. He was also appointed Head of Regiment for the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery on 1st May 2016.
In addition to his most recent deployment, Brigadier Furini has served in multiple operational theatres. In 1993, as a Lieutenant, he deployed with the United Nations (UN) to Cambodia as the Commander of an ANZAC Signals Troop. He deployed as a Major in 2000 to East Timor as the Battery Commander supporting the 5th/7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. In 2003, whilst on exchange in the UK, he deployed with a specialist combined UK, US and Australian intelligence unit to Iraq. In 2009 as a Lieutenant Colonel he deployed to Afghanistan as the Chief of Combined Joint Operational Plans (CJ35) on Headquarters Regional Command (South).
Craig and his wife Robynne have two sons: William (2002) and Lachlan (2007). He particularly enjoys reading, theatre, sport and travel. Craig’s academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Science, Masters of Management (Defence Studies) and Masters of Arts (Strategic Studies), and he is an alumni of the National Security College’s Senior Executive Program.