Sapper Rowan Robinson

It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Sapper Rowan Jaie Robinson during operations in Afghanistan.

Sapper Robinson was serving with the Special Operations Task Group when he was tragically killed in action on Monday 6 June 2011 (Afghanistan time).

Twenty-three year old Sapper Robinson was from the Sydney based Incident Response Regiment (IRR).

Sapper Robinson leaves behind his loving mother, father, sister and two brothers who are currently receiving support from Defence.

Sapper Robinson was born in Wahroonga, NSW in 1987. He joined the Army in 2006 and after his initial recruit training joined the 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment. After four years of service he was posted to the Incident Response Regiment at the start of 2010 where he completed his reinforcement cycle.

This was Sapper Robinson’s second deployment to Afghanistan, having deployed on Operation Slipper in 2007.

His colleagues described him as a superb young man who was fit, happy go lucky and a great team member. Sapper Robinson was a dedicated and professional soldier whose skill belied his youth. Those who had the pleasure of meeting him instantly warmed to him and his easy going nature made him popular with his peers and chain of command alike.

Sapper Robinson was awarded:

  • the Australian Active Service Medal with clasp International Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT)
  • the Afghanistan Campaign Medal 
  • the Australian Defence Medal
  • the NATO ISAF Medal
  • the Army Combat Badge
  • the Return from Active Service Badge.

During Sapper Robinson’s service in the Australian Army, he deployed on the following operations;

  • Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) – Sep 2007 – Apr 2008
  • Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) – Mar 2011 – Jun 2011.

Statements and tributes

Sapper Rowan Robinson's family

Defence releases the following statement on behalf of Sapper Rowan Robinson’s family, parents Marie and Peter, sister Rachael and brothers Ben and Troy.

We would like to provide this message about our beloved son and brother Rowan who was killed in action in Afghanistan on Monday.

Rowan was so proud to be an Incident Response Regiment Engineer – and we were proud that he chose to serve his country by joining the Army.

He took his work very seriously, knowing he was responsible for the lives of those who followed him through dangerous ground.

He knew the risk of his job and accepted it. It’s harder for us to accept he has been taken from us before his time – but we know he died protecting his mates and doing a job that he loved, a job for which he was greatly respected by the people who served by his side.

The news of Rowan’s death has devastated us and we thank Defence for the support we have received so far, particularly the men and women of the Incident Response Regiment.

We ask that the media respect our privacy in our time of mourning and adjustment to the terrible reality that Rowan is gone from our lives.

We will not be providing interviews and we thank the media for their understanding.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that people please donate in Rowan's honour to the Sapper Rowan Robinson Memorial Fund as part of the Commando Welfare Trust.