|Chancellor of the University of Adelaide|
1 December 2014 - 4 May 2020
|34th Governor of South Australia|
8 August 2007 - 7 August 2014
|Premier||Mike Rann (2007-11)|
Jay Weatherill (2011-2014)
|Lieutenant||Hieu Van Le|
|Hieu Van Le|
|Born||4 May 1952|
Adelaide, South Australia
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth Anne Taylor|
|Residence||Adelaide, South Australia|
|Alma mater||University of New England|
|Occupation||Chancellor of the University of Adelaide (2014–2020)|
|Branch/service||Royal Australian Navy|
|Years of service||1968-2007|
|Commands||Naval Training Command (1997-98)|
HMAS Cerberus (1995-97)
|Awards||Companion of the Order of Australia|
Conspicuous Service Cross
Rear Admiral Kevin John Scarce, (born 4 May 1952) is a retired Royal Australian Navy officer who was the 34th Governor of South Australia, serving from August 2007 to August 2014. He was succeeded by Hieu Van Le, who had previously been his lieutenant governor. He was Chancellor of the University of Adelaide from 2014 to 2020.
Scarce joined the Royal Australian Navy College in 1968 and graduated in 1972, having distinguished himself as an all-round sportsman. In 1973, he continued his training with the Royal Navy in the United Kingdom. On his return to Australia, he served on HMA Ships Vendetta, Yarra and Duchess, at the Sydney shore base HMAS Watson and on the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne.
Scarce served during the Vietnam War on the troop transport HMAS Sydney. After Vietnam, his naval career specialised in military logistics and procurement. He served on the staff of the Australian Embassy's Naval Attaché in Washington, D.C. from 1979 to 1982 and in 1994 returned to Washington to undertake a master's degree in National Security Strategy at the US War College (National Defense University).
In 2004 and 2005, Rear Admiral Scarce served as Chief Executive Officer of the South Australian Government Defence Unit. The unit was tasked to expand business opportunities for the State's defence sector. Scarce played a key role in South Australia's winning bid for a A$6 billion defence contract to build three air warfare destroyers for the Australian Defence Force. He was also Chairman of the Defence Industry Advisory Board at the time.
On 3 May 2007, it was announced that Scarce would become Governor of South Australia - the Queen's representative in the state. After his appointment he broke the tenets of viceregal impartiality by publicly stating that he is an avowed supporter of an Australian republic. When appointed, he was the youngest South Australian-born governor and the first Royal Australian Navy officer appointed to the position. In 2008, Scarce was appointed the Patron of Debating SA.
As governor, Scarce stressed the importance of science and maths education, and continued to champion economic opportunities in South Australia's defense sector. In 2010 he told Defense Business SA magazine:
My major role as Governor is helping to sell the opportunities of investing in South Australia. I welcome visiting delegations and travel overseas helping to promote the state's capabilities and aspirations.
On 13 February 2012, Scarce's term was extended by two years to 7 August 2014.Hieu Van Le, Scarce's lieutenant-governor, was announced on 26 June 2014 as Scarce's replacement, and took over the role on 1 September.
Also during his incumbency, Scarce presented the deed of title at the Maralinga Tjarutja Section 400 Handback Ceremony at the Maralinga Village. Section 400 was a 3,126 km2 parcel of land, located 136 kilometres (85 mi) from the Oak Valley Aboriginal Community. The ceremony marked the return of Section 400 to its traditional owners, which had previously been disallowed access due to radioactive contamination. The contamination was a legacy of a program of British nuclear weapons tests which ran from 1956 until 1963. Seven major nuclear weapons tests occurred in 1956 and 1957 followed by a series of 'minor' tests which included the explosive scattering of 22 kilograms (49 lb) of plutonium.
Since ending his term as Governor of South Australia, Scarce has remained active in South Australia's not-for-profit sector. He was appointed Chairman of the Cancer Council of South Australia in November 2014 and has since met many beneficiaries of the organisation's fundraising, research, education and services. He told The Advertiser that he took the role last November after being impressed by the Council's work during his time as governor, and also because his grandmother Leah died from cancer. Scarce has also cycled as part of the Cancer Council's Ride for a Reason team in the Santos Tour Down Under. Also in November 2014, Scarce was appointed President of Novita Children's Services which provides assistance to disabled children, their families and carers. Kevin Scarce and Raymond Spencer are ambassadors for Impact 100, a sub fund of the Australian Communities Foundation, which awards grants to not-for-profit organisations in South Australia. In 2016, Scarce joined the board of Operation Flinders.
Scarce was appointed the 16th Chancellor of the University of Adelaide with effect from 1 December 2014 in succession to the Hon Robert Hill AC, who retired in July 2014. In the interim, Deputy Chancellor, Dianne Davidson, was the Acting Chancellor of the University. Scarce retired from this role on 4 May 2020 amid another senior resignation from the University of Adelaide.
In December 2014, Scarce broke seven years of 'political silence' by suggesting that South Australia consider developing nuclear industries to compensate for a downturn in the manufacturing sector. He said that a debate between experts and without political intervention was needed. He was speaking as an invited guest of the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME).
On 9 February 2015, the South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, announced that Scarce would lead a Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission to inquire into the possible expansion of nuclear industries in South Australia, including uranium mining, enrichment, power generation and radioactive waste storage. He told the media that he wanted a debate on the opportunities and risks the development of nuclear industries in South Australia represented, stating: "I come to this with no preconceived views."
Scarce appeared in a segment about the nuclear Royal Commission on ABC's 7.30 program, broadcast on 14 March 2015. He said:
I know the dangers of the industry. I also know the opportunities it can bring. How do we convince South Australians that it is safe... and what are the benefits of so doing?
In May 2016, Scarce completed the report and presented to the Government of South Australia and the public. The report provided twelve key recommendations and determined that the greatest economic opportunity for the nuclear industry in South Australia was in the establishment of a deep geological repository for imported spent nuclear fuel.
Following the conclusion of the Commission, Scarce gave presentations about the final report and its recommendations at various private and public events, including those hosted by the University of South Australia (in collaboration with UCL Australia), the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) and the Resources and Engineering Skills Alliance. In addition to promoting the opportunities that his Commission identified in the nuclear industry, Scarce has also restated his interest in Australia considering becoming a republic.
|Companion of the Order of Australia (General Division) (AC)||(2008)|
|Officer of the Order of Australia (Military Division) (AO)||(2004)|
|Member of the Order of Australia (Military Division) (AM)||(2001)|
|Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC)||(1994)|
|Knight of the Order of St John (KStJ)||(2007)|
|Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975|
|Vietnam Logistic and Support Medal|
|Defence Force Service Medal with 4 clasps||35-39 years service|
|Australian Defence Medal|
In 1975, Scarce married Elizabeth Anne Taylor while posted at HMAS Watson. They have two adult children, Kasha (born in 1978), who works as a social worker in Sydney; and Kingsley (born in 1980), who serves as a lieutenant commander in the Royal Australian Navy.