Our Team

John Bale, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Founder and Chief Executive of Soldier On, he served in the Army for 12 years and finished his career as a Chief of Army Scholar writing on the de-stigmatisation of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the Australian Army. 

In recognition of John’s role in Soldier On’s success he was a 2014 Young Australian of the Year state finalist, and a recent finalist in the 2016 EY Entrepreneur of the Year.  

John is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Royal Military College – Duntroon. He has deployed to Afghanistan twice; once in 2008 and then in 2010. He holds a Masters’ of Arts and Management and completed his Honours on the First Chechen War. He is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

John has spoken about the need for community support for serving men and women, their families as well as for wounded serving and ex-serving Australians to a range of media outlets. He has featured on the 7.30 report, Triple J – Hack, SBS News, ABC news, The Project and many others. He has also been published in The Australian and other print media.  


Naomi Knight, Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Naomi has been a key member of the Soldier On team since 2016. She has acted as the Head of Development, Strategy Adviser and now Deputy CEO. She has driven the development, articulation and communication of Soldier On’s narrative, its pivot to become a service delivery agency and its deepening connection with the Australian community.

As a senior executive member, Naomi takes a lead role in strategy, communications, community engagement and collaboration and internal workplace culture.  Naomi comes from a defence family and this experience enhances her knowledge of the community Soldier On supports.

Prior to working and volunteering at Soldier On, Naomi has led and advised international and national not for profit charities, peak bodies and not for profit member associations.  She has held senior executive roles in the Australian Public Service and the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and worked at Deloitte in management consulting with a focus on culture, strategy and leadership. Her expertise across all fields are an asset to the operations of Soldier On.