Meet our team

Our Patron

Excellency General, the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Ret'd)

Our Board


Vice Admiral Russ Shalders AO CSC RAN (Ret’d)

Has been Chairman of AVCAT since August 2010 by appointment of the Australian Government Minister for Veterans’ Affairs. Vice Admiral Shalders retired from the Royal Australian Navy in July 2008 after 41 years in the Service. His last three years were as Chief of Navy. Prior to that posting, he has served as the Vice Chief of the Defence Force and Chief of Joint Operations from 2002 to 2005.

Vice Admiral Shalders has commanded four ships – the Patrol Boat SAMARAI in Papua New Guinea in 1975, the Frigates SYDNEY and DARWIN (the latter during the first Gulf War) and the Destroyer PERTH. He has also held the RAN’s senior sea going appointment as Commodore Flotillas. In an early posting in his career, Vice Admiral Shalders served in South East Asia, including the Vietnam War.


Mr Ken Foster OAM

Deputy Chairman of AVCAT. A veteran of Malaya and Vietnam, Ken served in the Australian Army from 1962 to 1979. He is the National President of the Vietnam Veterans’ Association of Australia and was a Director of AVCAT from 2001 to 2003, before being reappointed in 2005.

Lieutenant Colonel Philip Badcock (Ret’d).

A Vietnam veteran, Philip served in the Australian Army from 1967 to 1992. After leaving the Army, he became the Director of Logistics for the NSW Department of Corrective Services. He was appointed by Legacy Australia Inc. and has been a Director of AVCAT since 2005.

Mr William (Bill) Roberts

A Vietnam veteran in the Australian Army from 1963 to 1972, Bill served in Malaya and Borneo from 1965 to 1967. He is the Secretary of the Vietnam Veterans’ Federation of Australia, and the Senior Vice President of the Vietnam Veterans’ Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Association of Australia (NSW Branch). Bill has been a Director of AVCAT since 2005.

Lieutenant Colonel Ian Henderson (Ret’d).

A Vietnam veteran, Ian served in the Australian Army from 1956 to 1979. He is a member of the State Executive of the RSL (NSW). After leaving the Army he was an executive with Woolworths and subsequently a General Manager in the construction industry.

Mr Gordon Blake

National President of the Australian Veterans and Defence Services Council (AVADSC). He joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1979 and served until 1994. He subsequently spent a number of years in Electronic Engineering appointments before his retirement. Gordon has held a variety of executive positions in ex-service organisations since then. He also works as a volunteer for Veterans' welfare in those organisations.

Alternate Directors

Mr David Norton

Alternate Director for Lieutenant Colonel Badcock (Retd). Mr Norton holds a Masters Degree in Engineering Science from Oxford, England. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (England and Wales). A veteran of the Malayan Emergency, he experienced active service in the early 1950s. Mr Norton brings to AVCAT his professional experience in Investment Banking with specialisation in financial research and fund management.

Mr Peter Kaineder

Alternate Director for Mr Roberts. A Vietnam veteran and a teacher by profession, Mr Kaineder recently retired from his position as Senior Science Master of a NSW Selective School.

Mrs Meg Green

Alternate Director for Gordon Blake. Meg is a Registered Nurse by profession and still works on a part-time basis. She is the widow of a Vietnam Veteran and is the National President of the War Widows Guild of Australia. Meg has been active in assisting the children of veterans’ achieve pathways to further education through the Veterans’ Children Education Board (NSW) for some years.

Our Staff

Joan Hughes, Chief Executive Officer

Joan commenced as CEO of AVCAT in April 2016. She has been a CEO in the non-for-profit and charitable sectors for 20 years. In her earlier career, Joan was a Deputy Principal of a public high school. She is very passionate about the importance of education for young people.

Siobhan Day, Scholarships Manager

Siobhan joined the AVCAT team in April of 2017.  She holds a Bachelor of Business and Communications from ACU (2012) and has commenced a Masters of Political Economy at the University of Sydney.

Siobhan was previously the International Scholarships Coordinator for the Aurora Education Foundation, an organisation committed to improving educational outcomes for Indigenous Australians. 

Prior to this, Siobhan worked in the corporate sector as a Project and Event Manager.



Chris Wicks, Finance Manager

Chris commenced with AVCAT in March 2017. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK. Chris has held senior financial  positions for many years in the commercial sector and for the past five years in the not-for-profit sector, working with organisations focussing on disadvantaged families and early education.


Anne West, Scholarships Officer

Anne came to Australia from the UK in 1967. Anne commenced duties as our Scholarships Officer and Secretary in February 2005.

Therese Canty, Scholarships Coordinator

Therese began at AVCAT in February 2016. She has recently completed a Master of Development Studies and Cultural Change and also holds a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Earth Science, Geography). She is passionate about providing young people with opportunities to make the most of their skills and interests.

Courtney He, Accountant

Courtney He has been the AVCAT Accountant since 2014. She has worked internationally in Denmark and China and holds a Master of Accounting from Monash University. She is a busy mother of two who balances motherhood and a career successfully.


Are you a child or grandchild of an Australian Veteran? Do you need financial support for your tertiary education? Complete our Expression of Interest form for 2018 scholarships