We wanted to get to know our board members a little better. Our board works so hard for AVCAT giving us their time, skills and experience. We asked them to tell us their stories and how that motivates them to give so much of themselves to AVCAT and the ex-service community.
Hi there! I was born and raised in Sydney, and for most of my working life, I served in the Australian Army, including for one year in Vietnam. I retired in 1999, at that time as the Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation.
Much of my post-service life has seen me in a range of voluntary roles, including with Canberra Legacy, where I am presently a Vice President, and the RSL, in which I served as National President for 6 years to 2009. I also had the privilege of serving for 5 years on the Council of the Australian War Memorial, and I continue to serve as the Chair of the AWM ANZAC Foundation, supporting fundraising for the Memorial. All of these roles have been most rewarding, and I have taken strength from working alongside many other Ex-Service Men and Women as they support those in our community less fortunate than we are.
I became aware of AVCAT through my RSL role, the RSL being one of the Founding Members. Having children and now grandchildren of my own, I am mindful of the extraordinary benefit of good education to allow young people to achieve their full potential. This is at the heart of AVCATs’ purpose in being, and I have always been impressed with the quality of the young people who are successful in gaining scholarships and bursaries. Most obvious is that all of these young people would only have achieved what they wanted to do in life with the benefit of a bursary or scholarship.
After standing down from my RSL role, I was particularly attracted to the opportunity to take on a more active role with the Trust, and when Vice Admiral Russ Shalders decided to stand down as Chair, I suggested that I would be very happy to be considered. Playing a small part in enhancing the lives of worthy young people who have been disadvantaged through their parent’s or grandparent’s Service experience, brings great joy to me and my fellow board members. It assists greatly that we have a wonderful staff team who are equally dedicated to this task and who provide ongoing support to our bursary and scholarship recipients.