NSW Centenary of Anzac Ambassadors
Twenty eight community leaders have been appointed Anzac Centenary Ambassadors.
The Ambassadors serve on the Advisory Council and play an important role in leading the State’s commemorations of the Centenary of Anzac, 2014-2018.
The Ambassadors are leaders in their respective fields, including the Defence Force, public sector, arts community and corporate sector. They reflect the diversity of our community, with a range of ages and cultural backgrounds.
The positions are honorary and unpaid.
NSW Centenary of Anzac Advisory Council Chair
Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie enjoyed a unique 43 year Army career. He rose in rank from a 15 year old Army apprentice to Army Chief. His many awards, including the Companion of the Order of Australia, Distinguished Service Cross, Conspicuous Service Medal and international decorations, stand in strong testament to his operational service, outstanding leadership and interpersonal skills.
Warrant Officer Harry Allie BEM (Rtd) served in the Royal Australian Air Force from 1966 to 1989. He served at a number of postings within Australia and overseas. Harry is currently Chair of the NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans Commemoration Service Coordinating Committee, which has coordinated ceremonies that have been held in Sydney since 2007. In 2012 Harry was invited to be the Inaugural Air Force Representative Elder.
Anthony Ball joined ClubsNSW in 1999 and was appointed CEO in 2010. He is also CEO of ClubKENO Holdings and Executive Director of ClubsAustralia. He is a graduate of the Australian National University, University of Sydney and the American University’s Public Affairs Advocacy Institute in Washington DC. ClubsNSW’s membership includes RSL and Services clubs and supports the Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge.
Former Nasho, Ron Brown is President of National Servicemen’s Association (NSW Branch), a position he has held since 1999. He has also served as Chair of the Anzac Day Dawn Service Trust since 2003. In 2006 he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the ex-service community.
The Hon. Dennis Cowdroy OAM, QC was appointed to the Federal Court of Australia in 2006 and retired in 2014. He is also Judge Advocate of the Australian Defence Force, and Member of the Defence Force Disciplinary Appeal Tribunal, Commander in the Royal Australian Navy Reserve, an RSL National Trustee and Queens Counsel Emeritus to the NSW State Branch of the RSL. He was instrumental in advocating for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Australian War Memorial.
Rear Admiral Ian Crawford is the National President of the Australian Council of Korea Veterans Associations, an organisation that has represented the interests of the Korean War veteran community. Ian Crawford was an 18 year-old midshipman in the Royal Australian Navy when he served in the Korean War in the British light cruiser HMS Ceylon. He was awarded the Republic of Korea’s Sungrye Medal, Order of Diplomatic Service Merit in 2000 for his work as Chairman of the Australian National Korean War Memorial Committee.
Will Davies is a documentary producer and author. His films include When the War Came to Australia and 30 short films on relics in the Australian War Memorial. He is the author of seven books including the best-selling Somme Mud (editor) and Beneath Hill 60 and is widely regarded as a leading First World War historian.
Managing Director of Veolia Environmental Services Doug Dean has held many Company Director roles throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe and the United States, in the areas of waste management, transport and water supply. In 2012 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to business and commerce and to the community.
Corporal Mark Donaldson, VC joined the Australian Army in 2002 and in 2004 passed selection into the elite Special Air Service Regiment. In 2009, he was awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia, ‘for most conspicuous acts of gallantry in action in a circumstance of great peril’. In 2010 he was named Young Australian of the Year.
Colin enlisted in the Army Reserve in 1965 with the Sydney University Regiment while studying Arts Law at the University of Sydney. During his 36 years of service he was Commanding Officer of the University of New South Wales Regiment and was awarded a Chief of Army Commendation for that service.
After graduating in Law he commenced to practice as a solicitor in 1972. He still continues as a sole practitioner in the Sydney CBD.
Colin joined Sydney Legacy in 1992, being posted to the Legal Committee and subsequently also acting as the Honorary Company Secretary for 11 years. At the same time he also served as a Director from 1998 until 2010 and then again from 2012 to 2014. Uniquely, he has been elected President of Sydney Legacy for 3 annual terms.
Legatee Eric Easterbrook completed 42 years continuous service within the Department of Defence, both uniform and as a civilian. He has held various positions in local community organisations which have included Treasurer, Secretary and Chairman/President. He joined Wagga Wagga Legacy in 1981 and on posting with the Air Force to Penrith area, he also transfered to the Nepean Legacy Division. He has held positions of Secretary, PR Officer, Widows Club liaison Legatee and Junior Legatee Advisor. Eric has also served for 5 years on the Sydney Legacy Family Welfare Committee and was a member of the first Sustainable Care Review Team. For the past 6 years he has served as Director, Vice President and is currently the President of Sydney Legacy.
With both English and Italian background, Joshua Favaloro’s family has a long history of involvement in campaigns including Gallipoli and Tobruk. In 2010 he delivered the Schools Remember Anzac Address at the Anzac Memorial and was chosen as a Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholar for travel to Belgium and France.
Stephen Garton is a Professor of History and current Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney. He is the author of five books and over 80 articles, chapters and encyclopaedia and historical dictionary entries. Recently published research concentrates on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003 for services to Australian history.
As Maritime Commander Australia 2002–2004, Rear Admiral Raydon Gates commanded the Australian Fleet during the Iraq War and the War on Terror. His distinguished career in the Royal Australian Navy saw him awarded the Order of Australia, the Conspicuous Service Medal, the United States Legion of Merit and the French Order of Maritime Merit.
From a diverse and broad career in public affairs, Garrie became the CEO of RSL & Services Clubs Association after working as a government relations and issues management consultant for a variety of industry associations, major corporations and community organisations. He had previously been a consultant to the club industry, working with ClubsNSW, ClubsQld and Leagues Clubs Australia, as well as a large number of clubs across NSW and the ACT on government relations, marketing, membership development and campaign management and is currently a State Councillor of ClubsNSW.
Meg Green is the National President of the War Widows' Guild of Australia. Meg joined the Guild in NSW following the death of her husband, a Vietnam Veteran, in 2008. There are approximately 11,000 members of the Guild nationally. The National Guild represents all war widows from the First World War to the present day. Meg has also served on the NSW Guild Board for 6 years and was NSW State President for one year..
Dr Harry Harinath, who was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2009, is the current Chairman of Parramasala and Commissioner of the Community Relations Commission of NSW. He is a Board member of the South East Sydney Area Health Service and General Practitioner. His former achievements include Chairman – Cricket NSW 2007-2012, Board Member – Cricket NSW 2000-2012, Board Member- Cricket Australia 2004-2012 and President- Sydney Cricket Club 1995-2000.
Jessica Lewis is currently studying a Master of Secondary Teaching, including Modern History, at the University of New England. She completed a Bachelor of Arts at UNE in 2015. In 2010, Jessica traveled to Korea and Japan as a Premier's Anzac Memorial Scholar. Several of her relatives fought in both the First and Second World Wars which inspires her interest in history and the Anzac legend. Jessica has coordinated a number of educational, sporting, and charitable commemorative events across the New England region during the Centenary. She maintains a strong commitment to ensuring remembrance of those who have and are currently serving.
John MacLennan is Deputy Chair of the Advisory Board of the NSW Division of Australian Red Cross. He serves on a number of Red Cross committees with an emphasis on governance, international humanitarian law and refugee and migration programs. A lawyer for 35 years, he was a partner specialising in civil litigation at a mid tier Sydney law firm until 2011. John has been a member and Chair of the Council of Wesley College at The University of Sydney.
Aged just 17 years of age Gordon Maitland enlisted in the 2nd AIF during the Second World War. He rose through the ranks earning the OBE as a battalion commander and the AO as the commander of the 2nd Division. When his army career ended he was Chief of Reserves at Army Headquarters and a member of the Chief of Army’s Advisory Council. His civil life was also distinguished; CEO of The Royal Agricultural Society; member of NSW Government Committees; Chief Manager of the Commonwealth Bank.
For the last 30 odd years he has devoted his life to commemorative and community activities, particularly assisting veterans and their organisations a number of which he has led. He has also had a lifelong dedication to military history and has had 6 books published.
Gareth has a long history in Radio having worked on air at many other Sydney stations including 2GB, 2UE, 2SM, 2KM, 2KY and currently Breakfast announcer/writer at Macquarie Media’s 2CH. He is experienced in all areas of radio having worked as Programme Director, Music Director, writer of radio specials, presenter of current affairs and news programmes. For some time, Gareth was Head of the Radio Department and The Australian Film Radio & Television School and for a number of years ran a large English History Department for the Department of Education. He has an A. Mus. A. from the Conservatorium and an MA and Dip. Ed. from the University of Sydney. He has lectured in English at University, as well as running Media courses with the Australian Catholic University. Gareth also did training at the Ensemble Theatre under the tutelage of Hayes Gordon. He was also national publicist for the Papal Tour during the Beatification of Mary MacKillop in January 1995. He has been awarded a Citation from the United Nations for the Media peace Awards. He was Australia Day Ambassador 1994 – 2011 and a Centenary of Federation Ambassador. On Australia Day 2015 he received an OAM.
Francois Romanet is CEO of SAFRAN PACIFIC and General Delegate for all SAFRAN activities in the Region. Safran is an international high-technology group and tier-1 supplier of systems and equipment in its core markets of Aerospace, Defense and Security. Aerospace (Aero Boosters, Aircraft Engines, Ceramics, Electrical and Power, Helicopter Engines, Landing Systems, Nacelles and Transition Systems), Defense (Electronics and Defense) and Security (Identity and Security).
Operating worldwide,SAFRAN has over 70,000 employees in 60 countries and revenue of more than $26.5 billion AUD in 2015 and working alone or in partnerships, SAFRAN holds world or European leadership positions in its core markets.
In addition to CEO of Safran, Francois leads the company’s government relations across the Region. Francois has received the National Order of Merit in the rank of Knight, is the Federal President of the French-Australian Chamber of Commerce and Board Member of the European Australian Business Council. He is also a member of the French Foreign Trade Advisors (Australian Committee) for the French Government. He holds French and Australian passports.
Ann is CEO of Carnival Australia, the largest cruise ship operator in Australasia and a division of Carnival Corporation. Carnival is the world’s largest cruise ship operator and owner of the iconic brands P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Aida, Cunard, Holland America and Seabourn.
Prior to this, Ann was with Westpac for 12 years and was Chief Executive Officer, Westpac New Zealand, CEO, Bank of Melbourne and Group Executive, People & Performance.
In addition to her executive role, Ann holds a number of non-executive roles including ING Direct (Australia), The Myer Family Company Holdings Pty Ltd, Australian Rugby Union and Jawun. Ann is the Chair of Safe Work Australia, Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF) and Deputy Chair of the Tourism & Transport Forum.
Mrs Wendy Thompson became a war widow in 1999 following the death of her husband Keith, who had served in the Army overseas in New Guinea during World War II.
After joining the War Widows’ Guild of Australia NSW Ltd, she soon became actively involved in Guild activities. Wendy served for two years as a President’s Representative for past State President, Anne Bonner, representing the Guild at symbolic and ceremonial occasions. Wendy was elected to the NSW Guild’s Board of Directors in June 2012, and served as President until June 2015.
Air Vice-Marshal Bob Treloar enlisted in the RAAF in 1966. He flew Iroquois helicopters in Vietnam and was Mentioned-in-Despatches. He subsequently flew Mirage and Hornet fighters in Australia and Malaysia. His several commands include No 3 Squadron; No 41 (Radar) Wing; Commander of the Integrated Air Defence System in Malaysia/Singapore; and Commander Australian Theatre 1999–2001 when he was responsible for planning and supporting ADF operations in East Timor and the ADF support to the Sydney Olympic Games.
Rhondda Vanzella OAM
Rhondda is President of the War Widows' Guild of Australia NSW, President of the RSL Rural Commemorative Youth Choir and an Affiliate Member of Bundanoon RSL. In 2009 Rhondda was awarded an OAM for service to politics through roles with the Liberal Party of Australia, and to the community. She served as Dr Brendan Nelson's Electorate Chief of Staff and confidant for fifteen years.
Elvi Wood’s husband Sergeant Brett Wood was serving with the Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan when he was tragically killed in action as a result of the explosion of an improvised explosive device on Monday 23 May 2011. She continues to work closely with serving members and ex-service organisations in the interests of veterans’ welfare.