The Veterans Advisory Council (VAC) was established in April 2008 to promote the well-being of South Australian Veterans and to provide advice to the state government about matters concerning the Veteran community. The VAC is chaired by Air Vice-Marshal Brent Espeland AM, and comprises 16 members of the veteran community.
Air Vice-Marshal Brent Espeland AM (Retd) Chairman
Brent Espeland enjoyed a career in the Royal Australian Air Force spanning 36 years. He is an experienced commander, having held unit and formation command twice as well as having tenure as the Air Officer Commanding Training Command and Deputy Chief of Air Force. His final military service position was on secondment to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet where he was responsible for the coordination of security and intelligence at the national level for the Sydney 2000 Games.
A second career followed with ten years in senior sports administration at the Australian Sports Commission with a focus on the governance of national sporting organisations, sports science and medicine and the fight against drugs in sport.
Now retired, he works actively in support of a number of worthwhile causes. He is National President of the Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force Association and both National and South Australian President of the Royal United Services Institute of Australia, a Director of the Sir Richard Williams Foundation, a member of the Department of Veterans Affairs Round Table, Chairman of The Board of Governors of The Repat Foundation, a member of the Air Force Heritage Advisory Committee and is especially pleased to serve as a member of the National Council of the Australian Air Force Cadets.
He is also actively involved as a .founding and steering group member of the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations which works closely with the government, the opposition and the cross benches to shape policies for past, present and future members of the Australian Defence Force.
Brent believes that as citizens we owe a profound debt to veterans and service personnel who have suffered related health issues for Australians and is proud to be a part of The Repat Foundation – The Road Home, which aims to improve outcomes for these people.
Commander Andrew Burnett ADC RAN
CMDR Andrew Burnett ADC RAN has served in the Royal Australian Navy for 37 years, as a sailor and officer, and as a reserve and permanent member. He commenced as the Commanding Officer Navy Headquarter South Australia on 15 December 2016.
Commander Burnett joined Navy Headquarters South Australia after a seven month deployment to Afghanistan as the Chief of Operations and Humanitarian Law for NATO in the Operation Resolute Support Headquarters in Kabul.
Prior to the deployment Commander Burnett was the Chief Legal adviser to the Chief of Navy from February 2013 to December 2015 and before that he was the Command Legal Adviser to the Commander Border Protection Command, as it was then known, from December 2010 to February 2013.
Commander Burnett is qualified as both a Maritime Logistics Officer and a Navy Legal Officer. He has a Masters in International Laws.
Both Commander Burnett and his wife Susan are parochial South Australians.
Colonel Chris Burns CSC
Colonel Burns enlisted in the Australian Army as an apprentice electrician in 1975 and graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea in 1979.
A Royal Australian Armoured Corps officer, Colonel Burns has served in the 1st Armoured Regiment, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd/9th South Australian Mounted Rifles, and 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry). He has also served as an instructor at the First Recruit Training Battalion and the Royal Military College, Duntroon.
In 1988-89 he was seconded to the United Nations as a military observer in the Middle East. During this secondment he saw service on the Golan Heights in Syria, in Iran for the establishment of the ceasefire between Iran and Iraq and in the Gaza Strip during the ‘Palestinian Uprising’ or ‘Intifada’.
He was promoted to the rank of Colonel and appointed as the Director of Operations for the Australian Army in January 2002. In that appointment he was responsible for the strategic level planning and management of preparedness and operations involving Australian Army forces. This included significant operations in East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Solomon Islands. For his role in the planning and conduct of operations in Iraq he was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC).
Subsequent to this he was posted as the Australian Defence Attaché in Manila where he focussed on counter-terrorism operations in the Southern Philippines. In this role he was awarded the Legion of Honour by the Philippine Government.
Chris is currently South Australia’s Mental Health Commissioner, Honorary Colonel of 3rd/9th Light Horse, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management – SA, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Certified Professional Manager and the former Chief Executive Officer of the Defence Teaming Centre. Chris is a Director on the Legacy SA Board and is a member of the RSL.
Ms Paula Dabovich
Ms Dabovich joined the Army in 1992 and is a Commissioned Graduate of the Royal Military College. Ms Dabovich completed a Bachelor of Nursing in 2004 and worked as a registered nurse at Sutherland Hospital NSW.
Ms Dabovich is currently a member of the SA Health Veteran Mental Health Precinct (Glenside) Research Partnership Committee, the Veterans’ Health Advisory Council and is a PhD Candidate , University of Adelaide – Thesis topic: From Well to Wounded and Back Again: Identity and Agency in High Risk Highly Cohesive Soldier’s Undergoing Rehabilitation in the Australian Army.
The combination of military service, work as a nurse and study under the tutelage of the Director of the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies, Professor Sandy McFarlane AO, gives Ms Dabovich a broad base of experience from which to draw upon when considering the needs of our veteran community.
Mr Leon Eddy
Mr Eddy volunteered for National Service. He served with 2RTB and the 9th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. His active service was in South Vietnam, firstly as a scout with 4 Platoon and later as a Storeman/Driver in the Bravo Company Q store. He was promoted to Lance Corporal.
In 1970 Leon married Jeanette and they moved to Darwin where he joined the Public Service, where he worked until 1977, when he leased a Service Station. In 1980 Leon was part of the Foundation Committee for the Darwin Life Saving Club. Leon has many Lifesaving accreditations up to the level of Advanced Resuscitation Examiner. Leon has officiated as a Judge at three Australian Surf Life Savings Championships. He was President of Darwin Surf Life Saving Club 1982 – 1993 and was its first life member. In 1993 Leon joined Legacy. He cared for 6-8 widows until 1999. Leon went on to be the President of Legacy in the Northern Territory.
Leon and Jeanette (now with two adult sons) moved back to Adelaide in 2000. Leon joined the TPI Association in May 2000 and was soon elected a committee member and Treasurer, a position he held for eleven years. In 2009 Leon was granted Life Membership of TPI SA and was elected as State President in October, 2011. Leon is also a Federal Director of the TPI Association.
Group Captain Darren Goldie AM CSC
Group Captain Darren Goldie was born in Nambour, Queensland and was educated at The Southport School on the Gold Coast. He enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force in 1993 and attended the Australian Defence Force Academy.
Following pilot’s course, Group Captain Goldie spent the first portion of his career flying the C130 E, H and J model Hercules at RAAF Richmond, including on Operations in East Timor, the Solomon Islands, Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan; completing six flying and Command tours of the Middle East. He was an A Category C-130J Captain with 5,000 flying hours.
Group Captain Goldie was Commanding Officer, 37 Squadron (C-130J Hercules) from 2012 to 2015, during which time the unit was awarded the Gloucester Cup for the most proficient Air Force flying Squadron. In December 2016, he assumed command of 92 Wing in Adelaide, responsible for the operation of the AP-3C Orion, P-8A Poseidon and Heron Remotely Piloted Aircraft System.
He has previously served in staff appointments as Aide de Camp to the Chief of the Defence Force, Pilot Career Manager at the Directorate of Personnel Air Force and Staff Officer VIP Operations – facilitating VIP air transport for the Commonwealth Parliament and visiting foreign dignitaries. His most recent staff post was as a Director at Military Strategic Commitments.
Group Captain Goldie received an Australia Day Medallion in 2007 for his work as a Flight Commander at 37 Squadron, a Conspicuous Service Cross in 2012 for his tenure as Staff Officer VIP Operations and was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to Air Mobility in 2015. He also received a Chief of Joint Operations Gold Commendation for his role in the airborne location, airdrop of supplies and subsequent rescue of French sailor Alain Delord in 2013.
He has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics (UNSW), a Masters of Management Studies (UNSW) from private study and a Masters of Strategic Studies, obtained on posting to US Air War College in Montgomery, Alabama in 2011-12.
He is married to Kirsty, an Aero-Medical Evacuation nurse in the Air Force and has two school aged children. He has a keen interest in Rugby, Test Cricket and wine.
Ms Chantelle Graham
Ms Graham served in the Royal Australian Navy from July 1997 until June 2003. Her rank on discharge was Leading Seaman, Combat Systems Operator. During her career Ms Graham was posted to the Australian Joint Intelligence Centre in Sydney and served on HMAS Tobruk between 1999 and 2001, serving in East Timor and the Solomon Islands. On discharge Ms Graham completed a 12 month full time reservist posting at the Joint Electronics Warfare Operations Support Unit at DSTO RAAF Base Edinburgh.
Chantelle is the Deputy Director of Veterans’ SA, before her current appointment she worked for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs for 11 years gaining experience in several business areas including Income Support, Community Mental Health and Community Nursing. Chantelle was also an Australian Site Liaison Officer for the Anzac Centenary commemorative activities at Gallipoli.
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Graham
LTCOL Graham graduated to the Royal Australian Infantry Corps in 2001. He has served in a variety of command and staff appointments, and deployed on operations to East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. He also has extensive experience in partnering and mentoring defence forces of developing nations.
Prior to being appointed as the Commanding Officer, 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, he served in the Plans Branch of Headquarters Forces Command and was responsible for the development of the Forces Command Campaign Plan.
LTCOL Graham was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his service as an Operational Mentor and Liaison Team leader in Afghanistan in 2008-2009. He is a graduate of the Australian Defence Academy, Australian Command and Staff College and the Apollo Course in future warfare analysis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Politics and Masters of Military Studies.
Brigadier Tim Hanna AM
Brigadier Hanna is the President of the Returned and Services League of Australia (SA Branch).
Brigadier Hanna entered the Royal Military College in 1977, graduating in 1980 into the Royal Australian Corps of Transport. He served in a range of regimental and instructional appointments in Puckapunyal, Melbourne and Townsville before deploying to the Middle East as a military observer with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation. During this posting, Tim was appointed as the Senior Liaison Officer on the Golan Heights throughout the first Gulf War.
Brigadier Hanna left the Regular Army in 1999 and settled in Adelaide. After a short break from military service he resumed in the Army Reserve in January, 2001 and was promoted to Brigadier in January 2006, assuming the position of Commander of the 9th Brigade and Army Area Representative – South Australia. In December, 2010 Tim transferred to the Standby Reserve.
Mr Bronson Horan
Bronson Horan has been a commissioned officer in both the United States and Australian Army for over 15 years. He initially served with the US Army 10th Mountain Division before spending over 10 years in both the United States and then Australian Special Forces. As a Special Forces Officer he successfully trained and led up to 100 Special Forces operators and 500 indigenous troops on combat missions in Bosnia, Philippines, Iraq and Afghanistan. For his work with the United States Army in Iraq, Bronson was awarded the US Bronze Star.
In November 2008, Bronson was in a group of Australian soldiers who were conducting a dismounted patrol in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan. An improvised explosive device exploded, killing one of the group – 25-year-old Lieutenant Michael Fussell. Bronson and one other Australian soldier were also injured by the explosive device. Bronson sustained a cracked spine, a traumatic brain injury, and other sensory deficits. These injuries and decreased sensory abilities still affect his daily life but he has developed strategies in an attempt to mitigate their effects. Bronson was medically discharged from the Australian Army in July 2012.
Bronson was the South Australia & Northern Territory State Manager for Solider On, a charity which strives to help contemporary wounded soldiers.
Mr Ray Kemp
Mr Kemp is the State President of the Submarine Association of Australia and its National Pension and Welfare Coordinator.
Ray served for twenty years in the Royal Australian Navy, most of this time as a submariner. Ray received an Australian Service Medal for Special Operations before retiring with the rank of Chief Petty Officer in 1993.
Ray then worked at the Australian Submarine Corporation from 1993 until his retirement in 2010.
Mr Frank Lampard OAM
Mr Lampard is an Aboriginal Elder of Ngarrindjeri and Kaurna descent.
In his work life, he was a school teacher for more than 30 years, before holding several senior roles in the Public Service, including that of the Acting Chief Executive of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. Later he took up roles in the NGO Sector such as the Executive Director of the Aboriginal Prisoners and Offenders Support Services Incorporated.
He has also served on several advisory government and NGO bodies and is currently Co-Chair of Aboriginal Veterans SA. He also once held the post of Deputy Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial Committee.
Mr Lampard has received numerous awards and recognition, including an Order of Australia Medal and the National NAIDOC Elder of the Year Award.
Whilst passionate about retaining Aboriginal languages and culture in schools and the tertiary sector, he has demonstrated a strong commitment to the wellbeing and prosperity of Aboriginal people in SA with a particular interest in the Aboriginal Veteran sector.
Mr Lampard was a national servicemen from 1967-69 and served in the Australian Army as a medic with 2 Field Ambulance at Albert Park and Victoria Barracks in Melbourne.
Currently he holds one of the Commissioners roles for Aboriginal Engagement in SA.
Brigadier Laurie Lewis AM (Retd)
Brigadier Lewis served for 32 years in the Australian Regular Army. During that time he saw active service as an infantry officer with the Royal Australian Regiment in Malaya and South Vietnam.
Brigadier Lewis subsequently became the General Manager of the Aged Care and Housing Group from 1984-1996, and was Chairman of the Repatriation General Hospital between 1993-2005.
Since 2006, Brigadier Lewis has been Chairman of the Consultative Council of Ex-Service Organisations which represents 26 ex-service organisations in South Australia.
Brigadier Lewis is also a Patron of the Royal Australian Regiment Association (SA Branch) Inc. and the Guards Association, Vice-Patron of the Association of Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Ex-Servicemen and Women (SA Branch) Inc., Adviser to the War Widow’s Guild of Australia (S.A. Branch) Inc., a member of the Veterans’ Review Board and the Ministerial Advisory Board on Ageing.
In 2006, Brigadier Lewis was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to veterans as an administrator of aged care and health services, as an adviser to state and national ex-service welfare groups, and through support for charitable organisations.
Dr Sharon Mascall-Dare
Dr Sharon Mascall-Dare is a Military Public Affairs Officer in the Australian Army Reserve with an established track record as a journalist and communications strategist specialising in veterans’ affairs and the commemoration of Anzac Day.
Sharon holds an MA in Modern Languages from the University of Oxford, a Postgraduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism from City University in London and a PhD in Communication from the University of South Australia. Her doctoral thesis examined journalistic practices among Anzac Day reporters and advocates accuracy, originality and ethical conduct through the annual publication of the Anzac Day Media Style Guides.
Sharon is actively involved in communicating the significance and relevance of the Anzac Centenary through her work as an Army Officer and as co-author of ‘Not for Glory: a century of service by medical women’, published in 2014. As an Adjunct Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Canberra she is also involved in academic research to improve media coverage of veterans’ experiences and responsible reporting of PTSD.
Mrs Helen Meyer
Helen served in the Australian Regular Army from 1963 to 1966. It was the period when women were forced to leave the Forces if they married. She married a soldier from the Armoured Corps, and went on to a career in the administrative side of the Insurance Industry, eventually running her own training and consulting company within that industry.
Over the decades, Helen and her husband experienced huge difficulties with his inability to fit back into civilian life and his terrible mood swings. This was eventually recognised to be a severe form of PTSD. He served in Vietnam.
Helen is one of the founding members of The Partners of Veterans’ Association, SA Branch, and served on their Board for many years. She was a Board member, Grants Officer, and Language teacher for The University of The Third Age, Tea Tree Gully; a Volunteer at The Army Museum of South Australia; and Consultant for the book ‘Lady Soldiers’ by Lyn Kane Dale.
In her late 60s, Helen completed media training and became the Producer of The Legacy Hour at Radio Adelaide. She is currently Producer of Service Voices, a radio program that depicts news, views, perspectives and memories from the veteran, service, volunteer and defence communities.
Helen was presented with a ‘Woman of Achievement’ award at Adelaide Town Hall in 2014 for her service to community, recognising her involvement in many aspects of a variety of organisations. Helen is a named nominee on the SA Women’s Roll of Honour 2015. She is a delegate to the South Australian Scottish Association, and a current Board member of The War Widows Guild of Aust SA Branch. Helen serves on the Programming Committee at Radio Adelaide, reviewing existing radio programs and assessing new programs.
Mr James O’Hanlon
James Terence O’Hanlon was born in Sydney and educated at Windsor High School.
James has held a range of regimental and instructional appointments culminating at the rank of Major. These include instructor appointments at the Royal Military College, Duntroon and the 4th/3rd Battalion, The Royal New South Wales Regiment; and regimental appointments as a Company 2IC and Operations Captain of 1RAR. He was appointed Senior Military Recruiting Officer at Defence Force Recruiting-Newcastle and Executive Officer of Australia’s Federation Guard during 2010-2012. Posted to 7 RAR in South Australia in 2013, he achieved company command of Alpha Company and was the Chief of Staff in 2014. He transitioned to the Army Reserve in early 2015 and currently serves with Adelaide Universities Regiment as the Deputy Chief Instructor and Second-in-Command.
In 1994 he deployed to Rwanda with ASC UNAMIR as a Rifleman in Alpha Company 2/4RAR. Between 1999 and 2007 he deployed to East Timor on separate INTERFET, UNTAET, UNMISET and UNMIT missions with 1RAR and 2RAR in a variety of regimental positions as both an Officer and NCO. In 2009 he deployed to Afghanistan with OMLT-C, MRTF-2 as an Afghan National Army combat advisor and mentor. For his service and leadership in action as a Team Leader of OMLT-C MRTF-2, Major O’Hanlon was awarded the CJTF 633 Silver Commendation in December 2009. He has participated in numerous exchange and training deployments to Germany, France, Malaysia, Brunei and the United States of America.
James separated from the permanent forces in early 2015 to better balance his work, family and lifestyle. He is the Director and Principal of Heterodox Solutions which is a small management consultancy firm, and a preferred KPMG Contractor to Defence.
James is a member of the RSL, the Royal Australian Regiment Association (SA) and recently volunteered to chair the Defence Consultative Group to support veteran’s interests and representation to the South Australian Government.
Dr Pamela Schulz OAM
Dr Pamela Schulz is Senior Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of South Australia School of Communications and International Studies. She has had a 20+ year career in communication management and community education as a senior practitioner, adviser and manager within the South Australian Government Public Service and in addition has qualifications in Sociology, Communications and a Masters Degree in Education. Dr Schulz was also a former print and radio journalist, teacher and lecturer.
In late 2010 the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG (former Justice of Australia’s High Court) wrote the introduction and launched her book “Courts and Judges On Trial: Analysing and Managing the Discourses of Disapproval” published by Lit Verlag in Berlin London and New York. This book analyses language as a key element in setting public perception of the justice system and advocates a new approach to address community. The Hon Michael Kirby has presented elements of her work regularly at conferences. In recent years Dr Schulz has been invited to speak at more than 20 international and national conferences. She has also had work published in relation to Defence and the way the media reports Defence matters. In addition her work on mining and public opinion has received national attention.
In June 2013 Dr Schulz presented a Discourse Analysis of Social Media at the International Courts Conference at the Courts of Justice in The Hague and seminars in European Universities. Her current research projects at the university consider health and defence and the language constructions that bring about understanding and public perception.
In May 2013 she presented to the National State Courts Centre in the USA in Virginia to senior researchers in Courts and Law, the video of this lecture is now used to train the judiciary in the USA on media and linguistic approaches to their work. She has had several articles and book chapters published in this subject area of discourse analysis, media analysis and the impact of public opinion. She has several gold awards for her work in communication management from the Public Relations Institute of Australia and the Australian Marketing Institute. In 2003-4 she was awarded the prestigious Laurenti Ellicott Award for Excellence for the best Public Relations Campaign in (SA) and Australia. In June 2013 Dr Schulz was awarded the Medal in the Order of Australia.
Dr Schulz served as the ministerially appointed Chair of the Defence Reserves Support Council in South Australia from Feb 2009- March 2015 and is now immediate past Chair of the DRSC. She is past Deputy Chair of the Australia Day Council in SA, and past Vice President of the Media Alliance. She is married to Roy and has four adult children and two grandchildren.
Mr Michael von Berg MC OAM
Mr von Berg enlisted in the Army as a soldier, serving in the 1st Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, before attending the Officer Cadet School, graduating in 1965. He saw active service in Vietnam with the Reconnaissance Platoon of the 5th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment in 1966/67 during which time he was awarded the Military Cross. He went on to serve in the Special Air Service Regiment, Commandos, and as Adjutant and Company Commander in the 5th Battalion before resigning his commission in 1973.
He is the President of The Royal Australian Regiment Association (SA), Chairman of the Royal Australian Regiment Corporation, President of the Royal Australian Regiment Council and a member of the Ex Service Organisation Round Table (ESORT) at federal level. He is a life and hall of fame member of the South Australian Rugby Union and a past director of the Australian Rugby Union.
Michael lived, studied and worked overseas in the UK, Germany, Austria, USA, South Africa and Kenya after resigning his commission, returning to Australia in 1984 to take up his position as a director of The Hardy Wine Company. He established his own strategic management consultancy in 1991 which operated for some 20 years before his retirement.