Upcoming Events – ACT Branch
The Branch Committee is delighted to advise that events have resumed on a limited basis, subject to COVID-19 restrictions.
Tuesday 26 January 2021. Australia Day Breakfast. Details of our 2021 Australia Day Breakfast will be advised shortly.
Tuesday 17 November. 2020 Order of Australia Association – Australian Defence Force Oration.
Our annual OAA-ADF Oration was established in 2011 with the aim of further recognising the contribution made by military members of the Order of Australia to the fabric of Australian society. The 2020 Oration was delivered by the Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Greg Bilton AO, CSC. General Bilton began by explaining something of Joint Operations Command and his role. He next presented a high level review of Australia’s prevailing strategic circumstances before describing how they impact ADF operations. He spoke briefly about the high regard in which he holds the men and women of the Defence Force, and concluded by touching on domestic operations such as the ADF’s contributions to bushfire relief and the COVID-19 crisis. The Oration is available on YouTube here. The ACT Branch is grateful to the Chief of the Defence Force for his continuing support of this event. (Photo: OAA; Bio: Defence)
Wednesday 21 and Wednesday 28 October. Breakfast receptions for new recipients at the Commonwealth Club. The Branch celebrated the achievements of 24 new recipients from the Australia Day and Queen’s Birthday 2020 lists and welcomed new members at two breakfasts at the Commonwealth Club, Yarralumla. The ACT Branch is grateful to the ACT Government for its support to this event.
Wednesday 4 March: 2020 Order of Australia Association – Australian National University Lecture: Admiral Chris Barrie AC, RAN (Retd)
Admiral Chris Barrie AC, RAN (Retd) presented the 2020 OAA-ANU Lecture on the subject “It’s an Honour – Reflections”. He challenged the audience to think critically about the design and execution of our honours and awards system to ensure that it is inclusive and free of the perception of bias, and pointed to the role that the Association has in this important task. Admiral Barrie was appointed a Member in the Order of Australia in 1994 in recognition of service to the Royal Australian Navy, particularly as Deputy Maritime Commander and Chief of Staff, Maritime Headquarters. He was appointed an Officer in the Order in 1998 for distinguished service to the Australian Defence Force as Deputy Chief of Naval Staff and Vice Chief of the Defence Force. He was appointed a Companion in the Order in 2001 for eminent service to the Australian Defence Force as Chief of the Defence Force. (Photo: OAA; Bio: Barrie)
Wednesday 19 February: Annual General Meeting and Professor Jane Dahlstom OAM
Following our 2020 AGM, Professor Jane Dahlstrom OAM spoke about her journey as a pathologist. She underlined the importance of pathology as a discipline and sketched some of the changes she has helped make to the profession in Canberra and internationally. She also touched on the importance of Canberra’s Peter Herdson pathology teaching museum, and illustrated using several specimens from the museum which she had brought along. Jane was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australian June 2019 for service to medical education, and to pathology. (Photo: OAA; Bio: Dahlstrom)
Sunday 26 January 2020: Australia Day Breakfast
Almost 90 members and guests gathered to celebrate Australia Day and the achievements of recipients in the 2020 Australia Day honours list, and hear our guest speaker, Alex Sloan AM. In a very significant address, Alex spoke passionately about a number of issues confronting contemporary Australia. We hope to have transcript available shortly. Alex was appointed a Member in the Order of Australia in January 2019 for significant service to the community of Canberra, and to the broadcast media as a radio presenter. (Photo: Sloan)
Student Awards. In a departure from our usual arrangements, 2019 Student Awards were presented in school communities rather than at a central Association function. This enable us to say something about the Order of Australia, the Association and the Awards to a wider audience of students, parents and teachers. The selection panel once again considered a field of high-quality nominations. The winners were:
- Sarah Davis, Daramalan College. Awarded a School Plaque for Outstanding Leadership and Achievement.
- Samual Freeman, Canberra Grammar School. Awarded a Medallion for Outstanding Community Service and Citizenship and School Plaque.
- Aidan Gunning, Daramalan College. Awarded a School Plaque for Outstanding Community Service and Citizenship.
- Caleb Hodgson, UC Senior Secondary College, Lake Ginninderra. Awarded a Medallion for Outstanding Leadership and Achievement and School Plaque.
- Isaac Martin, Gunghalin College. Awarded a Medallion for Outstanding Leadership and Achievement and School Plaque.
- The LEADAS (Leadership, Engagement, Academia, Development, Athleticism and Service) boys program and the PEARLS (Promoting, Empowerment, Achievement, Resilience, Legacy and Support) girls program, Amaroo School. Awarded A School Plaque.
Tuesday 24 September: Reception for New Recipients. The Branch celebrated the achievements of 19 new recipients from the Australia Day and Queen’s Birthday 2019 lists and welcomed new members at a reception at the Commonwealth Club, Yarralumla. The ACT Branch is grateful to the ACT Government for its support to this event. (Photos: OAA)
Sunday 18 August: 2019 Multi-Faith Observance. Our 2019 Multi-Faith Observance was held at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture. It was moderated by the Executive Director of the Centre, Rt Reverend Professor Stephen Pickard, and featured inspirational speakers from a number of faiths. Our theme for this year was Together in Friendship. You can find the program here. This was the final MFO convened by Sam Wong AM, who announced that he will stand down from the Branch Committee at the end of this year. We thank Sam for his service over many years, particularly in convening the MFO. (Photo: OAA; bio: ACCC)
Wednesday 24 July: Morning tea with Glenys Patulny OAM. Glenys spoke about how her interest in supporting the environment drew her into broader community work. Glenys was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday 2019 list for service to the community of Tuggeranong.
(Photo: Conservation Council)
Tuesday 25 June: 2019 Order of Australia Association – Australian Defence Force Oration. Our annual Australian Defence Force Oration was established in 2011 with the aim of further recognising the contribution made by military members of the Order of Australia to the fabric of Australian society. The 2019 Oration was delivered by the Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell AO, DSC, who spoke about security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region in the next 20 years. You can find a transcript of the Oration here. General Campbell was appointed a Member in the Order of Australia on Australia Day 2003 for exceptional service to the Australian Defence Force as the Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion Group during operational service in East Timor. He was appointed an Officer in the Order in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday list for distinguished service as Head Military Strategic Commitments, Deputy Chief of Army, and Chief of Army. (Photo: OAA; Bio: Defence)
Tuesday 11 June: Queen’s Birthday Luncheon. Members and guests were treated to an address by Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove at the Royal Canberra Golf Club while commemorating Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday, and celebrating the achievements of ACT-based recipients of honours and awards in the 2019 Queen’s Birthday list. Lady Cosgrove was accompanied by His Excellency the Governor-General. She reflected on her experiences at Yarralumla, including: hosting several members of the Royal Family and other eminent international visitors; meeting recipients of honours and awards in the Order of Australia and thousands of other everyday Australians; and representing Australia at significant events both in Australia and overseas.
(Bio: Govt House; Photos: OAA)
Thursday 2 May: Reception for New Recipients. The Branch celebrated the achievements of 14 new recipients from the Australia Day 2019 List and welcomed new members at a reception at the Commonwealth Club, Yarralumla. The ACT Branch is grateful to the ACT Government for its support to this event. (Photos: OAA)
4 April: Morning Tea with Jenny Bowker AO. More than 30 members and guests gathered at the Royal Canberra Golf Club, Yarralumla, to share fellowship and hear about the experiences of Jenny Bowker AO as diplomat’s wife-turned-textile artist. Jenny gave a lighthearted but thought-provoking account of her journey, describing how she turned to drawing and quilting on finding herself without a job in a foreign country and in the shadows as a diplomat’s wife. She brought along several of her beautiful quilts, including the award winning After the Last Sky. Jenny was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in June 2018 for distinguished service to Australia-Middle East cultural relations through the preservation of traditional creative and visual arts, and as a textile artist and educator.
13 February: Annual General Meeting & Evening with Sue Packer AM. Members and guests gathered at the Royal Canberra Golf Club, Yarralumla, to participate in our governance and hear 2019 Senior Australian of the Year, Dr Sue Packer AM, speak about her Australian of the Year experience.
- The AGM saw the 2018 Annual Report accepted and a new Branch Committee elected. Our experiment with providing papers in electronic format only was very successful and this approach will be retained, saving considerably on postage costs and volunteer time.
- Sue began by describing the ‘surreal’ experience of the months and weeks leading up to the announcement of her award, the realities of the presentation night, and the whirlwind of Australia Day in Sydney. She spoke of her delight at being able to share a day with all 34 Australian of the Year finalists and the wonder of a ride around Sydney Harbour with the other winners aboard the ferry Victor Chang. She went on to explain that she has always been passionate about children, even while growing up, and that this had led to her becoming a paediatrician and eventually to her work in the child abuse sector. She shared a range of insights from her experience and exhorted all adults to be more interested in children, more curious them. In response to a question, she even gave advice on successful grand parenting! We are very proud to have Sue as a member of the ACT Branch and wish her every success during her tenure as Senior Australian of the Year.
(Photo: The Canberra Times)
26 January: 2019 Australia Day Breakfast. Almost 100 members and guests gathered to celebrate Australia Day and the achievements of recipients in the 2019 Australia Day honours list, and hear our guest speaker, Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC. Sir Angus spoke about two significant anniversaries occurring in 2019: he first described the 1919 Great Air Race, won by two Australian pilots, Ross and Keith Smith, and the subsequent development of a commercial air route between London and Australia, before observing that 2019 marks the 20th anniversary of no flying fatalities in the Royal Australian Air Force. While praising the extraordinary achievements of early aviators, he contrasted their approach to risk with the modern culture that has transformed the Air Force’s safety record. (Photos: OAA)
22 November: 2018 Student Awards. Members and guests were joined by families, principals and teachers for the presentation of annual Student Awards by our Patron, General Peter Gration OBE, AC. Student Awards recognise meritorious community service and citizenship by ACT school students. A full report on the presentation and award winners is on our Student Awards page.
17 October: Morning Tea with Diane Johnstone AM. Members and their guests enjoyed morning tea at the Royal Canberra Golf Club with Di Johnstone AM, who spoke about Diplomacy, Art and Community Engagement. Di related her experiences as a diplomat in South Africa and later in Australia collecting and promoting the work of South African artists. She went on to talk about her community work in Canberra after her diplomatic career. Di was appointed a Member in the Order of Australia in January 2015 for significant service to international relations through support for creative arts in South Africa, and to the community of Canberra. (Photo: OAA)
3 October: 2018 Order of Australia Association – Australian National University Lecture. Professor Ann McGrath AM presented the annual OAA-ANU Lecture on the subject Time Immemorial? Dates, history and the deep human past, opening members and guests to a fascinating alternative view about history and how we think about it. Ann was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2007 for service to education, particularly in the fields of indigenous history, as a teacher, researcher and author, and through leadership roles with a range of history-related organisations. She was appointed a Member in the Order in 2017 for significant service to the social sciences as an academic and researcher in the field of indigenous history, and to tertiary education.” (Photo: ANU)
19 September: Reception for new recipients. The Branch celebrated the achievements of 6 new recipients from the Queen’s Birthday 2018 List (at right) and welcomed new members at a reception at the Commonwealth Club, Yarralumla. (Photos: OAA)
19 August: 2018 Multi-Faith Observance. About 40 members and guests attended our 2018 Multi-Faith Observance at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture to hear a variety of inspirational speakers on the theme “Wisdom for the Common Good” and enjoy fellowship during a light afternoon tea. The Observance was moderated by the Executive Director of the Centre, Rt Reverend Professor Stephen Pickard, and featured Mr Harry Opperman (Jewish Tradition), Mr Muhammed Asku (Muslim tradition), Dr Willie Senanayake (Buddhist Tradition), Mr Kanti Jinna OAM (Hindu Tradition) and Dr Shahnaz Kouhbor (Baha’i Tradition). This event continues to underscore the importance of a focus on the things that bind our community together rather than the things on which we might disagree. (Pickard bio: CSU; Photos: OAA)
12 June: 2018 Queen’s Birthday Luncheon. More than 50 members and guests gathered for luncheon at the Royal Canberra Golf Club to mark the Queen’s Birthday and celebrate the achievements of ACT and regional recipients in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Our speaker was Mr Glenn Keys AO, co-founder and co-Executive Director of global health provider, Aspen Medical. Glenn spoke frankly about his early career in the Australian Army and the difficult decision he and his wife made to leave all that when their son, Ehran, was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. He described the events that then led to the formation of Aspen, some of the extraordinary things that Aspen has done, and the culture of giving that is built into the company. He closed by introducing the audience to Project Independence, a new model for provision of social housing for people with an intellectual disability. Glenn was appointed an Officer of The Order of Australia in June 2017 for distinguished service to the community of the Australian Capital Territory through contributions to disability support programs, and to business and commerce as an advocate for corporate social responsibility. (Bio: Aspen)
24 May: 2018 Order of Australia Association – Australian Defence Force Oration. The annual Order of Australia Association – Australian Defence Force Oration was established in 2011 with the aim of further recognising the contribution made by military members of the Order of Australia to the fabric of Australian society. The 2018 Oration was delivered by the Chief of Joint Capabilities, Air Vice Marshal Warren McDonald AM, CSC. You can find an edited transcript of the Oration here. Air Vice-Marshal McDonald was appointed a Member of The Order of Australia in June 2015 for exceptional performance of duty as Officer Commanding Number 92 Wing, Director General Capability Planning – Air Force, and Commander of Air Mobility Group. (Bio: Defence; Photo OAA)
L-R: Bill Henman AM; AVM Warren McDonald AM, CSC; Ian Gollings AM
17 May: Reception for New Recipients. The ACT Branch welcomed 11 new members to the Association at a reception held at the Commonwealth Club, Yarralumla. (Photo: OAA)
L-R: Jan Paula OAM; Peter Ashworth OAM; Alpha Gregory OAM; Jim Quick OAM; Michael Crane DSC & Bar, AM (ACT Chair); David Cossart OAM; Ian Sayers OAM, ED; Robin Eckermann AM; Ingrid Moses AO; Alan Morrison AM; Michael Coper AO; Gordon Gregory OAM
17 April: Morning Tea at the National Arboretum. Members and guests enjoyed morning tea with Ian Sayers OAM, ED, who spoke about his working life and his experiences as a volunteer. Ian was awarded the Medal of the Order in the 2018 Australia Day list for services to veterans and their families, and to the community. (Photo: OAA)
14 March: Tour of NGA Art of War Exhibition. In a rare treat, Dr Anna Gray AM, Emeritus Curator, kindly hosted a tour of the Arthur Streeton: the art of war exhibition for OAA members and guests. The exhibition brought together key works from collections around Australia and overseas. Anna was honoured in 2017 for significant service to the visual arts as a curator, scholar and historian, to Australian artists, and to the promotion of cultural heritage. (Bio: The Canberra Times)
1 March: Memories as National Treasures. Following our AGM, Bill Stephens OAM regaled members and guests with stories about his experiences in recording more than 200 interviews for the National Library’s Oral History Collection, principally with performing artists. Bill was awarded the Medal of the Order in 2017 for service to the performing arts through a range of roles. (Photo: Stephens)
26 January: 2018 Australia Day Breakfast. Guest speaker Penelope Thwaites AM, Chair of the Order of Australia Association UK/Europe, gave a very personal address to members and guests on her topic Canberra Connections. You can download the text of her address here. Penelope was honoured in 2001 for service to music through the performance and promotion of Australian compositions in the United Kingdom and internationally. (Bio: Wikipedia; Photo: OAA)
26 October: 2017 Order of Australia Association – Australian National University Lecture. Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC presented the annual OAA – ANU lecture on the subject Nanotechnology: Opportunities and Challenges, providing members and guest with fascinating insight into nanotechnology and its increasing impact on our daily lives. You can watch the lecture here. Professor Jagadish was honoured in the Australia Day 2016 list for eminent service to physics and engineering, particularly in the field of nanotechnology, to education as a leading academic, researcher, author and mentor, and through executive roles with national and international scientific advisory institutions. (Photo, bio & video: ANU)
25 May: 2017 Order of Australia Association – Australian Defence Force Oration. Our 2017 OAA – ADF Orator was the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AO, CSC, RAN, who spoke on For Society and of Society: Where the ADF sits in modern Australia. You can read the text of the Oration here. Vice Admiral Griggs was honoured in 2012 for distinguished service to the Australian Defence Force as Deputy Head Strategic Reform and Governance, Deputy Chief of Joint Operations, and Chief of the Royal Australian Navy. (Photo & bio: Defence)
26 January: 2017 Australia Day Breakfast. Our Australia Day guest speaker was National President of the Order of Australia Association, Philip Flood AO. Philip spoke about the challenges for Australia associated with Islam in Indonesia and a divided America. You can read the text of his address here. Philip was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in 1992 in recognition of service to international relations. (Photo & bio: Wikipedia)