New South Wales



Main photo from left to right: Lotte George, Brianna Harris, Chairman of the Order of Australia Association Foundation Dr Helen Nugent AC, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Roisin Wallace-Nash, Chelsea Allen, Hukam Kohli. Inset photograph: Luke Barron.


The Governor-General has announced six new Order of Australia Association Foundation Scholars following a Round Table Conference at Admiralty House.

The six scholars, who are each in their second year of university studies, are:

  • Chelsea Allen: Swinburne University of Technology, undertaking a Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Health Science. The scholarship was donated by Mr Paul Wheelton AM KSJ, a member of the Board of the Order of Australia Association Foundation.
  • Luke Barron: Deakin University, undertaking a Bachelor of Marine Science. The scholarship was donated by the Order of Australia Association.
  • Lotte George: University of Western Australia, undertaking a Bachelor of Biomedical Science. The scholarship was donated by the Goodeve Foundation.
  • Brianna Harris: Charles Darwin University, undertaking a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science. The scholarship was donated by Mr Nicholas Paspaley AC, a member of the Board of the Order of Australia Association Foundation.
  • Hukam Kohli: University of Western Australia, undertaking a Bachelor of Law/Commerce. The scholarship was donated by the McCusker Charitable Foundation.
  • Roisin Wallace-Nash: Edith Cowan University, undertaking a Bachelor of Performing Arts at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts. The scholarship was donated by the Western Australia Branch of the Order of Australia Association.

On behalf of the Board of the Order of Australia Association Foundation, the Chairman Dr Helen Nugent AC, said: “Each of these awardees is exceptional in their field of study.  They have given back extensively to the community and they can benefit from the financial and mentorship support provided by the scholarship.  Each has a powerful individual story, with three of the six scholars coming from rural Australia.   Valued at $40,000, the financial support provided to each scholar will be life-changing, as will the mentorship support provided by a member of the Order of Australia. We thank each university for their active participation in the rigorous assessment process that took place.  We also acknowledge the wonderful support of each of the donors.”

This cohort of six worthy participants brings to 55 the number of scholarships that the Order of Australia Association Foundation has awarded.  The Governor-General will present the scholars to members at the Annual Dinner of the Order of Australia Association in Perth in May 2024. PROFILES OF THE SIX SCHOLARS

Chelsea Allen

Chelsea is undertaking a Bachelor of Business and a Bachelor of Health Science at Swinburne University of Technology.

Chelsea is committed to building a business in nutritional health and exercise to enhance the wellbeing and overall quality of life for all.  Deeply influenced by her own personal journey, particularly from the uncertainties of the COVID-19 lockdown, Chelsea gives back to the rural South Gippsland community from which she comes through volunteering programs with the elderly, at a local opportunity shop, leading initiatives in mental health, and working with young children to encourage participation and improve their confidence levels.  She has demonstrated leadership at her high school, including being House Captain, Environmental Captain and Wellbeing Captain, as well as having completed the Bronze and Gold programs for the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

With her outstanding academic performance, her natural leadership abilities and her sights clearly set on a defined career path, the Panel considered that Chelsea had the potential to make a true difference to her regional community.  The scholarship will benefit her now and allow her totentially to pursue a Masters Degree in the near future.

Luke Barron

Luke is undertaking a Bachelor of Marine Science at Deakin University, with the intention to do an Honours year.

Having initially completed a carpentry apprenticeship and worked on a construction site, Luke is now committed to a career in environmental advocacy, combining his passion for scientific knowledge, community engagement and writing.  He considers environmental advocacy critical to transitioning to a sustainable future.

Luke demonstrated leadership in this area at high school, advocating for greater attention to climate change and sustainability. More recently, he volunteered as an Oceanmind mentor, where he focused on teaching mindfulness and environmentalism, helping build self-esteem and confidence to alleviate stress in the children he mentored.

With his demonstrated high academic performance, his articulate commitment to sustainable marine ecology and conservation, his balanced and cogent philosophy of life, his humility and strength of character, the Panel considered that Luke would make a significant contribution to Australia’s future.  The scholarship would also allow Luke to focus more on his studies, allowing him to realize his vision for the future.

From left to right:  Chairman of the Order of Australia Association Foundation Dr Helen Nugent AC, Brianna Harris, Chelsea Allen, Hukam Kohli, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd),

Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, Roisin Wallace-Nash, Lotte George, Mr Paul Singer MVO, the Official Secretary to the Governor-General. Not in the photograph:  Luke Barron.

Lotte George

Lotte is undertaking a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at the University of Western Australia.

Lotte has an outstanding record of academic achievement and an extensive history of giving back to the community.

She has backed up her high achieving ATAR result with a distinguished university record in her first year and a half of university study.  With a passion for science, personal experience as a patient and a belief in the lifechanging impact of medical research, she wants to practice medicine, specializing in neurology or cardiology.

The primary focus of her community activity has been athletics.  She has competed both nationally and internationally, with her commitment to her local athletics club being acknowledged after 11 years of service, with her being granted life membership.  She has also received her local Council’s Youth Sports Scholarships and an Australian Olympic Changemaker Award.  When chronic injury forced her retirement from athletics, she turned to coaching and mentoring athletes, including for relays.  She coaches sprints and middle distance twice a week at her old high school.   Lotte has displayed significant leadership over time, including being Captain of Athletics and Cross-Country while at school.

With her focus, commitment to excellence, community spirit, leadership skills and vision for her future, the Panel considered that Lotte would make an outstanding contribution to Australia in her future career.

Brianna Harris

Brianna is undertaking a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science at Charles Darwin University.  Originally from the rural community of Naracoorte in South Australia, she moved to Darwin to undertake her degree, where she is training to be a physiotherapist.  After completing her undergraduate qualification, she wishes to pursue a Master of Physiotherapy.

Her career direction has been strongly influenced by her community activities in basketball in Naracoorte, as well as by her family’s involvement in health care and allied health.  In Naracoorte, she has given back to the community as a junior netball coach, umpire and sports trainer. Committed to fitness as well as to understanding the debilitating impact of sporting injuries, Brianna wants to ensure rural communities, particularly those in remote areas, have greater access to exercise and rehabilitation services.

With her strong academic performance, her clear-eyed view of her future career, her commitment to community and her engaging personality, the Panel considered Brianna would become a strong and respected leader in a rural community, which would benefit from her engagement.  She would also benefit financially from the scholarship, more so given the placements required by the course, the inability to work during such placements and the high travel costs involved in living and working far from home.

Hukam Kohli

Hukam is undertaking a Law/Commerce Degree at the University of Western Australia.

The son of Punjabi migrants, Hukam is a high-achieving student who has both given back to and benefited from his association with the Sikh community in Perth.  But over and above that, despite financial challenges, he has helped others, including fundraising for children in Malawi and baking sweets for the Red Dust Foundation.

Hukam’s defining attribute is his deep commitment to making a difference by working in the law to protect individual rights and to promote fairness within the legal system.  In 2021, he won ‘The Ian Goodenough MP Excellence in the Field of Law Award’ and ‘The Law and Society WA Award for Most Outstanding Student in

Politics and Law’, complemented by contributing as a content contributor to The ATAR Survival Guide, Perth for the Politics and Law subject.  He has received direct admission to the UWA Juris Doctor Law program, and envisions that being supplemented by obtaining a Bachelor of Civil Laws from Oxford University.

With his maturity, comprehensive and thoughtful view of the world, authenticity and demonstrable leadership capabilities, the Panel was convinced that Hukam would make a significant contribution to Australia in the law and to the communities in which he lives and operates.

Roisin Wallace-Nash

Roisin is undertaking a Bachelor of Performing Arts at WAAPA at Edith Cowan University, with the desire to pursue an Honours year.

Roisin is ambitious for Australia and the performing arts.  She aspires to be a prominent performer and deviser of innovative contemporary Australian theatre.  In so doing, she is inspired by both her Irish ancestry and the communities who have supported her along her journey.  She wants to take her works globally so that Australian voices and stories are heard around the world.

Roisin has given back to the community in her area of art practice, teaching primary school students and running free open classes for high school students. She has also supported her peers and colleagues who, like her, have moved away from home, by placing high importance on support for both physical and mental health in a high-stress environment.

With her very strong academic performance, the Panel was impressed by Roisin’s leadership skills, her selfawareness, her vision for the future, her adaptability, her passion and her connectedness to community.  She is a leader who is determined to make a difference in the world of the performing arts, which is underpinned by maturity and a strong sense of her own identity.  She would also benefit greatly from a mentorship and financially from the award of the scholarship.


See interviews with the scholars on the Foundation website:


Lindsay May OAM
50th Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2023

The Order of Australia NSW 2023 Christmas Luncheon

Order of Australia 2023
Recipients Celebrated in NSW Parliament



The Dubbo Committee of The Order of Australia organised a Luncheon for recipients of Australian awards which was held on Saturday 14th October 2023 at the Dubbo RSL 178 Restaurant.

 The Guest Speaker was Steve Hinks Director of Taronga western Plains Zoo who gave a most interesting history and future direction of the Zoo.

The Macquarie Conservatorium students entertained the 50 guests who attended from Louth, Bourke, Gilgandra, Condobolin, Stuart Town, Wellington, Dunedoo and Dubbo.

2023 Youth Community Service Award Presentations

This year’s award presentations were once again graciously hosted by Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC at NSW Government House on September 7.  Her Excellency personally presented each of the 26 recipients with a trophy and Certificate of Commendation, together with some wise words of encouragement for their future endeavours in service to the Australian community.

Proceedings concluded with a vote of thanks by Asteer Saleem from Mary McKillop College, Wakeley, who thanked Her Excellency and the NSW Branch on behalf of the recipients.


Presentations were conducted in the Government House Ballroom, followed by a group photo on the grand staircase.

The Youth Community Service Award has been conducted annually by the NSW Branch since 1993 to reward year 11 or 12 HSC or IB (International Baccalaureate) students who have shown exemplary commitment and initiative in service to their communities, which range from local to international.  While Covid prevented its offering in 2020, student initiatives have rebounded strongly, despite Influenza joining Covid in 2022 as a significant constraint on their activities.  This year’s recipients came from schools with a geographic spread across Sydney and beyond to Dubbo, Kingscliff, Port Macquarie, East Gosford, Freshwater, Raymond Terrace, Camden, Narara, Penrith, and Ulladulla.  After the official photo, everyone adjourned for afternoon tea in the beautiful and extensive gardens, where Her Excellency interacted informally with the gathering of recipients, their proud parents and guests.

Nominations for the 2024 award will be forwarded by email to all Principals (972 in 2023 offering the HSC or IB) NSW High Schools in April, with closing date in late May.  Judging by a panel of 3 Order of Australia recipients will be concluded at the end of June and 25 nominees selected and advised.  The date for the 2024 presentations will be advised by Government House when finalised.  Further information is available on the Association website at


Dr Frank Kelleher OAM, ASM

[email protected]