Directors

Bravery Trust is governed by a Board of Directors, each bringing their unique experience, passion and understanding to the board.

Chairman

Peter Fitzpatrick AO, AM (Mil), JP, FSAE, GAICD

Widely respected and recognized for the outstanding contributions made during his professional life at the helm of two peak bodies as the Chief Executive Officer for the legal profession and the motor industry.

Following a distinguished military career in the Australian Army, including service with the elite SAS Regiment, operational service in South Vietnam and secondment to the British Army, Peter held CEO roles with the legal profession and the motor industry.
He facilitates AICD directorship programs, chairs several boards and advises not for profit, charitable and indigenous organisations.

I joined the Bravery Trust Board as an inaugural director in 2012.
In the military someone has always got your back, but when people leave the services and run into difficulties they struggle to find someone who understands their problems and can assist them.
The Bravery Trust fills this important void for individuals and families who have been impacted by their service to the nation

Quote: We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.
Charles R Swindoll

Board Member

Cheryl Cartright BA, GAIDC

Cheryl is a non-executive director and a political and communications analyst, providing strategic advice on political and bureaucratic processes, communications and social licence.

Cheryl is a non-executive director and a political and communications analyst, providing strategic advice on political and bureaucratic processes, communications and social licence. Over three decades in Canberra, she has been a Federal Press Gallery journalist (for print, radio and television), a senior political adviser, including as a Chief of Staff to a Cabinet Minister, and was CEO of a national industry association in the gas industry. As a non-executive director, Cheryl prefers to work with organisations that make a difference in society, those that make a contribution.

“I was very excited to be invited in 2019 to participate on the Bravery Trust Board for many reasons, but mainly because of the contribution the Trust makes to our returned veterans. We can never truly understand what our veterans have been through, but we can and must be there when they need help. This is the core of Bravery Trust and it’s an honour to make a small contribution as a board member.”

Board Member

Simon Matthews B.A.Sc (Biotechnology), RMIT; Grad Dip Education (Melbourne University)

Simon is Chief Marketing Officer of the Richmond Football Club where he has worked for the past 10 years.

Simon is Chief Marketing Officer of the Richmond Football Club where he has worked for the past 10 years. Prior to that he spent 11 years as a member of senior management at the Essendon Football Club. In both roles Simon developed industry-leading community and fan engagement strategies, driving revenue and brand outcomes.

Simon has great admiration for those that have served their country and believes the nation has a duty to support them post-service. Simon established the Anzac Eve game played between Richmond and Melbourne as a way for Australian Rules Football to recognise contemporary veterans. He has joined the Board to build further that commitment.

Board Member

Garth Callender, MBA, GAICD

From his highly successful 20 plus year military career Garth has gone on to excel in both public and private sectors roles. He is a sought-after management consultant, non-executive director and an award-winning author.

From his highly successful 20 plus year military career Garth has gone on to excel in both public and private sectors roles. He is a sought-after management consultant, non-executive director and an award-winning author. After the Blast chronicles his military deployments, including his recovery from wounds inflicted by an insurgent bomb attack in Baghdad in 2004.

“Proud members of the military don’t always fall on their feet. Thankfully Bravery Trust is there to help when times get tough. I am extremely proud to be a director of the Trust, playing my small part to assist overcome the issues facing our veteran community.”

Joined Trust board: Dec 2019

Board Member

Commodore Brett Dowsing, JP, MScTec, GradDipStratStudies, RAN (ret’d)

Brett has been a Naval Officer for over 50 years and has recently retired. His career has centered around operations as a seaman and helicopter pilot and with sea, air and shore-based commands at all rank levels.

Brett has only very recently joined the Board and is excited about being involved in supporting our veterans and their families who find themselves in-extremes. He has a passion for the welfare of our personnel who have or are still serving our country and believes strongly in our culture of leaving no-one behind, regardless of circumstances.
A career Naval Officer for over 50 years who has recently retired. Brett’s career, which commenced as a 15 year old, has centered around operations as a seaman and helicopter pilot and with sea, air and shore-based commands at all rank levels. He has extensive overseas experience including service in the Australian Embassies to USA, Korea and Mongolia. He is married with two adult daughters and two grandsons.
Board Member

Steve Patrick JD; M Intl Law; MA (Intl Rel); GDLP

Steven is the Head of Strategic Projects and General Counsel of DMTC Ltd. He is a graduate of the Royal Military College – Duntroon, serving for 10 years in the Australian Army before resigning his Commission as a Captain and moving into law and public policy.

Steven is the Head of Strategic Projects and General Counsel of DMTC Ltd. He is a graduate of the Royal Military College – Duntroon, serving for 10 years in the Australian Army before resigning his Commission as a Captain and moving into law and public policy. He has been a central agency policy adviser, senior liaison officer to a Prime Minister, and adviser to a Defence portfolio minister. His legal practice has included roles as both defence advocate and Federal Prosecutor, as well as within general commercial law with a Defence industry focus. Steven is a member and stream co-chair of the Global Access Partners National Resilience Taskforce, and is Bravery Trust’s NSW Director.

The profession of arms is a unique calling, with challenges not usually associated with daily life. Part of what is implied in service however is that you’ll never be alone, in times of both prosperity and in those that are more challenging. The Trust provides real and tangible support in times of need for our brothers and sisters in the Profession, both by way of emergency assistance and longer term support. It is a privilege to help continue the great work of the organisation.

Board Member

Vicky Carlson, CA, RCA, BCom

Vicky is an Audit partner at KPMG with over 19 years experience providing audit and advisory services specialising in the energy and natural resources sector.

Vicky joined the BT board in February 2017 as finance committee chair to support the board in driving sustainable investment and governance practices. I firmly believe we all have a vital role to play in utilising our professional skills and experience to contribute to our communities and support those in need, particularly those hose who have served our country. Our work at BT directly supports those in financial hardship in their hour of need and I am excited about our opportunities to further extend our work to help them build the financial skills they need for the future.
Board Member

Jane McAloon BEc (Hons), LLB, GDip CorpGov, Monash Fellow (2018)

Jane is a non-executive director of Viva Energy, Energy Australia, United Malt, Home Consortium and Allens.

Jane is a non-executive director of Viva Energy, Energy Australia, United Malt, Home Consortium and Allens. She chairs the Monash University Foundation and is a Senior Adviser at critical issues firm Brunswick. She was former national chairman, Defence Reserves Support Council, former director of the Australian War Memorial Council and Healthscope. Jane was formerly a senior executive at BHP and has worked in the natural resources, energy, infrastructure and utility industries for over 25 years.

I am a proud Australian who is passionate about supporting those who step up and choose to serve our nation. If those people are injured in the course of serving Australia it is, in turn, our duty to step up and support them.

CEO

Chief Executive Officer

Belinda Wilson LLB GAICD

From her beginnings as a regional lawyer, President of the Law Institute of Victoria, to CEO of Bravery Trust, Belinda has forged a career creating a partnership between her passions for the law, seafood and communities.

From her beginnings as a regional lawyer, President of the Law Institute of Victoria, to CEO of Bravery Trust, Belinda has forged a career creating a partnership between her passions for the law, seafood and communities.

Prior to leading the legal profession as the President of the Law Institute of Victoria, Belinda established Australia’s largest hand dived scallop fishery and is a director for the national body for Australia’s Seafood industry.

Belinda also sits on a number of not for profit boards in the community sector.

“Bravery Trust provides hope and opportunity for those in our veteran community who need it most. It is exciting to lead a dedicated and caring team, who are innovative, creative and are committed to making a difference.”

Patron in Chief

Patron-in-Chief

His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia

David Hurley joined the Australian Army in January 1972, graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon into the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. In a long and distinguished 42-year military career, his service culminated with his appointment as Chief of the Defence Force. He was sworn in as the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 July 2019.

David Hurley joined the Australian Army in January 1972, graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon into the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. In a long and distinguished 42-year military career, his service culminated with his appointment as Chief of the Defence Force.
He commanded the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment during Operation SOLACE in Somalia in 1993, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross. Following promotion to Colonel, he was appointed Chief of Staff, Headquarters 1st Division in June 1994, attending the U.S. Army War College in 1996 and 1997. He commanded the 1st Brigade from 1999-2000 in Darwin, supporting Australian-led operations in East Timor. He was appointed the inaugural Chief of Capability Development Group from 2003-07, Chief of Joint Operations Command in October 2007, and Vice Chief of the Defence Force in July 2008. Promoted to General, he succeeded Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston as Chief of the Defence Force on 4 July 2011 until his retirement on 30 June 2014. In 2010, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the Australian Defence Force.
Prior to being sworn in as Governor-General, David Hurley served as the 38th Governor of New South Wales from October 2014 – May 2019.
David Hurley was born in Wollongong, New South Wales on 26 August 1953, the son of Norma and James Hurley. His father was an Illawarra steelworker and his mother worked in a grocery store. He grew up in Port Kembla and attended Port Kembla High School where he completed his Higher School Certificate in 1971. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma in Defence Studies from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1975. He is married to Linda with whom he has three children: Caitlin, Marcus and Amelia.
He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Wollongong in 2013; a Doctor of the University, honoris causa, from the University of New South Wales in 2015; made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering in 2016; and awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Macquarie University in 2017.

Service Patrons

Service Patron

Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC (Retd)

Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC (Retd) is a highly decorated and respected senior executive and leader in the national security, defence and aerospace sectors, most recently as Chief of the Defence Force of Australia from 2014-2018, and earlier as Vice Chief of the Defence Force (2011-2014) and Chief of Air Force (2008-2011).

He is currently Chair of the Australia Pacific Security College Advisory Board, Deputy Chair of the Airservices Board, Deputy Chair of the Sir Richard Williams Foundation, on the Boards of the Western City and Aerotroplis Authority and the Australian International Military Games (Invictus Games Sydney 2018), a member of the Governing Committee of the Temora Aviation Museum and is Non-Executive Director Defence and National Security Policy with BAE Systems Australia.

Air Chief Marshal Binskin (Retd) has provided specialist advice to the highest levels of governments, industry leaders and international stakeholders and his aerospace knowledge and expertise is extensive. He has over 3,500 hours in single seat fighter aircraft including the A-4G Skyhawk, Mirage 111O, F-16C and F/A-18 Hornet, and continues to be active in general aviation, is a warbird owner and holds Commercial, Remote and Recreational Aviation Australia pilot licences.
Air Chief Marshal Binskin (Retd) has completed the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Service Patron

Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Ret’d)

Sir Angus was awarded the Knight of the Order of Australia in January 2015 for extraordinary and pre-eminent achievement and merit in service to Australia, through distinguished service in the Australian Defence Force, continued commitment to serve the nation in leadership roles, particularly the national responses to the MH370 and MH17 disasters, and in a variety of roles in the community.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Re
He is a Board Member of Virgin Australia, Lowy Institute for International Policy, the Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience Thompson Institute; the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, the Anzac Centenary Public Fund Board, GreaterGood Canberra and the Victorian Police Executive Command.
Sir Angus is a Senior Counselor for an international business advisory firm, The Cohen Group. He is also a visiting fellow of the Australian National University National Security College
In addition, he is the Ambassador/Patron of numerous charitable organisations.
In July 2014, Sir Angus was appointed as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to lead Australia’s efforts to help recover, identify and repatriate Australians killed in the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 disaster. Sir Angus also led the Joint Agency Coordination Centre coordinating the Australian Government’s support for the search into missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in 2014.
In 2012 Sir Angus led the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers.
Sir Angus was Chair of the Anzac Centenary Advisory Board from July 2011 until March 2014. The Board provided strategic advice to the Australian Government in relation to the planning and implementation of the Anzac Centenary 2014-2018.
In July 2011, Sir Angus retired as Chief of the Australian Defence Force after 41 years of service in the military.
In 2011, he was named the Australian Father of the Year and in 2012, the ACT Australian of the Year.
Sir Angus was awarded the Degree of Doctor of the University of South Australia in August 2017, Degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa from ANU in December 2016, Degree of Doctor of the University, honoris causa from UNSW in November 2015, and Degree of Doctor of the University from Griffith University in December 2013.
Sir Angus is married to Liz and they have three sons and three grandchildren.
Service Patron

Admiral Chris Barrie AC, FAICD, FAIM, FARPI, RAN (Ret’d)

Admiral Chris Barrie retired from over 41 years of active service in the RAN, and as the Chief of the Defence Force in July 2002. Since retirement from the military Chris concentrated his work on strategic leadership issues as a consultant, teacher and mentor.

He has also been working to promote the establishing of the Asia-Pacific Leaders Circle, and institution building throughout the region through the Australian Crime Prevention Council. He is interested in the quality of leadership and decision making by people who work in complex risk environments through Critical Decisions Pty Ltd.
As CDF, he directed and commanded the operation to secure East Timor in 1999-2000, and provided specialized defence security support for the Sydney Olympic Games (2000) and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Coolum (2002). He also advised the Government about specific roles for Australia’s armed forces in support of coalition forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere after the 911 tragedy and the invocation of security assistance to the U.S. Government offered by the Australian Government under the ANZUS Treaty.

Ambassadors

Service Patron

Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd)

General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove retired from the Army in 2005. Four years earlier, he had been Australian of the Year. Most recently, Sir Peter was admitted to the Royal Victorian Order by Her Majesty, appointed a Commander of the Order.

With his wife Lynne, the next twenty years saw the family grow to three sons and a wide variety of defence force postings, including extended duty in the UK and India.
In 1999 Peter Cosgrove became a national figure following his appointment as Commander of the International Force East Timor (INTERFET). He was responsible for overseeing East Timor’s transition to independence during, what was to become, a tense and uncertain period. The International Force rapidly and decisively restored law and order and handed over to another UN force early in 2000. For his leadership of INTERFET he was subsequently advanced to the rank of Companion in the military division of the Order of Australia, and was invested by Her Majesty the Queen at Yarralumla during her visit to Australia early in 2000.
He was soon promoted and made Chief of the Army. He went on to be promoted again to General and was appointed Chief of the Defence Force. Peter Cosgrove retired from the Army in July 2005.
Subsequently, he accepted positions on numerous boards, including QANTAS, Cardno and the Australian Rugby Union. He was appointed by the Queensland Government to lead the taskforce rebuilding communities in the Innisfail region following the devastation caused by Cyclone Larry in 2006. From 2007 to 2012, he chaired the Council of the Australian War Memorial, and served as Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University from 2010 until early 2014.
General Sir Peter Cosgrove was Australian of the of the Year in 2001. His best selling autobiography “My Story” was published in 2006 he delivered the Boyer Lectures series, “A Very Australian Conversation” in 2009.
On 25 March 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that General Cosgrove would become a Knight in the Order of Australia when sworn in as Governor General. Sir Peter Cosgrove was sworn in as Australia’s 26th Governor General and he served in that role until June 2019.
Ambassador

Kevin Sheedy AM

I am very pleased to become an Ambassador for Bravery Trust. It is a very worthwhile cause and I am very proud to be associated with highlighting the issues facing our servicewomen and men who have served their country.

Kevin Sheedy AM played and coached an incredible 927 VFL/AFL football games over 47 years and was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2008. He played for Richmond in the 1960’s and 1970’s, winning three premierships along the way. He coached Essendon in the VFL/AFL for almost three decades, winning four premierships and earning acclaim for his unusual and creative approaches to promoting the club and the game.
Kevin conceived the first ANZAC Day game in 1995 involving Collingwood and Essendon, which remains one of the most highly attended games of the season.
“I am very pleased to become an Ambassador for Bravery Trust. It is a very worthwhile cause and I am very proud to be associated with highlighting the issues facing our servicewomen and men who have served their country.”
Ambassador

Phillip Thompson OAM MP

I strongly believe that the best representation of us is us. It’s why I am so committed to serving my community, and being an ambassador for Bravery Trust, a veteran charity that provides urgent financial assistance to current and former serving members in their time of need.

At the mere age of 20, Phillip Thompson was deployed to Afghanistan on a trip that would forever change his life.
Whilst on patrol, Phillip was wounded in action, as an Improvised Explosive Device detonated within a metre of him. Immediately taken back to Australia, he suffered from severe injuries and was eventually diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a Traumatic Brain Injury.
His resilience and perseverance saw him acknowledge his set-backs and go forward with his life.
Phillip was elected to the House of Representatives for Herbert, Queensland, 2019.
Phillip is now part of the senior leadership for a large community mental health organisation where he is responsible for managing all of the organisations projects.
He is a Director of the Royal Australian Regiment Corporation, which is the national peak body that represents the interests of current and former members of the regiment as well as a Director of the Australian Pain Management Association which provides advice, assistance and advocacy as the voice of Australians living with chronic pain. Phillip is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Managers.
With a passion for aligning business strategy and service with community needs, Phillip ensures that everyone’s voice is heard, no matter how small.
He is also a regular contributor to a number of board and management committees with for profit and not for profit organisations.
More recently, Phillip was appointed to the National Mental Health Commission Reference Group for ADF & Veteran Self-harm and Suicide.
Phillip is a proud and passionate ambassador for the Bravery Trust, R U OK Day and Suicide Prevention Australia.
In 2018, he was appointed as The Queensland Young Australian of the Year, for all of his inspiring work.
Whether it be suicide prevention, mental-health advocacy or representing fellow veterans, Phillip Thompson ensures he maintains a high standard and respect. With a story that is moving and motivating, Phillip demonstrates the true meaning of resilience.
Ambassador

Justin Langer AM

I am delighted to be acting as an ambassador for the Bravery Trust. Any person who makes sacrifices for our nation should never suffer financial hardship for themselves or their families. As a proud Australian, my respect for our veterans is immense and I believe it is crucial that we look after them.

Justin is widely recognised for his outstanding cricketing achievements where amongst his many accomplishments, he rose through the Western Australian cricketing ranks to go on to represent Australia internationally.
He played 105 international test matches scoring 7,696 runs including 23 test centuries. In 2009 he was appointed as Assistant Coach of the Australian cricket team, and in 2012 he achieved a lifelong dream when he took on the role as Coach of Western Australia for the Western Warriors in the Sheffield Shield and Matador Cup, and the Perth Scorchers in the KFC Big Bash League. In 2016 he will tour to the West Indies as Coach of the Australian cricket team.
A dedicated humanitarian, Justin is the patron and ambassador of a number of extremely worthy charitable organisations. Whether it is in his commitment to mentoring young Australians or sharing his own experiences and time to contribute to the development and welfare of others, he encourages everyone to actively take care of others.
In 2008, Justin was named as a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to Australian cricket and his extensive and valuable community work and in 2014 he was named the West Australian of the Year for Sport.

A dedicated humanitarian, Justin is the patron and ambassador of a number of extremely worthy charitable organisations.

Ambassador

Dr Paul Alexander AO

The Trust recognises the important contribution of our ADF members and their families by supporting them in times of need – it is an honour to be an Ambassador and promote the great work of the Trust.

Dr Paul Alexander has had an extensive career in the Australian Defence Force. He is an experienced senior medical officer with 30 years’ experience across clinical executive posts, and has held board positions in military, private practice, commercial and not-for-profit organisations.
In addition to the role of Board Chair and his philanthropic interests, Paul is the Independent Health Advisor for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Chair of UQ Healthcare Board, medico-legal consultant and general practitioner.
Paul joined the Army in 1976 and completed his medical training at the University of Melbourne in 1978. He has undertaken a varied number of command, management and clinical positions within Defence including postgraduate medical training in the UK in Sports Medicine and Tropical Medicine, commanding both Field medical units and Military Hospitals, served as Australian Exchange Officer to the US Army Health Department for three years, and was the Senior Health Advisor at Enoggera Brisbane. He deployed with the initial peacekeeping force to Bougainville on Op BEL ISI and subsequently deployed as a member of the UN Peace Keeping Force in East Timor. Paul has also served as the RMO for the Special Air Service Regiment in Perth where he successfully completed SAS selection training.
In 2000, Paul transferred to the Army Reserve and worked for seven years in full-time clinical practice. Paul was promoted to Brigadier in 2004 and assumed the position of Assistant Surgeon General Australian Defence Force – Army. He recommenced full time service with the Army in 2008 when he was promoted to the rank of Major General. In 2011, Paul was made an Officer in the Military Division of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to Defence in the field of health. Paul completed his tenure as Commander Joint Health and Surgeon General Australian Defence Force in 2012, where he was responsible for the provision of healthcare to the Australian Defence Force.
Paul is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators, a Fellow of the Australasian College of Legal Medicine and a Fellow of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine.

Corporate Partners

We are proud to partner with some of Australia’s most prominent companies and we wouldn’t be here today without their support. Our partners are truly part of our team, helping us to fund our vital services, supporting injured veterans and their families, across the country.

Brave Stories

No two Australian veterans are the same. They’re everyday Aussies – united by their commitment to serve. We are proud to share their unique stories of service and bravery with you.

Stories