Members of the Victorian Veterans Council

Lists members of the Victorian Veterans Council.

Lieutenant Colonel Laureen Grimes, Chair

(Appointed 18 June 2012, appointed Chair 10 October 2018)

Laureen has been an Army Reservist since 1980 and has attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Australian Transport Corps. During her career she served in a broad range of roles including Chief of Staff 4th Brigade, Defence Liaison Officer for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games and as Honorary Aide de Camp to the Governor of Victoria for three years. Laureen was appointed Commanding Officer of Victoria’s Combat Support Services Battalion that was closely involved with the 2009 Victorian Bushfire support. She is currently based at Victoria Barracks Melbourne and is serving in a support role with Joint Logistics Command who provide logistics services across the Australian Defence Force.

Brigadier Michael Annett, CSC

(Appointed 19 March 2013, reappointed 30 August 2016)

After graduating from the Royal Military College, Michael was appointed to the 1st Armoured Regiment. From 1988 to 1989 he served with United Nations Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group. Following discharge from the Regular Army in 2006, Michael was appointed CEO of the Victorian Branch of the RSL. In January 2007, he resumed soldiering as a Reservist. In January 2013 Michael was promoted to the rank of Brigadier and assumed the command of the 4th Brigade. In July 2015 he was deployed as the Commander of Task Group Afghanistan. Since returning he has been appointed State Secretary of the Victorian Branch of the RSL. Mike was awarded a Commendation for Distinguished Service in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Dr Ross Bastiaan, AM RFD

(Appointed 1 January 2013, reappointed: 2 February 2016; 26 March 2019)

Ross enlisted in the Army Reserve in 1975 and was attached to 3 Army Field Ambulance. In the Royal Australian Army Dental Corps (Res) he was promoted to Colonel Consultant and is currently attached to Defence Health Services Branch, Canberra. Ross served on the Council of the Australian War Memorial from 1995 to 2009. Since 1990 he has personally placed over 240 multi-lingual, large bronze commemorative plaques at various locations around the world from Europe to the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. He has also written three books on WWI and WWII. Since 1978 Ross has worked in private practice as a periodontist.

Wing Commander Sharyn Bolitho Raafar

(Appointed 4 November 2015, reappointed 26 March 2019)

Sharyn Bolitho joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1987 and during her time in the RAAF she held postings on the staff of the Chief of Defence Force (working for Admiral Chris Barrie at the time of the terrorist attack on 11 September 2001) and was later responsible for joint operational personnel issues relating to deployment in 2002, receiving a Commendation from Commander Australian Theatre. Sharyn was appointed Commanding Officer of Combat Support Unit East Sale in December 2008, transitioning to Commanding Officer No 30 (City of Sale) Squadron when it was reformed 1 July 2010. She left the Permanent Air Force in May 2012 to remain in Sale and accepted an appointment as Manager Economic Development at Wellington Shire Council. Sharyn transitioned back to RAAFAR in 2017 as the East Sale Indigenous Liaison Officer and is now responsible for Heritage and Executive Support.

Mr Geoffrey Brewer

(Appointed 26 March 2019)

Geoff Brewer completed National Service with 2RAR in 1966-1967, including a tour of duty to Vietnam in 1967 where he served as an infantryman. Following his military service, Geoff returned to his career as a teacher in Victoria. In 1984, Geoff was awarded an International Teaching Fellowship placement at Hoover Middle School in Buffalo, New York. Geoff spent the final 11 years of his teaching career as  Principal of Solway Primary School, before retiring in 2000. Geoff has been a longstanding member of Melbourne Legacy, serving as the convenor of the Melbourne Legacy Education Panel for 16 years, and as the Legacy member of the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme Victorian Board since 2001. Geoff is the Legacy member of the Victorian Veterans Council.

Ms Elizabeth Brown

(Appointed 30 September 2014, reappointed 6 February 2018)

Elizabeth is a widow of a Vietnam veteran, was a carer to her father-in-law (a WWll veteran) and has been a Pensions/Welfare Officer for the past six years. She has completed a law degree at Victoria University, is a qualified Associate Accountant and has worked in finance roles across government. Elizabeth was nominated  for  appointment to the Council by, the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia Victorian Branch (Noble Park Sub-Branch).

Lieutenant Commander Peta Irving (Rtd)

(Appointed 7 August 2018)

Lieutenant Commander Peta Irving RAN (Rtd) joined the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service in 1983 after spending four years in the Army Reserve Artillery Corp. Peta joined as a Naval Supply Officer and was one of the first females to serve at sea in a permanent position on the HMAS JERVIS BAY in 1985. While in the Navy Peta was logistics officer for Operation RELEX and specialised in joint IT logistic systems as a Project Manager. Peta’s last position in the Royal Australian Navy was as the National Manager Warehousing for the Department of Defence. Since leaving the Navy, Peta has been teaching and consulting in Project Management and Supply Chain and Logistics, volunteering and travelling the world.

Lieutenant Commander Pelagia Markogiannakis

(Appointed 6 February 2018)

Pela has been a Navy Reservist since 1986 and has attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander. She has held a variety of logistics, engineering and infrastructure related roles. Pela is an engineer and certified project professional. She has been the Aide-de-Camp in Waiting to His Excellency the Governor of New South Wales and the His Excellency the Administrator of the Commonwealth of Australia. She is currently serving in a staff role to Shore Force at Fleet Headquarters, Sydney and is the Staff Officer for Reserves in Victoria reporting to the Head of Reserves in Canberra. Pela currently holds the executive infrastructure governance role with Major Road Projects Victoria.

Ms Kim McAliney

(Appointed 30 August 2016)

Kim was Deputy Mayor for the City of Wyndham from 2016 to 2017. She was first elected in 2005 and previously elected Mayor for 2007 to 2008, and 2011 to 2012. Kim is a Fellow of CPA Australia, has an Advanced Diploma in Public Safety (E.Mgt) and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Kim has worked at accountancy firms, in the aged care and retirement sector, a multinational company and a National Crisis Counselling service and held numerous board directorships. She has been a Trust Member of The Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust since 2013.

Mr Bruce Mildenhall

(Appointed 7 August 2018)

Bruce is not a veteran but has broad experience and strong personal interest in the veteran sector. He is currently involved in commemorative activities as Chair of the Mt Macedon ANZAC Dawn Service, and has assisted as support rider in the Vietnam Veteran Vetride. Bruce’s father was a Rat of Tobruk and maternal grandfather an officer in the ANZAC Light Horse. As a former State MP and Parliamentary Secretary for Veterans’ Affairs, Bruce assisted in the drafting of Victoria’s veterans legislation, the Veterans Act 2005, and led the first Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize tour to the Western Front.