Roger Clifton, Chair
(Appointed 15 October 2019)
Roger has an extensive family background in the military with his father serving in the Navy during World War Two. Both his father’s brothers paid the ultimate sacrifice in World War Two with one being lost on HMAS Sydney when she was sunk off the Western Australian coast, and the other killed in action while serving in the Middle East and Mentioned in Despatches.
Roger served in Vietnam in the early 70s as a conscript. He later had a four-decade career in Advertising and Marketing, as Managing Director of the Melbourne offices of three international advertising agencies, one of which he was a principal. He retired from full time work in 2008. Roger is also a Trustee of The Shrine of Remembrance and a Director of William Angliss Institute of TAFE.
Lieutenant Commander Pelagia Markogiannakis, Deputy Chair
(Appointed 6 February 2018, appointed Deputy Chair 29 January 2020)
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.
Dr Ross Bastiaan AM RFD
(Appointed 1 January 2013)
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 was 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 290 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)
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 at RAAF Base East Sale and is now in an Executive Support and Heritage role.
(Member from 26 March 2019 – 3 June 2020)
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.
(Appointed 30 September 2014)
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 eight 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).
(Appointed 24 March 2020)
Anita is a Royal Australian Navy veteran. She joined the Australian Defence Force at the age of 16 and served from 1994 to 2004. During that time, she trained as a Dental Assistant and worked at several ADF bases. After leaving the Australian Defence Force, Anita retrained and works as a Medication Endorsed Enrolled Nurse, as well as being actively involved in volunteering with RSL Cranbourne-Dandenong Sub-Branch where she has formed strong connections with the younger veteran cohort and provided welfare and advocacy support to them. Anita has lived experience of many of the issues facing contemporary veterans transitioning to civilian life. She is an active member of Young Veterans, a social group for veterans based in Cranbourne.
Lieutenant Commander Peta Irving RAN (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 six 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 IT logistic systems as a Project Manager. Peta has a Master of Business Administration and has graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Since leaving the Navy, Peta has been teaching and consulting in Project Management and Supply Chain and Logistics, mentoring and volunteering.
(Appointed 30 August 2016)
Former Wyndham City Mayor and Councillor, Kim McAliney joined the Veterans Council in 2016. Kim has had a long history of community involvement, both in Local Government and community level and has wide business experience. Raising two sons, with a career spanning over 30 years, Kim has worked at accountancy firms, in the aged care and retirement sector, a multi-national company and a National Crisis Counselling Service and held numerous board directorships. Kim is FCPA qualified, has an Advanced Diploma in Public Safety (Emergency. Mgt), is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and currently studying Justice. A Trust member of the Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trusts (GMCT) since 2013, Kim is a Director of the Think Pink Foundation since 2019 and is a former Chair of the Salvation Army State Social Command – Victoria and Director City West Water. Kim is a current serving Justice of the Peace and Bail Justice.
(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 his 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.
S. Jamie Twidale CSM
(Appointed 17 March 2020)
Jamie is Chief Executive Officer of the Returned and Services League (RSL) Victorian State Branch.
Through his 22-year career in the full time Army Jamie saw active service in Afghanistan, East Timor and the Solomon Islands as well as being stationed in Malaysia. Jamie was awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal in 2006 for his leadership and dedication to duty and was awarded an Army Commendation for outstanding service in 2007. As an Army Reserve member Jamie deployed to Gippsland as part of Operation Bushfire Assist in January 2020.
Jamie has worked in senior management roles with the State Emergency Service in Queensland and Victoria as well as the Country Fire Authority and most recently with the Environment Protection Authority (Victoria).
Jamie is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds a Master of Business Administration, a Post Graduate Certificate in Security, Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Studies and a Bachelor of Social Science (Emergency Management).
Lieutenant Colonel Laureen Grimes, Former Chair
(Member from 18 June 2012 – 10 October 2019)
Brigadier Michael Annett, CSC
(Member from 19 March 2013 – 29 August 2019)