The Order of Australia Association



Branches & Regional Groups : ACT



Message from the Branch Chair

I am delighted and honoured to have been elected as the Chair of the ACT Branch of Order of Australia Association for 2014. I would like to thank most sincerely outgoing Chair, Derek Robson AM for his commitment and hard work in this role, especially as the 2013 National Conference was held during his tenure.  As an active participant in this event,  I can corroborate all statements that this conference was a huge and unqualified success.

To introduce myself to members, I was born in New Zealand and was a teacher and principal in ACT Schools from 1974 to my retirement in 2013.

An OAA activity that is dear to me is the annual Student Awards where The Order of Australia Association invites nominations from ACT students, schools and colleges for some very special awards.  The Association, which seeks to foster love and pride in active citizenship, particularly in the younger members of the community, uses the awards to publicly recognise voluntary community service and demonstrated good citizenship. The awards are endorsed by and enjoy the support of ACT school authorities, both government and non government.  The 2010 Australia Day address given by our Patron General Peter Gration, AC, OBE “Citizenship; What Do we really mean?” addresses the principles of citizenship we encourage and I commend you to read this on our website.  In my ‘retired’ state I will have more time to work with fellow committee member Ray Newcombe OAM with the Student Citizenship.

My other interests include involvement at the National Arboretum Canberra.  As I watched the National Arboretum take shape, I became a Foundation member of the Friends Council, of which I am currently the Deputy Chair, a Trustee, and a Trained Guide.  I commend the Friends of the National Arboretum’s website to you ( Every student at Giralang Primary School became a Friend of the National Arboretum and remains so.

While Principal at Giralang Primary School I was an active and passionate member of the Dare to Lead project which provided support for principals endeavouring to improve learning outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, and improving the curriculum across all schools about traditional and contemporary Aboriginal history and culture.

I am the new School Board Chair of the ACT Youth Justice Facility – Bimberi Murrumbidgee Education and Training Centre and also Deputy President of the Friends of Opera, so ‘retirement’ is keeping me well and truly occupied with the community.

I look forward to working with the 2014 committee and together we will provide a variety of activities in which the local members can become involved.  To enhance our association, members are encouraged to contact me with any ideas and suggestions they may have.

We encourage members to keep our Secretary, Bruce Trewartha OAM, informed of current contact details so you can be kept up-to-date with Branch information.

Trish Keller OAM


Branch Chairman's Annual Report - 2014





The Oration is an initiative of the Order of Australia Association - ACT Branch to further recognise the important contribution made by military members of the Order of Australia to the fabric of Australian society - by bringing together general and military recipient of the Order. It aims to create a closer understanding of each other’s commitment to service - as recognised through the Australian Honours system. This includes service personnel awarded “Distinguished Service Decorations” and Australian Bravery Decorations. Also to narrow any perception about the “Military Division” honours being so different to “General division” honours due to nomination methodology – whereas all acknowledge service above and beyond to Australia - and thus to Australians all.

The Oration was inaugurated in April 2011 with support of then Chief of Defence Force, ACM Angus Houston AC,  AFC, who delivered the first Oration, and from succeeding CDF’s, GENERAL David Hurley AC DSC and currently AC M Mark Binskin AC. The 2012 and 2013 Orations were by RADM Robyn Walker AM RAN, Commander Joint Health and Surgeon General, ADF and MAJGEN Gus Gilmore AO DSC, Deputy Chief of Army. In 2014 the Deputy Chief of Air Force, AVM Leo Davies AO was the orator and in 2015 the Chief of The Defence Force ACM Mark Binskin AC delivered the Oration titled ““Military mental health - from shellshock to PTSD and beyond”.

for the 2015 “OAA-ADF ORATION” a YouTube version may also be accessed at 2015 CDF ORATION

Credit: The Department of Defence/Photographer



The Branch has a similar partnership with the Annual “OAA -ANU Lecture” - featuring outstanding ANU personalities honoured through the Order- including the former Vice Chancellor Professor  Ian Chubb AC, (now Australia’s Chief Scientist), the present Vice Chancellor Prof Ian Young AO , Emeritus Prof of Political Science John Warhurst AO and in 2013 by Nobel Laureate Prof Brian Schmidt AC . The 2014 Lecturer was Professor David Lindenmayer AO and the 2015 Lecture will be delivered by Prof Andrew Podger AO on 12 October in the Great Hall of University House, 6-7.30 pm.

 The text of the OAA - ANU ORATION -2015 can be accessed at HERE

A Podcast version of the Oration can be accessed at:





Professor David Lindenmayer AO is the Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow, Fenner School of Environment & Society at The ANU. He delivered the 2014 “OAA-ANU LECTURE” in the Great Hall of University House on 28 October to an audience comprising ACT Branch members and ANU academics, executive staff, research fellows and students and guests who were then invited to participate in a lively “Q & A” session on his ecological expose with the potential to impact on each and every one - now and into the future.

David has written more than 905 scientific articles and 36 books on forest ecology and management, forest and woodland biodiversity, conservation in agricultural landscapes, the ecology and management of fire and conservation science and natural resource management. He is one of the most highly cited ecological scientists in the world that publish more than 10 peer-reviewed articles annually. He is a member of the Australian Academy of Science and the New York Academy of Science, winner of the Eureka Prize (twice), Whitely Award (six times), the Australian Natural History Medal, the Serventy Medal for Ornithology and numerous other awards. He was awarded a prestigious 5-year Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship in 2013 and appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in the 2014 Queens Birthday Honours list. He currently runs 5 large-scale, long-term research programs in south-eastern Australia, primarily associated with developing ways to conserve biodiversity in reserves, national parks, wood production forests, plantations and on farm land – and has helped over 50 students complete their post-graduate PhD or MSc degrees.

Prof Lindenmayer’s address “Discovering a lost Forest giant – 31 years of science in world’s tallest forests focused on the world’s tallest  flowering plants – the Mountain Ash forests – which lie just 90 minutes’ drive north-east from the Melbourne Cricket Ground. They are the world’s most carbon dense ecosystems. They yield almost all of Melbourne’s water supply and are a critical environment for a wide range of native plants and animals. Mountain Ash forests are also subject to widespread logging, primarily for paper production and were the scene of the 2009 Black Saturday wildfires – the worst natural disaster in Australian history.

He spoke about the key research programs conducted through The ANU on forest ecology, biodiversity conservation and disturbance (logging and fire) which has impacted in these forests since mid-1983 leading to a major body of new knowledge and an array of exciting scientific discoveries. The 2014 Lecture summarised some of the extra-ordinary ecology of Mountain Ash forests and some sobering recent research results highlighting links between past logging operations and the elevated severity of the 2009 fires.

He stressed that, remarkably, very few Australians know about these forests – or of the enormous economic benefits that could accrue from strategic tourism investment and infrastructure. The final part of the Lecture outlined an exciting new vision for the regions which lie north-east of Melbourne – a vision that ultimately may be critical to the very long-term persistence of this majestic forest itself – with resultant benefits for all Australians.”

A copy of Prof Lindenmayer’s PowerPoint presentation may be viewed here and a Podcast of his Lecture may be heard courtesy of The ANU Strategic Communications and Public Affairs Unit at:


The “OAA-ANU LECTURE” is an initiative of the Order of Australia Association-ACT Branch - commenced in 2010 to further recognise the important contribution made by distinguished Academic members of the Order of Australia to the fabric of Australian society - by bringing together University and other general recipients of the Order - aimed at creating a closer understanding of each other’s commitment to service - as recognised through the Australian Honours system.

Vice Chancellor Prof Ian Chubb AC (now Australia’s Chief Scientist) delivered the inaugural Lecture in October 2010 – followed by Emeritus Prof of Political Science John Warhurst AO in 2011; current VC Prof Ian Young AO in 2012 and Nobel Laureate, Astrophysicist , Prof Brian Schmidt AC in 2013.



The ACT has established a partnership with the AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE for the Annual “OAA-ADF ORATION” which features outstanding ADF officers who have been honoured through the Order. It was INAUGURATED in April 2011 after discussions and the support of the then CDF, ACM Angus Houston AC AFC - who delivered the first Oration in the ADF Russell HQ Theatrette. Following CDFs GEN David Hurley AC DSC and ACM Mark Binskin AC have embraced the partnership.

RADM Robyn Walker AM, RAN, Commander Joint Health and Surgeon General ADF gave the 2012 Oration; MAJGEN Gus Gilmore AO DSC, Deputy Chief of Army and formerly Special Operations Commander Australia in 2013 and AVM Gavin (Leo) Davies AO CSC, Deputy Chief of Air Force, in 2014. AVM Davies Oration can be seen here.





Nobel Laureate Prof Brian Schmidt AC

Oration Text - “The Future of the ANU and its Role in Canberra”

Article The Australian

ANU YouTube OAA ANU Oration



Attached is a transcript of the text of the OAA / ADF Oration 2012 by MAJGEN 'GUS" GILMORE AO, DSC

Introduction - MAJGEN Gus Gilmore AO, DSC

ADF Oration - 2013




The outcomes and proceedings of the 2013 National Conference held in Canberra are available at the following link:

2013 National Conference Outcomes & Proceedings


Chairman's Report 2010 - 2011:  Here


Attached is a transcript of the text of the OAA / ADF Oration 2012 by RADM Robyn Walker AM

Oration Text


Attached are the lecture notes from the second OAA-ANU Lecture - “What’s the Matter with Parliament?”  delivered by Emeritus Professor John Warhurst AO on Monday 31st October at University House.

What's the Matter with Parliament


Attached are the order of proceedings and Bishop George Browning’s address, “Creation Reflects The Glory of God” from the Multi Faith Observance held on Sunday 21 August 2011 at the Anzac Chapel Duntroon.

Order of proceedings

Bishop George Browning's Address


The address by Dr Allan Hawke AC, delivered at the new Members Reception on 18 May 2011 and titled “Looking Back in Retrospect”, is attached



The Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston AC AFC delivered the first OAA-ADF Oration on 19 April 2011.

A copy of the Presentation is Here

A selection of photographs from this activity is available on the Newsletter page - link on the right.


In order to broaden the scope of events and functions offered to our ACT Association members - the Branch proudly reports the successful introduction of the “OAA-ANU Lecture Series” with ANU Vice Chancellor and President, Prof Ian Chubb AC delivering the inaugural Lecture on Tuesday 19 October 2010. A copy of the Presentation is Here

ACT STUDENT AWARDS 2011 - Details available at Link on the Right

ACT Branch Chairman's Report 2010 - Here

Australia Day Breakfast address - 2014

Australia Day Breakfast Address - 2013

Australia Day Breakfast Address - 2011. 

Australia Day Breakfast Address - 2010. 
ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP - General Peter Gration AC, OBE

Australia Day Breakfast Address - 2009
Mr Chris Peters AM, OI

Australia Day Breakfast Address - 2008
Chief Justice Terence Higgins, ACT Supreme Court



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