Upcoming Events – ACT Branch

Members can find registration and point of contact details for all our events in The Order, e-NEWS, and Branch newsletters.

22 November: 2018 Student Awards. Our annual Student Awards recognise voluntary community service and good citizenship amongst ACT students.  Award winners will be announced at a special ceremony, to be held at the Royal Canberra Golf Club on Thursday 22 November.  For further details, see our Student Awards page.

ACM Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Retd)

26 January 2019: Australia Day Breakfast.  Members and guests can enjoy breakfast at the Royal Canberra Golf Club to celebrate Australia Day and acknowledge the achievements of recipients in the 2019 Australia Day Honours List. Our special guest speaker will be Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Ret’d). Sir Angus was appointed a 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.

Past Events – ACT Branch

Di Johnstone AM

17 October: Morning Tea with Diane Johnstone AM.  Members and their guests enjoyed morning tea at the Royal Canberra Golf Club with Di Johnstone AM, who spoke about Diplomacy, Art and Community Engagement. Di related her experiences as a diplomat in South Africa and later in Australia collecting and promoting the work of South African artists. She went on to talk about her community work in Canberra after her diplomatic career.  Di was appointed a Member in the Order of Australia in January 2015 for significant service to international relations through support for creative arts in South Africa, and to the community of Canberra.

Dr Joan Buchanan AM, Diane Johnstone AM

Professor Ann McGrath AM

3 October: 2018 Order of Australia Association – Australian National University Lecture. Professor Ann McGrath AM presented the annual OAA-ANU Lecture on the subject Time Immemorial?  Dates, history and the deep human past, opening members and guests to a fascinating alternative view about history and how we think about it.  We hope to have more photos and a recording of the Lecture shortly. Ann was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2007 for service to education, particularly in the fields of indigenous history, as a teacher, researcher and author, and through leadership roles with a range of history-related organisations.  She was appointed a Member in the Order in 2017 for significant service to the social sciences as an academic and researcher in the field of indigenous history, and to tertiary education.” (Photo: ANU)

19 September: Reception for new recipients.  The Branch celebrated the achievements of 6 new recipients from the Queen’s Birthday 2018 List (at right) and welcomed new members at a reception at the Commonwealth Club, Yarralumla. (Photos: OAA)

L-R: Mike Crane DSC & Bar, AM; Jenny Bowker AO; Colin Thomson AM; Robin Creyke AO; Dianne Anderson AM; Kanti Jinna OAM; Frank Owens OAM

L-R: Frank Owens OAM; Dianne Anderson AM; Elizabeth Grant AM


Mr Muhammed Asku

19 August: 2018 Multi-Faith Observance. About 40 members and guests attended our 2018 Multi-Faith Observance at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture to hear a variety of inspirational speakers on the theme “Wisdom for the Common Good” and enjoy fellowship during a light afternoon tea. The Observance was moderated by the Executive Director of the Centre, Rt Reverend Professor Stephen Pickard, and featured Mr Harry Opperman (Jewish Tradition), Mr Muhammed Asku (Muslim tradition), Dr Willie Senanayake (Buddhist Tradition), Mr Kanti Jinna OAM (Hindu Tradition) and Dr Shahnaz Kouhbor (Baha’i Tradition). This event continues to underscore the importance of a focus on the things that bind our community together rather than the things on which we might disagree. (Pickard bio: CSU; Photos: OAA)

L-R: Mr Harry Opperman; Dr Willie Senanayake; Mr Kanti Jinna OAM; Dr Shahnaz Kouhbor; Michael Crane DSC & Bar, AM; Rev Prof Stephen Pickard

12 June: 2018 Queen’s Birthday Luncheon. More than 50 members and guests gathered for luncheon at the Royal Canberra Golf Club to mark the Queen’s Birthday and celebrate the achievements of ACT and regional recipients in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.  Our speaker was Mr Glenn Keys AO, co-founder and co-Executive Director of global health provider, Aspen Medical.  Glenn spoke frankly about his early career in the Australian Army and the difficult decision he and his wife made to leave all that when their son, Ehran, was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.  He described the events that then led to the formation of Aspen, some of the extraordinary things that Aspen has done, and the culture of giving that is built into the company.  He closed by introducing the audience to Project Independence, a new model for provision of social housing for people with an intellectual disability. Glenn was appointed an Officer of The Order of Australia in June 2017 for distinguished service to the community of the Australian Capital Territory through contributions to disability support programs, and to business and commerce as an advocate for corporate social responsibility. (Bio: Aspen)

24 May: 2018 Order of Australia Association – Australian Defence Force Oration. The annual Order of Australia Association – Australian Defence Force Oration was established in 2011 with the aim of further recognising the contribution made by military members of the Order of Australia to the fabric of Australian society. The 2018 Oration was delivered by the Chief of Joint Capabilities, Air Vice Marshal Warren McDonald AM, CSC. You can find an edited transcript of the Oration here. Air Vice-Marshal McDonald was appointed a Member of The Order of Australia in June 2015 for exceptional performance of duty as Officer Commanding Number 92 Wing, Director General Capability Planning – Air Force, and Commander of Air Mobility Group. (Bio: Defence; Photo OAA)

L-R: Bill Henman AM; AVM Warren McDonald AM, CSC; Ian Gollings AM

17 May: Reception for New Recipients. The ACT Branch welcomed 11 new members to the Association at a reception held at the Commonwealth Club, Yarralumla. (Photo: OAA)

L-R: Jan Paula OAM; Peter Ashworth OAM; Alpha Gregory OAM; Jim Quick OAM; Michael Crane DSC & Bar, AM (ACT Chair); David Cossart OAM; Ian Sayers OAM, ED; Robin Eckermann AM; Ingrid Moses AO; Alan Morrison AM; Michael Coper AO; Gordon Gregory OAM

17 April: Morning Tea at the National Arboretum. Members and guests enjoyed morning tea with Ian Sayers OAM, ED, who spoke about his working life and his experiences as a volunteer. Ian was awarded the Medal of the Order in the 2018 Australia Day list for services to veterans and their families, and to the community. (Photo: OAA)

14 March: Tour of NGA Art of War Exhibition. In a rare treat, Dr Anna Gray AM, Emeritus Curator, kindly hosted a tour of the Arthur Streeton: the art of war exhibition for OAA members and guests. The exhibition brought together key works from collections around Australia and overseas. Anna was honoured in 2017 for significant service to the visual arts as a curator, scholar and historian, to Australian artists, and to the promotion of cultural heritage. (Bio: The Canberra Times)

1 March: Memories as National Treasures.  Following our AGM, Bill Stephens OAM regaled members and guests with stories about his experiences in recording more than 200 interviews for the National Library’s Oral History Collection, principally with performing artists. Bill was awarded the Medal of the Order in 2017 for service to the performing arts through a range of roles. (Photo: Stephens)

26 January: 2018 Australia Day Breakfast. Guest speaker Penelope Thwaites AM, Chair of the Order of Australia Association UK/Europe, gave a very personal address to members and guests on her topic Canberra Connections. You can download the text of her address here. Penelope was honoured in 2001 for service to music through the performance and promotion of Australian compositions in the United Kingdom and internationally. (Bio: Wikipedia; Photo: OAA)


2017 Events

26 October: 2017 Order of Australia Association – Australian National University Lecture.  Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC presented the annual OAA – ANU lecture on the subject Nanotechnology: Opportunities and Challenges, providing members and guest with fascinating insight into nanotechnology and its increasing impact on our daily lives.  You can watch the lecture here.  Professor Jagadish was honoured in the Australia Day 2016 list for eminent service to physics and engineering, particularly in the field of nanotechnology, to education as a leading academic, researcher, author and mentor, and through executive roles with national and international scientific advisory institutions.  (Photo, bio & video: ANU)

 25 May: 2017 Order of Australia Association – Australian Defence Force Oration.  Our 2017 OAA – ADF Orator was the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AO, CSC, RAN, who spoke on For Society and of Society: Where the ADF sits in modern Australia.  You can read the text of the Oration here. Vice Admiral Griggs was honoured in 2012 for distinguished service to the Australian Defence Force as Deputy Head Strategic Reform and Governance, Deputy Chief of Joint Operations, and Chief of the Royal Australian Navy. (Photo & bio: Defence)