VRB Members biographies

Principal Member of the Veterans' Review Board
Ms Jane Anderson

Ms Anderson has been appointed as the Principal Member of the Veterans' Review Board for a five-year term commencing on 31 January 2018. Previously she had been appointed as a Member of the VRB in 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (with Honours) degree from Flinders University of South Australia and a Master of Law degree from Cambridge University, United Kingdom. After working as a Senior Legal Officer for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions she was appointed as a Deputy President of the Guardianship Board of South Australia in 2009. She served in this role for five years before being appointed as a Senior Legal Member of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal in 2014.

Colonel Christopher Austin, ADC

Colonel Austin has served in the Australian Army since 1980 and is currently an Active Reservist holding the rank of Colonel. He has operational service in East Timor, the Middle East and the Queensland Floods and is an Aide de Camp to the Governor General. Having enjoyed a corporate career within the building industry for over 20 years, Chris now runs his own consulting business and sits on a number of Boards and Committees. He was appointed to the VRB in 2015.

Ms Robyn Bailey

Ms Bailey holds Bachelors of Law and Arts as well as a Master of Laws degree from the University of New South Wales. After working in private practice she was appointed as a Member of the Guardianship Tribunal in 2007 and to the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal in 2009. She is currently employed as a Senior Member of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal and also works as a Mediator in the District Court of NSW, the Workers Compensation Commission and for her own company. She is also facilitator for the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce.

Brigadier Mark Bornholt (Rtd)

Mark Bornholt graduated from Officer School Portsea in 1978. He served in the 3rd and 6th Battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his leadership of the 1st Battalion and was commended for distinguished service during the war against Iraq. His senior appointments included Chief of Staff Land Headquarters and Commandant Royal Military College of Australia. He retired in 2009 and worked as the CEO of a business unit of a publicly listed company until 2014 when he was appointed to the Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal. He remains a Chief of Army delegate for Redress of Grievance issues, a Director of the Royal Australian Regiment Foundation and is the Colonel Commandant of the Australian Army Band Corps. He previously served as a Services Member of the VRB in 2010-2011.

Dr Anthony Bragg

Doctor Anthony Bragg is a Geriatrician and Stroke Physician and currently works as the Director of Rehabilitation and Geriatric Medicine at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Lismore. He has research interests in Stroke and Dementia and has a close interest in Veterans health in the Northern Rivers community. Prior to his medical career, Dr Bragg worked in corporate roles, including as a Management Consultant with the Boston Consulting Group and as a Group Manager with Boral Energy. He holds bachelor degrees in Science and Commerce as well as post-graduate degrees in Medicine and Business Administration.

Ms Kate Byrne

Kate Byrne was appointed in 2022 as a Senior Member of the Veterans Review Board for a period of five years. With a Bachelor of Arts from Monash University, a Bachelor of Laws from the Queensland University of Technology, an Executive Master of Public Administration and mediator qualifications, Kate was admitted as a solicitor in 2000. Kate has extensive experience in senior executive roles in justice and community services and is also a Sessional Member on the Post Sentence Authority in Victoria.

Colonel Evan Carlin

Evan Carlin is a retired regular army legal officer. He served as Chief Legal Officer at HQ Land Command, the Deployable Joint Force Headquarters, Joint Operations Command and, latterly, at Command Legal Officer Forces Command. Colonel Carlin also served as an exchange legal officer at HQ Land in the UK and as ADC to the Judge Advocate General of the ADF. He has operational service in NATO, the Balkans (Kosovo), Iraq and Indonesia. He has been a Senior Member since 2015.

Colonel Catherine Carrigan

Colonel Catherine (Bunny) Carrigan is a business consultant, Board Director and senior Army Reserve Officer. She was appointed a VRB Services member in 2018. Colonel Carrigan has served in the Australian Army (Regular and Reserve) for forty years. She is a logistics officer with a breadth of ADF experience including operational service in Somalia, the Middle East and on domestic operations. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, Masters of Defence Studies, Masters of Business, and Australian Institute of Company Directors Diploma.

Dr Scott Clark

Dr Clark is a Psychologist with a background in both clinical and organisational psychology. He has a particular interest in psychology of old age and has worked in acute, extended care and community services. Dr Clark has served in the Army Reserve since 1990 initially as a Rifleman before becoming a Psychologist in 1997.

Mr Steven Coghlan

Steve served as an Army Signals Officer from 1998 to 2006 during which time he saw service in Bougainville and Pakistan. Since transitioning he has held senior management positions within both the telecommunications and broader infrastructure sectors. He is a graduate of both the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) and Royal Military College - Duntroon (RMC-D) and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Politics (UNSW), a Masters degree in International Relations (Macq) and Diplomas in Business, Personnel Management and Administration.

Colonel David Collins

Colonel David Collins has served in the Australian Regular Army and the Army Reserve. He holds a Bachelor of Education and Training, Diploma of Law and a Masters of Management and Governance. He has deployed on operations several times. In 2005 he was the Officer in command of the 2nd rotation of the ADF Medical Detachment attached to the US Theatre Hospital, Balad, Iraq. In 2006 the 2nd rotation ADF Medical Detachment was awarded a Meritorious Unit Citation for its efforts in Iraq.

He is currently employed by the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne and St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne. He is also a member of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency's, health performance and professional standards panel. He was re-appointed as a VRB Services member in July 2018.

Brigadier Alison Creagh CSC

Brigadier Alison Creagh CSC was appointed to the Veterans' Review Board as a Services Member for a five-year term in January 2019. She also Chairs the ACT Veterans' Advisory Council, the Board of Governors for The Road Home and The Hospital Research Foundation ICT and Cyber Security Committee. She is a Non-Executive Director of The Hospital Research Foundation, an ACT Defence Ambassador and member of the ACT Defence Industry Advisory Board, a member of the AustCyber Canberra Node Industry Advisory Group and Strategic Adviser for the University of NSW Defence Research Institute. Brigadier Creagh is the Representative Colonel Commandant for the Royal Australian Corps of Signals. Brigadier Creagh retired from the Australian Regular Army in March 2015 after a 30-year career and continues to serve in the Army Reserve. She served on operations in Cambodia East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ms Mary Desses

Ms Desses has been appointed as a Member of the Veterans' Review Board commencing 1 January 2019 for a period of five years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Griffith University, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales, a Graduate Diploma of Adult Education, and a Vocational Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1992.

Mary worked as an Associate for two Federal Court judges, a Mediation Officer at the Retail Tenancy Disputes Unit, an advocate for the Repatriation Commission and a Conference Registrar at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Mary is a nationally accredited mediator with over twenty years' experience as an Alternative Dispute Resolution practitioner.

Mr Robert Douglass

Mr Douglass holds Bachelor degrees in Economics and Laws from Monash University and a Masters degree in Arts (Military History) from the Australian Defence Force Academy. He joined the Department of Veterans' Affairs in 1993 and was an Assistant-Director in the Rehabilitation and Compensation Group from 1995 to 2010, before working as a Senior Lawyer in the Legal Services Group from 2010 to 2014. Mr Douglass has served as a Legal Officer in the Australian Army from 2007 and remains an active member of the Reserve. He was appointed a Member of the VRB in 2014 and a Senior Member in 2015.

Commodore Brett Dowsing, JP, RAN ret’d

Brett Dowsing is a career naval officer with 51 years’ permanent and reserve service. He qualified as a seaman officer and a helicopter pilot, and has had sea, air and shore commands across all officer ranks held. Recognition has included Vietnam and counterterrorist service along with international duties including in the USA, Republic of Korea, Mongolia and Timor-Leste. Brett serves on several veterans’ related boards from Perth, WA and commenced duties with the VRB, this year.

Clinical Professor Gerard Gill RFD MBBS PhD FRACGP FAFPHM FARGP

Gerard Gill RFD MBBS PhD FRACGP FAFPHM FARGP is the retired Professor of General Practice at Deakin University. He spent 37 years as an Army Reserve Medical Officer, deployed to the MEAO in 2008 and has a long involvement with caring for veterans and on DVA committees.

Commodore Simon J Hart CSC RAN (Retd)

Simon Hart served in the ADF for 33 years from 1973 until transferring to the Naval Reserve in 2006. Simon's operational background is primarily in guided missile Frigates and Destroyers with extensive Command experience in Destroyers. His two key positions in the Navy Senior Leadership Group were Director General, Navy Personnel and Training Organisation; and Commander, Australian Surface Combatant Force Element Group. He is a graduate of the Royal Australian Naval College; University of NSW; US Navy Postgraduate School (Computer Science); and Kings College, London (International Relations). He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Simon was appointed to the VRB as a Services Member in 2011.

Dr Jane Harte

A consultant corporate psychologist in the defence, security, mining, higher education and health sectors in Australia and the UK, Dr Harte has also served in the Australian Army Psychology Corps (Reserve) for nearly 30 years. She has degrees from Australian and Swedish universities and academic appointments with James Cook and Southern Queensland Universities in addition to delivering annual lectures in the Graduate School of Management at St. Andrews University in Scotland. In 2007 Dr Harte was appointed to the Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal in Canberra as one of the foundation members, with her tenure completing in 2015. Subsequently she has been appointed as a professional member of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and as a researcher member on the Defence and Department of Veterans' Affairs Human Research Ethics Committee.

Dr Leith Henry

Dr Henry is a Psychologist with significant leadership experience in workplace health, including work related illness/injury and workers' compensation. She holds a Bachelor degree in Psychology (with Honours) and a PhD in Organisational Psychology. Dr Henry commenced duties in 1995 as an Army Reserve Psychologist, serving periods of full time service and deploying on operations.

Ms Louise Hunt

Ms Hunt is a graduate in Law and holds a postgraduate Master of International Law. She entered private practice as a Solicitor in 1983 and joined the Royal Australian Air Force Reserve Legal Panel in 1984. From 2007 to 2021 she was a Panel Leader for the Royal Australian Air Force Specialist Reserve Legal Panel. As an Assistant Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force, Ms Hunt conducts complex inquiries and leads teams conducting military justice audits at Australian Defence Force establishments. Ms Hunt was appointed as a Services Member in 2015 and a Senior Member in 2019.

Major General Mark Kelly, AO, DSC

Major General Mark Kelly graduated from the Royal Military College in 1978 and served in the Army for 36 years as an Infantry officer. His senior command appointments include: 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment; 3rd Brigade; 1st Division; Land Command Australia; and Joint Task Force 633. His operational service includes: Zimbabwe/Rhodesia, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. He also served as the Repatriation Commissioner from July 2010 until June 2019. He was appointed to the VRB as a Services Member in March 2022.

Michael (Mike) Kelly

Mike Kelly is currently an Active Reservist holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He holds Bachelor degrees in Arts and Laws and a Graduate Diploma in Management. He is an admitted legal practitioner and a senior lawyer within an incorporated legal practice. He joined the Australian Army in 1986 and has held a range of RAAC regimental, and staff appointments. His service includes operational service in the Middle East Area of Operations.

Ms Hilary Kramer

Hilary Kramer has many years of experience in administrative law as a member of Commonwealth and State tribunals, including the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal, Guardianship Tribunal and in assessing off-shore asylum-seeker refugee status claims.  

Previously Hilary worked for the Legal Aid Commission as an advocate, representing clients in the NSW Court system in criminal, prison and mental health law.  She has also undertaken research in criminal law in NSW and in legal services for prisoners and people detained in psychiatric facilities overseas, including in the UK and USA.  

Hilary has an Arts/Law degree from Sydney University and has undertaken mediation and negotiation training.  She was appointed a member of the VRB in 1998 and a senior member in 2006.

Mr Stephen Lancken

Mr Lancken has practiced law since 1982. He is an accredited mediator and graded arbitrator. Since 1999 Mr Lancken has acted as a specialist mediator, arbitrator and tribunal member. He was a facilitator for the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce and has done similar work for the Commonwealth Ombudsman and various religious institutions. He is or has been a member of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the Workers Compensation Commission of NSW and the National Sports Tribunal. He has arbitrated and mediated on panels for the Supreme Court of NSW and the District Court of NSW.

Mr David Letts

David Letts completed more than 30 years of fulltime service in the RAN at the end of 2012. During his military career David worked as supply officer and a legal officer, as well as holding senior appointments in Navy and Defence. He is now the Director of the ANU College of Law's Centre for Military and Security Law where his academic teaching and research interests centre on the application of the law to all aspects of military legal practice.

Ms Josephine Lumb

Ms Lumb holds bachelor degrees in Arts and Law. She has 20 years' plus experience in both legal and policy roles across a range of Commonwealth Government agencies. Ms Lumb worked with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 1998–2011, including serving on diplomatic posting in Chile from 2001–2004. She also served on the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce in 2014–15. Ms Lumb was appointed to the Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal as a member in 2017.

Ms Amanda Macdonald

Ms MacDonald has extensive experience working in Commonwealth Administrative Review Tribunals. She was a member, senior member and the Deputy Principal Member of the Migration Review Tribunal and the Refugee Review Tribunal, a member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal, a member of the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal and a Conference Registrar and District Registrar of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Amanda is currently contracted to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to design and implement changes to the Commonwealth biosecurity system. She is also contracted to undertake reviews for the Merit Protection Commissioner. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Science and a Masters in Administrative Law and Policy from the University of Sydney. She was first appointed to the Veterans’ Review Board in 2007 as a Senior Member and again as a Member from 2018 and a Senior Member from 2022.

Ms Vicki McConachie 

Commodore Vicki McConachie served in the permanent Navy from 1984 to 2012 undertaking senior roles in both a legal and non-legal capacity, including serving in Iraq. She has served in the reserve since 2012. After leaving the permanent force she served as a non-executive director for Defence Housing Australia. From 2012 until 2020 she served as Chief General Counsel to a Commonwealth government entity. She currently reviews and undertakes complex investigations for the Inspector General ADF among other reserve service. She holds Bachelors degrees in Arts and Law and a Masters degree in Law.

Colonel Peter Maher (Retd)

Colonel Maher graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1973. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Military Studies and a Graduate Diploma in Management Studies, and he is a 1984 graduate of the Command and Staff College, Queenscliff. Colonel Maher has overseas service with the United Nations in Kashmir, the British Army in Germany and the United States Marine Corps at Quantico, Virginia. He was the Deputy Chief of Operations, HQ Multi-National Security Transition Command in Baghdad, Iraq in 2006. He completed his Army full-time service in 2007 as the Commander, Land Warfare Centre, Canungra. Colonel Maher was appointed to the VRB in March 2013.

Professor Robert McLaughlin

Prof Rob McLaughlin is Professor of Military and security Law at UNSW Canberra. He researches, publishes, and teaches in the areas of Law of Armed Conflict, Law of the Sea, Maritime Security Law and Maritime Law Enforcement, and Military Law. He routinely engages in research activities, and course development and delivery, with the ICRC, the Australian Red Cross, the International Institute for Humanitarian Law, and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Rob joined academia after a career in the Royal Australian Navy as a Seaman officer and a Legal officer.

Mr Jeremy Moore

Mr Moore operates his own law firm: Moore Law and Disability Care, and specialises in mediation. He is the former President of the Guardianship Board of South Australia.

Dr (Squadron leader) Kim Morgan-Short

Dr Morgan-Short is a medical practitioner who has had a varied career working in many locations around the world, such as the UK, Ireland and Saudi Arabia. She has been an RAAF Reservist for 30 years and has operational service in the Middle East. She also has a Graduate Certificate in Law and a Post Graduate Diploma in Law (Medical Law and Ethics). Much of her working life has been spent as both a uniformed medical officer and a civilian doctor on military bases.

Unfortunately she is a War Widow having lost her first pilot husband in an RAAF F111 crash and also a Legacy Widow having lost her second husband to cancer whilst he was serving as a pilot in the RAAF. Her son is also an RAAF pilot. Dr Morgan-Short currently works at Defence Force Recruiting doing medical assessments and she was a former Board Member of Australian War Widows Queensland.

Mr Joshua Nottle

Mr Nottle is a barrister in private practice. He has a Bachelor of Laws, Graduate Diploma in Military Law and a Master of Laws from the Australian National University. He served full-time in the Royal Australian Navy from 2003 as a Legal Officer before transferring to the Reserves and commencing practice as a barrister in 2017. He was appointed as a Member of the VRB in 2022.

Lieutenant Colonel Glenn O’Brien

Lieutenant Colonel O’Brien is a partner in a law firm and a part-time member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. He was a member and Legal Officer of the Australian Regular Army and holds a Master of Defence Studies.

Colonel Rodney Petersen

Associate Professor Rodney Petersen is a specialist Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with a strong interest in teaching and learning for both medical students and trainee doctors. He is actively involved in the College of Surgeons EMST (Trauma) program and is a member of the RACS EMST Committee. He has published more than 30 peer reviewed articles and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology (JPOG). He has held Professorial roles for ECU, UNDA and ANU. He is an active Army Reserve member and holds the rank of Colonel.

Mr Francis Roberts

Mr Roberts served as an Army Officer from 1970 to 2005. He then held a Senior Executive Service position in the Department of Defence from 2005 until 2013 before undertaking private consultancy work until his retirement in 2014. Mr Roberts has graduated with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering, Master of Science and Graduate Diploma in Management Studies.

Captain Felicity Rogers RAN

Ms Rogers joined the Royal Australian Navy as a full time legal officer in 1994. Her postings included Fleet Headquarters and Deployable Joint Force Headquarters - Maritime. She deployed to Dili, East Timor as a legal adviser to HQINTERFET in 1999. She transferred to the Navy Reserve in 2001, when she was admitted as a barrister at the NSW Bar, where she continues to practise.

Ms Rogers holds a Bachelors degree in both Law and Politics and a Masters degree in International Law. She is also a registered counsellor.

Dr Peter Salu

Dr Salu holds a Bachelor of Laws (with Honours) and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Adelaide. He commenced legal practice as a solicitor in 1988, and since 2006 he has practised as a barrister. Dr Salu was appointed to the VRB as a Senior Member in 2014.

Mr Scott Seefeld

Scott Seefeld is a barrister in private practice in Brisbane. He holds Bachelor degrees in Science and Law, and Masters degrees in Business Administration and Engineering Science. Prior to his legal career, Scott was an RAE officer in the Australian Army. He is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Royal Military College - Duntroon. He has over 25 years’ service as both a regular and reserve officer, including operational service in East Timor in 1999 and 2000. Since 2019, he has continued to serve as a legal officer in the RAAF Specialist Reserve.

Air Commodore Rowan D. Story AM, RFD (Retd)

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and Lawyer. Seven years service in the Australian Army Reserve including 12 months attachment to the British Army. Thirty-four years service in the Royal Australian Air Force Specialist Reserve. Director General Health Reserves Air Force 2011-2015. Governor of the Shrine of Remembrance. Leader Volunteer Surgical Team to Vietnam annually since 1998. Member of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Group Captain Anne Trengove

Group Captain Anne Trengove is a long standing member of the Board, having served since 2014. She also sits as a member of the Defence Force Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal and the South Australian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal. She is a Reserve Legal Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force and has served since 1997.

Ms Jennifer Walker

Jennifer served 16 years in the Australian Intelligence Corps (Army Reserve) attaining the rank of Major. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Business, a Diploma of Market Research and she is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. After a varied career in technical, management and organisational development roles, spanning over 30 years, Jennifer moved into consulting including the conduct of board reviews, director recruitment, organisation reviews and workplace investigations.

She was the CEO of Legacy Australia from 2014 to 2018 and has been on the Queensland Police Service Board of Management, chairing the Audit and Risk Committee since 2014. She is also an independent director of Australian War Widows Queensland and is Chair of the Service Personnel Anglican Help Society operating St George’s Defence Holiday Suites. Jennifer was initially appointed to the VRB in March 2013 and was reappointed in July 2018.

Ms Sophia White

Sophia White served in the Royal Australian Navy for 16 years, full time, transferring to the Active Reserves in 2018. She has operational experience in Afghanistan, on border protection operations, in Headquarters Joint Operations Command and served as the Fleet Legal Officer in 2017. She is a lawyer and holds postgraduate qualifications including a Master of Laws (Maritime Law) and Master of Military and Defence Studies. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mr Neville Wyatt

Mr Wyatt served full-time in the Royal Australian Navy from 1981 to 1993. Since then he has continued to serve with the Royal Australian Navy Reserve. He is a graduate in Law and Communications. Since 1993 he has been in practice as a private solicitor. In 1999, he started up his own successful firm now known as Wyatts Lawyers and Advisors, which he continues to run with his legal practitioner wife