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Government appontments to the constitutional convention

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Government Appointments to the Constitutional Convention

I am pleased to announce the Government’s 36 non-parliamentary appointments to the Constitutional Convention.

The appointments represent a broad cross section of Australian society, and a wide diversity of skills and experience.

They also reflect the Government’s commitment to ensure that women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, young Australians and local government are represented at the Convention.

All States and Territories are represented, and one delegate from each State is aged between 18 and 25.

The 36 delegates are:

Stella Axarlis (VIC) Julie Bishop (WA) Professor Geoffrey Blainey AO (VIC) Professor Greg Craven (WA) Miranda Devine (NSW)

Gatjil Djerrkura OAM (NT) The Hon Mr Bill Hayden AC (QLD) The Most Reverend Peter Hollingworth AO, OBE (QLD) Mary Imlach (TAS) Major General William (Digger) James AO, MBE, MC (QLD)

Councillor Annette Knight (WA) Dame Leonie Kramer AC (NSW) Helen Lynch AM (NSW) The Hon Mr Richard McGarvie AC (VIC) COMMONWEALTH Donald McGauchie (VIC) PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY

The Hon Dame Roma Mitchell AC (SA) Councillor Joan Moloney (QLD) George Mye MBE AM (QLD/TSI) Dr Lois O’Donoghue CBE, AM (SA) Sir Arvi Parbo AC (VIC) The Most Reverend George Pell (VIC) Nova Peris-Kneebone (NT/WA) Peter Sams (NSW) Professor Judith Sloan (SA) Sir David Smith KCVO, AO (ACT) Professor Trang Thomas AM (VIC) Lloyd Waddy RED, QC (NSW) Professor George Winterton (NSW)

The 8 delegates aged between 18 and 25 are:

Andrea Ang (WA), Dannalee Bell (VIC), Mia Handshin (SA), Adam Johnston (NSW), Carl Moller (TAS), Moira O’Brien (NT), Ben Myers (QLD) and Heidi Zwar (ACT)

Malcolm Turnbull, chairman of the Australia Republican Movement, was offered a position as an appointee but declined.

The Government is confident that these 36 Australian representatives will make an outstanding contribution to the Convention and looks forward to their participation.

Biographical details for the delegates are attached.

For further information contact:

David Gazard, Prime Minister’s office 0419 699 263 Kate Schulze, Senator Minchin’s office 0419 432 664

31 August 1997


Stella Axarlis (VIC) Currently the managing director of Bilcon Engineering and a member of the Prime Minister’s Science and Engineering Council. She is also known as an internationally acclaimed dramatic soprano, who has performed in many of Europe’s most famous opera houses.

Julie Bishop (WA) Is a managing partner of Clayton Utz Perth; Chairman of the Town Planning Appeal Tribunal of WA and of the Pearling Industry Advisory Committee; and a member of the Senate of

Murdoch University. She is also a board member of a number of charitable and business organisations.

Professor Geoffrey Blainey AO (VIC) Professor Blainey is known for his work as an author and historian. He is currently the Emeritus Professor of the University of Melbourne. Professor Blainey is also the Chancellor of the University of Ballarat, a position he has held since 1994.

Professor Greg Craven (WA) Professor Craven is the Dean of the College of Law at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle. Prior to this he held the position of Reader and Associate Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne in addition to being a part-time Legal Adviser to the Victorian


Miranda Devine (NSW) A journalist who has worked in Boston, Washington DC and London, amongst other cities, she is currently an assistant editor and a columnist at The Daily Telegraph.

Gatjil Djerrkura OAM (NT/ACT) Gatjil Djerrkura has been the Chairman of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Commission since December 1996. He is also a senior traditional leader of the Wangurri clan.

The Hon Mr Bill Hayden AC (QLD) Mr Hayden was Governor-General of Australia from 1989 to 1996. He was also the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (from 1983 to 1987) and Leader of the Opposition (1977-1983).

The Most Reverend Peter Hollingworth AO, OBE (QLD) Archbishop Hollingworth is the Archbishop of Brisbane (since 1990). Prior to that he was the Bishop, Inner City Area of Melbourne (from 1985 to 1990), and Canon, St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne (from 1980 to 1990). Since 1992, he has been a Board Member of the Commission for the Future; and Chair of the Anglican National Social Responsibilities Commission. He was Australian of the Year in 1992. He was the Associate Director (from 1970 to 1979) and Executive Director (from 1980 to 1990) of the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

Mary Imlach (TAS) Mary Imlach is a partner in the legal firm Jennings, Elliott in Hobart. She is an office bearer in the Law Society of Tasmania and was previously a Director of the Heart Foundation of Tasmania.

NB: Malcolm Turnbull, Chairman of the Australian Republican Movement, was offered a position as an appointee, but declined.


Major-General William (Digger) James AO, MBE, MC (QLD) Major-General James is the National President of the Returned and Services League (since 1993). Prior to this he was Chairman of the National Advisory Committee to the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs on Vietnam Veterans, from 1988 to 1993.

Councillor Annette Knight AM (WA) Councillor Knight has been the Mayor of Albany since 1988. She was a newsreader and announcer with ABC.regional radio for 27 years. She is also, a Commissioner of the„WA Tourism Commission.

Dame Leonie Kramer AC (NSW) Dame Leonie has been the Chancellor of the University of Sydney since 1991. She is also the Emeritus Professor of Australian Literature, University of Sydney.

Helen Lynch AM (NSW) Currently Helen Lynch is a non-executive director of Coles Myer Ltd and Southcorp Holdings Limited. She also Chairs the Superannuation Funds Management Corporation of SA and is a Director of several other organisations. In 1990, she was named Bulletin/Qantas Businesswoman of the Year.

The Hon Mr Richard McGarvie AC (VIC) Mr McGarvie was Governor of Victoria from 1992 to 1997. Prior to holding this position, he was a Victorian Supreme Court Judge (since 1976). He was also the Chancellor, LaTrobe University from 1981 to 1992.

Donald McGauchie (VIC) Donald McGauchie has been the President of the National Farmers’ Federation since May 1994. He was President of the Grains Council of Australia from 1992-1994 and is a former

Deputy President of the Victorian Farmers’ Federation.

The Hon Dame Roma Mitchell AC (SA) Dame Roma was Governor of South Australia from 1991 to 1996, and the first woman Governor in Australia. Prior to holding this position she was Chancellor, University of

Adelaide from 1983 to 1990, and a SA Supreme Court Judge from 1965 to 1983. In 1962 Dame Roma became the first woman in Australia to be appointed as a QC.

Councillor Joan Moloney (QLD) Councillor Moloney has been the Mayor of the Longreach Shire Council since 1994, and also represents the Council on several local government organisations. She operates a sheep station and is also a member of several Boards.

George Mye MBE, OAM (QLD/Torres Strait Island) A Torres Strait Islander, George Mye was Chairman of the Darnley and Murray Island Councils for many years. He has also represented Torres Strait Islanders on the National Aboriginal Conference and was the only person elected to the Conference over four

consecutive terms. He is a very active and well-regarded member of the Torres Strait Islands who has worked to improve life in this community.

Dr Lois O’Donoghue CBE, AM (SA) Dr O’Donoghue was the Chair of AT SIC (1990 to 1996), and has been involved in Aboriginal affairs for many years. She was a member of the Republican Advisory Committee in 1993.



Sir Arvi Parbo AC (VIC) Sir Arvi is currently Chairman of WMC Limited and a Director of the Aluminium Company of America and the Sara Lee Corporation. He is also the Director or Chairman of several other organisations. He was Chairman of BHP from 1989 to 1992.

The Most Reverend George Pell (VIC) Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne since 1996. He was the Chairman of Australian Catholic Relief for ten years until 1996 and is currently a member of the Vatican Congregation

for-Doctrine of Faith, -and Consultor to the. Vatican Council for the Family. He was the Foundation Pro Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University from 1990 to 1995.

Nova Peris-Kneebone (NT/WA) Nova Peris-Kneebone is the 1997 Young Australian of the Year, and Northern Territory Sportsperson of the Year. She won a gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics as part of the

Australian women’s hockey team, and is now building a career as an athlete.

Peter Sams (NSW) Peter Sams is the Secretary of the Labor Council of NSW, a position he has held since 1994. He is also the NSW State Representative on the Australian Council of Trade Unions and Managing Director of Radio Station 2KY.

Professor Judith Sloan (SA) A Professor of Labour Studies at Flinders University of South Australia since 1989, and the Director of the National Institute of Studies since 1982. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the Curtin University of Technology. Professor Sloan is a Director on the boards of Santos, Mayne Nickless, SGIC and the South Australian Ports Authority, and a Member of the Australian Statistics Advisory Council.

Sir David Smith KCVO, AO (ACT) Sir David was the official secretary to Governors-General from 1973 to 1990 and Secretary to the Order of Australia from 1975 to 1990. He is currently involved in many community organisations including the Scout Association, National Life Education and is a volunteer guide at Old Parliament House. He was recently appointed Patron of the ACT Alzheimers Association.

Professor Trang Thomas AM (VIC) Professor Thomas was Chair of the Victorian Multicultural Commission for four years (1993­ 1997) and is a Professor of Psychology at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. She is also a member of several boards, including the Centenary of Federation Council, and the

Victorian Casino and Gaming Authority.

Lloyd Waddy RFD, QC (NSW) A Queen’s Counsel since 1988, Lloyd Waddy was one of the founders of the organisation Australians for Constitutional Monarchy and has been the national convenor since its inception in 1992. He was a Wing Commander in the RAAF Reserves from 1979 to 1995.

Professor George Winterton (NSW) Professor Winterton is currently a Professor of Law at the University of NSW. He has a strong interest in the head of state issue and has published two books on the subject. Professor Winterton was also a Member of the Republic Advisory Committee in 1993.



Andrea Ang (WA, 18 years) Currently Andrew Ang is studying medicine at the University of Western Australia. She was winner of the Australian Students’ Prize in 1996, for coming 11th in the Western Australian tertiary entrance examinations.

Dannalee Bell (VIC, 18 years) Dannalee Bell is a second year Arts/Law student at Bond University. She was raised on a property in the Victorian Mallee. In 1995 she travelled around Australia for 35 days as the State winner of the Lions Youth of the Year Quest. In 1994 she was the national winner of Jaycee’s Youth Speaks for Australia award and in 1996 was awarded an Australia Day

Scholarship to attend Bond University.

Mia Handshin (SA, 19 years) Mia Handshin is a second year Arts/Law student at the University of Adelaide. She was a Youth Governor of SA and Member of the 1997 SA National Youth Parliament team. She was also a participant in the 1997 National Student Leadership Forum, among other


Adam Johnston (NSW, 24 years) Adam Johnston is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Law at Macquarie University, and was also a participant in the 1997 National Student Leadership Forum. He has also participated in

the Australian National Internship Program sponsored by the ANU and Commonwealth Parliament.

Carl Moller (TAS, 25 years) Currently Carl Moller is undertaking a Masters in Law at the University of Melbourne. Prior to this he was a legal research assistant at the University of Tasmania, after graduating from the University with a First Class Honours degree in Arts/Law in 1996. He has also been actively involved in volunteer work for various community organisations in Hobart.

Benjamin Myers (QLD, 23 yrs) Benjamin Myers has been a Youth Leader at St Andrew’s Uniting Church since 1992, and a volunteer for several charitable organisations since 1986. He holds a Bachelor in Economics from the University of Queensland, and has commenced a joint Bachelor of Business and Laws

at the Queensland University of Technology. He is also the immediate President of the Rotaract Club of Brisbane.

Moira O’Brien (NT, 20 years) Moira O’Brien helps to run her family’s cattle property in the top end of the Northern Territory. She is a small business manager, stud groom, and the Secretary of the Top End

Branch of the NT Cattlemen’s Association. She is also a Member of the NT Chief Minister’s Round Table of Young Territorians, a youth advisory committee.

Heidi Zwar (ACT, 21 yrs) Heidi Zwar is a third year Arts/Law student at the Australian National University. She is a Member of the ANU Debating Society, a contributor to the student newspaper, and active in student politics.