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Appointment of independent Defence Honours and Awards Tribunal members.

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Minister for Defence Media Mail List -----------------------------------------------------------------------


Wednesday, 23 July 2008 027/2008

Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Support, the Hon. Dr Mike Kelly AM MP, today announced the appointment of the inaugural Chair and members of the independent Defence Honours and Awards Tribunal.

Dr Kelly said, “The establishment of the Tribunal is the fulfilment of a Government election promise, and is an important step in ensuring that Defence Honours and Awards issues are considered independently of both Defence and Government.”

Emeritus Professor, Denis Pearce AO, has been appointed Chair of the Tribunal.

“Professor Pearce is a distinguished Australian academic, lawyer and former Ombudsman and Defence Ombudsman, who will make an outstanding contribution to the role of Chair, and the ongoing establishment and integrity of the Tribunal,” said Dr Kelly.

The following people have been appointed as inaugural members of the Defence Honours and Awards Tribunal: * Mr Adam Bodzioch, former senior state public servant, SA; * Brigadier Gary Bornholt AM, CSC (Retd), former senior Army Officer, ACT; * Vice Admiral Don Chalmers AO (Retd), former Chief of Navy, NSW; * Dr Jane Harte, psychologist, QLD; * Ms Christine Heazlewood, lawyer, VIC; * Ms Sigrid Higgins, barrister, NSW; * Professor David Horner, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University, ACT; * Mr John Jones AM, former HR manager, NSW; * Air Commodore Mark Lax CSM (Retd), former senior Air Force Officer, ACT; and * Warrant Officer Class 1 Kevin Woods, CSC, OAM, former Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army, ACT.

Dr Kelly said, “These appointments to the Tribunal ensure a combination of military history, community and professional experience, as well as a balance across the Services, genders and States.”

The priority issues to be considered by the Tribunal are the eligibility criteria for the Australian Defence Medal, and the claims of the Merchant Navy, including recognition for those who served with the United States Army Small Ships Fleet.

Information on these reviews will be released shortly. Further information on the Tribunal Chair and members is available at:

Media contacts:

Mark Sjolander (Dr Mike Kelly): 02 6277 4840 or 0407 102 220 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664

Short Biographies

Emeritus Professor Dennis Pearce AO Emeritus Professor Pearce is a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University College of Law, Special Counsel to DLA Phillips Fox, Lawyers, a member of the Australian Copyright Tribunal and Chair of the Australian Capital Territory Cricket Association Appeals Tribunal.

Mr Adam Bodzioch Mr Bodzioch is the South Australian Government’s representative on the Council for the Order of Australia. Until his retirement in 2006, Mr Bodzioch held senior executive roles in the South Australian Government, including extensive service in the Premier’s Department related to Commonwealth - State relations.

Brigadier Gary Bornholt AM, CSC (Retd) Brigadier Bornholt is currently the Principal, Enigma Consulting. Most recent Army appointments include National Commander of Australian Defence Force Operations on Global War on Terror and Military Attaché, Embassy of Australia, Washington DC.

Vice Admiral Don Chalmers AO (Retd) Vice Admiral Chalmers is the Chairman, Board of CEA Technologies. He was Chief of Navy from 1997 to 1999.

Dr Jane Harte Dr Harte is the Principal Consultant - Organisational Psychologist and Director of Jane Harte Consulting Pty Ltd and a Teaching Fellow in Management Studies, University of Aberdeen Business School, Kings College, Scotland. Since 1987 Dr Harte has also been a Senior Psychology Officer, Australian Army Psychology Corps (Reserve).

Ms Christine Heazlewood Ms Heazlewood is an experienced administrative lawyer, and Chair and Member of several tribunals at Commonwealth and State level including Member, Psychologists Registration Board of Victoria, Legal Consultant, Psychologist Registration Board, and former Member Veterans’ Review Board.

Ms Sigrid Higgins Ms Higgins is an experienced barrister and has been a member of various tribunals including the Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys Disciplinary Tribunal (Commonwealth) and NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal (Judicial Member).

Professor David Horner Professor Horner is Professor of Australian Defence History at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University and Official Historian of Australian Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Post-Cold War Operations. He served in the Army from 1966 to 1990, including active service in Vietnam.

Mr John Jones AM Mr Jones was a Senior Manger Human Resources, Shell Refining Company of Australia. He served in the Army from 1968 to 1986, including active service in Vietnam.

Air Commodore Mark Lax, CSM, (Retd) Air Commodore Lax is currently the Managing Editor of the Australian Defence Force Journal, Australian Defence College. His last Air Force appointment was Director General Strategic Policy.

Warrant Officer Class 1 Kevin Woods CSC OAM Warrant Officer Woods is a Visiting Fellow at the Australian Defence College and an active member of the Army Reserve. Prior to leaving full-time service Warrant Officer Woods was the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army.



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