Queensland Veterans' Advisory Council

The Queensland Veterans' Advisory Council (QVAC) assists in providing a voice between Queensland's veteran community and government with strategies to promote the wellbeing of veterans and their families.

If you or your organisation would like to make a submission to the Queensland Veterans' Advisory Council, please complete the online application form.

Information on community services and support for ex-service personnel is also available.

Member details

Council members represent a diverse range of Queensland ex-service organisations and community organisations:

Ex-officio members

Danny O'Kearney

Daniel (Danny) O'Kearney
Chair, Queensland Veterans' Advisory Council.

Daniel O’Kearney (Danny) is the inaugural Chair of the Queensland Veterans Advisory Council. He comes from a background of 20 years in the Regular Army and 14 years in the Australian Army and Navy Reserve. He was previously the Chair of the Queensland Forum of Ex-Service Organisations.

Ben Roberts-Smith

Ben Roberts-Smith VC MG

Ben Roberts-Smith is the Commonwealth’s most highly decorated serviceman from the war in Afghanistan. Retiring from the military in 2013, he now consults to Government and private sector clients in relation to corporate culture, strategic restructuring and change management.

Edward Chitham

Edward (Ted) Chitham MC OAM
Royal Australian Regiment Association, Queensland Branch.

Ted Chitham is a Director and Public Officer of The Royal Australian Regiment Corporation (RARC) and a past President of the RAR Association Queensland. The RARC is the national body of the RAR State and Battalion Associations that represents its members (past and current serving persons and their families) to the National and State Parliaments and their Governments in seeking to protect their service entitlements.

Helen Strange

Helen Strange OAM
Australian War Widows (Queensland).

Helen Strange OAM has been a war widow since 1993 and has been an active member of the War Widows' Guild since that time. She was elected as Queensland State President from 2010 to 2013 and served 16 years at the Toowoomba Sub Branch of the Guild. She retired from Men's Health Peers Education after 10 years and received her OAM in 2004 for services to War Widows, Ex‑Service Organisations and the wider Community of Toowoomba.

Robert Shortridge

Robert Shortridge
Defence Force Welfare Association, Queensland Branch.

Group Captain Shortridge is the Executive Vice President of the Defence Force Welfare Association Queensland Branch (DFWA). The DFWA is a national organisation seeking to support Australian Defence Force (ADF) members in the areas of pay and conditions and represent former ADF members and their families to ensure their fair treatment at both state and national level. The DFWA also seeks to ensure that, where possible and practicable, former members of the ADF have their service recognised in an appropriate manner.

Chris Hamilton

Chris Hamilton
Legacy Club of Brisbane.

Chris Hamilton is a long standing member of the Legacy Club of Brisbane and is committed to the welfare of Australian Defence Force veterans and their families. Through Legacy Brisbane, Chris supports the provision of services to the families of those servicemen and women who have given their lives or health on operations or who have died in service.

Ann Stephenson

Ann Stephenson
Partners of Veterans Association of Australia, Queensland Branch.

Ann Stephenson is the President of The Partners of Veterans Association of Australia Queensland Branch Inc. (P.V.A. Qld Inc.). She is the also the Director on the National Board of The Partners of Veterans Association of Australia Inc. Ann is committed to providing support, assistance and focusing on the welfare and health of veterans, their partners and their families.

Chris Richards

Chris Richards
Australian Federation of Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Ex‑Servicemen and Women, Queensland Branch.

Chris Richards represents the Queensland Branch of The Australian Federation of Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Ex‑Servicemen and Women. Chris's Queensland Veterans' Advisory Council interests includes input into how government can assist the transition process for Australian Defence Force personnel to civilian employment. Chris served 21 years both as a commissioned and senior non-commissioned officer in the Royal Australian Air Force, retiring in 1989 at the rank of Squadron Leader. Following his discharge, Chris served for over 19 years with the Queensland Police Service.

Andrew Craig

Andrew Craig
Queensland Advisory Committee for the Commemoration of the Anzac Centenary.

Andrew Craig is a former naval officer with considerable experience in both public and private sectors. He has represented Queensland overseas as Agent-General for Queensland and Commissioner – Europe (based in London) and Commissioner – the Americas (based in Los Angeles). He is a Director of Craig Associates and has deep interest in Australia’s involvement in the First World War.

Margaret Jenyns

Margaret Jenyns
Returned and Services League of Australia (Queensland) (RSLQ)

Margaret Jenyns worked for many years in the Income Support and Compensation sections of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) in Brisbane. Since retiring from DVA, she has taken up a managerial role in the Operations area of RSLQ. Her role at RSLQ is to work towards improving the quality of the advocacy services provided to veterans and their families seeking benefits through DVA. Margaret is keen to use her knowledge to continue to support veterans and their families.

Ex-officio members

Leanne Cameron

Ms Leanne Cameron
Deputy Commissioner Queensland, Department of Veterans' Affairs.

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Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Queensland Government, Secretary of QVAC.

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Deputy Director-General (Policy), Department of the Premier and Cabinet.

Filly Morgan

Ms Filly Morgan PSM
Deputy Director-General (Corporate and Government Services), Department of the Premier and Cabinet.