Our Board 2017-18

Mr Stephen Scott
Chairman & Independent Director

Stephen has been the AWWQ Board Chairman since 2009 and is one of four independent directors on the Board. Stephen is currently the Director for International Operations at AEG Ogden Pty Ltd, overseeing the operations in Asia and the Middle East. His long career spans in both public and private sectors. He has previously worked as an Executive Officer at Australian Association for Exercise and Sports Science, General Manager at Ticketek Queensland Pty Ltd, Director at Brisbane Blazers and Director/ President at Queensland Lawn Tennis Club. He specialises in entertainment and sports management as well as general management and technology and has established and managed a number of companies in these areas.

Mrs Jennifer Gregory
State President & War Widow Director

Malaya, Vietnam and Singapore Veteran. She has worked in various capacities over the years, from volunteering in the Solomon Islands to working as a registered nurse at a residential aged care facility where she later became the Director of Nursing. Her passion for caring for people with dementia motivated her to help establish a Dementia Network in Canberra. She became the inaugural President of Alzheimer’s Australia ACT Inc. and worked in this capacity for many years. She joined AWWQ shortly after her husband’s death in 2013 and became State President in 2016.

Mr Steven Blinkhorn
Secretary & Independent Director

Steven was a Vasey Board Director from 2007 – 2016, has been an AWWQ Board Director since 2016 and is one of four independent directors on the Board. Now retired, Steven has had a long career in both the public and private sectors including 24 years’ service in the ADF (Army), nine years as the Executive Officer at Government House and six years as CEO of Legacy Brisbane. Steven’s mother is a war widow and a member of AWWQ.

Mrs Bronwyn Drinkwater
War Widow Director

Bron has been a war widow since March 2007. Her husband, Graham Drinkwater served in the RAAF from 1959 to 1971. She has been a member of Australian War Widows (Queensland) since April 2011, elected to State Council from 2014 and to the AWWQ Interim Board in August 2016. Bron has been the President of Gold Coast South sub branch since 2013. She has had a career as a welfare officer and coordinator at Currumbin RSL Support Centre as well as running her own country store for 8 years.

Mr Peter Eardley
Independent Director

Peter has been a Board Director since 2012 and is one of the four independent directors on the Board. Peter is currently a consultant with Kerin Lawyers and also a Senior Counsellor at the Queensland Law Society. He was the Senior Partner at Eardley Motteram for 19 years from 1996 to 2015. He has also served as the President at Queensland Law Society from January to December 2010.

Mrs Michelle McGrath OAM
Independent Director

Michelle has been a Board Director since 2017 and is one of four independent Board Directors. Michelle has worked in the not for profit sector for over 20 years. She has participated in a range of advisory committees at both the Commonwealth and State/ Territory level. Her work supporting people with dementia, their families and carers was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2011. Michelle is married to Alan who was an Air Force Officer for over 20 years. They currently live on the Sunshine Coast.

Mrs Valerie Rooney
War Widow Director

Val has been a war widow since 1994. Her husband Robert served in the Army for 22 years. She has been a member of Australian War Widows (Queensland) since December 2003, elected to State Council in 2012 and to the AWWQ Interim Board in August 2016. Val is the President for South West Region sub branch which she started in 2006. Val’s career spans 21 years in real estate and she was awarded Logan City Senior of the Year in 2016 and the Queensland Premiers Award for Senior of the Year in 2009.

Mrs Helen Strange OAM
War Widow Director

Helen has been a war widow since 1993. Her husband Bruce served in the Navy during WWII. She has been a member of Australian War Widows (Queensland) since July 1993, was elected to State Council from 2006 to 2015, held the position of State President to the War Widows’ Guild (QLD) from 2010 to 2013 and was elected to the AWWQ Interim Board in August 2016. She has been the President for Toowoomba sub branch since 2000. Helen received an Order of Australia Medal in 2004 for“Outstanding Service to Veterans and their families, the War Widows and wider community of Toowoomba”.

Mrs Suzanne Vincent
War Widow Director

Suzi has been a war widow since 2011. Her husband Tony served in the Navy for two years from 1967 which included one tour of Vietnam. She has been a member of Australian War Widows (Queensland) since June 2011, elected to State Council in August 2015 and to the AWWQ Interim Board on 24 January 2017. Suzi has been the Honourable Treasurer for Townsville sub branch since 2015. She has a career background in nursing and community support including CEO of a not for profit agency. Suzi was awarded Dampier Citizen of the Year in 2001 and nominated for Townsville Citizen of the Year in 2014.

Our Executive

Ms Sonja Gilchrist
Chief Executive Officer

Sonja Gilchrist was appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Australian War Widows (Queensland) in April 2017. Sonja’s professional background spans more than 25 years in the fields of justice and human services in both the public and private sectors. In the last 7 years, Sonja’s CEO positions have been in not-for-profit organisations. Much of her career has included leading change management, stakeholder engagement and service delivery reforms. Sonja enjoys yoga and spending quality time with her extended family and friends

Our Staff

Administrative Assistant, Ms Fabia Choudhury 

Business Development Coordinator, Ms Rachel Johnson

Lifestyle Support Coordinator, Ms Rebecca Cordingley

Operations Coordinator, Mr Jason Orchard

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