Sir Peter Cosgrove

Sir Peter Cosgrove

Sir Peter Cosgrove

Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia
Patron of the Joanna Briggs Foundation

His Excellency General the Honourable Peter Cosgrove was born in Sydney in 1947.

The son of a soldier, he attended Waverley College in Sydney and graduated in 1968 from the Royal Military College, Duntroon.

Early in his military career, he fought in Vietnam, commanding a rifle platoon. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1971 for his performance and leadership during an assault on enemy positions.

In 1972, he served as Aide de Camp to Governor-General Sir Paul Hasluck. He returned to regimental life as second in command of a Company, rising to Adjutant then Company Commander in the Army’s 5th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (5 RAR), then 5/7 RAR in Holsworthy, Sydney. Subsequent appointments included a period as a tactics instructor at the Army’s Infantry Centre in Singleton, New South Wales; a year’s study at the United States Marine Corps Staff College in Quantico, USA; extended periods of duty in the United Kingdom and India; and command of 1 RAR. He was appointed a Member in the Military Division of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service in command in 1983-84.

Peter Cosgrove came to national attention in 1999 when, as Commander of the International Task Force East Timor (INTERFET), he was responsible for overseeing that country’s transition to independence. For his leadership in this role he was promoted to Companion in the Military Division of the Order of Australia (AC).

Promoted to Lieutenant General, he was appointed Chief of Army in 2000. After further promotion to General, he served as Chief of the Defence Force from 2002-2005. He retired from the Australian Defence Force in 2005.

Subsequently, he accepted positions on several boards, including QANTAS, Cardno and the Australian Rugby Union. He was appointed by the Queensland Government to lead the taskforce rebuilding communities in the Innisfail region following the devastation caused by Cyclone Larry in 2006. From 2007 to 2012, he chaired the Council of the Australian War Memorial, and served as Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University from 2010 until early 2014.

On 25 March 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that General Cosgrove would become a Knight in the Order of Australia when sworn in as Governor-General.

General Sir Peter Cosgrove gave the Boyer Lectures series, “A Very Australian Conversation” in 2009. His autobiography “My Story” was published in 2006. He was named Australian of the Year in 2001.

An avid sports follower, General Sir Peter Cosgrove takes particular interest in rugby and cricket.

He and his wife Lady Cosgrove have three adult sons and one grandson.


Fundraising Manager

sandy Davis

Sandy Davis

Sandy Davis

Fundraising Manager for the Joanna Briggs Foundation

Sandy joined the Joanna Briggs Institute in April 2013 to Manage the Joanna Briggs Foundation.  Sandy has extensive fundraising experience and is a member of the Fundraising Institute of Australia.

In previous roles, Sandy has worked for both The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Research Foundation and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation as Director of Fundraising and Executive Manager, Fundraising . In both roles, she managed the fundraising team and was responsible for initiating a  major gifts campaign for both public hospitals.

Previously, Sandy was the Community Relations Manager for the ECH Group in South Australia.  She held this position for twelve years working in the aged care sector, before joining IBM in Adelaide.

Advisory Board

Phillip Pledge

Phillip Pledge

Chair, the Joanna Briggs Foundation

Philip became a Partner in one of the antecedent firms of Ernst & Young in 1966 and remained a Partner until his retirement from Ernst & Young in 2001. He practiced in a range of disciplines over his career with his special interests being in the field of transaction support and performance improvement. In these roles he was involved in a number of capital raisings by IPO and Private Equity. His passion for corporate performance improvement was the skill that led to his promotion through the Ernst & Young organisation to South Australian Managing Partner from 1979 to 1998, and National Chair from 1992 to 1994.

During his career, Philip conducted major assignments in both the public and private sectors, including a value based management implementation at the Government utility enterprise, an investigation of the South Australian Education Department for the Audit Commission in 1994, due diligence on the listing of a major wine company and the negotiation on behalf of the Racing Industry on the privatisation of the South Australian TAB.

Philip held a number of Board positions including Chairperson of the south Australian Water Corporation and Chair of the Federal and State Government’s Innovation & Investment Fund for South Australia.

Other directorships included the South Australian TAB, LG Abbott Coy Ltd, Adelaide Chamber Orchestra, The Smith Family, National Textile Museum and the National Trust.

Alastair McDonald

Alastair McDonald

Director, Escient

Alastair McDonald is a Director at Escient, a Business and Digital Advisory consultancy focussed on achieving partnership with our clients through a philosophy of shared success.


Alastair has extensive experience using digital technology and process change to deliver improved business performance and productivity.  His experience ranges through the development of digital strategies, the management & delivery of business transformation initiatives and the scoping & implementation of portfolio management capabilities.

Prior to his current role he held regional leadership roles at Credit Suisse in Singapore & Zurich and at Bendigo & Adelaide Bank Ltd.  Alastair is a Chartered Accountant having started his career in the Corporate Advisory Practice of Ernst & Young.

Andrew Kay

Andrew Kay

Andrew Kay

Managing director, Wirra Wirra Vineyards

Andrew Kay is the Managing Director of Wirra Wirra Vineyards, a long established and highly respected winery in McLaren Vale, South Australia.

Having completed a Business degree, Andrew commenced a career in marketing that has spanned over 25 years, building some of Australia’s best known retail brands in the fast moving consumer goods sector both in Australia and overseas.

Joining the wine industry in 2000, he completed an MBA in International Business and spent three years in London running the UK/Europe business for the Orlando Wyndham Wine Group before returning to Australia to take up the helm at Wirra Wirra in 2006.

Andrew has assumed a number of leadership roles within the Australian wine industry at both a regional and Federal level and is currently a director of the Winemaker’s Federation of Australia.

Leigh McMahon

Leigh McMahon

Leigh McMahon

General Manager, Business Development and Marketing, Hood Sweeney

As General Manager, Business Development and Marketing at Hood Sweeney, Leigh develops and implements integrated business development and marketing plans to further build the business profile and to support the Taxation, Financial Planning, Finance, Technology and Consulting segments of the organisation.


Leigh is a Business Development and Marketing specialist with a strong background in strategic marketing, marketing project management and brand development. He has worked within the fast-moving corporate finance industry, co-founded a strategic marketing and creative studio and, in 2013 co-launched a quarterly business networking event that engaged South Australian corporate leaders and garnered national attention.

With a wide range of high-level experience, Leigh has worked directly with clients in marketing and branding projects across a diverse range of industries. With a background in economics, the finance industry and marketing, he balances a strong knowledge of business – from corporate to SMEs – with creative thinking.

Robert Underdown

Robert Underdown

Head of Government Affairs, Caltex Australia

Robert is the Head of Government Affairs at Caltex Australia.  Based in Sydney, Robert has broad responsibilities across the Caltex business for government, stakeholders, issues management and public policy.


Robert leads government engagement around public policy and regulatory issues, as well as developing and implementing strategies for engaging with key government agencies, including the executive and public service arms of government.

Previously, Robert was Group Manager for Government and Public Policy at Santos Ltd and, prior to that, was Director of the Office of the South Australian Economic Development Board (EDB), a senior adviser for an Australian cabinet minister (energy, resources and industry), an adviser to a South Australian premier and a senior manager in consulting for global professional services firm, Ernst & Young.

Ray Wilson

Ray Wilson

Ray is an Aboriginal man from the Nemba Nation on the Barwon River near Brewarrina in New South Wales currently living Bathurst NSW.

Ray’s passion is Health Literacy educating people on how to better understand how to look after themselves and their community.


Ray comes from a shearing family and trained as an aboriginal health worker while living in St. George at Goondir Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations for Health Services (Goondir Health Services), Yulu-Burri-Ba Aboriginal Corporation for Community Health on North Stradbroke Island before moving into the private health sector.

Previously Ray was an adviser on aboriginal affairs around mental health issues effecting young people; to the commonwealth government. He has spent time working for several state and federal members of parliament as well as being very active in his local community, holding positions as a Health Councillor on Bathurst Base Hospital’s Health Council, Senior Executive on the Bathurst Injured Workers Group, Senior Executive on Bathurst Regional Access Committee, a Board Member for Bathurst Community Transport Group and a Board Member Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement Co Ltd.

Maija Kerry

Maija Kerry

Maija is a commercial lawyer based in Sydney, with a focus on clients in the healthcare and life sciences industries.




Maija graduated with a law degree and a business degree (majoring in international business).

Maija has worked in both Sydney and London for clients with a diverse range of interests including pharmaceuticals, healthcare service, medical device companies, professional services, not for profit, banking, consumer brands and FMCG.