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.

Prof Fiona Wood

Prof Fiona Wood

Fiona Wood

Director of Burns Service of WA

Winthrop Professor Fiona Wood is a Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon specialising in the field of burn care, trauma and scar reconstruction.

Fiona is the Director of the WA Burns Service of Western Australia and a Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Princess Margaret Hospital and Royal Perth Hospital. Her research as Chairperson through the Burn Injury Research Unit UWA and the Fiona Wood Foundation is focused on scarless healing.

In bringing basic science to the bedside the aim is to build a unique capacity to facilitate direct research collaborations between researchers and practitioners across basic science, clinical care and clinical outcomes.

The research includes all facets of burn care, from injury prevention to acute care on to long term outcomes undertaken in collaboration with the multidisciplinary burn care teams, is essential to provide a clear evidence-based practice. Fiona has also been involved in a number of education and disaster response programmes associated with her interest in burns and has presented and published a variety of papers over the years.

In addition, she has been the recipient of the 2003 Australian Medical Association ‘Contribution to Medicine’ Award and an Order of Australia Medal for work with Bali bombing victims. Fiona was named West Australian of the Year for 2004, and was nominated as a National Living Treasure and Australian Citizen of the Year in 2004.

Fiona was again named West Australian of the Year for 2005, and received the honour of being named Australian of the Year in 2005.

Fiona and Marie Stoner, co-founders of Clinical Cell Culture, now Avitamedical, won the 2005 Clunies Ross

Award for their contributions to Medical Science in Australia.

Richard Aedy

Richard Aedy

Presenter ‘Life Matters’ ABC Radio National

Richard Aedy grew up in Sydney and Canberra. He began his journalistic career in 1988 in New Zealand. He’s worked as reporter, producer, executive producer and presenter in three countries, including four years at the BBC in London.

As a journalist, Richard has covered crime, aviation, industrial affairs, science, health, technology, education, economics, epidemiology, indigenous issues, social change and the media. He has made award-winning documentaries in Colombia, East Timor, the United States and the UK. After more than 20 years, he remains interested in everything.

Richard is a former Reuters Foundation Fellow at Oxford, former presenter of The Buzz and he presented Life Matters from 2006 to 2012. After more than two decades as a journalist, he remains “interested in almost everything”!
Alastair McDonald

Alastair McDonald

Alastair McDonald

SMS Management & Technology

Alastair McDonald is a consultant at SMS Management & Technology working with organisations to improve business performance.

Alastair has extensive experience using technology and process change to deliver improved capabilities and cost efficiency.

Prior to his current role he held regional leadership roles at Credit Suisse in Singapore & Zurich and with 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.

Rowan Callick

Rowan Callick

Asia-Pacific Editor, The Australian

Rowan Callick is the Asia-Pacific editor of The Australian. He received a BA Honours from Exeter University in England where he grew up, worked for 11 years establishing and managing a locally owned publishing group in Papua New Guinea, then moved to Australia where he worked for 20 years for The Australian Financial Review, including as Hong Kong based China correspondent, before taking on that role for The Australian in Beijing at the start of 2006, returning in 2009.

He has won the Graham Perkin award for Australian Journalist of the Year and two Walkley awards. He has written “Comrades and Capitalists: Hong Kong Since the Handover” (UNSW Press, 1998) and “Party Time: Who Runs China And How” (Black Inc, 2013).

Leigh McMahon

Leigh McMahon

Leigh McMahon

Strategic marketing and creative concept development

Leigh McMahon is a marketing specialist with a strong background in strategic marketing and creative concept development. He has worked within the fast-moving corporate finance industry and co-founded the award-winning creative studio Slipperyfish in 2003. In 2013, he launched the successful Positive Lunch Club – a quarterly business networking event that has engaged South Australian corporate leaders and garnered national attention.

Leigh began his career in the finance industry at Australian Central Credit Union. After 10 years as a Financial Planning Analyst, Lending, Liability and Insurance Product Manager and Segment Marketing Manager, he co-founded Slipperyfish as a strategic marketing, branding, event and interior fit-out company. Now celebrating 10 years, the successful boutique studio has received national and international accolades.

With a wide range of high-level experience, Leigh has led projects across a diverse range of industries, including FMCG, finance, food and wine, building and construction, retail, residential development, local and state government, transport, education, not-for-profit, professional services, property development, health and the arts. With a background in economics and the finance industry, he balances a strong knowledge of business – from corporates 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.