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Australia Day Ambassadors

 Australia Day Ambassador

The Australia Day Ambassador Program is an initiative that sees high achieving and proud Australians attend local Australia Day celebrations across the nation. In cities, regional areas and in the country, Australia Day Ambassadors volunteer their time and energy to inspire pride and celebration in hundreds of local communities.  

Most of the Australia Day Council of South Australia Ambassadors are well-known names within our state.  If not well-known, their background and interests can certainly make them people of interest.  Simply having someone from outside the local community attend a function can be seen as a coup by the local Council in attracting someone of note to join the celebration.  In most circumstances an Australia Day Ambassador will also be able to participate in a “meet and greet” time whereby they mingle with locals and give them an opportunity to meet someone of note face-to-face.

Australia Day Ambassadors will be travelling across South Australia – from cities to country areas.  We are all really excited about the wonderful events that are planned and we hope you will get along and join us.

Meet South Australia's Australia Day Ambassadors:




Wayne Anthoney

Actor, theatre director, acting teacher, stand-up comedian, clown and magician

Wayne trained as a scientist at Adelaide University, graduating in 1962, and worked with early computers until opting for a different career path in 1974.  He has worked as Humbolt the Clown and done many film roles, most recently playing one of the guilty priests in “Oranges and Sunshine”. He has also taught part-time at Adelaide College of the Arts since its first year of operation and has written several plays.

In 1996, he took a job as Project Manager for Nyangatjatjara Aboriginal Corporation, near Ayers Rock.  During the nine years he was there he hardly performed at all. The years in the desert, working cross-culturally at a high emotional level, have influenced him greatly.

He recently published a book, “Travels In A Foreign Land”, it being a memoir of his more than thirty years’ experience with Aboriginal people in Central Australia.

His most recent theatrical work was a play co-written by himself and colleague, Jenn Havelberg. Titled “Never a Drop to Drink” - a bleak black comedy concerned with life in Adelaide after all the water runs out and most people have left. Wayne and Jenn performed it for a two-week season at the top of a deserted building in Adelaide.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – District Council of Mount Barker

Hon Rev Dr Lynn Arnold AO FAICD

Former CEO of Anglicare & former SA Premier, now ordained Minister

Lynn is currently an assistant priest at St Peter's Anglican Cathedral and a Reader [Public Theology] at St Barnabas Theological College.  He also has a weekly radio program on 1079Life ('Sunday Night with Lynn Arnold').  

Lynn chairs the state board of the Crawford Fund 'Food for a More Secure World', the board of the Don Dunstan Foundation and the Advisory Board of the Research Centre for Languages and Culture (UniSA).  In addition, he is a member of the Public Affairs Commission of the Anglican Church of Australia. 

Besides being an Australia Day Ambassador, Lynn also holds several other roles such as Reconciliation Ambassador (for Reconciliation SA), Goodwill Ambassador for Sustainable Development Goals (for the United Nations Association of Australia) and Justice Advocate (for Second Chances). He is patron for several organisations.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – The Barossa Council

Prof. Don Bursill AM FTSE

Water Management Expert

Don Bursill has had some 40 years’ experience in the water industry in Australia, primarily for the South Australian Water Corporation, stepping down at the end of 2005 as its Chief Scientist.  He was also the CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Quality and Treatment from its beginnings in 1995 to his retirement in 2005.

Don was Deputy Chair of the Board of the Global Water Research Coalition; an international water research coalition that includes 15 national water research centres from Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia and Singapore.  From 1996 through to the end of 2010 he chaired the Water Quality Advisory Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council which sets the national drinking water quality guidelines, among other functions.

In January 2011 Don was asked to take on the role of Chief Scientist for South Australia, which he did until August 2014. This role involved providing advice to the Government on science and innovation programs. Among several achievements during that period, he developed a new science and innovation program for the SA Government with the assistance of the SA Science Council and he set up a networking arrangement for early career researchers that assists their career development and promotes collaboration among young scientists and engineers across South Australian Universities and research institutions. It continues to operate at RiAUS (Science Exchange, Adelaide).

In 2007 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the water industry.  He has a CSIRO Medal for water research and two awards from the South Australian Water Association for innovation in water research, including the Premier’s Medal (2005). Don was South Australia’s Senior Australian of the Year for 2011 and in the same year, Citizen of the Year for the City of Tea Tree Gully.  He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE).

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – District Council of Streaky Bay

John (Jack) Cahill

AFL player, Coach & Sporting Personality

For six decades Jack has combined his commitment to sport with his working life.  He has played over 266 games in the SANFL and has coached 695 games for several AFL Teams.  He has always had a fierce desire to be the best – to push himself, to get stronger, fitter and to work harder.  Having grown up in Orroroo, Jack is a country boy at heart. 

Jack has worked in the motor vehicle industry for 20 years and owned his own motor vehicle business.  He currently combines his love of coaching and fitness to impart the importance of health and education to the students at Pulteney Grammar School and the community

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – Adelaide Plains Council

Shazia Choudhry

Pakistani Australian Connections of South Australia

Shazia Choudhry is a Certified HR and Knowledge management professional and certified trainer and assessor. Her career spans over 15 years, including a variety of senior roles in the field of HR, Training and assessment, internal audit, policy development, strategic planning and governance, programs and project management, conferences and event management. She has served in key managerial positions in both and private sectors in the UAE, Australia and Pakistan.  Human service and her faith are both very close to her and hence she is actively associated with NGOs, community service organisations and Islamic associations, either as a staff or as a volunteer.  Currently, she is engaged in teaching, counselling, event management, studying further and managing her family life striving to maintain a healthy balance between all. She has also designed and been delivering ‘Job readiness programs’ for new arrivals and job seekers in Adelaide for the past two years. She also continues to provide consultancy\advisory services, as an independent consultant and trainer, to organisations in Australia, GCC, UK, Pakistan and India.  Shazia is very passionate about making moments joyfully and pleasantly memorable and making a positive difference at personal, familial and at a wider societal level and hence she is an active part of many social causes. Her main aim at the moment is to be a good support and a strong voice for new immigrants, CALD communities, women and children. She was also seen recently as the only Pakistani and Muslim female participating in the SANFL Inter-Nations Cup 2019, to promote and encourage female and particularly Muslim females’ participation in sports in Australia.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – Southern Mallee District Council – Lameroo

Ralph Clarke

Industrial Relations Consultant and former Government Minister and Councillor for Adelaide City Council 

Ralph began his career in Industrial Relations as a union official for the Federated Clerks Union.  He then became President of that union and served on other national union organisations.  He is currently a member of several government advisory boards. Ralph was elected to the SA Parliament in 1993 and held many portfolios and positions during his political career.  After leaving politics he was elected to the Adelaide City Council where he served for several years. A broad sense of humour and quick wit enables Ralph to make his point succinctly and effectively.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – District Council of Karoonda East Murray

Francene Connor

Marketing & Communications Consultant

Francene has worked in events marketing, communications and fundraising for more than 35 years.  She has held key roles at RiAus; the Royal Adelaide Show; and on Adelaide’s bid for the 1998 Commonwealth Games – where she helped to build community support and goodwill. As a consultant she now works with a small number of clients and plans to spend more time on creative pursuits.  A large part of Francene’s career was spent in the tourism sector where she was a Board Director of the South Australian Tourism Commission and the Adelaide Convention & Tourism Authority and was a State and National Tourism Awards judge.  Francene served four terms as a Councillor and Alderman on the Adelaide City Council, at a pivotal time for the protection of our City’s heritage and park lands amenity.  Francene is a Fellow of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation and a member of the Leaders Institute of South Australia.  She is a Certified Practising Marketer and Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute and enjoys mentoring young women leaders.  Francene was Patron of Lacrosse South Australia for almost 20 years and became an Australia Day Ambassador in 2008.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – The District Council of Cleve

Ivan Copley

Indigenous Community worker & Australian of the Year (South Australia) 2009

Ivan has devoted his life to achieve reconciliation and better outcomes for Indigenous Australians.  Through his work with Rotary he established the first clean drinking water purifier in the Aboriginal community of Leigh Creek. Whilst at the Australian Bureau of Statistics he arranged for second-hand computers to be installed in Aboriginal communities without computer

access. Ivan has put his heart and soul into bettering his community and has been described as a ‘bridge for all peoples.’

 Destination on Australia Day 2020 – City of Tea Tree Gully

Dr Victoria Cox

Community Healthcare Researcher - particularly in Rural environments

Adelaide raised, Victoria is currently a Medical Resident at Flinders Medical Centre and Clinical Tutor at Flinders Medical School.  She has been heavily involved with several charitable and community organisations throughout South Australia.  She volunteered with the Operation Flinders Foundation as both an Assistant Team Leader and on their Clinical Advisory Committee.  In 2013, Victoria founded the national charity project “Run for a Reason” and co-ordinated nearly 100 medical students across Australia running the Gold Coast Airport Marathon; raising $40,000 for an Indigenous community healthcare project.  Last year Victoria was awarded a Monash Scholarship to study a public health masters at Oxford University, focusing on the development and implementation of community healthcare programs in rural areas of Australia. Her clinical interest is in Indigenous health and long term she is keen to bring her experience to a clinical role working in paediatric skin diseases.   Victoria has previously worked across the Northern Territory screening and treating children for scabies through “One Disease at a Time”, an Australian charity focused on eradicating scabies from Indigenous children in the NT.  She has also conducted an Internship at the World Health Organisation in Geneva focused on improving maternal health practices in developing nations.  She is a keen swimmer, previously representing SA in Olympic and Commonwealth Games swimming trials. In 2006 she was the 50m, 100m and 200m Breaststroke SA open state swimming champion.  In 2011 she was the only female from SA to swim the Rottnest Channel Swim as a solo swimmer, a 20km open water swim from Cottesloe Beach in Perth to Rottnest Island. Victoria is an active member of the Glenelg Surf Life Saving Club and has been involved with the Jet Rescue Boat team.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – City of Holdfast Bay

William (Bill) Denny AM BM

Veteran & Community advocate

Bill Denny joined the Australian Regular Army upon leaving school. In more than 21 years in the military he served in South Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, as Aide de Camp to the Governor General and on exchange duty with the British Army in Germany. He left the Army in 1990 with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  Upon departure from the military, Bill had a diverse career in management across the manufacturing, retirement village and transport industries, and in the real estate sector. During this time he graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and Legal Practice (Honours) in 2007, and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor in the Supreme Court of South Australia.

In 2006 Bill joined the state public service as an Advisor to the Attorney General. He was subsequently appointed the inaugural Director of Veterans SA and oversaw the establishment of the veterans’ affairs portfolio in our state, retiring in 2014.

Bill's deep and long-standing commitment to the ex-service community has been demonstrated through his role as Chair of the RSL ANZAC Day Committee, Chair of the ANZAC Day Commemoration Council and as founder of the ANZAC Eve Youth Vigil.

He founded and co-chaired the Vietnam War Memorial Committee and co-chaired the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial Fundraising Committee. He is currently patron of the ANZAC Eve Youth Vigil, National Servicemen’s Association and Military Vehicle Preservation Society.  His wider community service has included as a member of the Board of Reconciliation SA, after which he was recently appointed an Ambassador for that organisation.

In 2006, Bill was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to the community, particularly veterans and their families.  In 2014 he was awarded the Bravery Medal (BM) for his actions at a fatal traffic accident.

Ongoing community appreciation for Bill's service to the veteran community was shown in 2014 when he was a state finalist in the "Australian of the Year" awards, and in 2015 when he was named an RSL “ANZAC of the Year”.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – The Rural City of Murray Bridge

Anthony Fioravanti

Superintendent, State Intelligence Branch

Superintendent Anthony Fioravanti is currently the Officer in Charge of State Intelligence Branch.  His career has spanned nearly 40 years and career highlights include 18 years in the Special Task and Rescue Group and OIC of several Service Areas around South Australia.  He was selected to participate in the 2009 South Australia & New Zealand Police Officer Exchange Program.  As a result of his time there he returned in February 2011 as the SA Police Contingent Commander to assist in the earthquake efforts.  Anthony has always had an interest in health and fitness and enjoys his regular gym workouts and classes.  He is currently studying to be a physical trainer.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – Coorong District Council

Samela Harris

South Australian journalist, critic and blogger

A newspaper career spanning three continents and forty years delivered Samela to the Journalist’s Hall of Fame.  She has written on everything from political analysis to gossip. She was the first woman employed to work full-time on the news floor of The News and, by odd chance, the first woman general reporter also at The Evening News in Edinburgh, Scotland.  She was the first woman Aussie Rules football columnist in Australia.  She was an Internet pioneer from the days before the WWW, wrote years of Internet columns and was inaugural online editor of The Advertiser when it went digital.

Her weekly food column was turned into a popular cookbook "On a Shoestring - Recipes from the House of the Raising Sons". Until recent retirement, she was senior features writer and theatre critic for The Advertiser and she continues to review theatre for arts website, and on Peter Goers’ ABC Smart Arts program. She blogs at She is union President of Journalists in South Australia, Convenor of Women In Media in SA,Chair of the SA Media Awards and founding chair of the Adelaide Critics Circle.

Samela is daughter of South Australian literary legend, Max Harris. She has two sons, two granddaughters and a recently retired rocket scientist for a husband.  On Twitter, Samela goes by the handle of @saline.  She is keen on pelicans and spiders.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – District Council of Tatiara

Dr Deane Hutton

Futurist and science show presenter

Deane is a FUTURIST who has worked professionally as a teacher, lecturer, writer, television presenter, film producer and entertainer in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.  He gives keynote presentations at more than 60 venues each year (business conferences, seminars and schools) – speaking about science, technology and the future.  Deane uses graphics, video, models, demonstrations and audience interaction.  Audience members find out how to recognize future trends, overcome the insecurity of change, and create the future they want.

Deane has degrees in Science and Education from the University of Adelaide and a PhD in Visual Perception and Message Design from Indiana University.  He has interests in brain structure and function and interpersonal communication.  Deane has a CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) – the highest level of accreditation from the International Federation for Professional Speakers.   Deane is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators (FACE) and a member of the World Future Society.

He has worked as a science presenter on television in Australia - Curiosity Show (18 years), Hey Hey It’s Saturday (7 years), Channel Seven News and The New Inventors.  Also, Deane has presented talkback radio segments on science issues on FiveAA in Adelaide, and science and technology radio broadcasts through Asia and Africa on Radio CVC.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – City of Playford

Dr Robert Irving

Since 1996, veterinarian surgeon Dr Bob Irving has spent half of each year travelling to Aboriginal remote communities in the Anangu-Yankunyjatjara-Pitjantjatjara (AYP) lands in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory to treat sick animals, mostly dogs.  Funded by government Dog Health Program, Bob travels by road to many remote areas in dangerous terrain. In early days, he often had to camp out with his swag and cook over an open fire. Originally beginning in South Australia, he soon realised that dogs were travelling from interstate for sporting events, funerals and ceremonial activities, so he extended the program to communities in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.  His valuable service helps reduces the risk of transmission of the skin infections, diarrheal diseases and chronic gut parasitic infections from dogs to humans. It also controls the population size of dogs, ensures dogs don’t suffer the painful consequences of mange, and humanely removes sick or troublesome dogs from the population.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – District Council of Yankalilla

Michael Keelan

Horticulturist, Editor, Radio and Television presenter

With over thirty-six years’ experience in the media, Michael hosts the top rating lifestyle and gardening radio program on Radio Fiveaa each weekend.  He is an established horticultural editor with SA Life magazine and now co-hosts on the new “SA Life” program on Channel 7. The big screen is not new to Michael as he and Michael Angelakis are the two fun-loving hosts of “Out of the Blue”, a popular cooking program now on Channel 7 Adelaide and Seven2 nationally. Michael devotes much of his spare time to helping numerous charities and has a fondness for children’s causes and men’s health issues.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – City of Charles Sturt

Michelle Lally

Founder in ag disruption/agtech.  Passionate agricultural advocate

Michelle and her husband Philip spent over nine years developing the Savannah brand in the Clare Valley, coining the phrase of "stress free" and being pioneers in the ethical treatment of animals to ensure a higher quality end-product on your plate.

A focus on sustainability and the environment were key areas identified, and processes were put in place to change the direction and dynamics of the long-held family farm.  This included planting out the river system along the farm with salt-grow eucalypt hybrid trees, planting shelter belts and fence lines to provide the stock with locations during inclement weather.  This is now being further developed with contour fencing, forage alley systems for different species and multi species pasture cropping techniques to assist with healthy stock and thus nourishing and healing food offerings. The couple plan to plant restorative trees over the coming 5 years, which will include a dehesa system of oaks and deciduous trees to reload the ground with carbon and humus, high protein forage trees to assist during times of low fodder, as well as protective alleyways and shelter belts and silviculture systems for highly valuable and productive trees.  This will amount to approximately 13000 trees and shrubs being planted over the coming 5-10 years.

As a fifth-generation family of farmers they have set out to build a community of regenerative farmers on their farm by designing a socially responsible intern accelerator program assisting young people who want to farm, a place to do so with some support mechanisms around them as they start out.  Michelle’s most recent venture is Australian Micro Abattoirs which builds and installs small scale abattoir solutions to offer farmers a new way to sell their livestock, control their supply chain and increase farmgate profits.  Australian Micro Abattoirs is a start-up company in the meat industry supply chain. Innovative and dynamic, the team collectively has extensive experience in agriculture, marketing, technology, science extension projects and meat processing.  The business is small, high paced and has won National and SA awards.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters

Prof Peter Langridge

Agricultural Scientist specialising in plant molecular biology and the science of plant breeding

Peter was born in Adelaide and brought up in Canberra where he studied at the Australian National University.  When he graduated, he worked in Germany at the University of Freiburg.  In 1984 he moved to the University of Adelaide where he has remained ever since.  From 1998 he was the inaugural Research Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Molecular Plant Breeding.  Peter was one of the Principal Investigators that established the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG) at The Waite Precinct and was appointed Chief Executive in 2003.  ACPFG is a major international research centre based in Adelaide and established by the Australian Federal Government.  The work ACPFG scientists undertake helps improve cereal crops’ tolerance to environmental stresses such as drought, heat, salinity and nutrient toxicities; major causes of yield and quality loss throughout the world and significant problems for cereal growers. ACPFG is acknowledged globally as one of 3 pre-eminent centres undertaking this type of research.

Peter’s research has focused on plant molecular biology and the science of plant breeding.  He serves on the advisory boards of several research organisations and companies in Europe and North America and is an honorary fellow of Food Standards Australia and New Zealand providing advice on the impact of new breeding technologies on food safety. Peter’s recent activities have focused on food security and technology delivery to resource poor farmers in many parts of the world and on Australia’s role in supporting global food security.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – Light Regional Council

Barry Lewis

Umpire and Mentor

In 1974, Barry Lewis umpired his first football match between the Port Adelaide and Darlington police, Barry Lewis grabbed a whistle and took on the role. Forty-four years later, the retired South Australian superintendent, who served the police force for more than 50 years, has umpired well over 2,000 football matches – averaging six to eight games each week.  Barry is the main field umpire for the Adelaide Football League C7 division, a12-a-side Australian Rules Football competition for males with a disability, which is supported by Inclusive Sport SA (ISSA). Barry is highly respected, not only as an umpire but also as a mentor and a friend both on and off the field to the men in the C7 division.  Life member of the ISSA, Barry is compassionate and fair. He’s been awarded seven Umpire Golden Whistles and five South Australia Football Association’s Umpire of the Year.

Barry has life membership of the SA Amateur Football League Umpires Association (and received the first 1000 game certificate in 2018); the South Australia Police Football Association; the Australian Police Football Association (and was awarded ‘Legend Status in 2018); the Port Adelaide Police Social Club; and, Inclusive Sports SA.

 Destination on Australia Day 2020 – Wakefield Regional Council

David Malinda

Agricultural Scientist & Educator

David was born and educated in Kenya.   He obtained a scholarship to study in the former Soviet Union acquiring his Bachelor of Agricultural Engineering Degree in 1969. He moved to Australia to do his post graduate degrees in 1979.  David progressed through University, to scientist, to international presenter, to community leader, to retirement and back to work as a teacher. As a scientist, he developed a new farming system which is not only widely sought in Australia but also overseas. As a community leader, he has contributed significantly to the healthy growth of the community and for many years was the African Community Leader in SA. He is the co-ordinator for the School participation component of Africa Week working with artists visiting schools and performing and conducting workshops for school children.  David has written several books and scientific papers and presented papers at numerous international conferences.  Awarded a “Hall of Fame 2013” award in Canberra for services to science and community engagements.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 - Adelaide Hills Council

Bruce Macky

Yachtsman, former CGM of State Bank of SA and former Chief Commissioner of Scouts SA

Born in New Zealand but now a converted Aussie.  Currently part-owns Dymocks Bookstore in Adelaide City. Apart from his high-profile positions, Bruce has been a member of Toastmasters and currently volunteers for Operation Flinders.  He has sailed in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and around the world in the Clipper 07-08 Race.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – District Council of Elliston

Major-General Vikram Madan (Retd.) VSM OAM

Retired Major General in the Indian Army; Chair of Multicultural Aged Care Inc; Ambassador for Oz Asia Festival

Vikram retired from the Indian Army as a Major General in 2006 and moved to Adelaide in 2007, after marrying Veena, an Australian national of Indian origin. Vikram served as an Infantry Officer with the elite Gurkha Regiment for nearly four decades. He was twice decorated by the President of India with Vishist Seva Medals for services of a distinguished order to the Nation.  On Australia Day this year (2019) Vikram was awarded Medal in the Order of Australia (OAM) for his outstanding contribution to multicultural affairs.  Vikram is currently the Chair of Multicultural Aged Care Inc.

He is a Member of the Passenger Transport Standards Committee of the Government since 2011 and an Ambassador for Oz Asia Festival since 2010. Vikram was a member of the prestigious South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission (SAMEAC) for 8 years from 2010 to 2018.

He was also a member of International Humanitarian Law Committee of the Red Cross of South Australia from 2008 to Feb 2014. He is the past President of Indian Australian Association of South Australia from 2009 to 2011. Vikram has been on SA Grants Assessment Panel for the past 3 years. He was also on the Governor’s Multicultural Awards Selection Panel from 2015 to 2018.  

As a member of SAMEAC for 8 years Vikram was given a wonderful opportunity to work closely with many multicultural communities. He devoted his time, resources and energies on a voluntary basis to encourage, nurture and promote multiculturalism in South Australia.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council

Bruce Mellett

Regional Development Manager, Regional Development Australia

Bruce Mellett was born and bred in Broken Hill NSW, where his great grandfather, grandfather and father all worked in the mines – and then Bruce bucked the trend.  After a varied career path, Bruce began his journalism journey in newspapers and then radio before joining the ABC in the late 1980’s.  Bruce is currently a Regional Development Manager with Regional Development Australia, Murraylands and Riverland.  Until recently, he was also the National Co-ordinator for an ABC Regional Disability Scholarship, which aims to promote opportunities for people with a disability in regional areas within the ABC structure.  Bruce was previously the Regional Manager with the ABC in the Riverland for 25 years until his early retirement in 2016.  Bruce is passionate about Regional Australia, especially the Riverland. He has worked closely with many community, sporting and service organisations across the Riverland and Mallee for the past 30 years. He was recognised in the Australia Day Honours in 2017 for his extensive work in the community as well as his role in media and broadcasting.  Bruce remains strongly committed to mentoring, having won a national award with the ABC for developing a program aimed at supporting young broadcasters in rural and remote locations, and was head of the Riverland Youth Mentoring Alliance for many years as it delivered targeted mentoring within the school system.  He is also on the executive of the Riverland Local Drug Action Team, having helped secure rehabilitation facilities and a state- first pilot program for the region to continue the battle against the impact of drug misuse within the community.  He and his wife also manage a small vineyard.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – District Council of Franklin Harbour

Dr Rob Morrison OAM

Scientist and former host of the Curiosity Show

Rob has had a dual career as academic and science broadcaster and writer.  He is currently a Professorial Fellow at Flinders University.  He has written more than 40 books and co-written 13 more on science and natural history.  He has been the co-host of the national TV program Curiosity Show, which ran for 18 years and was broadcast in 14 countries.  Rob was also the science, environment and technology correspondent for Channel 10 TV News and the producer of science segments for Australia's Asia Pacific program Nexus, which went to 43 countries in our region.  He has broadcasted regularly on the ABC's Science Show and Ockham's Razor and is frequently on local radio.  Rob helped establish SciWorld, a new mobile science centre in Adelaide that runs exciting education programs and he was its inaugural chair. He is or has been the chair of many other science organisations, including Zoos SA, responsible for Adelaide and Monarto Zoos.  Rob has been recognised nationally and internationally as an outstanding science communicator and has won many national and international awards, including two Eureka Prizes, one being the Australian Government Eureka Prize for the Promotion of Science, the Michael Daley Award for Science Journalism, and the inaugural SA South Australian Government award for Excellence in Science Communication. He was the Senior Australian of the Year (South Australia) in 2008.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – City of Unley

Chris Schacht


President of Volleyball Australia and former Senator

Chris began his political career in 1969.  In 1987 he entered Federal Parliament as a Senator for South Australia.  During his career he held several portfolios including Science, Small Business and Customs.  He left parliament in June 2002 after 15 years as a Senator and 33 years in Australian politics.

Chris is the current President of the Australian Volleyball Federation and an elected representative to the Legal Commission of the “Federation Internationale de Volleyball”.  He is also a board member of numerous worthwhile organisations.

Chris has the ability to master any public appearance and to engage his audience on many levels. 

His political wit and general background greatly enhance his capabilities.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – Southern Mallee District Council – Pinnaroo


John Shepherd AM

Former Executive Director, Operation Flinders; currently Senior Consultant, The Sapling Connection and General Manager, LBI Foundation

John spent twenty-five years within major branches of the SA Police Department.  Formerly the Executive Director of the Operation Flinders Foundation, which runs a world leading wilderness adventure program for young offenders and young people at risk, John is currently the Senior Consultant for The Sapling Group (a small consulting firm providing the corporate, government, community and not for profit sectors with advice and support in the development and growth of an organisation or concept) and General Manager of the LBI Foundation (a not-for-profit agency dedicated to partnering with individuals and communities supporting Australians impacted by trauma, mental illness, disadvantage, social exclusion or disability).

He has been involved as a board member in numerous Australian and South Australian educational, emergency service and social inclusion organisations.

John is an enthusiastic speaker with a passion for helping the youth of South Australia.

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – District Council of Orroroo Carrieton

Vicky Welgraven

Women’s advocate and Finalist SA AOTY 2019

Proud Adnyamathanha woman Vicky Welgraven is a passionate advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) women, ensuring their interests are represented – and their voices are heard.

A respected speaker with an engaging and consultative approach, she has lobbied Federal and State members of parliament on ATSI women’s issues and the impact of domestic violence on ATSI women, children and community and is a current member of the South Australian Premier’s Council for Women.  Vicky is a former SA representative of the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance (NATSIWA), representing them at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. She was inducted in the South Australian Women’s Honour Roll in 2015, in recognition of her work as a strong advocate and ambassador for Aboriginal women’s rights.

Vicky is a champion of those impacted by family and domestic violence, promoting gender equality and respectful relationships through her role as a White Ribbon Advocate. Meanwhile, as Director of Our Watch, she seeks to address power imbalances leading to gender-based violence.  Finalist for ‘2019 Women in Innovation Awards in the category of: Innovation and Intrapreneurship in Government’ for my innovative approaches to reconciliation, Aboriginal history & culture; promoting gender equality, respectful relationships and an end to family violence. 

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – Port Pirie City Council

Carole Whitelock

Columnist, MC & former Radio ABC commentator

Carole was born in London and grew up with the BBC. She worked firstly in the travel business and, after marrying, spent three years in Singapore with her Royal Marine husband. She worked for the Intelligence Corps there (as a civilian) at a time when there was some nasty espionage going on, just as we read in the thrillers. On return to the UK she worked for a newspaper in York.

Carole came to S.A. in 1972. Her introduction to the ABC in 1980 was via a series of auditions which came about quite accidentally. Thirty-two happy and roller coaster years followed with standout experiences including introducing the Dalai Lama at the Entertainment Centre, broadcasting from a hot air balloon and swimming with Jock, the randy dolphin, in the Port River.

Carole now writes a weekly column in The Advertiser Boomer magazine, undertakes to MC some events and enjoys having some personal leisure!

Destination on Australia Day 2020 – City of West Torrens






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