William Denny AM BM
Veteran & Community Advocate, SA Nominee Senior Australian of the Year 2022
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”.