Michael G. Smith AO
Major General (Retd)

Michael Smith is the Chairman of the Gallipoli Scholarship Fund, having succeeded the inaugural President, Major General Arthur Fittock AO (Retd) in 2016.  He is a non-Executive Director of the institute for Economics and Peace, Past National President of the United Nations Association of Australia and a former Visiting Fellow at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University. From 2008-2011, Michael was the founding Executive Director of the Australian Civil-Military Centre, a multi-agency organisation established by the Australian Government to support the development of national civil-military capabilities to prevent, prepare for, and respond more effectively to conflicts and disasters overseas.

From 2002-2008, Michael was CEO of Austcare (now Action Aid Australia), an international humanitarian and development agency committed to supporting under-privileged communities.

Major General Smith served for 34 years as an Army Officer in the Australian Defence Force, graduating with the ‘sword of honour’ from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in 1971, and had a distinguished military career as an infantry officer, commanding at all levels from Platoon to Brigade Commander. He was a member of the Defence Organisation’s Strategic Review writing team in 1993, served as Australia’s Defence Adviser to the Kingdom of Cambodia in 1994, and throughout 1999 was Director-General for East Timor. He was appointed as the first Deputy Force Commander of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) in 2000-2001, in recognition for which he was promoted from a Member to an Officer in the Order of Australia.

Michael holds a Masters degree in International Relations from the Australian National University, a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of New South Wales, and is a Fellow of the Australian College of Defence and Strategic Studies.  He is a graduate of the Cranlana leadership program and the Company Directors Course at the University of New England. 

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Deputy Chairperson
Garrie Gibson

From a diverse and broad career in public affairs, Garrie Gibson, the Gallipoli Scholarship Fund Deputy Chair, came to the role of CEO of the RSL & Services Clubs Association in August 2014 after working as a government relations and issues management consultant for a variety of industry associations, major corporations and community organisations.

He had previously been a consultant to the club industry, working with ClubsNSW, ClubsQld and Leagues Clubs Australia, as well as a large number of clubs across NSW and the ACT on government relations, marketing, membership development and campaign management and is currently a State Councillor of ClubsNSW.

Garrie has been CEO/Company Secretary of the RSL & Services Clubs Association, since August 2014; CEO/Company Secretary of KYLC Benevolent Fund; CEO/Company Secretary of Operation CARE Benevolent Fund; CEO/Company Secretary of Veterans Benevolent Fund.

Graeme Carroll

Graeme is Secretary of the Gallipoli Scholarship Fund and recently retired as Executive Officer and Company Secretary of Golf Management Australia (NSW Division). He was previously the foundation CEO/Company Secretary of the RSL & Services Clubs Association and in that role was also CEO/Company Secretary of the KYLC Benevolent Fund and Operation CARE, and a State Councillor of ClubsNSW. He is a former Director of the Kokoda Track Foundation and Ambassador to the NSW Government Centenary of Anzac Advisory Council. Graeme has a total of more than 25 years in industry Associations and previously worked as a journalist for the ABC and later in Government media relations and Ministerial Press Secretary.

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Chair of Selection Committee
Jan Hartmann

Jan Hartmann joined the Fund Committee in 2010 at the invitation of the inaugural Chairman, Major General Arthur Fittock and in 2011 was appointed Chair of the Selection Committe.

Since that time, with the support of the other members of the Committee, Jan has been involved in the selection of more than half of the recipients to date. Jan’s background is primarily military, having served in the both the regular Army and the Army Reserve for a total of 22 years. On leaving the Army Jan worked in various roles including a period as a Veteran’s Advocate for the RSL, before working as an assessor for Veteran’s Home Care. In 2001 Jan was appointed to the Veterans’ Review Board as a Member, then as a Services Member. She retired in 2015 to spend time at home with her five grandchildren and devote more time to the Gallipoli Scholarship.

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Assistant Secretary
Dr Michelle Byrne

Dr Michelle Byrne joined the Management Committee when elected in April this year and is the Assistant Secretary.  She was the first recipient of a Gallipoli Scholarship in 1998 and since then has gone on to lead a distinguished career in both the public and private sectors. 

 Michelle was first elected to The Hills Shire Council at the 2008 Local Government elections and by 2011 had been elected Deputy Mayor.  To this day, she remains the youngest ever Mayor of The Hills Shire – a title she received when she was elected Mayor in September 2012.  She was re-elected to the role of Deputy Mayor in September 2014 following two years as Mayor and, in 2017, Michelle was officially elected as the first-ever popularly elected Mayor. 

Michelle holds a PhD in Medical Research and worked in cancer research followed by type 1 diabetes research before giving it away to pursue her love for local Government in 2012. She also has a law degree and has also worked in the areas of Family and Commercial Law.  Michelle enjoys connecting with the community and aims to improve the quality of life for all residents living in the Shire.

Arthur G. Watson

Arthur Watson is a retired Accountant having spent in excess of thirty years in Chartered Accounting.  In 1989 he joined the City of Sydney RSL Club, as Finance Manager, having previously been in charge of the Club’s audit for many years. The City of Sydney RSL Club was one of the early major sponsors of the Gallipoli Scholarship Fund, kindling Arthur’s early interest in this organisation.

Upon retirement, Arthur was appointed to the Fund’s Committee in 2008 and has been a member of the Selection Committee since 2009. He has been a valuable mentor to many successful Scholarship winners.

In retirement, Arthur has continued the activities in which he’s had interest all his working life. These include his involvement in local community groups and sporting organisations.  He is still an active cricket umpire having spent many years officiating in NSW Premier Cricket matches controlled by the Sydney Cricket Association. Arthur has officiated at Sheffield Shield and International level involving teams from England, West Indies, Pakistan, India and New Zealand.

The Blind Cricket and Deaf Cricket Associations are among the many and varied organisations with which Arthur is involved. He has officiated at International level with both these groups.

Committee Member
Amy Gilford

Amy Gilford was appointed to fill a casual vacancy on the Committee in May 2019.  She was awarded the Bill Hall Memorial Scholarship in 2013 during her first year of university. 

Shortly after being awarded the scholarship, Amy was successful in being selected to participate in the RSL & Services Clubs Association’s Kokoda Youth Leadership Challenge in 2013. Amy balanced full-time study and the gruelling trail, where she was provided a practical leadership experience based on the achievements and sacrifices of our wartime heroes. 

Amy completed a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws degree at Western Sydney University in 2017 and completed her Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice in 2018. She was then admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW in September 2018 and currently works at Practical Law Australia, a section of international publishing company Thomson Reuters. 

Assistant Treasurer
Denise Feeney

Denise Feeney joined the Management Committee in October 2020 and was previously a business owner for 20 years, operating a Video Ezy franchise, and later as a Mobile Mortgage Specialist at Australian Military Bank.  She is active in the Not-for-Profit arena as Treasurer and charter member of Wattle Grove Lions Club and Lions District Global Causes Team – Hunger as Chairperson.

Executive Officer
Peter Turnbull

In March, 2021, Peter Turnbull was appointed Executive Officer of the Gallipoli Scholarship Fund. This part-time role was created as a result of the growth of the GSF in the last two years, and the projected growth of the organisation in the coming years. Peter retired from this position as Chief Executive Officer at Leagues Clubs Australia in September 2020, after nearly 15 years in that role. Previously Peter held senior Executive roles in a number of Licensed Clubs, including St George Leagues Club and Cronulla Leagues Club.