Prime Minister Tony Abbott has appointed Victoria Cross winner and Afghanistan war veteran Benjamin Roberts-Smith as the new Chair of the National Australia Day Council, replacing cricketer Adam Gilchrist after a six-year stint.
The appointment of Roberts-Smith heralds a major shift in leadership of the council, which has been led by sports people for 20 of its 24 years.
Since his retirement from the Army, Australia’s most decorated living soldier was also appointed deputy chair of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on veterans’ mental health.
“This is a fitting way for Ben to continue his exemplary service to the nation. As Chair of the National Australia Council, he will help to inspire national pride and lead the community’s celebrations of Australia Day,” the Prime Minister said.
The Government also appointed NSW woolgrower, businesswoman and PR expert Robbie Sefton as the Council’s deputy chair and South Australian businessman Norman Schueler to the board.
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