Posted 9 November 2014 8:49pm

The National Australia Day Council (NADC) is delighted to welcome Ben Roberts-Smith VC, MG as its new Chair, Chief Executive Officer, Jeremy Lasek said today.

A recipient of the Victoria Cross, our nation's highest military honour, Mr Roberts-Smith's appointment was announced by the Prime Minister The Hon Tony Abbott MP.

"During his outstanding 17 year career with the Australian military, Ben Roberts-Smith demonstrated incredible courage, leadership and selfless dedication," Mr Lasek said.

"Ben's passion for our nation, his energy and drive make him a great choice to lead our organisation and future planning for our national day and the prestigious Australian of the Year Awards.

"Australia Day and the Australian of the Year Awards continue to go from strength to strength and provide a great opportunity for our nation to celebrate our freedom, diversity and achievement. Ben will be a great asset to the NADC as we look to continue to grow our programs into the future."

The NADC is a not-for-profit government-owned company which leads a network of state, territory and local committees in presenting Australia Day celebrations and the Australian of the Year Awards program.

Ben Roberts-Smith replaces former cricketing great Adam Gilchrist AM who chaired the NADC for six years.

Mr Lasek also welcomed the announcement that current Board member, Robbie Sefton, has been appointed Deputy Chair of the NADC and South Australian businessman Norman Schueler is a new appointment to the Board.

Mr Roberts-Smith has been appointed Chair for a period of three years.


For all media enquiries regarding the National Australia Day Council and the Australian of the Year Awards contact:

Nicole Browne (02) 9954 7677 or 0414 673 762 or

Zannie Abbott (02) 9954 7677 or 0418 274 291 or


Background Notes:

The National Australia Day Council Limited (76 050 300 626) is the coordinating body for Australia Day celebrations across the nation and for the Australian of the Year Awards. The NADC heads a network of eight state and territory Australia Day affiliate organisations and 780 local Australia Day committees.

Established in 1979 as the National Australia Day Committee, the vision was to make future Australia Day celebrations 'truly national and Australia-wide'. In 1984 the Committee became the NADC, and two major dates since then - Australia's Bicentenary in 1988, and the Centenary of Federation in 2001 - shaped today's focus on encouraging Australians to participate in, and reflect on the meaning of, Australia Day.

A not-for-profit government owned social enterprise, within the Prime Minister's portfolio responsibilities, NADC has a close working relationship with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and reports to the Commonwealth Parliament under the provisions of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act (2013). The operations of the company are overseen by a board of Directors appointed by the Prime Minister.

Since the National Australia Day Council was incorporated on 25 October 1990, the role of Chair of the National Australia Day Council has been held by:

• Adam Gilchrist 2008 - 2014

• Lisa Curry Kenny 2000 - 2008

• Kevan Gosper 1996 - 2000

• Phillip Adams 1992 - 1996

• John Newcombe 1990 - 1992


The current Board of the National Australia Day Council is:

• Ms Robbie Sefton (Deputy Chair)
Director - Sefton & Associates

• Janet Whiting (Chair, Audit Committee)

• Professor Samina Yasmeen
Director - Centre for Muslim States and Societies

• Ms Elizabeth Kelly
Deputy Secretary, Governance - Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

• Ms Carol Schwartz AM
Director - Stockland and Director Bank of Melbourne

• Dr Tim Soutphommasane
Race Discrimination Commissioner

• Professor Ian Frazer AC
Translational Research Institute

• Jason Glanville
Chief Executive Officer - National Centre of Indigenous Excellence

• Norman Schueler
Businessman and multicultural leader

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