On the 12th November close to 200 SAS Resources Fund volunteers, supporters, sponsors, donors, Board members, Committee members and SASRF staff gathered at the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club to enjoy refreshments while the sun set over the river and the Methodist Ladies’ College Vivace Quartet played at the annual Sundowner.
While this event is traditionally to thank all those who have supported the Fund throughout 2020, this year it also an opportunity to farewell retiring and departing Trustees and to acknowledge their dedication to the Fund. It included the handover of the Fund Chairmanship from Mr Greg Solomon to Dr Grant Walsh. Greg has been Chairman for five years and the Fund is fortunate that he will continue to serve as a Trustee. Greg is now the last remaining founding Fund member having been a trustee for 24 years, initially commencing as the Fund’s solicitor. Greg’s contribution to, and leadership of, the Fund has been instrumental in ensuring the Fund is in the successful and strong position it is in today.
Dr Grant Walsh takes up the position of Fund Chairman. Grant joined the Fund in 2009 and has been the Deputy Chairman for the past five years. Grant will bring to the Fund Chairmanship a range of experience including having served for 29 years in the Australian Defence Force (including time served in the SAS Regiment where he was appointed command at operational levels, Regimental Executive Officer and was awarded the Conspicuous Service Medal for his services to the Special Forces), as Director of Osprey International as well as having worked as a senior facilitator and coach in a commercial field.
The Fund also announced the appointment of the Hon Chris Ellison who joined the Fund as a Trustee. Chris, a former Senator, Cabinet Minister and current Chancellor of Notre Dame University, has been formally recognised for his service to society. His appointment came after the resignation of the Hon Peter Blaxell, a founding Trustee of the Fund. Peter served as Deputy Chairman before assuming the role of Chairman in 2010, a position he held for five years. It is not possible to fully convey the positive impact Peter has had on every aspect of the Fund – from his work on the Board, his commitment to beneficiaries, his leadership of staff and his dedication to the numerous Committees of which he was a member, but his input has been substantial. The Fund is grateful Peter will continue as a member of the Assistance Committee where his considered judgement is always valued and respected.
This year marks the end of the tenure of the current Commanding Officer of the SAS Regiment. His insightful contribution and counsel to the Fund has been greatly appreciated and we thank him for his service. The Fund wishes him and his family all the very best for the future.
Tim Hawson has stepped down as the Chief Operating Officer after holding the position since 2013, but remains at the Fund as the Liaison Officer between the Fund and the SAS Regiment. Tim’s contribution as COO in leading the team and running operations is greatly valued and we thank him for his leadership in the position.
Christopher Johns assumes the position of Chief Operating Officer. Chris has a long association with the Fund as well as the SAS Regiment and will be well known to many. Chris is well positioned to lead the Fund and the team with certainty and confidence to face any challenges that may arise.
The Fund’s newsletter was released at the Sundowner. Our thanks go to Vanguard Press for their pro bono work on the production and printing of the newsletter. Read the newsletter here.
We would like to sincerely thank you for your support in what has been a very unusual year. Please know that whatever form of support you provided, it has been greatly appreciated by all.