Victoria’s Australia Day Committee is very interesting little group of people, largely drawn from the many sponsors of Australia Day 2004. But is working for a sponsoring company the best criteria for membership of the council?

Gaming giant Tattersal’s is a sponsor, but does that mean their CEO, Duncan Fischer is a suitable committee member?

Herald Sun editor-in-chief Peter Blunden is another committee member and as an editor Blunden is a strong leader who has had great success with the paper, which boasts an impressive circulation. However, Blunden was last year convicted of drink driving, prompting one to wonder whether he is as suitable as he first appears.

Are Blunden and Fisher, appropriate role models Australia Day and appropriate member of the Australia Day Committee (Victoria)? A committee which co-ordinated Australia Day activities in Victoria and is affiliated with the National Australia Day Council.

As the members are appointed and serve in a voluntary capacity for two-year terms it will be interesting to see who is in the next crop.

Other interesting names on the list includes America’s Cup winning skipper John Bertrand, a man with a chequered business record, Neil Mitchell’s manager Tony Beddison, Ian Ferres, the former chairman of failed Michael Schildberger company Infosentials, and Graham Kraehe, arguably the busiest director in Australia now that he is chairman of NAB.

Australia Day Committee (Victoria) consists of the following members:

Tony Beddison AO – Chairman, SACS Group

Ian Roberts – Deputy Chairman, ID Roberts Pty Ltd

Peter Blunden – Editor-in-Chief, Herald and Weekly Times

Michel Lawrence – Former Chairman, J Walter Thompson Pty Ltd

David Mann – Promotions and Marketing Manager, 3AW Southern Cross Radio Pty Ltd

John Bertrand AM – Executive Chairman, World Wide Entertainment

Prue Digby – Executive Director, Local Government Department of Infrastructure

Duncan Fischer – Managing Director and CEO, Tattersall’s

Daniel Grollo – Joint Managing Director, Grocon

Ian Ferres – Group Managing Director, Australian Unity

Terry Garwood – Regional Director, Loddon Mallee Department of Human Services

Bruce Hartnett
– Former Chief Executive Officer, Australian Government Employees Superannuation Trust

Peter Seamer – CEO, Federation Square Management Company

Ken Ryan – Regional General Manager, South East Asia Qantas Airways Limited

Colin Jordan – Managing Director and CEO, RACV

Mary-Ellen King
– General Manager, Melbourne Festival

Graham Kraehe AO – Company Director

Alison Hardacre – Planning and Implementation Manager, Channels and Distribution Medibank

Andrew Hockley – Director, Strategic Communications, Department of Premier and Cabinet

Sheree Marris
– Director, Visions of Blue

Naomi Milgrom – CEO, Sussan Corporation (Aust) Pty Ltd

David Pitchford (LVO) – Chief Executive Officer, City of Melbourne

Jack Smorgon AM – Chairman, Committee for Melbourne

Paul Waldren – Acting Managing Director, GTV Channel 9

Peter Fray

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