Council of the Australian War Memorial Appointments

Ms Rhondda Vanzella OAM and Mr Glenn Keys AO have joined the Council of the Australian War Memorial, filling the vacant positions previously held by Ms Gwen Cherne and Ms Margaret Jackson AC. 

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said Ms Vanzella and Mr Keys, who is a veteran, would bring important skills, perspectives and dedication to the Council as it progresses the Australian War Memorial development project.

“Rhondda is the National President of Australian War Widows Incorporated and has been a member of Australian War Widows NSW since 2014 and has served as its State President and Chair since 2016,” Mr Chester said.

“She has dedicated her career to mentoring and working with communities at a local, rural regional and national level on a range of issues and successful community projects, including walking the Kokoda Track to assist with building and opening of memorials; helping lead the re-enactment of the Kangaroo March from Wagga Wagga to Sydney in 2015; and co-founding the Ozy Youth Choir Honouring Defence Service (Ozy).”

Mr Glenn Keys AO is the Founder, Executive Chairman and Director of Aspen Medical, one of the world’s leading providers of outsourced healthcare solutions.

“As a philanthropist and advocate of business having a social purpose, Glenn is passionate about improving the lives of people with disability, through a range of roles across the healthcare, disability, not-for-profit, and business sectors,” Mr Chester said.

“He has a passion for supporting the ex-service community and was part of the team instrumental in bringing the Invictus Games to Australia. He became Director of the Australian Invictus Games in 2018 and is a board member of Veteran Sport Australia.

“I would like to thank Gwen and Margaret for their enthusiasm and dedication to preserving and sharing Australia’s military history, and I look forward to working with Rhondda, Glenn and the rest of the Council to continue to tell the stories of our nation’s military service and honour those who have served and continue to serve.”

More information about the Australian War Memorial and the Council can be found at www.awm.gov.au/about

Ms Rhondda Vanzella OAM was appointed the National President of Australian War Widows Incorporated in October 2020.  She has been a member of Australian War Widows NSW since 2014 and has served as its State President and Chair since 2016.

She has dedicated her career to mentoring and working with communities at a local, rural regional and national level on a range of issues and successful community projects.  Some of her projects have included walking the Kokoda track to assist with building and opening of track memorials; helping lead the re-enactment of the Kangaroo March from Wagga Wagga to Sydney in 2015 and leading a fundraiser to build low cost retirement units on RSL land in Batlow.

Rhondda is Co-founder and President of the Ozy Youth Choir Honouring Defence Service (Ozy) which brings civilians, veterans and current serving Defence families together in regional and rural areas across Australia through the arts.  Bringing music and history together, Ozy inspires and develops young leaders with a focus on commemoration, education and welfare.

Rhondda is a member of a number of boards including the National Council for Woman and Families United by Defence Service; the Ex-Service Organisations Round Table;  the Remembrance Driveway Committee and an Affiliate Member of the Bundanoon RSL sub-branch.  She also served as a committee member on the Centenary of ANZAC Advisory Council.

As both a war widow and woman united by defence service, Rhondda is passionate about finding and creating ways to bring organisations together to collaborate to better honour and support women, veterans and their families and believes that The Australian War Memorial plays a vital role in this as Australia’s national place to honour, learn and heal for all generations.

Mr Glenn Keys AO is the Founder, Executive Chairman and Director of Aspen Medical, one of the world’s leading providers of outsourced healthcare solutions.

In 2010, Mr Keys founded the Aspen Foundation, which funded the Australia wide study into Ex-Service Support Organisations (ESO) Mapping Project to assist in understanding the range and distribution of ESO’s and how they can better support veterans.  He was also a Founding Director in the organisation that led the campaign to inaugurate the Invictus Games in Australia.  He became Director of the Australian Invictus Games in 2018 and is now a board member of Veterans Sport Australia.  Mr Keys sits on a number of boards including the National Disability Insurance Agency.

Prior to building and leading businesses in the private sector, Mr Keys had a distinguished career in the Australian Defence Force spanning 15 years.  He completed Officer Training at RMC Duntroon and studied Mechanical Engineering. He also studied Aeronautical Engineering with UK MoD in the United Kingdom and was the first Army Flight Test engineer at the RAAF Aircraft Research and Development Unit.  He was Chief Engineer, Army Aircraft Logistics Management Squadron, from 1992 to 1993.