Board of Directors group shot

Board of Directors

RSL Queensland’s Board comprises three Executive positions and 10 District Presidents. The Executives are appointed for three-year terms by the delegates at the State AGM. District Presidents are elected by the members in their District.

The Board provides strategic direction for RSL Queensland to meet its mission – ensuring all members of Queensland’s Defence family receive the support they need. 

Tony Ferris State President

Tony Ferris Linked In

State President

Tony served in the Royal Australian Air Force from 1979 to 1985, after which he served for 14 years in the NSW Police Force. He joined the RSL in 2010 and was elected Sunshine Coast & Regional District President in 2014. Tony was elected State President of RSL Queensland in June 2018. He sits on the National Board for RSL Australia, and is a keen communicator and change agent. 

John Strachan State Deputy President

John Strachan OAM Linked In

State Deputy president

John served 38 years with the Army in the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery, as well as the Army Reserve and Defence Force Recruiting. John also enjoyed a successful retail career, first as a buyer then moving into national advertising and promotions roles. John joined the RSL in 1984, and has served in District and Board executive roles since 2004. He was awarded the Order of Australia in 1989.

Bill Whitburn State Vice President

Bill Whitburn OAM

State vice president

Bill is a 40-year veteran who is very passionate about his involvement with the RSL. He is actively engaged with rural and remote Sub Branches and understands the pressures placed on their committees due to governance complexities and their future survival. He has a wealth of experience which assists him in his Board role, including experience in HR, logistics, business processes, and audit and risk, and is an experienced Workplace Health and Safety manager. 

Merv Brown District President Brisbane North

Merv Brown OAM

District president 
Brisbane north

Merv had a 36-year career with the ADF, serving 24 years in the regular Army, including deployments to Papua New Guinea and South Vietnam, and then 12 years in the Army Reserve. After transitioning out of the Army, Merv worked for Brisbane City Council as an Environmental Health Officer. Merv joined RSL in 1979, working closely with Gallipoli Barracks as well as local schools through writing competitions, awards and donations. Merv was awarded the Order of Australia in 2013. 

Pat Fairon District President Gold Coast

Pat Fairon

District President
Gold Coast

Pat served in the Australian Army for two years, including a tour of duty in Vietnam, before working in a variety of technical and industrial product roles. Pat has volunteered in many community organisations, including 16 years in committee and executive roles at the RSL, and 50 years' involvement with both the Maroochydore and Burleigh Heads Surf Lifesaving Clubs. A keen sportsman, Pat’s interests include triathlons, cycling, ocean swimming; and he has finished the Gold Coast marathon four times. 

Max Foot OAM District President Western

Max Foot OAM

District president 
western 

Max served Australia for 31 years across the Civilian Military Forces, the Australian Army and the Army Reserve, finishing as a Company Sergeant Major. He has volunteered with the League for many years, earning Life Membership, a Meritorious Service Medal and the Order of Australia for his welfare and support work to the veteran community. Max also serves as treasurer for two community organisations. 

Ian Hall District President Sunshine Coast

Ian Hall

District president 
Sunshine coast

With two operational tours in Vietnam and 34 years in the Queensland Police Service, Ian has a wealth of knowledge, understanding and life experience, as well as a strong commitment to the Objects of the RSL. A team player, he applies extensive people skills to furthering and enhancing the promotion and delivery of the goals of the League.

Les Nash Moreton district president

Les Nash Linked In

District president 
Moreton

Les is an experienced Principal Consultant in the accounting industry. He is skilled in Managerial Finance, Government, Accounting, Public Policy and Corporate Governance. Les is an ex regular soldier with 25 years infantry service throughout Australia and overseas. He joined RSL in 1970, and has held many offices in both Far Northern and Moreton Districts. 

Garry Player

Garry Player Linked In

District President 
North Queensland

Garry served in the Australian Army for 24 years discharging in September 2012. On discharge, Garry ran his own small business for five years. He has completed a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, and a Certificate IV in Public Health and Safety. Garry has volunteered with the RSL for many years, first joining the Townsville Committee in 2014, and taking up office in 2018. He joined the Board of RSL Queensland in July 2019. 

Peter Sterling District President Far Northern

Peter sterling RFD

District president 
Far Northern

Peter served for 40 years in maritime logistics for the Navy, earning a Graduate Diploma in Resource Management. A licensed real estate agent, he has also studied his Diplomas of Applied Science (Town Planning) and Land Surveying. Peter joined RSL in 2010, and has volunteered as Delegate, Secretary and District President during these years. 

Wendy Taylor District President South Eastern

Wendy taylor Linked In

District president 
South eastern

Wendy holds a Bachelor of Nursing, Graduate Certificate of Health Resource Management, Certificate in Governance for Not-for-Profits, Simple procurement, and OH&S. Wendy trained as a Registered Nurse, working in a number of clinical nursing roles before joining the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps as a Nursing Officer. She served nine years in the Army Reserve and then 16 years in the regular Army, including senior nursing and Command roles in both the Gulf War and East Timor. Wendy chairs the Brisbane ANZAC Day Parade Committee, and has volunteered in many executive roles within her Sub Branch, District and RSL Queensland since 2005.

Barry Vains OAM District President Pioneer Fitzroy Highlands

Barry vains OAM Linked In

District president 
Pioneer Fitzroy highlands

Barry has more than 40 years’ industry experience in banking, mining, private school administration and financial auditing. He holds a Bachelor of Business (Management) and a post-graduate Diploma in Accounting, and is a fellow of CPA Australia. He was called up for National service in 1968 and served in the Army in Australia with 8 RAR and 4 RAR. Barry has served his community for many years, being highly active at Emu Park RSL Sub Branch and the Pioneer-Fitzroy-Highlands District, and was awarded the Order of Australia in recognition of his longstanding service to veterans and their families in 2017. Barry is also a Director of Mates4Mates.

Trevor Williamson

Trevor Williamson OAM

District President
Wide Bay & Burnett

Trevor served in the Australian Army for 20 years, including a tour of duty in Vietnam. During a career in senior management with a large Australian company, he was responsible for the implementation of Quality Assurance and Workplace Health and Safety programs and is experienced in accident and incident investigation and critical investigation analysis. With a strong belief in integrity, honesty and transparency, Trevor supports strong corporate governance within the RSL to ensure that welfare to veterans continues to be provided at the highest professional level into the future. Trevor was awarded the Order of Australia in 1982.