What makes the Australian War Widows NSW (AWWNSW) team so special?
It’s our passion.
Every member of our team and board is passionate about ensuring our members’ voices are heard and that they feel supported, safe and empowered to live their best lives.
Margaret Beazley AC KC Governor of NSW
Renee joined AWWNSW in 2020 to lead its development into an organisation that supports all women and veteran families. Renee has made a significant impact since joining and has been pivotal in setting our future direction.
Renee is the spouse of an Afghanistan veteran who was severely wounded during operations in 2010 and has been a passionate advocate for veterans and their families ever since.
She has led several significant projects and legal matters which have focused on delivering positive and strategic change within government organisations, for companies such as NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office and the Department of Veterans ‘Affairs.
Renee has served on the Boards of the Australian International Military Games (Sydney Invictus Games), the Advisory Council for the National Centre of Veteran’s Health at Concord Hospital and the Veteran Community Business Chamber. Renee also sits on the ACT Government’s Ministerial Advisory Council for Veterans and Families the Federal Government’s Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service.
Renee holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of International Business from Griffith University. She also holds a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from ANU and a Graduate Certificate in Business (Public Sector Management) from QUT.
Contact Renee at email@example.com or (02) 9267 6577.
Queen is the member nominated State President at AWWNSW and also sits on the board of directors.
Commencing her role in 2022, Queen is a war widow herself. Her husband Adam enlisted in the army in 1996, reaching the rank of Major in the Artillery Corps before transferring to Intelligence and medically discharging in 2015 due to his PTSD. He saw active duty in the Solomon Islands in 2003, in Iraq in 2006 and in Afghanistan in 2011. Adam passed away in 2017.
Queen is a mother to two teenage children, Joshua (19) and Sarah (15), a high school English teacher and a has over 20 years’ experience as a flight attendant. She come from an extensive line of strong women. Queen has found her home at AWWNSW, inspired that all women are empowered to live their best lives, no matter their circumstances.
Contact Queen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AWWNSW Patron is currently Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley, AC KC Governor of New South Wales.
Stuart Clarke AM FACID
Jennifer Collins AM
Tricia Hobson became Chair of the AWWNSW Board in 2022.
She is a partner at law firm DLA Piper, working within the insurance sector for over 25 years. She is a globally recognised industry leader with extensive experience in claims, complex multi-party litigation, cross border disputes, investigations and is ESG leader for the firm for the insurance sector.
Tricia has been noted in the Asia Pacific Legal500 Hall of Fame for insurance and is described as “a generational leader without peer for London market knowledge”. She is also a Band 1 ranked practitioner in Global Chambers.
In addition to her legal practice Tricia dedicates time giving back to the legal profession through mentoring and coaching, and to the community through NED roles for NFP organisations.
Stuart Clark is the Deputy Chair of AWWNSW, Chair of the Finance Risk and Audit Committee and a member of the Investment Advisory Committee.
He is a former partner of Clayton Utz and President of the Law Council of Australia. Stuart has served as both Director and Chair of several not-for-profit Boards and is currently Chair of VRA Rescue NSW Limited.
Stuart is also involved in a range of other activities in the community, including serving as a captain in the NSW Rural Fire Service and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Macquarie University Law School. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
His late mother, Helen Clark, was a member of the War Widow’s Guild and his grandmother a First World War widow.
Former Chair of the Board and member of AWWNSW, Jennifer Collins AM was previously Deputy Commissioner at the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission and the Department of Veterans Affairs for NSW/ACT.
Jennifer has extensive experience in executive leadership roles at State and Federal Governments, with postgraduate qualifications in Health, Management and Counselling, and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has over 40 years’ experience at a State and Federal level of governments in policy, program development and service delivery. She has led major reform in service delivery for widows and their families from the Middle East area of operation along with the development and implementation of a client support program focused on seriously ill and injured veterans.
Jennifer has been actively involved in the veteran and family community since 2004. She is also the Chair of the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway Ltd.
MAJGEN Susan Coyle AM CSC DSM
MAJGEN Coyle is a career senior officer in the Australian Army and member of AWWNSW.
MAJGEN Coyle initially joined as an Army Reservist in 1987 before attending the Australian Defence Force Academy in 1989. She graduated from the Royal Military College Duntroon into the Royal Australian Corps of Signals in 1992. She has commanded at every rank, including Task Group Afghanistan, 6th Brigade and Joint Task Force 633. She has deployed on operations to the Middle East, East Timor, Solomon Islands and Afghanistan. MAJGEN Coyle is currently Commander Forces Command, responsible for leading over 70% of the Australian Army. Her passion remains to care for Veterans and equally their families.
Bree is an experienced educator, mental health clinician, youth mentor, artist, lived experience advisor, paediatric palliative disability and aged carer, community volunteer, mother and widow of the Afghanistan War.
Bree has exemplified leadership and dedication to her community, whom she refers to as her ‘broader veteran family’, devoting her life to serving and supporting the veteran community since her husband Brett (JT) Till made the ultimate sacrifice. “He died so others may not have to”, a commitment that Bree carries in devoted memory of JT.
Bree is passionate about contemporary and intergenerational widows and widowers, women and veterans’ families, creating space for underrepresented and less prevalent voices to be heard, and championing better outcomes for everyone.
For over a decade, Bree has advocated for adaptations to policy and procedures for ADF, DVA and ex-service organisations to meet the needs of contemporary veteran families and people with complex needs. She works collaboratively, creatively and ethically, with grit, hope and humility, grounding her passion, experiences and wisdom to develop proactive measures that positively influence all whom she serves.
Bree is a long-standing AWWNSW member and was recently elected to the AWWNSW Board of Directors.
Mrs Sullivan is a War Widow who holds an academic qualification in Science. Over her 40 year career, Mrs Sullivan was a Scientific Officer in the field of pathology specialising in Diagnostic Cytology-the examination of non-surgical biological specimens for cancerous and pre cancerous changes. Concurrent duties involved teaching and mentoring students plus coordinating quality assurance programs.
Mrs Sullivan’s husband Patrick served with the Australian Army in the Royal Australian Engineers for 25 years seeing active service in Borneo and Vietnam. Following his discharge he achieved an Honors Degree in Anthropology then commence a PhD focusing on the impact of relocation and associated life changes among villagers in Indonesia. Her participation in his field studies and research enhanced Mrs Sullivan’s understanding of similar experiences among military families. Unfortunately political unrest in Indonesia and ill health prevented the completion of his studies.
Whilst raising their family Mrs Sullivan volunteered for activities within their school community, sporting clubs and Scout Groups. These roles also extended to serving in various committee positions.
Following her husband’s passing in 2014, Mrs Sullivan became a member of Australian War Widows NSW. As a member Mrs Sullivan has participated in focus groups, social events and currently assists with meeting organisation within the Younger Members Social Club. As a member of the North Ryde RSL War Widows Social Club she assists with meetings and outings for its predominantly senior WW2 widows and visits the meeting of two other War Widows Social Clubs.
Through joining Australian War Widows NSW Mrs Sullivan has become aware that she is not alone in her experience of life in Defence Force families and has found her community.