Autumn 2018

Australia Day Honours for Vincentians

On 26 January, numerous volunteers and members of the St Vincent de Paul Society were recognised across Australia for tirelessly providing a hand-up to people in need. They included the following:

South Australia

Brian Spencer
Brian Spencer’s efforts were recognised in the Australia Day 2018 Honours List.

Brian Spencer (AM), for significant service to the community through the St Vincent de Paul Society in South Australia, and to business. Brian was elected to the Society’s National Council in 2013 and remains chair of the National Marketing Committee. He was Vice President of the Society in South Australia from 2009 to 2013 and State President from 2013 to 2017. Brian first became a conference member in the early 1970s and volunteered at a homeless men’s shelter in Whitmore Square. He has been a volunteer and parishioner at St Martin de Porres Catholic Parish in Hallett Cove since 1973. Brian became re-acquainted with the Society when he volunteered for Fred’s Van, a mobile food service for homeless people, from 1993 to 2003. In 2003 Brian began carrying out home visitations in Hallett Cove. He went on to become President of the Hallett Cove Conference in 2004, Regional President for Fleurieu from 2007 to 2013, and has been a State Councillor since 2007. Outside of the Society, Brian has held the following positions:

  • Past mentor, Port Adelaide AFL Football Club
  • Proprietor of Spencer Consulting since 2002
  • Employee of Electricity Trust of South Australia (1972–2002), holding the position of General Manager, Business Services, from 1998 to 2002
  • Fellow, Australian Institute of Company Directors, current.

New South Wales 

Kevin Coorey (OAM), for service to the community through a range of roles. Kevin, of Telopea, has been a member of the Society and of St Oliver Plunkett Parish in Harris Park since 1951. He has served in the St John Ambulance service since 1964 and was recognised as an Officer Brother in 1999. He was also a recipient of the Diocesan Medal in 2014.

Jennifer Ellis (OAM), for service to community health as a midwife. Jennifer, of Gerogery, has volunteered for the Society’s Humanitarian Settlement Services for Refugees since 2015. She has been a Senior Registered Midwife at Wodonga Hospital and Albury Wodonga Health since 1998. She was Team Leader on the Labour Ward for many years.

Leslie Dell
Leslie Dell

Leslie Dell (OAM), for service to business, to education and to the community. Leslie was a Member of the Mary Immaculate Waverley Conference from 1986 to 1988 and a member of the Mater Dei Blakehurst Conference from 1996 to 2006. He is a member of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish Wyoming and has been a Pastoral Council Member since 2015. Leslie chaired the College Council of St Clare’s College Waverley from 1968 to 1988 and remained a member of the College Council until 2007. He was President of the Parents and Friends Association from 1972 to 1980 and again from 1983 to 1987.  He has been an Order of St Clare Associate Member since 1988. Outside of the Society and education system, Leslie has held the following positions:

  • Direct Selling Association of Australia: Consultant, 2009–2011; Executive Director, 2003–2009; Honorary Chairman, Government and Public Relations Committee, 1975–1994; Inductee, Hall of Fame, 1988; Life Member, 1995
  • Director of Finance, Nutrimetics International, 1968–1988
  • Association of Independent Schools of New South Wales: Director, 1998–2017 and 1977–1978; Honorary Treasurer, 2004–2017; Chairman, Finance Committee, 2004–2017; Director, Block Grant Authority, 2002–2017; member, Schools Grant Committee, 2002–2014; member, Schools Grants Review Committee, 2014–2017; Liaison Officer, 2008–2011
  • Volunteer, Coast Shelter Gosford, since 2015.

Pamela Richardson (AM), for service to veterans and their families and to the community of Mascot. Pamela has been a member of the Society since 1987. She has been President of the Mascot Conference since 2013 and was President of the South Sydney Regional Council from 1998 to 2005. She is a parishioner and catechist at St Therese Catholic Parish, Mascot and a volunteer of Meals on Wheels since 2008. Outside of the Society, Pamela has held the following positions:

  • Women’s Royal Australian Army Corps: Vice-President since 2008; President, 2000–2008; Life Member, since 2014
  • Mascot Sub-Branch, Returned and Services League of Australia: Honorary Secretary since 2008; trustee since 2008; member since 1999
  • Inaugural Member, NSW RSL Corps of Guards, since 2011
  • Standard Bearer, Australian Reserve Forces Day Council, since 2005
  • Member, Critical Incident Support Team, Randwick State Emergency Service.

Colleen Godsell (AM), for significant service to youth through Scouting, and through roles with education, historical preservation, Indigenous tourism and social welfare groups. Colleen has been a volunteer at Matthew Talbot Hostel since 2011. She is current chair of the 1st Mosman 1908 Scout Group and has been a volunteer since 1990. Colleen has held the following positions:

  • Sydney Church of England Coeducational Grammar School (SCECGS) Redlands: Board Director since 2006; Chair, Public Relations Committee; member, Masterplan Committee; current board representative, Parents and Friends Association
  • Member, Community Advisory Committee, Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, since 2016
  • Member, Business Advisory Committee, The Tribal Warrior Association, Heritage Tours of Sydney Harbour (Indigenous owned and operated tourism venture), current
  • Participant, Macquarie University Neurology Department Kokoda Challenge, 2016
  • Benefactor, Naduri Village School, Papua New Guinea, 2016
  • Past President and Past Corporate Sponsorships Director, Specific Learning Difficulties Association of NSW (SPELD NSW)
  • President, NSW Police Safety House Program, 1995–2007
  • Justice of the Peace, current
  • Director, Waycol Enterprises (Frontline Print), since 1984
  • Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Member, Australian Business Chamber.


Michael (Mike) Gilmour was recognised with an Australia Day Achievement Award as part of the 2018 Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Australia Day Awards. Mike has been a member of the Society for the past 14 years and previously served as president of the Sacred Heart Red Hill Conference for four years and is currently president of the Rosalie Regional Council. Sacred Heart Red Hill Conference, the oldest conference in Queensland, was on the brink of closure, with only a handful of members; Mike guided it into an amalgamation with the Rosalie Conference, which reinvigorated membership to more than 25 volunteers. In his service to the Society, Mike has been described as a tenacious advocate for social welfare for families in the inner north-western suburbs. He has also brought his leadership and financial knowledge to improve delivery of services and recruitment of volunteers and has served as a member of the Society’s finance committee since 2014. Outside of the Society, Mike has been a board member and director of Open Minds Australia, an independent not-for-profit organisation that works with people to enhance their mental health and wellbeing.

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