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Widows’ News: PM’s Veteran Employee of the Year to address event honouring women

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Portrait of Rachel Ranton standing outside and smiling, not in uniform but wearing a Westpac badge.Wing Commander (Ret’d) and Australian War Memorial Council member Sharon Bown; War Widows’ Guild of Australia President Meg Green; Australian War Memorial Director Dr Brendan Nelson; War Widows’ Guild of Australia NSW representative Di Green; and War Widows’ Guild of Australia NSW President Rhondda Vanzella standing together.

Top, Westpac’s Rachel Ranton. Above, at a committee meeting for Honouring Women United by Defence Service are (left to right): Wing Commander (Ret’d) and Australian War Memorial Council member Sharon Bown; War Widows’ Guild of Australia President Meg Green; Australian War Memorial Director Dr Brendan Nelson AO; War Widows’ Guild of Australia NSW representative Di Green; and War Widows’ Guild of Australia NSW President Rhondda Vanzella OAM.

The winner of the Prime Minister’s Veteran Employee of the Year Award 2018, Rachel Ranton, will give the keynote address at an event this September that will honour the service and sacrifice of women and families in the defence of our nation.

Ms Ranton, who is currently an Inclusion and Diversity Consultant for Westpac Group, served 11 years in the Australian Regular Army as a Signaller and Section Commander before leaving the Australian Defence Force (ADF). This service included deployments

Honouring Women - United By Defence Service

The Last Post Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial on Tuesday 11 September 2018 at 4.45pm is open to all who wish to honour women united by service. Tickets for the Honouring Women United by Defence Service dinner, 6.30pm Hotel Realm Canberra, can be purchased online at the Eventbrite website or by calling the War Widows’ Guild of Australia NSW on 1800 451 615. A Facebook page has been created to share news about the new collaboration and provide useful information for women who have been affected by their own or a family member’s service. Women who have been affected by the loss of a loved one are invited to join the Facebook page and call the Guild on 1800 451 615.

in East Timor and outside the wire in Afghanistan. After transitioning out of the Army, she joined St George Bank as a Branch Manager in Southern Queensland, quickly turning it into the highest performing branch in the region.

Ms Ranton has gone on to excel within the Westpac Group and cites her military attributes of leadership, decisiveness and ability to learn as key factors in her success in the corporate world.

Ms Ranton said she was proud to be involved with the Honouring Women United by Defence Service collaboration, which is supported by organisations including the War Widows’ Guild of Australia NSW, Women Veterans Network Australia, RSL NSW, Legacy, the ADF and DVA.

The event will bring together for the first time widows of ADF members, current and ex-serving women, and mothers and families whose lives have been affected by the service of a loved one. To be held on Tuesday 11 September 2018, it will consist of a Last Post ceremony at the Australian War Memorial followed by a dinner at Hotel Realm, Canberra.

Both the ceremony and dinner will highlight the increasing involvement of women in the ADF and the consistent support and unique capability provided by Australian women and families in the defence of Australia. The events will also acknowledge and commemorate the significant sacrifice made by Australian women and families and bring them together to ensure their continued influence and advocacy into the future.

Master of Ceremonies for the dinner will be Brigadier Susan Coyle CSC DSM, Commander 6th Brigade. Brigadier Coyle has served in Afghanistan, the Solomon Islands and East Timor and was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross as Commanding Officer of 17th Signal Regiment and a Distinguished Service Medal as Commander Task Group Afghanistan.

Brigadier Susan Coyle CSC, DSM

Brigadier Susan Coyle CSC, DSM

The Honouring Women United by Defence Service initiative has the strong support of the Defence community, with the appointment of several champions of change to support the long-term collaboration between all organisations united by defence service.

The champions of change are: DVA Secretary Liz Cosson AM CSC; Australian War Memorial director Brendan Nelson AO; Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead, Commander Australian Fleet, Royal Australian Navy; Major-General Gus McLachlan AM, Commander Forces Command, Australian Army; Air Vice-Marshal Steve Roberton DSC AM, Air Commander Australia, Royal Australian Air Force; and Rear Admiral Bruce Kafer AM CSC, Australian Head Reserve and Youth Division/Commander ADF Cadets, Royal Australian Navy.

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