Wandering Warriors was founded as a charity in 2013 by Queensland-based SAS veterans conducting fundraising events for veterans causes. In late 2013, Wandering Warriors staged the 1600km Brisbane to Birdsville Megawalk, and a year later, the 1200km Brisbane to Canberra Mega Challenge. Each walk raised in excess of $100,000 which we distributed to causes such as the SAS Resources Trust, Commando Welfare Trust, White Cloud Foundation and the Navy Clearance Diver Trust.
As Wandering Warriors evolved, we refined our purpose and developed our programs. More veterans with Special Operations connections liked what they saw and joined our ranks. By 2015 we became a public company with a national reach.
Wandering Warriors is registered:
We have state and territory managers in NSW, Victoria and the ACT. We remain an organisation of volunteers.
Brett graduated from Duntroon in 1999, joining the Australian Intelligence Corps. As an intelligence officer he served in the Special Operations Command and the 1st Intelligence Battalion, deploying on numerous occasions on war-like operations. In 2007, Brett transferred to the Australian Army Legal Corps where he served with the Special Operations Command, Forces Command and finally, Headquarters 6th Brigade. In these roles, Brett deployed on numerous occasions to war-like operations in support of the Special Operations Task Group and was commended for his legal support in 2011 by Commander JTF633. Brett is a partner with McCullough Robertson Lawyers, an Australian law firm, where he leads the Defence & National Security practice. Before undertaking this role, Brett was a GM and Project Director, including being part of the leadership team that delivered a complex Oil & Gas ‘mega’ project in central Queensland. Brett is a graduate of the University of Queensland (Law), Royal Military College, Duntroon, and the Australian Institute of Directors. He is admitted as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of Queensland. Brett has a sincere passion for helping defence personnel and veterans alike. He brings a unique perspective to the role of the Wandering Warriors Chair.
Sarah Kelly is an Associate Professor in Law and Marketing and the director of External Engagement at the University of Queensland Business School and qualified lawyer. She is globally known for her research, speaking and consulting in the sports field, and is also co leading a research hub at UQ in Trust, Ethics and Governance. She teaches Sports Law and Marketing and has won awards for her teaching. Sarah is also involved in providing strategic mentorship to sports technology start-up companies. She recently completed four years in the role of MBA Director at the UQ Business School, in which she led the program to a ranking of number 1 in Australia and 10th globally. Sarah holds several non-executive directorships, including as Deputy Chair of the Brisbane Lions AFL Football Club, Tourism and Events Qld, The Gregory Terrace Foundation and the Wandering Warriors. She is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors National Education Advisory Board. She was recently appointed to the role of Queensland Chapter Leader for the Minerva Network, a national social enterprise concerned with providing mentoring to professional sportswomen and was honoured in the 2021 Queen's Birthday awards with a Medal of the Order of Australia for her contribution to Sport and Education.
Brigadier Jonathon (Jono) Beesley, DSM (Ret'd) recently transitioned from the Australian Defence Force after a 28-year career leading Special Operations organisations in complex national security environments. He has commanded at all levels within the SAS Regiment domestically and on numerous overseas operations. Jono’s last appointment within the ADF was as the Commander of the Joint Counter Improvised Threat Task Force, a joint ADF Team focussed on mitigating the threat to deployed personnel posed by new and emerging threats and technologies. Jono lives in Canberra and is married with three high school aged children. Hobbies include surfing, trail running, mountain biking and other outdoor pursuits with his family. Jono is also a passionate advocate for veteran’s support and well-being through Directorship at Wandering Warriors. Jono joined Microsoft in February 2021 as the Vertical Business Lead for Intelligence within the World-Wide Public Sector Defense and Intelligence Team.
Leann Webb brings a wealth of private sector experience to the Wandering Warriors Board. Leann founded Aurora Marketing in 2000 and is its Managing Director. Aurora Marketing provides marketing and communications support to companies in the infrastructure, construction and defence sectors with particular emphasis on helping companies to secure new contracts through tenders and bids. Leann's involvement in the Defence sector includes representing Team Defence Australia at EuroNaval in Paris 2018, participating in the Defence and Industry Study Course 2019, regular attendance at major Defence activities including Avalon, LandForces and Pacific, as well as Defence Congress, Defence + Industry Conference etc, and active participation in industry associations including Australian Industry and Defence Network, Australian Defence Association, Defence Teaming Centre, Industry Capacity Network and SME Gateway. Leann’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Business (1993), a Master of Business Administration (2000), the AICD Company Director’s Course (2015) and an Oxford University Programme on Negotiation in 2018.
Brian Davis, founder of accountants and business advisors Davis & Co, was appointed as a director and Chief Financial Officer of Wandering Warriors in February 2019. Brian holds a Bachelor of Business and is a Certified Practising Accountant. He has more than 45 years experience in finance, accounting, taxation and business consulting, in both the corporate sector and public practice.
Audie completed 25 years of ADF service in the Australian Regular Army and the RAAF, including operational tours with the SAS Regiment and the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV). He is a double-language graduate (Vietnamese and Chinese) of the RAAF School of Languages. After retiring as a Squadron Leader in 1990, Audie pursued an Australian Federal Police career as an Asian crime specialist, before moving to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where he ended his working life as a senior diplomat in China. Audie remains passionate about veterans’ causes. He co-founded Wandering Warriors in 2013 and became its first CEO. He stepped down from that position in 2015 to become the company secretary when Wandering Warriors became a public company. Audie has a Master of Arts degree in International Relations (Deakin, 1996), a Diploma in Chinese Language (HKU, 1977) and Diploma in Strategic Intelligence (US DIA College, 1986).
Quentin is an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran and former SAS squadron commander. Quentin joined Wandering Warriors in its earliest days, where his inspirational leadership style gave us momentum and helped achieve goals. Quentin was appointed CEO in 2019 at an exciting time in the evolution of WW, as we began to expand our support beyond the SAS Regiment to all SOCOMD veterans and their families. Quentin takes up this voluntary position alongside his busy day job as head of the Missio Group. He was previously the Toll Group’s Global Head of Government and Defence. Quentin has a Masters Degree in Management Studies and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his leadership in Iraq.
Mike transitioned from the military in 2009. A graduate of the ADF Academy (ADFA) and Royal Military College (RMC) Duntroon, Mike qualified as a Special Forces Officer in 1997 and Intelligence Officer in 1999. He went on to serve with 1st Commando Regiment and the Special Air Service Regiment amongst other leadership and staff roles. Mike’s operational experience includes deploying for INTERFET into East Timor in 1999/2000, being seconded to the Multi-National Corps Headquarters in Iraq as a planning officer, and multiple deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor with Special Operations Task Groups. In 2008, Mike was awarded a Queen’s Birthday honour, the Commendation for Distinguished Service, for his initiative and leadership across a number of overseas operations. Mike has more recently worked in both the private sector and with the NSW Government delivering resilience and security-based strategies and innovative capabilities. Mike joined the Wandering Warriors team in 2014 as Company Secretary and in July 2015 accepted a role as a Director. Mike is currently building strategic relationships and the profile of the Wandering Warriors in NSW.
Following his service career in the Australian Army, Dan has had a successful IT management career and graduated with a Masters of Business and Technology from AGSM @ UNSW, in 2010. He comes from a proud military family where beyond his service, his father and two brothers served within Special Forces. Dan’s commercial career spans from leading startup and multinational software companies' growth and global expansion efforts to where he is now managing the local start-up software ecosystem at Salesforce. His strong passion for supporting fellow veterans is exhibited through leading Salesforce’s Veterans program (Vetforce) across Australia and New Zealand. Dan also has been instrumental in driving fundraising efforts and the awareness of Wandering Warriors throughout the community as an Ambassador before being appointed as COO in 2019.
Will Hetherington had a 10 year career in the Australian Army that was dominated by his tenure as a Special Forces Officer. After graduating the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Will was assigned to the Royal Australian Infantry and later to the 2nd Commando Regiment. He saw multiple operational deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq as well as numerous training iterations in the Asia-Pacific region. Upon leaving the ADF, Will was awarded a Wandering Warriors scholarship to study a Master of Business Administration through the University of Queensland. Initially, Will undertook a role in a Defence and National Security consulting practice, the joined Alliance Leasing Australia as the CEO followed by now leading sales efforts at Rheinmetall Defence. Will is also a Director of Kifaru Australia which specializes in premium outdoor, mountaineering, and hunting equipment. Will is passionate about supporting the veteran community through increasing awareness, fundraising, and educational programs.
Tracey has an extensive career in professional communications. She started with Wandering Warriors from the very beginning and continues value adding to our brand. She is responsible for managing our website and digital branding. Veterans issues have always been close to Tracey’s heart, with serving members on both sides of her family dating back to the world wars. Her grandfather, Norman Jones, was a POW in Crete. He survived along with his brother Stanley and returned to Australia. Tracey owns and runs Misfit Branding. She is passionate about protecting and growing the Wandering Warriors brand.
Wayne Bennett AM is an Australian professional rugby league coach and former player. He is the current head coach of the South Sydney Rabbitohs of the National Rugby League (NRL). He has also been head coach of Australia, England, Queensland, Newcastle Knights, St.George Illawarra Dragons, Brisbane Broncos, Canberra Raiders, and was an assistant coach of New Zealand . Widely regarded as one of the sport’s greatest ever coaches, he holds Australian coaching records for most grand final wins and most seasons with a single club (24 with the Broncos).
Harry served as an SAS Team Commander before retiring in 2019 from the ADF after nearly 30 years, during which he designed, planned and executed hundreds of combat missions. Finishing as SAS Director of High Performance he established the unique Wanderers Education Program, a key partner of Wandering Warriors. Harry is now a practicing psychologist and founder and CEO of the corporate performance consultancy Stotan Group. He is Oceania Director of the U.S. Mission Critical Teams Institute and holds advisory positions on the boards of The Younger Heroes and the Returned and Services League, Victoria. Harry’s debut book Eleven Bats was released in late 2019 and is a wonderful read. Harry is the singer-songwriter for original (Spec Ops) rock-band, The Externals.
Tracy has had a successful 30-year plus career in the Australian Army that includes operational experience through various deployments to East Timor, Afghanistan, and Iraq in SASR and the wider Army. In 2012 he moved into the Oil and Gas industry both in Australia and overseas. Tracy returned to the Army in 2017 to assist soldiers with their transition from the ADF. He also runs a part-time Veteran Handyman Business. Tracy has been involved in supporting Wandering Warriors since 2016. He brings to the team strong motivation supporting veterans post service in having three sons serve and deploy within Army.
Luke Statton is a multiple tour Special Operations veteran who has a personal interest in organising social events for serving and ex-serving members from the Special Operations community. Having served in the 2nd Commando Regiment for 9 years during his 14-year military career, Luke was deployed to conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor. He discharged from the ADF in 2017 and moved abroad to work in the UAE as an advisor. Luke is credited with starting what is now called the Warrior Memorial Cup and along with other members from the Wandering Warrior’s team has helped develop the event to the success it is today. As the Team East captain, Luke provides leadership and support to his fellow team members and through his overall efforts in working with the charity was invited to join the Wandering Warrior Ambassador Program.
Adrian is a former Warrant Officer in the Australian Army with over 20 years’ service in the Special Air Service Regiment. With various deployments to East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq. He transitioned out of the Army in 2019 to join FTP Solutions, a veteran-inspired Operational Technology company. Specialising in the mining and resources sector, as the Human Resources Manager. To further complement his transition, Adrian has commenced an education program focusing on Industry Certifications to enhance his managerial skill sets. Adrian is a passionate advocate of supporting former defence personnel to find their true potential and is actively involved in the veteran community in WA. He is an active member of multiple sporting and social clubs and currently sits on the board of Lakelands Senior High School, WA.
Blair had a high tempo ten-year plus career in the Australian Army, including various deployments to East Timor and Afghanistan with SASR. In 2016, leveraging off his military career, he started a successful veteran-owned business: Omega Dev Group. Providing military and law enforcement agencies specialized equipment and capability. He also consults and offers tactical instruction to the ADF and other Government agencies. Blair is an active and passionate veteran on the Northern Beaches. He is involved in awareness programs with the RSL and through initiatives associated with Veteran Health Week. He has been a strong supporter of Wandering Warriors over the years and is a regular participant for Team West in the Annual Memorial Warrior Cup Charity Cricket game.
Rod Smallwood has served for more than 45 yrs in the ADF and continues to serve in the reserve as a joint warfare instructor. His defence service has included two Commands, two overseas postings and many deployments overseas, including the Middle East. He transitioned to the RAAF Reserve in 2012. Rod has been a member of WW almost since its inception, participating or supporting WW activities and events including the fundraiser walk from Brisbane to Canberra in 2014, supporting charity events including the East vs West Cricket Match on Australia Day and supporting retiring or discharging members of the ADF to transition to civilian life. As a RAAF Officer he also brings different skills and experiences to WW, broadening WW knowledge base and expanding the potential support available to those in need. Rod is undertaking advocacy training that will allow him to provide support to those veterans who are transitioning and need assistance with DVA claims and other support services
A veteran of East Timor and four tours of Afghanistan with the Special Operations Task Group, elite-level and award-winning agent Clint Hynes has been a force in building our partnership with Ray White QLD. Clint’s work ethic and tireless efforts have lifted the profile of WW. His leadership by example has enhanced the reputation of contemporary veterans transitioning into post-service careers. We welcome his ongoing input as a WW ambassador.