RSL NSW Board of Directors

The strategy, performance, corporate governance and risk appetite of RSL NSW are the responsibility, and are managed under the direction of, the Board of Directors of RSL NSW. The Board comprises a maximum of ten non-executive Directors of which at least one but not more than two must be Independent Directors appointed by the Board (Independent Directors) and the remainder of which are to be elected by Service Members in accordance with the RSL NSW Constitution (Elected Directors).

Meet the Board

Ray James OAM President

Relevant Qualifications

Term of Office
Date first elected/appointed: May 2014
Date last re-elected: May 2017
Date elected as Acting President: May 2019
Date elected as President 7 December 2020

Associated Entities
RSL National (Director)
RSL Custodian Pty Ltd (Chair)
ANZAC House Trust
Anzac Memorial Trust
Australian Forces and Overseas Fund
RSL LifeCare (JWG)

A Vietnam veteran, Ray James served over 20 years in the Royal Australian Navy, with another 26 years in the Royal Australian Navy Reserve.

He also served with the Transport Investigation Branch and NSW Police Force. Ray has held senior positions at sub-Branch and District Council levels and is currently a member of Ingleburn RSL sub-Branch. He is also chair of RSL Custodian Pty Ltd and Vice President of the NSW Branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia (VVAA).

Sophie Ray Chair of the Board

Relevant Qualifications

FAICD, BA (Hons), LLB (Hons), GDLS


Term of Office

  • Date first elected/appointed: 11 June 2019
  • Date last re-elected: 11 June 2022
  • Date current term ends: 11 June 2025


Associated Entities

  • RSL LifeCare (JWG)


Sophie Ray has been the Chair of the RSL NSW Board since 2021. She is a Non-Executive Director, business owner and former lawyer.

Sophie is currently Chair of Peak Care Equipment, and ROCC for Women. Previously she was Chair of NAWO (National Association of Women in Operations) and a Non-Executive Director of GO2 People (ASX: GO2), Settlement Services International and Big Fat Smile Group. She spent 14 years as a corporate lawyer at PwC in Sydney and London, and is also a Director in her family's business, Silos Estate Winery, on the NSW South Coast.

John Hutcheson AM ADC Deputy Chair

Relevant Qualifications

GAICD, MA (IR), BA (English)


Term of Office

  • Date first elected/appointed: April 2019
  • Date re-elected: 7 December 2020


Associated Entities

  • RSL LifeCare (JWG)
  • RSL Custodian Pty Limited


John Hutcheson is Managing Director of Caledonian Solutions providing advice to organisations on the development and implementation of strategic plans, enterprise risk management solutions, training needs analysis, corporate governance controls and compliance, and mentoring senior managers. He was previously CEO of Legacy Club Services from 2015-2021.

John served for 32 years in the Australian Army, including as command of an infantry battalion and on two operational joint task forces. John is a service member of North Bondi RSL sub-Branch.

Phillip Bridie AM

Relevant Qualifications

GAICD, BSc (Mil)


Term of Office

  • Date first elected/appointed: April 2019
  • Date re-elected: 7 December 2020


Brigadier Phillip Bridie AM graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1981. He possesses well-developed leadership and commercial management skills through extensive civil and armed forces experience.

He deployed to Afghanistan in 2014 and his brigade force generated Timor Leste Task Group 3. Phillip is a service member of Castle Hill and District RSL sub-Branch.

Phillip Chin

Relevant Qualifications



Term of Office

Date first elected/appointed: September 2017
Date re-elected: 7 December 2020


Associated Entities

ANZAC House Trust
Australian Forces and Overseas Fund (President)


Phillip Chin is a member of the Combined Services RSL sub-Branch. He joined the League as a member of the Taxation sub-Branch in 2013 and served on its executive committee until it was wound up 2018.

He was elected to be the RSL NSW State Treasurer in 2017 and has worked with the Board to implement the RSL NSW Strategic Plan 2021-2026.

Phillip is a manager at Austrade responsible for administering the Export Market Development Grants Program and Overseas Tax-Exempt Project approvals. He has over 15 years of experience in the Australian Public Service working in various roles related to audit and compliance, policy implementation, risk management, process improvement, and information technology systems development.

Phillip has been a member of the Australian Army Reserve since 2007 and is currently posted to Headquarters Forces Command providing advice and assurance on the formation’s Non-Public Money Accounts. Prior to this, he was the NSW Detachment Commander for the Army Compliance and Assurance Unit, Finance Officer at Headquarters 8th Brigade, and provided contract management support to Operation COVID-19 Assist and Operation Bushfire Assist 2020.


Steve Graham

Relevant Qualifications


BA (Mil)

Lead Auditor

Gateway Review qualified


Term of Office

Date elected 7 December 2020

Steve Graham graduated from the Royal Military College at Duntroon in 1979. He served in the Australian Army for 26 years and an additional 14 years in the Army Reserve.

Steve’s operational career included deployments to Bougainville, Solomon Islands, PNG, and East Timor. He has also worked in expatriate aviation management positions in Vietnam, Singapore, and Scotland.

Steve is the Managing Director of an aviation business that provides operations management, procurement, infrastructure and compliance consultancy services to government and government agencies throughout Australia.

His professional experience includes emergency services management, risk management, change management, safety management systems and regulatory compliance.

Steve is a service member of the Coogee Clovelly Randwick sub-Branch.

Jason Hazell

Relevant qualifications

Jason holds a Master of Finance from the University of New South Wales, a Bachelor of Science from the University of Sydney, a Diploma of Financial Services from the Financial Planning Association and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).


Term of office

Date elected/appointed: August 2021
Date current term ends: 2023 AGM

Jason is a member of RSL NSW at the Mosman sub-Branch. He served with the Australian Ready Reserve from 1995 to 1998 as an infantry soldier, with postings to the 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment and 2/17 Royal New South Wales Regiment.

Jason has over two decades of experience in the superannuation and investment management industry.  He is currently General Manager of Investments at State Super and was previously the Chief Investment Officer of the Crescent Wealth Super fund.  Prior to this he held senior investment and leadership roles within the MLC Asset Management business over a tenure of 18 years.

Dr James Hungerford

Jim Hungerford served in the Australian Army Reserve for nine years. He is the CEO of The Shepherd Centre, a world-leading provider of therapy and supports for children and teenagers with hearing loss, enabling them to develop outstanding spoken language and other communication skills. He is also Board Chair of First Voice, the peak body for leading charities supporting children with hearing loss and is a Director on the Board of Fundraising Institute Australia.  

Prior to moving to the for-purpose sector, Jim was a senior executive in the international veterinary pharmaceutical industry. He brings an extensive range of skills to the Board including, but not limited to, the following: 

  • Advocating and contributing to policy dialogue with government at the state and federal levels 
  • Strategic fundraising and with philanthropic and government grants and fundraising processes 
  • Governance across health, education, for-purpose, and government sectors. 
David McCann

Relevant Qualifications


Associate Diploma in Public Sector Management


Term of Office

Date elected 7 December 2020

As an Ex-RAAF Loadmaster, David McCann was recognised with the OAM (Mil) in 1990 after flying Iroquois and Squirrel helicopters and eventually took on instructional and development roles after returning from deployment with the Multi-National Force & Observers in the Sinai.

As a member of No. 5 Squadron, David was active in the development and implementation of the first Rotary Wing NVG and CT Tactics in the RAAF. He was commissioned in 1989 and left the Royal Australian Air Force in 1994. He joined the NSW Police Force and was seconded to the Australian Federal Police for a tour of East Timor in 2003, when he was recognised with a Commendation for Brave Conduct and AFP Bravery Medal.

David has also been awarded the Royal Life Saving Society Australia Bravery Cross and the National Police Service Medal.

David was elected as a Councillor of the Coolamon Shire Council in 2008 and represents the Council as the Deputy Chairman of Goldenfileds Water County Council. He is a member of the Council’s Audit and Risk Committee, Local Emergency Management, and the General Manager Review Committee.

David is an operational member of the Rural Fire Service, Secretary of the Coolamon Lions Club, and the Local History Group and was awarded an OAM in 2019 for services to veterans and the wider community of Coolamon.

David has been a member of RSL NSW since 1987 and a member of the Coolamon sub-Branch for 20 years.

Louise Sullivan

Relevant qualifications

GradDipARMCG, GDipMilLaw, GradDipACG, LL.M (Applied Law) majoring in In-house Practice, LL.M (Legal Practice), LL.B (Hons)

Louise is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia (FGIA), the Chartered Governance Institute (FCG) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD), and holds an unrestricted practicing certificate with the Law Society of New South Wales.

She is also a member of Chief Executive Women (CEW).


Term of office

Date elected/appointed: August 2021
Date current term ends: 2023 AGM

Louise is a member of RSL NSW and graduate of The Royal Military College, Duntroon (GSO Reserve – 2006) and served for 13 years in both the Royal Australian Corps of Military Police and Australian Army Legal Corps obtaining the rank of Captain.

Louise has over 22 years of experience as a business adviser, leader, Board Chair and Director with broad management skills leading diverse teams in professional (legal), heavy industry, sporting and military environments. A qualified lawyer, risk and governance professional, Louise currently works as an Executive Director (Chief Operating Officer) of a leading independent construction materials business.

Since 2015 Louise has been a Director, and for the past 5 years the President (and Chairperson) of Netball NSW, one of Australia’s largest state sporting bodies supporting the highest participation team sport for women and girls in both NSW and across the country. Through that voluntary position Louise also served as Chair of the NSW Swifts and GIANTS Netball Clubs playing in the largest professional women’s sports league in Australia.

Louise is also an elected Councillor of Sutherland Shire Council and a Director of The Pavilon: Performing Arts Centre Sutherland Limited.

Board Charter

The Board Charter sets out the role, structure and responsibilities of the Board. It also describes how the Board operates. Read the Board Charter.

The Board delegates certain responsibilities to committees, each governed by its own charter. You can find out more about the following committees below.

  • Audit & Risk Committee
  • Congress Agenda Committee
  • Nominations & Performance Committee
  • Selections Committee
  • Veteran Services & Policy Committee
  • Young Veterans Committee

To contact any of the committees, please email or telephone the Support Unit at or 1300 679 775 and mark for attention of the relevant committee.

Audit & Risk Committee (ARC)

The ARC assists the Board with:

  • internal auditing, external reporting, and audits of RSL NSW financial statements;
  • risk management, insurance, and WHS obligations;
  • investment management and performance; and
  • the conduct of any legal proceedings.

Read the Audit and Risk Committee charter.


  • Phillip Bridie (Chair)
  • Ray James
  • Jason Hazel
  • Steve Graham
  • Anna-Leena Risku (Independent Member)
  • Robert Oldfield (Independent Member)


Congress Agenda Committee (CAC)

The CAC assists the Board in considering agenda items, including motions from the Board, the District Presidents’ Council, District Councils and sub-Branches, for consideration at each year’s AGM.

Read the Congress Agenda Committee charter.


  • Ray James (Chair)
  • Sophie Ray
  • Louise Sullivan
  • Philip Bridie
  • Alan Barnes (DPC Representative)
Nominations Remuneration & Performance Committee (NPC)

The NPC assists the Board in:

  • assessing nominees for appointment as Independent Directors or to fill casual vacancies;
  • managing board development and training;
  • overseeing succession planning for the role of the CEO and senior executives; and
  • determining the remuneration and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of both the CEO and direct reports to the CEO.

Read the Nominations, Remuneration and Performance Committee Charter.


  • John Hutcheson (Chair)
  • Steve Graham
  • Sophie Ray
  • Phillip Chin
Selections Committee

The Selections Committee assists the Board in considering nominations for the following awards:

  • Meritorious Service Medal for Life Members;
  • Life membership for Service and Auxiliary Members;
  • Certificate of Merit and Gold Badge for non-Service Members; and
  • ANZAC of the Year.

Read the Selections Committee charter.


  • Ray James (Chair)
  • Alan Barnes (District Council President)
  • David Edmond (District Council President)
  • Sandra Lambkin (Independent Member)
  • David McCann
Veteran Services & Policy Committee (VSPC)

The Veteran Services & Policy Committee assists the Board in monitoring and making recommendations about services for veterans and their families and to develop and review public policy positions and proposals.

The committee also reviews and monitors resolutions arising from Congress, to ensure they are actioned.

Read the Veteran Services and Policy Committee charter.


  • David McCann (Chair)
  • Ray James
  • John Hutcheson
  • Louise Sullivan
  • Bronte Pollard (External Member)
  • David Anderson (External Member)
  • Jonathan Tuckfield (External Member)
  • Luke Rix
Young Veterans Committee (YVC)

The Young Veterans Committee was formed in late 2021 to directly advise the RSL NSW Board about matters impacting young veterans.

The group represents a cross-section of RSL NSW sub-Branches and Defence experience and works with fellow veterans and RSL NSW leadership to advance the priorities of younger veterans.

Read the Young Veterans Committee charter.


  • Bronte Pollard (Chair)
  • Amanda Curby (Secretary)
  • John Hopwood
  • Kane Hall
  • Russell Maddalena
  • Sarah Watson
  • Steve Rana

Learn more about the current members. 

Fundraising Committee

The Fundraising Committee was formed in 2023 to advise the RSL NSW Board about alternative income streams to assist with the operational expenditure for ANZAC House and to further raise funds for Veteran services.

Read the Fundraising Committee Charter.


  • John Hutcheson (Chair)
  • Phillip Bridie