Patrons and Ambassadors
AM, CIT WA
Mrs Ruth Reid is the wife of former Governor, Professor Gordon Reid who was Governor of Western Australia from 1984 to 1989. Mrs Reid enjoys working in a voluntary capacity with a wide range of community organisations in Western Australia and became State Patron of SVP in 1997. She has been acknowledged for her work in the community with the following awards:
- Lifetime Contribution to Volunteering Award (2013)
- The Rotary Paul Harris Award
- Order of Australia (A.M.)
- U.W.A. Hon. Doc of Letters
- Citizen of the Year (2000) (Community Service)
Ruth states that “I am honoured to be involved with EdConnect Australia as Patron in WA and will continue to watch its growth as it encourages more community members to help children develop to their full potential.”
VALE MAJOR GENERAL THE HONOURABLE MICHAEL JEFFERY (1937 – 2020)
AC AO(MIL) CVO MC (RTD)
The Board and Team at EdConnect wish to acknowledge the significant contributions to our country of our national Patron, and offer heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.
An enthusiastic advocate and supporter of EdConnect for many years, Michael held a strong passion for the program and his energy will very much be missed.
Governor of Western Australia (1993 – 2000) and then Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia (2003 – 2008), Michael boasts a long list of significant achievements including:
- Honorary Doctorate of Technology (Curtin University)
- Chairmanship of Future Directions International, Outcomes Australia, Soils for Life, and the (Australian) Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust
- Patronages of a number of not-for-profit organisations, including EdConnect Australia
- Companion of the Order of Logohu (PNG)
- Military Cross
- South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry
- Knight of St John
- Paul Harris Fellow
- Honorary RSL Life Member
OAM Cit WA FECU
“I’m honoured to support EdConnect because of its ability to harness the power of intergenerational connection. They give the undivided attention of a caring adult, and they do so consistently over time. I know from Nightline for many on the margins life is very transient, and contact is predominantly with people paid to fulfil a role. Being volunteers, each time they turn up they give a student struggling to realise their potential the unspoken but clear message; “You are worth my time – you matter”.
Graham was a presenter of 6PR’s Nightline Program for the 30+ years. He left 6PR in 2014 and has recently released a podcast aimed to shine the light on the aging journey called Demystifying Aged Care.
Graham pioneered rehabilitation courses for homeless young people in Perth and has received numerous awards for similar humanitarian work. These include the Medal of the Order of Australia. WA Citizen of the Year for community service, the Federation Medal, and Advance Australia Award for individual Achievement in the 2008 WA consumer Protection Awards 2013. He is a Fellow of Edith Cowan University.
Graham was the inaugural Chairman of the Living Stone Foundation (1987), which became Lifeline WA. He began his career in education as a Secondary Teacher becoming Head of the Music Department at a specialize music Secondary School. Using his skills as a teacher, Graham made the leap into media at the ABC as an Education Producer.
He has been a member of the pastoral team at Mt Pleasant Baptist Church for 49 years. In December 2020, he celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary to Merle and has twin sons, two beautiful daughters and five wonderful grandchildren.
PRESIDENT EDCONNECT FRIENDS GROUP
HON CHERYL EDWARDS
LLM; B.Juris; BA; GAICD
Appointed as a Director and then Chairman in 2013, Ms Edwardes retired from the Board in 2016. Ms Edwards remains a strong supporter leading a Friends of EdConnect group. Ms Edwards is currently Chairman of Vimy Resources Limited, Chairman of Atlas and is also a former Attorney General for Western Australia and Minister for the Environment, providing government relations counsel. She has served as Partner with an international law firm, was the Executive General Manager for External Affairs, Government Relations and Approvals at an Australian mineral exploration and extraction company. Cheryl served as the state’s Minister for the Environment from 1997 to 2001 and also as Western Australia’s first female Attorney General.