…what Fairfax media left out of their stories:
Following multiple acts of death-defying heroism in the battle field, Corporal Ben Robert-Smith was awarded the Victoria Cross and the Medal Gallantry, making him the most highly-decorated solider in the Commonwealth. Since receiving those awards, Mr Roberts-Smith has directed his philanthropy toward the following initiatives and positions (quoting opening address of Bruce McClintock in open Court):
1. Chairman, The National Australia Day Council. In holding that position, he participated in quarterly board meetings, managed the selection process for the Australian of the Year, assisted in the provision of quarterly reports to the Government, and provided oversight of the NADC management. 2. Member, Queensland Premier’s Veterans Advisory Council. The Council sits twice a year and provides advice to the Premier’s office and Cabinet on veterans’ issues pertaining to Queensland. 3. Deputy Chair, Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Veterans’ Mental Health. As Deputy Chair, he provided advice to the Minister for Veterans Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office on veterans’ issues and policy. The Council sits three times a year. 4. Deputy Chair, Prime Minister’s Industry Advisory Council on Veterans Employment. The Council has quarterly Board meetings and its role is to provide advice to the Government on veterans’ employment issues and provide advice to industry bodies as to the same. Regular reports are provided by the council to the Government and also assistance is provided in relation to the Prime Minister’s Veterans Employment Awards. 5. National Ambassador for Legacy Australia. He has undertaken multiple fundraisers for Legacy and he has been the keynote speaker for a number of their events. 6. Ambassador for the SAS Resources Trust. This body supports the dependants of SAS operators killed in action or training. His duties included attending fundraising activities and being keynote speaker. 7. Patron of the White Cloud Foundation. This body assists and supports sufferers of depression. His duties included attending fundraising activities in aid of the development of a post-natal depression clinic at Royal Brisbane Hospital and being keynote speaker. 8. Patron of the Wandering Warriors. This body assists the transitioning of servicemen and women so as to gain further education in the workforce after retirement. His role with the Wandering Warriors included speaking at fundraising events and undertaking ‘meet and greets’. He also assisted with the establishment of an MBA scholarship program for veterans at the University of Queensland.
Mr Roberts-Smith has also in the past undertaken the following voluntary activities on a voluntary basis:
- He was the Activity Coordinator for the National Legacy Camp for the period 2007-2010 and Camp Director in 2009. The camp is attended by children from the police and the military who have lost a parent. His duties included living at the camp and coordinating camp activities.
- He has spoken at a large number of schools including Hale School, Perth, St Hilda’s in Queensland, The Southport School (TSS) in the Gold Coast, Melbourne Boys Grammar School, Canberra Grammar School, Luke’s Anglican College, Victory Church College, Matthew Flinders Anglican College (being the school that his children attended) and Ipswich Girls Grammar.
- He has been part of media campaigns promoting the Australian War Memorial, including appearing in television commercials. He has also spoken at Australian War Memorial events such as ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day, and Last Post ceremonies. He jointly led the 2014 Anzac Day March and the 2019 ANZAC Day March at the Australian War Memorial.
- He undertook promotional activities for the Shrine of Remembrance in Victoria.
- He was the Ambassador and the face of a television campaign for Queensland Road Safety.
- He participated in an educational campaign organized by the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, which involved his appearance in resource material provided to Australian schools known as Morcombe Foundation Resource Packs.
- He participated in television commercials and media calls for the Danny Green One Punch Campaign, which was in support of stopping youth violence.
- He took part in a program run by Student Edge called “Back to School With”, which involved the provision of an interactive online address on life experiences to about 900,000 students throughout Australia.
- He supported the Australian Veterans’ team for the Invictus Games through media calls and interactions with the team.
- He undertook visits to the Greenslopes Hospital, Queensland to engage with veterans who were patients.
- He supported the Starlight Foundation Programmes, including visiting the Royal Brisbane Children’s oncology ward and supporting Callum Hughes, a young boy who was severely injured after being struck by a vehicle.
He has undertaken keynote speaker activities on a voluntary basis for many organisations including the following:
- the South Australian Police Service’s Special Tasks and Rescue Force 50th Anniversary Gala event;
- a Queensland Police Service event at the Gabba Oval in Queensland in aid of “Hats Off for Mental Health”, which was attended by about 1,000 police officers;
- the Soldier On Australia charitable organisation (which offers support to veterans, Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, and others);
- The John Monash Oration, an annual event organized by the General John Monash Foundation;
- Queensland Supreme Court White Ribbon Day event, which was a fundraising event to focus on the issues of domestic and family violence;
- Bravehearts White Balloon Day event, which was a fundraising event for child protection;
- the Exercise Stone Pillow event, which was a fundraising event for homeless veterans;
- the Halogen Foundation, which promotes student leadership in Australian schools;
- Mates 4 Mates Kokoda Lunch fundraiser, which was a fundraising event to raise money for veterans’ rehabilitation centers;
- Switch On Charity dinner, which was a fundraising event to raise money for the Ipswich Hospital Foundation;
- 42 for 42, which was a fundraising event organized by Afghanistan Veterans and the Queensland Cricketer’s Club to raise funds for an Afghanistan War Memorial; and
- Men in Business event, which was a fundraiser event to raise funds for the provision of mentors for underprivileged children.