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NOMINEES - DEFGLIS 2015 ELECTION (in alphabetical order)

Donna Harding

Donna Harding has been a DEFGLIS Board member since prior to incorporation. Her area of interest is progressing transgender issues affecting members of the ADF. She has been involved in advocacy, policy development and review work, providing peer support to members and advice and support to the chain of command. She promotes the inclusion of transgender members in all aspects of service life and not having unreasonable limitations / expectations being put on their service. Donna is a Nursing Office in Army working in Canberra. She is a member of Australia and New Zealand Professional Association for Transgender Health (ANZPATH) and utilises that network access to advocate better access for transgender healthcare in the community which in turn improves the care provided to service members. Donna has a partner of 17 years and two teenage children.

Donna served as an interim board member from 2013-2014 and as a board member from April 2014.

Ellen Zyla

Able Seaman Ellen Zyla joined the Royal Australian Navy in 2003 as a Musician. She was posted to the Sydney Detachment of the Royal Australian Navy Band after completing her initial recruit training course. Over the past 11 years, Ellen has served in HMA Ships TOBRUK, ADELAIDE and KANIMBLA as well as having done two tours to Timor Leste. She has also represented the RAN at many Military engagements around the world, in places such as Abu Dhabi, Brunei, Scotland and ANZAC Day Commemorations in Gallipoli. Ellen is currently the National Public Relations Manager for the Royal Australian Navy Band and works in the Director of Music – Navy, office at Garden Island - Sydney.

Ellen is a member of the Navy Dragon Boat Team and as a result has grown connections within the greater Dragon Boating community. She was asked to become a member of a 6 women crew after managing an eclectic Sydney based crew at the International Dragon Boat Festival in Boracay, Philippines in 2011. The women took on the world’s longest river race, the 740km - Yukon River Quest – in June 2012, with the crew taking out 3rd in their category and 19th overall out of a flotilla of 73 craft. The crew had also competed in other marathon events as a lead up to the quest and became the first Women’s Outrigger Canoe - 6 Crew, to complete the entire distance of the Murray River Marathon – held over 5 days. Ellen has also been a long standing member of DEFGLIS.

Ellen has served on the DEFGLIS board since May 2014.

James Smith

Currently I am the Deputy Communications Officer (DCO) for DEFGLIS, a job that I have found exceptionally invigorating and deeply rewarding. Whilst in the position of DCO, I have had the opportunity to increase my involvement in the running and maintenance of the organisation through the website, social media and events planning.

Prior to joining Defence in 2013 I worked as the SO3 Development at the Brigade Headquarters for the Army Cadets in Victoria, as well as in retail at a store by the name of Henry Bucks, this experience has been very beneficial for the set up and management of the DEFGLIS Online Store, which is a recent addition to the website following the redevelopment in 2014.

I look forward to continuing my work within the communications spectrum, as well as having the ability to contribute to the governance of the organisation.

Joe Monteith

DEFGLIS has the potential to expand and become many things. I believe DEFGLIS will become an international authority on Defence LBGTI matters, as well as a community of members where inclusion and wellbeing are at the forefront its priorities. Key opportunities I would help develop if elected to the Board include expansion of current activities, both educational and social. I would like to extend DEFGLIS’ relationship with the ADF through incorporating ourselves into working groups and/or regular meetings with key personnel within areas of gender issues, workplace diversity, anti-discrimination and others deemed relevant by the Board. Key challenges I expect to resolve include formalised inclusion and endorsement within the ADF, developing independent sustainable finances, and development of a reliable workforce within DEFGLIS. I would also like to help develop a medical portfolio within DEFGLIS who’s role would include developing educational modules, mental health advocacy and leadership within the LGBTI community. 

Though early in my Defence career, I can offer a decade of experience within organisational leadership, event management and risk assessment. One of my most recent positions includes national president of a general practice organisation with 13,000 members and annual budget of $2.1 million. My key priorities were advocacy issues, information dissemination and stakeholder engagement. I have extensive experience in event management from small social events through to convening professional conferences including the world’s largest medical student conference which consisted of 1500 attendees. As a qualified medical practitioner and pharmacist, another unique skill set I will be able to offer the Board would be advice and many connections within the medical field. Finally, from positions such as chairing policy committees and previous vice-president roles, I have more than six years of experience within Constitutional Law and policy development. I will be able to assist the Board in reviewing and developing internal and external policies. My experience has been recognised having been named one of Australia’s Young Leaders in 2010 and also nominated as Victorian Junior Doctor of the Year 2015. 

Stuart Martin

Proudly a Founding Member of DEFGLIS, I served in the RAAF from 1983 to 1989, I am now a Social Worker with Victoria University, I live in Melbourne with my partner of 22 years Craig.
I have extensive skills and abilities gained from serving on the board of several organisations, including three years as the Secretary of Midsumma Festival, Melbourne's annual LGBTI Festival, whilst I also currently serve on the board of Alfred Health and a National Councillor and Branch Vice President of the National Tertiary Education Union.
Currently I am the DEFGLIS Victorian Co-ordinator, I have worked hard to raise the profile of DEFGLIS in Victorian LGBTI Community and importantly developing and organizing DEFGLIS events in Victoria.

If I am successful in gaining a position on the DEFGLIS Board, I would like to work to raise the profile DEFGLIS in the community and work to reach out to ex-ADF personal who identify as LGBTI.

Stuart O'Brien

Warrant Officer Stuart O'Brien joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1990 as a Writer. He has served onboard Her Majesties Australian Ships DARWIN, MELBOURNE and CANBERRA and various shore establishments and directorates. Warrant Officer O'Brien has also completed three tours of active service in the Middle East where he was awarded the Australian Active Service Medal with Iraq and ICAT Clasps, Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals and the US Meritorious Service Medal. Other awards include: Australian Service Medal with Kuwait Clasp, Australia Day Medallion and Systems Commander Australia Commendation.

Warrant Officer O'Brien become well known for his advocacy for the rights of the LGBT Service Personnel, writing many papers to secure the recognition of Same-Sex couples within the Australian Defence Force, while also establishing DEFGLIS (Defence Gay & Lesbian Information Service). Due to his advocacy he has been invited to speak at conferences in both the United Kingdom and the United States of America which include: "Sexual Orientation and Military Preparedness - An International Perspective" at the Georgetown University Law Centre, "Freedom to Serve Forum" at the Truman Library, "OutServe's Armed Forces Leadership Summit" in Las Vegas and most recently "OutServe-SLDN's International Leadership Conference" in Orlando.

Warrant Officer O'Brien stationed at HMAS KUTTABUL as the Senior Personnel Manager. He was the founder of DEFGLIS, an interim board member 2012-2014 and has served as Vice President since Apr 14.


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