The Network’s People

The Network are our volunteers who strive to support our Veterans and their Families. Our volunteers are Advocates, Wellbeing Support Officers and other talented interested and supportive people.

Our Executive Committee

Shawn Bergquist

Shawn is currently the CEO and Director of Nursing for Coffs Coast Legacy. He is a Registered Nurse with certificates in Critical Care and Coronary Care, and also holds a BEd, a GradDip in Health Administration and an MBA. Shawn is the Chair of the Mid North Coast Regional and Rural ACSA Group, the Chair of the Mid North Coast Aged Care Professional Group, and the Legacy Australia Representative on the National Aged Care Alliance and the National Aged and Community Care Forum.

Louise Freebairn
Vice President

Louise served 9 years in the Army Reserve with careers as an Office Manager, Liaison Officer Support Centre, Executive member of QIEA, Diplomatic exchange teacher in Germany, Senior Education Officer & Acting Principal Education Officer with Education QLD.  Her executive positions dealt with policy & procedure, district/regional/state & inter-state organisations in matters of financial & personnel communication.  Louise holds a MEd, BA, Grad. Dip Teach (Primary) & Dip. Teach (Secondary).  She is currently also President of the Partners of Veterans Assoc. of NSW Branch inc. (encompassing ACT & NT) & is a nationally accredited Wellbeing Advocate Level 2.

Justin Poppleton
Vice President

Justin served in Infantry, Artillery and finished his military service in the Australian Army Psych Corps. Having worked as an Organisational Psychologist early in his career, and in Executive Leadership positions in Multinational organisations, a key skill is his ability to influence diverse stakeholder groups to build cohesion, collaboration and a shared commitment to action. Core to his success is his pragmatism that enables him to effectively translate the vision into strategy and tangible initiatives that deliver measurable value.

Kerrie McCormick

The bio for the new Secretary will be provided shortly.

Kellie Harrison
Treasurer and Public Officer

Kellie is the Treasurer and Public Officer for the VWNMNC. Kellie has had many roles in the Nursing profession and in Office Management. Her last role before retiring from paid work was as Manager of the Taree Blood Service. She has also held accounting positions, managed a retail outlet, worked for Pharmaceuticals and volunteers for her local church.

Richard Kelloway

Richard Kelloway
Senior Advocate

Richard joined the RAAF in 1962. His service included combat operations in Vietnam as a USAF Forward Air Controller, and flying duties in Sabre, Mirage, and the F-111 squadrons as well as basic and advanced flying training. His post-RAAF careers included Public Service in foreign policy and international development, followed by consultancy practice in strategic planning and change management in small business and Aboriginal community development.

Richard began volunteering as a veteran’s advocate in 2007 and is a practicing Level 4 Advocate. He is very active in veterans’ advocacy training and development, and continues to participate in a wide range of veterans’ legislation and health services reviews.

Richard is married to Jenny, has three adult children and has four grandchildren. One of the founders of VCMNC (now VWNMNC), he is enormously proud of the progress that is being made by the Committee and advocates.

Geoff Harrison
Advocacy Professional Development

Geoff served in the Australian Army for 30 years as a Logistician and Training Specialist. His civilian career has included Learning and Development Specialist, Aviation Security Specialist and Registered Training Organisation Manager. Geoff’s Veteran Advocacy passion began in 1995 and he is now a Wellbeing and Compensation Advocate qualified and accredited with ATDP. He has a Masters in Instructional Systems Design and a couple of Teaching Degrees. Geoff represents the Midcoast Centre hub.