Speaker biographies

ACU Chancellor 

The Honourable Martin Daubney AM KC 

 The Honourable Martin Daubney AM KC

The Honourable Martin Daubney AM KC served as a judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland from 13 July 2007 to 31 December 2021.  He was also President of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal from October 2017 until November 2021. 

His appointment as Chancellor of Australian Catholic University took effect on 1 January 2022. 

Mr Daubney was educated at Downlands College, Toowoomba.  He initially undertook studies at the Yarra Theological Union (Diploma of Theological Studies) before attending the University of Queensland from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws.  After 18 months practising as a solicitor, he was admitted to the Bar in 1988.  In 2000 he was appointed Senior Counsel.  In addition to an extensive practice as a commercial barrister, Mr Daubney became prominent as a mediator, particularly in commercial disputes.  From 1994, he was also admitted to practise in Fiji, and appeared in numerous trials and appeals in that jurisdiction.  In 2005, he chaired a Commission of Inquiry into the Queensland thoroughbred racing industry.  Before his appointment to the bench, Mr Daubney served on the Council of the Bar Association of Queensland for more than 10 years in various roles, including as President from July 2006 until his appointment to the Supreme Court. 

He has served on a wide range of community and philanthropic boards, including two terms on the Senate of the University of Queensland and his current appointment as a member of the Queensland Art Gallery Board of Trustees. 

Among his awards and honours are the prestigious Australian Insurance Law Association Prize awarded in 2017 and the 2019 Colleges’ UQ Alumni Award.  He is a Fellow of King’s College UQ.  In 2018 Mr Daubney was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the law, and to the judiciary, to education, and to the community. 

Mr Daubney has served the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane on the Archdiocesan Finance Council (since 2011; Chair since 2018). He was National Vice-President and Queensland Chair of the Australian Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (2009-2014; 2016-2017). 

As Chancellor of ACU Mr Daubney is committed to ensuring effective corporate governance practices and strategic management in leading the ACU Senate and supporting the Vice-Chancellor and President and senior university management. He looks forward to representing ACU across industry and the broader community to strengthen ties and create awareness of opportunities and working closely with the Catholic Church to ensure that ACU stays true to its mission, strong sense of identity, and distinctive Catholic vision. 

ACU Vice Chancellor and President  

Professor Zlatko Skrbis 

 Professor Zlatko Skrbis

Professor Zlatko Skrbis is the fourth Vice-Chancellor and President of Australian Catholic University. Professor Skrbis holds a PhD in sociology from Flinders University, as well as undergraduate degrees in sociology and philosophy from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He maintains a distinguished and current international research profile and has made significant contributions in the areas of migration, cosmopolitanism, and life course studies.  As Vice-Chancellor and President of ACU, it is his ambition to ensure that the university is globally recognised as an institution that adheres to its strong Catholic principles and makes a tangible improvement to the lives of others through excellence in education, research, and engagement. 

General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK AC(Mil) CVO MC (RETD)  

 General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK AC(Mil) CVO MC (RETD)  Born into an Army family, Peter Cosgrove attended Waverley College in Sydney before graduating from the Royal Military College Duntroon in 1968. His first deployment was in Malaysia with the 1st Battalion RAR and later in Vietnam he commanded an infantry platoon. He served as Commander of INTERFET in East Timor in 1999 overseeing that country’s transition to independence. Then promoted to Chief of Army and later Chief of the Australian Defence Force. He retired from the ADF in 2005 serving on several boards before becoming a Knight in the Order of Australia when sworn in as Governor-General in 2014 and serving until June 2019. Sir Peter was appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order by Her Majesty the Queen in August 2019.  

In retirement, he remains involved with defence, health and other charitable organisations. In January 2020, Sir Peter accepted the voluntary role as chairman of the Business Council of Australia’s Community Rebuilding Initiative in response to the 2019/20 bushfires, leading a group of eminent business and community leaders to work with government and the community in the rebuilding process. 

Sir Peter is also an avid sports fan with a particular interest in rugby and cricket. Married to Lynne since 1976, they have three sons and delight in their four grandchildren.  

Doctor Susan Neuhaus AM CSC MBBS, PhD, FRACS, FAICD, FAMA 

 Assoc Prof Susan Neuhaus AM CSC FRACS

Doctor Susan Neuhaus AM CSC is a distinguished ex-Army officer, a highly respected senior surgeon, clinical academic and author.

Susan served in both Regular and Reserve Army roles for over 20 years. She was deployed to Cambodia, Bougainville and Afghanistan. Susan retired from Defence in 2011 at the rank of Colonel.

Susan is the Chair of the Veterans’ Advisory Council of South Australia, a Patron of the Virtual War Memorial Australia and member of Council of the Australian War Memorial.

Susan has retained a strong commitment to the Defence and Veteran sector and is widely published in both medical and military fields. As Associate Professor in Conflict Medicine at the University of Adelaide (2014- 19), she led a national research collaborative investigating the gender specific effects of military service and deployment. Susan remains passionate about sharing the stories of pioneering medical and military women.

In 2020 Susan was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to medicine, community medicine and veterans and their families.

Commissioner Gwen Cherne, Repatriation Commission, Commissioner for Veteran Family Advocacy


Gwen Cherne was appointed as the inaugural Veteran Family Advocate Commissioner on the Repatriation Commission on 6 August 2020. On 2 March 2021 she was appointed a member of the MRCC.  Gwen spent three years in and out of Afghanistan doing stabilisation and reconstruction work, she is an Australian War Widow from suicide, the mother of a currently serving member of the ADF and a daughter of a Vietnam veteran who suffered PTSD and moral injury. She has lived experience of military family life, mental health issues and recovery, family and domestic violence and intimate partner violence. She is dedicated to promoting hope and healing through co-designed and co-implemented solutions. Since the death of her husband to suicide in 2017 she has dedicated herself to advocacy for Australian war widows, defence and veterans’ families, suicide prevention and mental health awareness. Gwen was appointed to the Council of the Australian War Memorial in 2019, was an inaugural Member of the Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service, served on the board of the Australian War Widow’s NSW chapter, was an Ambassador for the Commando Welfare Trust and Gotcha4Life and was a 2018 Invictus Games Ambassador for ClubsNSW. She was named an Ambassador for Invictus Australia in October 2021.  Born in the United States, her career has taken her all around the world, including the US, Australia, Afghanistan, Africa, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, with a focus on stability, relief, and development for youth, women, and families living in crisis and extreme poverty. In her early career she co-founded a school for low-income children in Brooklyn, NY. She worked in Afghanistan off and on for three years as an international development worker in the Central and South Regions and as Regional Director in Jalalabad and Kabul. After returning to the US, Gwen worked as a Senior Trainer and Manager for Curriculum and Training for military, Foreign Service Officers and other civilians preparing for deployment. More recently, she spent seven years working at the Australian Civil-Military Centre as a Program Manager and Assistant Director for Research. Gwen has a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in Women’s Studies from Boston College, and holds a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in international policy from the New York University Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. Gwen became an Australian citizen in 2015 and has three children. She is a published writer, international motivational speaker, and a mentor to young professionals. 

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