William (Bill) Francis Bahr has lived in Ballarat since 1990 and was the Secretary to the Memorial Appeal from 1997 until completion of the Memorial project in 2004. Bill became one of the first Trustees of the Memorial on the 6th October 1999 and provided important guidance on the Tax Deductibility and concessions for the Memorial. He is the Chairman for the Trustees and continues to arrange various Services including ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day and the Anniversary Service. Bill was an active member of the Ballarat RSL for 18-years including terms as Vice President and Treasurer and remains a Trustee of the RSL Memorabilia collection. He is a current Board member of Ballarat Legacy and Senior Vice President at Buninyong RSL and an Ex-Army Reserve Member with 31 Battalion Queensland.
David John Stewart was a committee member of the Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial from 2000 and became a Trustee on the 1st July 2001. David’s financial planning background assisted in keeping the committee focused on fundraising activities and his hands on approach to fundraising further assisted the Committee to reach its fundraising goals. David is a member of Ballarat South Rotary Club and an Active member of the Probus club of Ballarat Central and Midlands Golf Club.
Raymond (Ray) Donald Mende became a trustee of the Memorial on the 14th July 2009. Ray is a former member of the Royal Australian Army Ordinance Corp and served in South Vietnam. Ray is a Past President of the Vietnam Veterans Association Ballarat and has been a member of the RSL for 50-years and also served a term as Ballarat RSL President. Ray is focused on the use of correct protocol procedures for the Memorial and is a Past President and Life Member of the Buninyong RSL.
Jason David Bahr became a trustee of the Memorial on the 9th September 2014. Jason is a former member of 4th Field Royal Australian Artillery Corp and deployed in the first contingent to the Solomon Islands in 2003. Jason completed his Bachelor of Education in 2014 with Federation University and co-designed the Memorials Education/Teacher/Resource for use by Primary & Secondary Students and Teachers. Jason is focused on using the Memorial to Educate future generations on the Australian Prisoners of War Experience so their stories can be told. Jason is a current member of Buninyong RSL.
John Frederick Furness became a Trustee of the Memorial on the 9th September 2014. John is a Retired Uniting Church Minister of over 40-years of service and a former Army Chaplain serving with 21 Supply Battalion in NSW and the Melbourne University Regiment. John is also a retired Primary School Teacher, member of Ballarat Legacy, a Paul Harris Fellow and Past President of Ballarat Rotary. John is the current Chaplain to Ballarat RAAFA.
Margaret Anne Benoit became a trustee on the 12th September 2019 and is an Officer in the Australian Army Cadets and a recipient of the Australian Cadet Forces Service Medal for 15 years’ service. Margaret is a qualified Chaplain with the Australian Christian Church and was appointed as a Chaplain in the Australian Army Cadets in 2019. She also works as a Chaplain at Ballarat High School and volunteers as a Chaplain with the Victorian Council of Churches Emergencies Ministry. Margaret is passionate about teaching the legacy of our veterans to the next generation and enjoys encouraging young people to participate in services in and around the Ballarat area. One of Margaret’s distant relatives is listed on the Memorial and she is keen to see the Memorial and its history preserved and cared for into the future.
Since the Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial was opened on the 6th February 2004, The Memorial has received a number of compliments and honours.
2004-The Memorial Opening-listing the names of over 36000 Australian Ex-Prisoners of War…the first Memorial to list all Australian Prisoners of War
2008-By an Act of Parliament “The First Military Memorial of National Significance”
2010-Listed on the Victorian Heritage Register
2010-Listed by the City of Ballarat on the Ballarat Treasures Register
2012-Listed on the Australian Web Archive “Pandora” Project
2015-Listed on the Victorian War Heritage Trail-100 places for 100 years
2016-Listed on the RSL Virtual War Memorial website
2017-Co-Hosted the 75th Anniversary Service of the Fall of Singapore as part of the 100-Years of ANZAC with Department of Veterans’ Affairs
2018-Co-Hosted the 75th Anniversary Service of the Completion of the Thai-Burma Railway with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Les Kennedy OAM was the project coordinator for the Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial from 1997 until completion of the Memorial in 2004 and had been in the RSL since 1946. A former Mayor of Ballarat and long time councilor Les had lived in Ballarat most of his life. Les saw full time service in the Royal Australian Navy during World War 2 and was involved in a number of Service organizations, being Past President of Ballarat Legacy, Past President of the Naval Commemoration committee and President of the HMAS Manoora Association. Sadly Les passed away on the 6th July 2014 and the Trustees acknowledge the tireless work completed by Les during his time as Trustee and as a member of the Memorial Committee.