Our Patrons

Patron in Chief

His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia

cosgrove.jpgSir Peter became Patron in Chief of FRRR on 1 May 2014. Sir Peter graduated in 1968 from the Royal Military College, Duntroon and has a long and decorated career in the Australian Defence Force. Subsequently, he held positions on several boards, including QANTAS, Cardno and the Australian Rugby Union.

He was appointed by the Queensland Government to lead the taskforce rebuilding communities in the Innisfail region following the devastation caused by Cyclone Larry in 2006.

Sir Peter became a Knight in the Order of Australia when sworn in as Governor-General.

Thank you Dame Quentin

Sir Peter Cosgrove took over this position from The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO when she retired as the Governor-General of Australia in March 2014.

Dame Quentin had been a long-time supporter of rural causes, and we greatly appreciated her patronage during her time as Governor General, as this short tribute from Ian Sinclair demonstrates.


Myer.jpgSidney Baillieu Myer AC

Sidney Baillieu Myer AC is one of FRRR's original founders, working closely with the Hon John Anderson AO. He is the Co-Founder and past President of The Myer Foundation. He was a Trustee of the Sidney Myer Fund from 1958 to 2001 and Chairman from 1992 to 2001. Mr Myer's past positions include Chairman, The Myer Emporium Ltd, President of the Howard Florey Institute and Executive Member of the CSIRO.

Mr Myer’s numerous business activities include a Santa Gertrudis cattle stud, a Quarterhorse stud at Yulgilbar in Northern New South Wales, and wine making at Elgee Park on the Mornington Peninsula.

He was awarded an AC in 1990 and was made an Honorary Doctor of Law at the University of Melbourne in 1993.

The Hon John Anderson AO

anderson.jpgThe Hon John Anderson AO was instrumental in bringing FRRR to fruition. He convened the Rural Australia Summit, and the concept of a philanthropic body was one of the ideas that came out of it. Working closely with Baillieu Myer, he championed this concept and ultimately oversaw FRRR come into being.

In 2011, Mr Anderson was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his service to the Parliament of Australia in supporting rural and regional communities, transport development and water management.

Lady Southey AC 

lady Southey picture.jpg

Marigold Merlyn Baillieu Southey is the younger daughter and fourth child of the late Sidney Myer and Dame Merlyn Myer, and was born on 2nd May 1928. She was educated at St Catherine’s School and Melbourne University. Marigold married Ross Shelmerdine in 1950. They had four children, two sons and two daughters. They were restaurateurs, entrepreneurs, and built and owned the Mitchelton Winery complex at Nagambie in 1973. Ross died in 1979. 

In 1982 Marigold married Sir Robert Southey, a company director and former wool broker and Chairman of the Australian Ballet from 1980 – 1990. Sir Robert died in 1998.

Lady Southey was a director of the Myer Family Companies from the mid 50’s until she retired in December 1999. She was Vice President of the National Stroke Foundation, and was a former President of Philanthropy Australia and President of the St Catherine’s School Foundation in the 80s and 90s. She served eight years on the Board of Orchestra Victoria, and is on several committees of the Myer Foundation. She is active chairman of her two sons companies, engaged in farming and viticulture. 

Lady Southey was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1999 for her service to the community in the support of health care, medical research and the arts and received the Centenary Medal in 2000.

On 1st January 2001 Lady Southey was appointed as the 12th Lieutenant Governor of Victoria. 

In 2006 she was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC).  She retired as Lieutenant Governor in April 2006.

Lady Southey is also Patron of the Australian Ballet School, The Lort Smith Animal Hospital and the National Council of Jewish Women Australia (Vic).