Meet the Executive Team

These people have selflessly devoted their time to making the Five Dock RSL sub Group what it is today.

Robert Ridge


Robert joined the Navy as an excited 15 year old Junior Recruit.  He trained as a RADAR Plotter, Ships Diver and Navigators Yeoman.  He served for just over 6 years and spent 4 years at sea on HMAS Melbourne (aircraft carrier) and HMAS Snipe (mine hunter).

Living in the area most of his life Robert joined Five Dock RSL Sub Branch to connect with likeminded people who share the same values and sense of humour. While being a member he has helped other veterans who have done extraordinary acts of courage and selflessness in the face of danger.  He feels it is very important to be able to empathise and assist these wonderful people in their transition to civilian life.

Robert has enjoyed a very successful post ADF career, including extensive hospitality industry management roles. He is now a successful strata manager, owner of a dive school and escapes as often as possible to his hobby farm.

In his role as President he represents Five Dock RSL Sub Branch at local and state events and ensures the interests of veterans are championed.  As one of three Trustee’s he also ensures the Sub Branch investments return the best value possible in these low interest rate times.

Catherine Lewis

Vice President

Catherine Lewis has served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Australian Army Reserve.

A passionate advocate on behalf of female ex-servicewomen; she also coordinates the very successful Five Dock RSL Sub Branch Schools Program. This involves Five Dock RSL Sub Branch members attending School Anzac Day events and presenting end of year awards to students who have excelled academically over the previous year.

Catherine is heavily involved in expanding the reach into the community by Five Dock RSL Sub Branch.

In civilian life Catherine is an academic at Sydney University whose preferred method of transport is riding her Harley.

David Clarke

Honorary Secretary. President/Delegate to Western Metropolitan District Council of sub-branches.

David is a 20 year Australian army veteran. He enlisted into the Army Apprentices School in 1962 at the age of 15 and entered the Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) where he trained as a marine engineer.

He served in the Army Small Ships and in the RAE Works Service and spent some time in the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RAEME) before transferring back to RAE.

His overseas service included Papua New Guinea, British Army Exchange and Active Service in SVN.

As part of his role David performs the administrative duties required to comply with the Constitution and By-laws of the RSL of Australia (NSW Branch). He also co-ordinates the views and expressions of delegates from constituent member sub-Branches of the Western Metropolitan District Council of sub-Branches.

In 2017/18 David made a major contribution to the review of the NSW State Branch of the RSL; which is in the process of renewing and reestablishing membership recruitment and retention methodology.

Peter Rowe


Peter Rowe served in the CMF/Army Reserve for almost 20 years. He joined the Medical Corps as a pharmacist but transferred to Ordnance Corps when they took over control of medical stores. He worked his way up to Commander Divisional Supply as a Lieutenant Colonel before retiring from the Ares. During his time as CDSUP Peter was selected to join a group of senior Regular and Reserve officers on a goodwill visit with the Australian Land Commander to Indonesia. He also received a General’s Commendation
Peter developed a wide range of skills in his many roles in civilian life as a partner in a retail pharmacy, as retail operations manager in a large company, as a senior manager in the Commonwealth Public Service, as a business development manager in a large organisation, and finally as Assistant General Manager. Peter was a director on several boards and became chairman of one of them. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Company Directors. He now puts those skills to use as Treasurer of Five Dock RSL sub-branch. Having been retired since 2003 Peter enjoys performing various volunteer roles and has time to spend looking after the finances of the sub-branch. He still keeps fit by playing tennis twice a week, bike riding, and attends a gym several times a week.

Peter Howard

Vice President/ Trustee

Peter Howard is an Australia war hero who was conscripted in 1969 and served in Vietnam as an Infantry Soldier from 1970-1971 with 8RAR/2RARNZ (The ANZAC Battalion). He was then selected to be the bodyguard responsible for protecting the life of a Special Operations Lieutenant Colonel embedded amongst the hill tribes of Vietnam. They lived rough and isolated, carving out an air strip, with the help of locals, to enable covert observations of the Viet Cong.

Being a Vietnam veteran and nearing retirement he joined Five Dock RSL sub Branch for the fellowship of other ADF members. He soon realised that he had the time and management skills to offer in the positions he now holds.  Peter uses his extensive business experience and acumen, gained in the hotel industry, in the role of Treasurer to bring the Five Dock RSL Sub Branch’s finances under control. He also assists the President and Secretary in the day to day duties of the Sub Branch. Peter oversees the management of the sub Branch investments, recruiting and welcoming new members.

Bernard Folkes


Bernie served two years as an Army National Serviceman, allocated to the Infantry Corps. Assigned to 7 Battalion/7 RAR (Royal Australian Regiment) he served in Vietnam, based in Nui Dat, in early 1970. He was offered a Commission to stay in the Army. When he declined that opportunity the army, recognising his talent, suggested he move into IT, where he excelled first with ComBank and then with EDS (DXC Technology).

He moved into the area about 30 years ago looking to join a Sub Branch and Five Dock was the best fit. He later became a Trustee for Five Dock RSL Sub Branch.

Now retired, he enjoys golfing with his two sons and the camaraderie of the Five Dock RSL Sub Branch.

Five Dock RSL Sub Branch Volunteers

Paul Celler


Paul served in Vietnam as a part of the 5th battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment stationed in Nui Dat part of Phuoc Tui Provence. His role included radio command port duties. At completion of his two years of national service he was discharged as a Lance Corporal.

As part of his civilian life Paul worked for Transfield, now Broad Spectrum on major infrastructure projects around Australia.

He joined the RSL Sub Branch for the comradeship. Paul describes being a member of the Sub Branch as “It is a feeling of belonging and being part of a big family which participates in the wellbeing of each member.”

In his volunteer role he visits sick members in hospital, is part of the social/outings committee, participants in the schools program and generously helps members and war widows using his extensive construction experience.

Mike Perrott


Mike Perrott was a Sub Lieutenant in the Royal Australian Navy Helicopter Flight Vietnam. On 2 February 1969 Mike performed a daring rescue of fellow aviators Sub Lieutenants Bill Symons and Tom Supple when their helicopter had been shot down by enemy gunfire. He also flew helicopter missions for the United States Navy. For his actions he is universally recognised as a war hero.

Mike continued to fly helicopters after the end of the Vietnam War and transferred from the RAN to Army Aviation in April 1990. His long service came at a personal cost involving three major surgical operations on his back 89/90/91 to rectify a compressed spine. He was medically discharged in 1992 and made a TPI in 1994. He has since had another three spinal operations and in 2017 his back finally became liveable when he had a block injection.

Mike is an active member of the Five Dock RSL Sub Branch where he uses his extensive network of serving and former ADF connections to deliver VIP guests to address Anzac Day memorials and other events.


Claude Bennie


Claude served in Vietnam as an Army National Serviceman and in the University of Sydney Regiment when he studied chemical engineering.

He is an enthusiastic volunteer for the Five Dock RSL Sub Branch and undertakes home and hospital visits to former ADF personnel. Claude also participates in the Schools program.

In his civilian life he was a highly successful chemical engineer for AGL at the old Gas Works site which is now the Breakfast Point development. Claude worked for many years at Arnotts in a senior role and is widely known as “Mr TimTam” when undertaking countless presentations to community groups on the history of Arnotts.

Alec Watkins


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Alec is a Leading Seaman Combat Systems Operator. He is currently serving with the RAN and is an active member of Five Dock RSL Sub Branch. Alec served six years on HMAS Melbourne before taking on the role of teaching future leader at the RAN’s Elizabeth College in Sydney.

Alec has volunteered for visitations to former ADF members in retirement homes and the Five Dock RSL Sub Branch Schools program. He has assisted with the development of this website by injecting his ideas on bringing the benefits of RSL Sub Branch membership to a new generation of serving ADF personnel.

Bob Vincent


Bob Vincent served in the 13 National Service Battalion (Infantry and Citizen Military Forces) for 2 years.

Bob joined Five Dock RSL Sub Branch to meet people with similar interests and play a part in community activities.

In his volunteer role Bob acts as the building consultant and local council liaison officer.

Bob has been responsible for undertaking and supervising the recent renovation of the Five Dock War Memorial.

In civilian life he spent years working as a Local Government Health and Building Surveyor and then as a building consultant.

John Grundy


John Grundy joined the CMF Artillery in 1952 where he was involved in Naval Gun Fire Support.

He was called up for National Service in 1953.

John joined joined the Five Dock RSL Sub Branch because he wanted to maintain the organisation for future generations.

With this in mind he spends his time promoting the Sub Bench by participating in the Schools Awards Presentation Program and gives ANZAC presentations at retirement homes.

Greg Maunsell


After a long career in the Regular Army Greg held several senior roles in global IT companies before opting to be a business consultant.

Greg volunteers in the Five Dock RSL Schools program and organises the annual ‘Breakfast Point Anzac Day memorial Service and Luncheon’ at the Breakfast Point Country Club.

Roger Henning


Coming from an Adelaide ADF family, Roger first enlisted in the RAAF Air Cadets, then volunteered for national service in the Australian Army before eventually switching to the RAAF where he served as a Reserve Flight Lieutenant.

In civilian life Roger was sent to all the countries of South and South-East Asia, Russia, The UK and The USA where he served as Information Attache at the Australian Embassy, in Washington DC.

His current civilian role, as Director of Homeland Security Asia/Pacific, involves counter terrorism, crisis management, security awareness training systems and the protection of critical infrastructure,

He first joined the RSL as a Life Subscriber in 1983 before transferring to Five Dock RSL Sub Branch where he is involved as a security and communications advisor and in visitation programs.

Roger has acted as an alternate delegate to the NSW State Congress and contributed to the editorial content of this website.