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Royal Over-Seas League - Master Buildings Strategy Webinar with Martin Ashley

AUGUST 2020 to NOVEMBER 2020

Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
Vice-Patron: HRH Princess Alexandra
Australian Patron: HE General The Hon. David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) Governor-General of Australia
Victorian Patron: HE The Hon. Linda Dessau AC Governor of Victoria
President: Jason Ronald OAM Secretary: Keir Watt
Office Location: 17/7 Nicholas Building 37 Swanston Street Melbourne 3000 Telephone:+61 (0)3 96548338
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Web: www.rosl.org.au



As I sit here at Tallarook typing this report Melbourne has just gone to stage 4 restrictions and the Mitchell Shire where I live has gone to stage 3, being aligned with the rest of regional Victoria and not tagged onto the Metropolitan area.
None of us have ever experienced a pandemic and it has certainly had a profound affect around the globe. The last meeting of the Victorian Branch Council was in March and it is now unlikely that we will meet again before at least October. We had such an exciting range of activities planned for the past few months, but they have all had to be cancelled due to the restrictions. I hope that you have been keeping healthy and looking after yourself and family so that we may once again catch up when we get through the pandemic.
It may not be possible to hold the AGM this year, at any rate I will send you the Annual Report in the next month. You will have seen from the reports from London that the Clubhouse has reopened on 3 August but will not affect us due to the travel restrictions that are in place. There are some interesting interviews to watch via the website www.rosl.org.uk.


ROSL Chairman The Hon. Alexander Downer AC announced the appointment of Dr Annette Prandzioch who took up her appointment on Monday 29 June 2020.
Annette brings to ROSL extensive experience and significant networks both in and beyond the Commonwealth. A Barrister for 18 years by profession, Annette specialised in commercial and property law, and brings strong advocacy and analytical skills as well as an understanding of negotiation and dispute resolution.
Annette subsequently left legal practice to take up the position of Chief Operating Officer of the Royal Commonwealth Society where she was responsible for leading the team, ensuring the smooth running of the organisation and managing external partnerships. In her current external relations and business development role at the International School for Government at King’s College London, Annette has worked on charting the strategic direction of this newly established school.
In 2018, Annette was elected a governing Master of the Bench of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, an Inn of Court with a worldwide membership.
We wish Dr. Prandzioch well with her new appointment and thank Dr. Diana Owen for her time in the position.


After 18 years’ service as the President of the Royal Over-Seas League, Lord Luce announced his retirement from May 2020. This is a key honorary role and Central Council appointed Lord Geidt as ROSL’s next President with the endorsement of ROSL’s Patron, HM The Queen. Lord Geidt has had a distinguished career in public service, latterly as The Queen’s Private Secretary (2007-2017). Lord Geidt is a member of the House of Lords and Chairman of King's College London. He will be the ninth President in ROSL’s 110-year history.


Letters of congratulations were sent to former Prime Minister The Hon. Tony Abbott AC, former Minister, The Hon. Philip Ruddock AO and former Speaker, The Hon. Bronwyn Bishop AO on being recognised for their services in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.


It has not been possible to celebrate Her Majesty’s actual or official birthday due to the Corona Virus but the special celebration at Windsor Castle was enjoyed by many on the television. Prince Philip celebrated his 99th birthday on 10 June and many good wishes were extended to him for his lifetime of service to the Commonwealth and Her Majesty. The Princess Royal turns 70 on 15 August and is widely recognised as the hardest working member of the Royal family. All best wishes are extended to her with thanks for her magnificent work for the UK and the Commonwealth.

queen margaret


I had hoped to be writing a review of events that had been planned for our 2020 autumn. And just as a reminder, these included a winery tour to Portarlington, an entertaining luncheon at William Angliss with Beverley Moss’s presentation of ‘Buckingham Palace in My Underwear’ and a cinema group event of the latest James Bond 007 “No Time to Die’. Instead we find ourselves going through a moment in history nobody could have anticipated, yet in the grand tradition, we Keep Calm, and Carry On. Our events are naturally all ‘on hold’ until we get through to the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic and it is safe to once again enjoy each other’s company, share a laugh or two and once again be free to travel. Just for a moment though, we can reminisce about some of last year’s wonderful branch’s events, which included Dame Edna’s ‘My Gorgeous Life’

dame edna

the Victoria Dinner celebrating the 200th Birthday of Queen Victoria at the Lyceum Club, 


and visits to regional Victoria to enjoy the ‘Tudors to Windsor’s’ exhibition and Treasures from the Royal Collection, in Bendigo, and the William Angliss luncheon with Lady Potter. All memorable events and others like these will be planned in the not too distant future.

Farewell to Consul General Chris Holtby OBE

Over the years, since 2016 the Royal Over-Seas League Victorian Branch has had the pleasure of the company of Consul-General/Head of UK office for Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia, Chris Holtby OBE, and his wife Polly at many of the branches events. Our members have very fond memories of a variety of events attended and hosted by Chris and Polly during his tenure. The annual Christmas Reception at Chris and Polly’s beautiful residence in Melbourne was a “must attend” in members diaries each year. Guests could always rely on Melbourne weather putting on a show whether it be stiflingly hot or the risk of a summer drenching, but all while enjoying the Christmas cheer, company and generous hospitality of Chris and Polly. Victorian Branch President Jason Ronald OAM along with the ROSL Vic Branch Council and members greatly valued and appreciated Chris’s and Polly’s interest in the League and attendance at Leagues events. The League wish Chris and Polly and family every success with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and in life for their futures. We also will look forward to welcoming Chris’s successor Steph Lysaght later in year.

chris christine jason polly
Chris Holtby OBE, Deputy President Christine Chamberlain, President Jason Ronald OAM and Polly Holtby

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Welcome to the following members who have joined the League in Victoria since our last Bulletin -
Andre Hopkins, Jillian Wheeler, Kate Lempriere, Lia Sarto, Michael Jaroszewicz, Gillian Yeats-Brown, Domenic La Rocca, Margaret Sullivan, Prakash Mirchandani, Beverley Macarthur MP,

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The Royal Over-Seas League was founded in 1910 by Sir Evelyn Wrench to foster international friendship and understanding. ROSL operates under Royal Charter and ‘aims at promoting an enduring multi-racial fellowship pledged to the support of the Commonwealth and to the service of others and humanity at large’. It is required to encourage the arts, particularly among the young people of the Commonwealth.


ROSL seeks to fulfil its aims by:

  • Supporting Commonwealth ideals
  • Offering clubhouse hospitality to member
  • Organising annual competitions for young artists and musicians
  • Developing joint welfare projects for disadvantaged communities
  • Providing a network of contact and representatives around the world.

ROSL has members throughout the world. There are branches or member groups in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Switzerland.

History and Aims Image

Members I present the Annual Report of the Victorian Branch of the Royal Over-Seas League
covering the activities for 2020. There were 25 new members during the year.
It has been an incredibly quiet year by comparison to all other years of the Victorian Branch thanks
to the COVID-19 pandemic. We had two Council meetings at the start of the year and then did not
meet again until September via Zoom therefore five meetings for the year.


This will be my final President’s Report for the Victorian Branch of the Royal Over-Seas League as I will be stepping down at the Annual General Meeting in May.