The Board of Directors and staff of Country Education Foundation of Australia (CEF) are delighted to announce the appointment of Judy Brewer AO, as the organisation’s Patron.
Ms Brewer was officially welcomed to the role at an intimate dinner at Pialligo Estate in Canberra on the 24th March.
Ms Brewer is the wife of the late Hon. Tim Fischer AC, who held the role of CEF Patron for more than 15 years until his passing in 2019. The position has remained unfilled until now, making her appointment particularly special. The evening was made even more significant with members of her family in attendance.
Asking Ms Brewer to assume the position of Patron was an obvious and natural choice for CEF founder and Chairman, Nick Burton Taylor as she shares her late husband’s dedication to improving educational outcomes and has a passion for rural and regional Australia. She is also an accomplished professional and devoted advocate in her own right.
In welcoming Ms Brewer to the role, Mr Burton Taylor described her as ‘fearless in nature,’ going on to say,
“We are so pleased the country girl who is imbued with such wonderful values of regional Australia and country living, and such empathy with our constituency has agreed to continue this work,” as he addressed the small gathering.
“He (Tim) loved his involvement with Nick, Julia and the team at CEF, and so it was not a difficult decision for me to continue his role as Patron when honoured with the invitation to do so,” said Ms Brewer.
For over 25 years, Ms, Brewer has been a high profile speaker, writer and advocate on issues relating to education, autism, and family carers. She has been actively involved in an executive capacity for many related organisations over this time. Her professional background encompasses a range of positions from working as a parliamentary advisor, to management roles and as a Lecturer in Business and Economics at both La Trobe and Charles Sturt universities. She was also Pro-Chancellor of Charles Sturt University for the Southern Region until 2020.
In 2013, Ms Brewer became an officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to people with a disability, particularly those with Autism Spectrum Disorders, to refugees living in rural areas, to women, and to education.
Judy lives on her farm at Mudgegonga in North East Victoria. This property has been in her family for over 150 years, and she is deeply connected to the land and the community. She knows living in regional areas can limit educational opportunities for youth but has also experienced and seen firsthand the benefits grants and scholarships can have. “They not only change one life but have the potential to flow on to change the circumstances of a web of families in a very permanent way,” she says.
Ms Brewer says of her late husband and the CEF Patronage, “I cannot guarantee that I will be as dynamic (as Tim), but I do promise to be as passionate. I am greatly looking forward to playing a part in the future of such a valued and vital organisation.”
The media release can be downloaded HERE.