Patron and Ambassadors
His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AO Governor of South Australia
His Excellency was born in Central Vietnam in 1954, where he attended school before studying Economics at the Dalat University in the Highlands.
Following the end of the Vietnam War, His Excellency, and his wife, Lan, left Vietnam in a boat in 1977. Travelling via Malaysia, they were one of the early groups of Vietnamese refugees to arrive in Darwin Harbour. His Excellency and Mrs Le soon settled in Adelaide, starting with three months at the Pennington Migrant Hostel.
As his Tertiary study in Vietnam was not recognised in Australia, the Governor returned to study at the University of Adelaide, where he earned a degree in Economics and Accounting within a short number of years. In 2001, His Excellency’s further study earned him a Master of Business Administration from the same university.
His Excellency gained Certified Practising Accountant accreditation, and from 1991 worked at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, where he led many high-profile matters. Upon his retirement from the Commission in March 2009, he held the position of Senior Manager – Financial Services Regulation.
His Excellency has served on many community boards and committees, in particular those relating to cultural and linguistic diversity, the arts and education.
In 1995 Mr Le was appointed a member to the SA Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission, and was appointed Deputy Chairman in 2001. When His Excellency became Chairman in 2007, he was first person of Asian background to be Chairman. His Excellency resigned from the Commission in August 2014.
In August 2007, His Excellency was sworn in as the Lieutenant Governor of South Australia. Over the next seven years in this role, His Excellency served as the Patron or Honorary member of more than thirty organisations.
On 1 September 2014, His Excellency was sworn in as Governor of South Australia.
It is understood that His Excellency is the first Vietnamese-born person who has ever been appointed to a Vice-Regal position in the world.
His Excellency was awarded the Australia Day Medal in 1996 for outstanding service to Australian Securities and Investment Commission, and has been awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal for service to the advancement of multiculturalism.
On Australia Day 2010, His Excellency was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Australia for service to the community in South Australia. He has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from both Adelaide University and Flinders University.
His Excellency is married to Mrs Lan Le, with whom he has two adult sons, Don and Kim.
Ali has had an association with Minda through her brother who has an intellectual disability.
She understands the important work and community Minda offers and feels privileged to be involved.
After working in commercial radio for more than a decade, Ali is now the Mornings Presenter on 891 ABC Adelaide.
She enjoys spending time with her husband Matt and three children and loves nothing more than spending time with them ... even if it does mean watching a lot of Star Wars and cleaning up copious amounts of glitter.
Phil Hoffmann AM
Former Chairman to the Board of the South Australian Tourism Commission, Phil Hoffmann is a graduate of the University of Adelaide and after an early career as Senior Lecturer for Staff Development, he has managed and owned large retail and corporate travel agencies over the past twenty-five years.
Phil Hoffmann Travel was founded by Phil in September 1990, who with over 20 years experience within the travel industry, wanted to pursue his particular “Customer Care Philosophy”; that is to place the interests of customers first, plus a quality of service that would be second to none in the travel industry.
Whilst not actively seeking awards, it was with much pleasure that Phil Hoffmann Travel received many accolades from the industry over the past 14 years, including (for the eighth time) the AFTA Travel Award for Excellence - South Australian Agency of the Year in 1999/2000.
Phil Hoffmann Travel was voted National Agency of the Year Award in 1993, 1995, 1999 and again in 2004 and 2005 and has won numerous American Express Agency of The Year Awards together with the SA Small Business Regional Awards in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Phil Hoffmann Corporate Travel was voted Australia’s No.1 Corporate Agency at the National Travel Industry Awards in 2001 and recently inducted into the inaugural Qantas Platinum Club.
Katrina Webb-Denis OAM
Katrina Webb is recognised and acknowledged for her unique athleticism and outstanding success as a Paralympic athlete.
When Katrina was 18, on a netball scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport, she discovered that a weakness on her right side was a mild case of Cerebral Palsy. Because Katrina’s CP was not obvious, initially she found it easier to hide.
With the discovery of her CP, Katrina realised that she was eligible to compete at the Paralympic Games. A difficult decision to make, Katrina decided to tackle her disability head on and take on the challenge.
At her first Paralympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, Katrina won a Gold Medal in the 100m and 200m sprint and a Silver medal in the Long Jump. At the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games Katrina had the honour of being the first torchbearer to enter the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony and went on to win Silver in the 100m and 400m sprint and a Bronze Medal in the 200m sprint.
At the Athens Paralympic Games in 2004, Katrina won another Gold medal for the 400m sprint and set a new Paralympic Record. Katrina's success on the track has made her one of Australia's top performing Paralympic athletes.
Now one of Katrina's biggest rewards in her life has been to learn how to overcome her disability, love her uniqueness and celebrate her difference. With her natural positive attitude, a love for new challenges and excellent people skills, off the track Katrina is the Director of her own business Silver 2 Gold.
Katrina's success as an athlete and as a business woman has been recognised internationally, when she was one of four athletes selected from around the world to present at the closing ceremony of the United Nations International Year of Sport and Physical Education in New York in 2006. In 2012 Katrina was named one of three International Paralympic Committee Ambassadors at the London Paralympic Games.