Our Board

John Bale

Managing Director & Co-Founder - Fortem Australia | Co-Founder - Soldier On Australia

John Bale is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Fortem Australia.  He is also the Co-Founder and former CEO of Soldier On Australia, a charity that works side by side with veterans who have served, and continue to serve our nation.  John was the CEO of Soldier On from its inception in April 2012 until November 2018.
John is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Royal Military College - Duntroon.  He has deployed to Afghanistan twice; once in 2008 and then again in 2010.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and a Masters of Arts and Management.  He is current a PhD candidate at ANU writing on Moral Injury in Australian Peacekeeping Operations.  John is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Anthony Court

Lead Partner, National Security and Justice at KPMG

Anthony is the Lead Partner for the National Security & Justice Sector within KPMG. Anthony has 14 years as a commissioned officer in the Royal Australian Army followed by 23 years as a management consultant across Federal Government, Defence and National Security Agencies. Anthony commenced his career learning the fundamentals as a project manager in the information technology arena and grew his experience into wider capability development and implementation through to the designing and implementing organisational reform programs.
 Anthony has a BSc(Hons) in Physics and a Masters in Military Electronic Systems Engineering. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a post graduate in accounting as well as a range of certifications in project, programme and portfolio management.  

Bede Gahan

Partner, HWL Ebsworth

Bede is a Partner in the Canberra Workplace Relations Group, specialising in workplace relations, discrimination and work health and safety law.

Karen Gee

Technology Business Partner, Melbourne Water

Karen Gee is an executive leader in technology in ICT Services across local, region and global industries.  Karen has experience in leading large and complex business change programs, including service delivery and program management in diverse and changing environments.  Her background has included working across various sectors including IT, telecommunications, engineering, mining, health, education, financial, manufacturing and logistics.   

 Karen is a passionate and dedicated advocate for improving inclusion and diversity.  She volunteers her time to several ICT industry initiatives and is an advocate for the Soldier On Program (education & employment pathways for national defence and security service personnel and families).   Karen is a Board Director for Fortem Australia, motivated by a purpose to serve our community, Karen has joined us with a commitment to help improve the health and wellbeing of our national security and first responders.  She is also a Board Director, Membership Advisory Board for ACS (professional association of Australia’s ICT sector).    

Tara Taubenschlag

Managing Director, CMAX Advisory

Tara is the Managing Director of CMAX Advisory. She has worked in government relations, communications and journalism for 20 years. Tara worked as a print and television journalist both nationally and internationally, producing and presenting news and current affairs programs for Sky News and Channel Ten. During her time at CMAX Advisory, Tara has counselled clients in reputation management, strategic communications, issue and crisis management and corporate social responsibility.   

 Tara is passionate about giving back to the community both personally and professionally. She assists a number of non-profit and community organisations with their public affairs and communications needs on a pro bono basis. Tara helped establish the East Timor Free Press Foundation following the independence referendum in 2000, receiving an Australian Government Award in recognition for her volunteer work.  

Andrew Jiear

Company Secretary, Fortem Australia | Management Consultant, KPMG

 Andrew has over 15 years as a commissioned officer in the Royal Australian Army. He has operational experience both domestically and internationally; including deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) with Honours and is undertaking a Masters of Arts (Strategy & Management), Masters of Business.