National Council (Board of Directors)

The affairs of the AIA are managed by our National Council (ie. our Board of Directors).  The Council meets generally four to five times per year. 

Here are some details of your current Council:-

Graeme Bottrill (Sydney, NSW) National President and IT Committee Chair

bottrill graeme

Graeme trained in building and quantity surveying and for the last 25 years has been involved in construction industry computer systems. He has worked mostly in Sydney, but also frequently travelled to work in Asia. Graeme retired from full-time work early in 2008, and is currently working as a consultant to many construction companies. He has been a member of AIA since 2006, and manages the family superannuation fund and other family investments. He has a keen interest in technical analysis. Graeme joined the Council in April 2009 and is currently Chair of the IT Committee and National President.

Brian Spies (Sydney, NSW) NSW Committee Chair and Director

spiesbrianBrian has been a member of the AIA since 2004 and is Chair of the NSW Committee. His professional career spans research in geology, nuclear physics, climate change and water policy. Brian has served in executive positions in a number of non-profit organisations in Australia and the USA. Recently retired, Brian takes an active role in managing his investments and is a passionate advocate for investor education

John Venn (Perth, WA) WA Committee Chair and Director

venn johnJohn was trained as an electrical/mechanical engineer in the UK and migrated to Australia in 1963 to take up position as design engineer for power generation systems. John has taken an active role in the community for over 30 years having volunteered in the local parish, WA soccer, Apex and the local tennis. John has been an active AIA member since 1997 and is responsible for coordinating the AIA activities in Perth. John joined the Board in 2001.

Russell Lees (Melbourne, VIC) Vice President and Director


Russell has 25 years work experience working for large national and international business in the finance sector covering all facets of investing – from working with trusts and estates (ANZ Trustees), stockbroking (J B Were), funds management (ANZ) and international trading markets (Reuters). In 2004 Russell made the move into wealth management as a means to use all his financial knowledge and experience for the benefit of others. Russell has been a member of the AIA since 2010 and have been actively involved with the organisation regularly participating in activities, including contributing as a member of the Victoria committee, running the Blackburn discussion group since 2011, and presenting at AIA conferences etc.

Chris Soutter (Adelaide, SA) SA Committee Chair and Director


Chris qualified with a B.Sc. and a B.E. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Adelaide.  He had migrated to Australia with his parents in 1962 from the UK.  After graduating he worked for the PMG Department, later to become Telstra.  In 1975 he gained a scholarship that enabled him to obtain a Master of Science Degree by Research at the University of Bradford.  He continued working at Telstra until 1982 when he joined Santos Ltd where he worked for five years managing the Telecommunications and IT services for the remote oil and gas facilities that Santos operated.  He then joined a consulting company and undertook Telecommunications and IT consulting services for a variety of organisations becoming State Manager of the company in 1995.  More recently he has been providing project management services on a contract basis to a number of organisations predominantly SA government organisations.  He is married and has two sons. He enjoys travel, driving his Mazda MX5, is a member of the Mt Osmond Golf Club and manages an SMSF with his wife.  He has been involved with the AIA in SA since 2002.

Robert Weissmann (Sydney, NSW) Treasurer

Weissmann Robert3

Robert qualified as a chartered accountant in 1989 working in public accounting  practices providing tax and corporate services to small and medium sized businesses.  From 1990 to 2007 he worked in industry as both a senior corporate accountant and as a contractor.  From 2007 onwards he commenced the process of transitioning from full time work to retirement.  Robert has an SMSF and personal investments.

Jon Kalkman (Brisbane, QLD) Director


Jon retired from the position of Principal of Southport Special School in 2007 in the Queensland Education Department. At that time, he and his wife established a SMSF to invest their retirement savings and to provide an income stream in their retirement. Their confidence in doing so came in large measure from their exposure to the invaluable information provided by the AIA previously.

He has been a member of the AIA since 2005 and Chair of the Brisbane Committee as well as a Director on the National Board from 2014 to 2017. He was reappointed to the Board in 2018. He has a particular interest in retirement income streams as well as estate planning. Jon and his wife have two adult children, both married as well as adorable two grand-children.