WDEA Works Welcomes New Chair
After a lifetime of involvement in his local community, Dennis Barnett has been elected by the WDEA Works Committee of Management (COM) as its new Chairperson. Based in Bendigo, Dennis has served the committee for three years as a member and Treasurer.
Dennis’s involvement in his community includes volunteering for the CFA, judging the Bendigo Business Excellence Awards, and running free soccer clinics for Bendigo-based disability service providers. In his role as a chartered accountant, Dennis regularly provides advice to a diverse range of businesses, including the health and disability sectors and many not-for-profit organisations.
The appointment took place at WDEA Works’ 31st Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday 28th October when previous Chair Mary Graham stepped down from her position.
Mary has served as Chairperson since 2015, elected to the role after the retirement of long-standing CEO Mick White. Mary graciously extended her term as Chair for the past twelve months, providing stability and support for our incoming CEO Tom Scarborough.
Mary is WDEA Works’ longest-serving existing COM Member and has provided invaluable insights into the governance of the organisation, playing an integral role in its continued growth. The WDEA Works COM and Management thank her for her contribution and recognise the importance of her role in supporting and mentoring our new Chair in the continuation of her tenure.
Other changes to WDEA Works COM include the retirement of Kellie King, Troy West and Keith Haines. Previous member Peter Lake finished his term at last year’s AGM. WDEA Works thanks Kellie, Troy, Keith and Peter for their service and contribution.
Keith’s retirement comes after a 17-year association with WDEA Works, which included his work at Vantage Inc and his role as one of the founding members of Nigretta Social Enterprise business in Hamilton.
As Chair, Dennis will be supported by Vice-Chair Trish McLean, newly elected Treasurer Cameron Power, and newly elected Secretary Michael Obst, as well as existing members Mary Graham and Mick White.
The Committee also welcomed Annabel Cussen and Ian Burke to the COM.
Annabel (based in Warrnambool) has a background in Stakeholder and Community Engagement, serving in various engagement roles within Warrnambool City Council and Wannon Water. She is passionate about positive community outcomes and works with the Fletcher Jones Foundation to deliver projects supporting the community, as well as sitting on the board of Leadership Great South Coast.
Ian has a background in Strategic Formulation with a doctorate focused on strategy formulation in Australian Small to Medium Enterprises (SME’s) in both for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. As a previous Director of Red Cross within its DES programs, and with a background in Risk Management and Finance, Ian brings a breadth of experience to the Committee.