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Bendigo Kangan Institute Board Chair awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia

In recognition of long-standing advocacy and leadership in education, regional and rural development, we’re proud to announce Margaret O’Rourke, Board Chair of Bendigo Kangan Institute, has been awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia.

Part of the King’s Birthday Honours List 2024, the medal is the highest recognition for outstanding achievement and service to our nation. We are proud Marg’s contribution to community has been recognised today.

Marg has been at the helm of Bendigo TAFE for more than 15 years, joining the institution in 2008 as a Board Director and serving as Board President when it merged with Kangan Institute in 2014.

Marg stayed on as Deputy Board Chair of Bendigo Kangan Institute (which consists of four brands – Bendigo TAFE, Kangan Institute, VETASSESS and eWorks) until 2022 when she was elected Board Chair.

Marg has been a vital conduit between Bendigo TAFE and the broader Bendigo community, where she currently sits as a councillor and has served as Mayor for the city from 2016 to 2020.

Marg’s leadership has been instrumental to achieve many great outcomes and significant projects in the region, including:

  • $8m Food and Fibre Centre of Excellence, Bendigo Charleston Road Campus (2017 to 2018)
  • $18m Health and Community Centre of Excellence, Bendigo City Campus (2018)
  • $60m Bendigo City Campus Revitalisation (2021)
  • New Skills and Jobs Centre, Echuca Campus (2023)

A further $4m has been secured for a new Health and Learning Hub in Castlemaine, to be developed alongside Dhelkaya Health and poised for opening in 2024.

Marg has been part of a dynamic Board that has supported Bendigo Kangan Institute through a range of challenges – from the pandemic to campus development, industry-wide transformations, and changes in state government leadership.

A key achievement of the Board is the development of Bendigo Kangan Institute’s 2020>2025 Strategic Plan, incorporating a whole-of-organisation transformation program. Driven by the ambition and vision of the Board and leadership team, the change program has resulted in a range of new and improved systems, processes and capabilities, plus more than $30m financial benefits realised and over 13,000 m2 of building revitalised.

During this period, the Board, with Marg as Chair, also saw Bendigo TAFE reaccredited by the Australian Skills Quality Authority for a further seven years, which is testament to the results of the transformation program and improved ways of working.

Marg’s commitment to regional education is set to continue with her recent appointment as Head of La Trobe’s Bendigo Campus. Marg will hold her position as Bendigo Kangan Institute’s Board Chair until the end of her tenure in August 2024.

 

Quotes attributable to Bendigo Kangan Institute Board Chair, Margaret O’Rourke OAM:

“It’s been a team effort. I am so pleased we are seeing Bendigo Kangan making a real difference to our students’ lives, enabling them to be better prepared for their vocational journey.

“It has been a privilege to work with the amazing staff at Bendigo Kangan Institute and the Board. Being ambitious for our endeavours, collaborating and connecting community is what makes me excited for our future.”

 

Quotes attributable to Bendigo TAFE CEO, Sally Curtain:

“On behalf of Bendigo Kangan Institute, we congratulate Marg on being awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia. This prestigious honour is a truly deserved recognition of Marg’s outstanding leadership and commitment to regional education and community development.

“Marg’s dedication to Bendigo Kangan Institute and the wider Victorian community has been nothing short of inspiring.

“Marg’s unwavering vision and guidance has led our TAFE to achieve significant milestones, enabling us to keep delivering world-class education in the regions we serve, and providing vital opportunities for countless students, employers and communities.”

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