Premier John Brumby today announced he had appointed prominent Victorian businessman Ian Dicker as new chair of the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority (VBRRA).
Mr Brumby said from Monday 16 August, Mr Dicker would replace outgoing chair Christine Nixon who has served the Authority for 18 months.
Mr Brumby said Mr Dicker was a well-known leader in the Victorian business community who had the leadership and skills to drive the next stage of recovery in communities affected by the tragic Black Saturday and Gippsland bushfires.
“Mr Dicker is a highly-skilled business professional and I believe his strong leadership skills and experience in working with communities make him the right choice to drive this next, vital stage of the rebuilding and recovery of the towns affected by these fires,” Mr Brumby said.
“Mr Dicker will oversee an unprecedented rebuilding and economic recovery program to get towns back on their feet and transform them into the vibrant, successful places they were before the Black Saturday fires.”
Mr Dicker is owner and chairman of Steritech, was chief executive of major company Ansell from 1974 to 1989, is a former director of companies including Australian Wheat Board, Costa’s, Consolidated Paper Industries and has served on international boards. Mr Dicker was a senior associate of the Melbourne School of Business and is a former Hawthorn Football Club president.
Mr Dicker said he looked forward to working closely with the people and communities affected by the 2009 bushfires.
“So many people from affected communities have stepped in to be a part of the recovery effort and I’m honoured to be able to work alongside them,” Mr Dicker said.
“I bring my skills and experience in a business capacity, but also my ability to work with people in a spirit of team work and cooperation.”
Mr Dicker will also focus on working with the Authority’s rebuilding advisory team to develop further industry-based responses for the rebuilding of houses in bushfire risk areas. This will include a new scheme to recruit qualified builders and retired builders to mentor homeowners as they rebuild.
Mr Brumby again thanked Ms Nixon for her services to VBRRA, saying she had proven to the right person for the difficult job of helping communities rebuild and recover.
Ms Nixon will continue her work with bushfire-affected communities, VBRRA and the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund on a voluntary basis.
“Christine has helped bushfire communities rebuild after the worst natural disaster in Australia’s history,” Mr Brumby said. “As well as focusing on the bricks and mortar of bushfire-affected communities, Ms Nixon’s tremendous compassion has been critical to helping them to recover.”