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Author: TCE Admin

Ferne Millen Board Member

Ferne Millen

Ferne Millen Board Member

Ferne Millen 

Ferne has been working as an artist, photographer and art director in her own business for over twenty years. She is dedicated to tackling social issues such as Indigenous affairs, mental health and the overall health of community through creative development.

During Covid Ferne pivoted to enable some of her passion projects to develop further and a touring exhibition encompassing sound, photograph and installation was born. Working closely with the Wadawurrung Traditional owners, “Journey on Wadawurrung Country “was created with a need to educate and engage community who had expressed a desire to learn more about the people who took care of these lands for thousands of years where we live work and play.

Ferne loves nature and living here on the Surf Coast and hopes to continue to engage with all manner of activities that enhance, protect our environment and creates genuine, lifelong relationships here on the Surf Coast to build a better and healthier community.

Brian Singer

Brian Singer is best known locally as one of the two founder-owners of international surfing company Rip Curl, based in Torquay since 1967 when Brian and Doug Warbrick started the company.

Through their business, Brian and Doug have actively supported a broad variety of local community activities and groups over the past four decades including the kindergartens and schools, coast action groups, surf lifesaving, football and netball clubs among others.

Now a director of Rip Curl (rather than working in the business full-time), Brian is a Bells Beach resident when he’s not travelling – one of his favourite pastimes. He’s also an avid surfer and snow-skier, a die-hard Geelong Cats supporter and one of a very small number of people to have successfully climbed Mount Vinson, the Antarctic’s highest peak.

Dean Webster

Dean has a background in agriculture and has worked in Western Victoria, remote outback Australia and Northern Ireland. He has worked on large land care and water saving projects in the Great Artesian Basin and provided skills training for the unemployed and the Aboriginal community.

Dean has travelled extensively throughout Asia, researching regional development and aid projects and facilitating trade and investment opportunities. He is now a self-employed beef producer and fire prevention contractor.

Dean was a member of the Surf Coast Shire’s planning committee for 10 years and is currently deputy-chair of Surf Coast Energy Group. He was elected to the Surf Coast Council in 2004, served as Mayor in 2007/2008 and was re-elected in November, 2008.

Dean is an outspoken advocate of alternative energy and water saving projects, a reduced carbon footprint, appropriate, sustainable, strategic land use planning and regional tourism.

Sujin Boonchuay

Sujin is originally from Thailand and has lived on the Surf Coast and in Geelong for 28 years.

She is a well-known member of the local business community as the owner and manager of two Sujin Thai restaurants – one in Torquay and on the waterfront in Geelong.

Sujin is the president of the Geelong Thai community group and was previously the South-East Asian liaison officer for the Surf Coast Shire and the Migrant Resource Centre.

She is a proud supporter of the Bendigo Bank community enterprise model and enjoys helping to find ways of improving the quality of life on the Surf Coast for its diverse residents.

Michael Brugman

Michael has been participating in community groups for almost 30 years, particularly community legal centres.

He says he discovered early on in his career that professional groups can often be closed and aloof and reluctant to share the knowledge their members possess. By being involved in community groups like the Torquay Community Enterprise (TCE), he plans to use the skills and knowledge that he can offer for the benefit of others in the local area.

Michael believes the TCE is a fantastic grassroots means for the Bendigo Bank to form working relationships with the local community to the benefit of all participants in the initiative.

Michael is a father of four boys and has an established legal practice in Geelong.

David Cheatley

David Cheatley is a retired Westpac (Bank of New South Wales) State Manager having completed 35 years’ service after joining the bank in 1958 from a Northern Victorian Rural Farming Community.
David is currently a member of Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) Torquay Jan Juc Group, where he has held the position of Co-Ordinator for the past 10 years. Also, an active foundation member of the Combined Probus Club of Torquay, having served in many committee positions.
David has been actively involved as a volunteer in many not for profit organisations since the early 1960’s covering organisations in Victoria, Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales.

Experienced in philanthropic organisations and held a former role as a Campaign Director and Board Member of United Way Geelong (now known as “Give Where you Live) in the late 1980’s
David is married to Jan, has a son and daughter and 5 grandchildren. He has a passion for not For Profit community organisations.

Gretchen Gibson

Gretchen Gibson works in Economic Development as the Business Support Officer at the Surf Coast Shire. Gretchen has lived and worked in Torquay for over 20 years with experience in owning her own business and working across a range of industries including Tourism, Hospitality and Health & Fitness. Gretchen currently administers the COVID Recovery Assistance grants and has worked in grant management for over 15 years. She loves to help her community to increase its capacity by applying for and writing competitive grants.

Gretchen genuinely loves to help others and is keen to see our Shire keep its strong community connections, be a great place to live and work with a great healthy work-life balance. She wants to help promote activities that fit with the balance of long-term sustainability with the environment, community and the economy. Gretchen strongly supports Torquay Community Enterprise for the ongoing support of our wonderful community.

Robert Harris

Robert has lived in Torquay for over nine years, having first visited the town in the early 1980’s. He is the branch manager of the Bendigo Bank in Torquay, a position he has held since the branch opened in July 2006.

Robert has been involved in various local junior sport committees and has also coached junior sport teams.

He believes the community enterprise concept is an excellent way to develop local communities. He is excited about the future possibilities for the Torquay Community Enterprise to contribute to worthwhile local initiatives.

Laura Connor

Laura Connor is the Co-Ordinator of the Spring Creek Community House in Torquay and has been in the position for thirteen years. Laura is also a Committee Member of Torquay Food Aid, the Editor of Springboard Community Newsletter, Chairperson of the Surf Coast Rural Australians for Refugees and a member of the Surf Coast Network of Neighbourhood Houses and the Barwon Network of Neighbourhood Houses.

Laura’s other community commitments include the role of co-founder and founding President of the Surf Coast Life Activities Club and her work as co-founder and founding President of the Danawa Community Garden at Spring Creek Reserve.

Laura’s passion is to see community groups working together to create vibrant and diverse local communities.

Rose Hodge

Rose Hodge is a Councillor with the Surf Coast Shire and a five time Mayor. She was elected as a Councillor in 2004 and is now serving her fifth term.

Rose has had an association with the Torquay and Jan Juc area for over 50 years. A former dental therapist, she is now a partner in a bricklaying business with her husband. They have three sons.

One of her boys is autistic and she is passionate about creating opportunities for people with disabilities.
Rose serves on the Board of Gateways Support Services. She has been president of the Jan Juc Kindergarten, a committee member of the Torquay Cricket Club and the Spring Creek Community House and she is a life member of the Torquay Netball Club.

She loves contributing to a robust, connected community and appreciates the work volunteers do through organisations such as the Bendigo Bank’s Torquay Community Enterprise.