New Chair, Retirements & Resignation

Pam Macdonald – Retirement

Remembrance Parks Central Victoria’s chair, Pam Macdonald, is stepping down on 31 August after ten years on the board, with the last seven as chair.

During Pam’s time on the board, a number of significant changes have taken place, including the restoration of the Bendigo Chapel, the re-dedication of the grave of Bishop Langley, significant investment in beautification and restoration of the six RPCV sites, alongside a refresh of internal systems and processes. More recently, under Pam’s leadership, RPCV took on the additional management of Pine Lodge and Kialla Cemeteries.

Pam thanks her fellow board members, who she said were amazing and talented members of the community and also thanked staff who looked after Remembrance Park’s cemeteries for their hard work and funeral directors for their time and generosity across the region.


Damien Tangey – Retirement

Upon his retirement, Damien notes that he has been given a wonderful opportunity to serve as a Trust member and custodian of the Bendigo Cemeteries Trust over the past six years. He has enjoyed working in a very collegiate manner with the other Trust members in achieving ongoing modernisation of our sites, practices and most importantly the range of services we provide to the communities who depend on us.

As outgoing Chair of the Finance Committee, he is very satisfied that we have in place well managed and measured outcomes to ensure the long-term viability of the Trust. More broadly Damien notes that great progress has been made in seeking to demystify the process and services available in the difficult and sensitive times we all experience with the passing of someone close to us. We have worked with many elements of our diverse communities in understanding their needs and ensuring that the ongoing growth and development of the trusts service meets these needs. The recent renaming of the Bendigo Cemeteries Trust to Remembrance Parks Central Victoria is a representation of this. The restoration of buildings and facilities over time has ensured that the use of these great public spaces as remembrance parks provides a new level of visitation, interaction and positive celebration of the significant history and memories they hold.

RPCV thanks Damien for his input over the last six years, not only to the board, but to our staff and the greater Bendigo community and wishes him well for the future.


Ken Belfrage – Resignation

Ken joined the board in 2013 and during that time held roles as Chair of the Finance Committee and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee, as well as sitting on the Remuneration Committee. Ken was involved in many changes over the last seven years that have had a positive impact on the Trust, including the appointment of Dean McElroy as the CEO, significant changes to the financial management of the organisation and the appointment of new board members.

Ken valued his time as a board member of the Trust, particularly working under Chairperson Pam Macdonald, who has provided sound leadership and guidance for the Trust and Ken also enjoyed his interaction with other board members who have all made valuable contributions to the board.

We sincerely thank Ken for his service to the board, the organisation and the community and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.


Craig Lloyd – Resignation

RPCV thank Craig for his time on the board, where he contributed his knowledge of business and skills in planning, project and resource management and community development. Craig’s contributions to our organisation and community will be appreciated for many years to come. We wish Craig well in his future ventures


Marg Lewis – New Chair

With the retirement of Pam Macdonald, we are happy to announce the appointment of Marg Lewis to the position of chair. Marg was appointed to the board in July 2018 and is also the chair of Joyce’s Creek Cemetery Trust. She has an interest in the historical aspects of cemeteries, particularly our local goldfields cemeteries. Marg also sits on our Finance Committee.


New Board Appointments

We welcome four new members to our board from 1 September 2020 and are confident they will bring with them, a unique set of skills to enable them to contribute to the continued success of RPCV.

Deborah Hambleton AICD

Deborah’s areas of practice have encompassed corporate law, governance, mergers and acquisitions and alliances, as well as law reform, regulation and policy-making, and she has held a number of senior legal roles at international banks and in the corporate sector.

Deborah has held a number of non-executive director roles, including Coliban Water and Kyneton District Health and is currently an independent director on the board of RSPCA Australia and a member of several professional committees including with the Law Council of Australia and Governance Institute of Australia.

She lives locally in Malmsbury and was previously a member of the Malmsbury Cemetery Trust. Deborah’s great grandfather is buried at the Bendigo Remembrance Park.


Marissa Hewitt

Marissa served on her first Board 14 years ago, and to the RPCV Board, she brings her wealth of knowledge in governance, financial management and her experience working for international blue-chip organisations as well as private consulting.

A Chartered Accountant, Marissa holds a Masters of Supply Chain Management, Bachelor of Commerce, a number of project management qualifications and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

With her heart in Central Victoria, Marissa’s long term aims for RPCV are to ensure the loved ones at our remembrance parks are looked after well into a sustainable future.


Madeleine Laming

Madeleine is an experienced board member with expertise in governance and strategic planning. She has been a member of the Board and Regional Councils within the Victorian adult, community and further education sectors, and a Director of a range of community and not-for-profit organisations in the areas of human rights education and the prevention of family violence. Madeleine’s professional career was as a teacher and academic in Zimbabwe, Victoria, and Western Australia. She is Deputy Chair of the Kilmore Cemetery Trust and an active Justice of the Peace.


Laura Patterson

Laura has operated a communications and public relations consultancy for fifteen years with an emphasis on reputation management. Laura is an experienced executive across non-profit, agriculture, retail, finance, health and community services. A published historian with a strong interest in the preservation and protection of sacred places, Laura is an active member of the Strathfieldsaye community and a past Director of St Luke’s Anglicare.