About / People and Careers

our People

If you are looking to grow your business, enhance your career, or draw inspiration from local entrepreneurs, you are in the right place. The desire you have to reach your full potential, to accelerate your business growth – is echoed throughout Be.Bendigo.

Our Board


Marika McMahon,
O’Farrell Robertson McMahon

What do you see Be.Bendigo’s ongoing role in supporting our
business community in a COVID environment?

Covid has been an interesting time as a lawyer. Suddenly things about the law which happened “under the bonnet”, such as making rules and regulations, became front and centre. Loving to read regulations and interpret them was a blessing and a curse  during Covid – on the one hand was handy to be able to navigate the constantly  changing environment. On the other hand it was pretty stressful. That process  made it really clear to me  though that a key role for  Be.Bendigo is providing that link between government and businesses – whether that be advocating for a better deal for business, helping businesses navigate government requirements and opportunities or in convincing government of how great Bendigo is.

What do I bring to Be.Bendigo?

I have now been involved with Be.Bendigo for a very long time, so some of what I bring is that history and knowledge of the organisation and how it has supported business in Bendigo. What I hope to bring to Be.Bendigo though is my passion for Bendigo being the best place to live and work which drives me to support others to be their best in Bendigo.


Robyn Lindsay,
Bendigo Health

What do you see Be.Bendigo’s ongoing role in supporting our business community in a COVID environment?

Be.Bendigo plays a key role in supporting Greater Bendigo to be a healthy and prosperous place to live and work. Be.Bendigo brings together businesses of all sizes as well as other key community groups such as local health services to improve the health and well being of the community through advocacy and the support of business. During the pandemic Be.Bendigo has supported the public health effort by connecting business to up to date information in how to operate safely and productively with a great focus on well-being.

What I bring to Be.Bendigo?

As an executive director at Bendigo Health, one of the largest employers in Bendigo, I oversee a complex portfolio with over 2000 team members. I have well developed financial, risk management and strategic planning and governance skills developed during my 20 years of working in the health industry and involvement with a number of boards. I am passionate about the interface between business and better health an am proud of the contribution that Be.Bendigo is making to building the leadership capacity of the region.


Damien Tangey,
Birchgrove Property

What do you see Be.Bendigo’s ongoing role in supporting our business community in a COVID environment?

The role of be. Bendigo is critical to help identify, assist with and communicate to government the economic effect of Covid on different business sectors in the Bendigo region.

In addition Be. Bendigo has been offering support and discussion with affected businesses throughout the course of the past 18 months. We now need to consider Covid normal operating environments and how to increasingly insulate the business community from the significant effects of ongoing lock-downs as greater operating freedoms open up with higher inoculation rates. Clearly some sectors have been hit harder than others and these will need strong advocacy to return to normal trading levels.

What do I bring to Be.Bendigo?

I am passionate about the inclusive growth and development of the Bendigo region and seek to bring a broad strategic perspective to Be.Bendigo. I have operated a local business Birchgrove Property for over 25 years and have worked extensively in the area of building new communities.
I am chair of the Business Excellence Gala Awards Committee and serve on the Advocacy Committee of Be.Bendigo to assist in communicating the needs of our members and region to the broader community and tiers of government.
I also serve in other roles that bring a strong business perspective to Be.Bendigo as the Board Chair of Haven Home Safe, a Director of the Victorian Planning Authority, a Member of the Loddon Mallee Regional Development Australia Committee and as College Council President of Bendigo Senior Secondary College.


Damien Palmer, AFS & Associates
Chartered Accountants

What do you see Be.Bendigo’s ongoing role in supporting our business community in a COVID environment?

As an accountant and advisor to a wide range of businesses in Bendigo, I see how important relationships are to my clients in conducting their businesses. Businesses may not have all the answers or resources, but if they don’t, they need to know where to go to find them. Be.Bendigo plays an important role in facilitating business-to-business relationships to help businesses connect with each other. As they say, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
Be.Bendigo is the voice for business in Bendigo, whether it’s liaising with all levels of Government, other regional business organisations or chambers, or private industry, to get things done. Being a part of Be.Bendigo helps your voice be heard for all things business in Bendigo.

What do I bring to Be.Bendigo?

I’m lucky to be the accountant and advisor for many Bendigo businesses, and in that role, I gain a valuable insight into what’s on their mind, good and bad. I bring this broad-based business insight to Be.Bendigo, which enables me to make a valuable strategic contribution to Be.Bendigo and support our members.


Nick Carter,
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

What do you see Be.Bendigo’s ongoing role in supporting our business community in a COVID environment?

From a hospitality perspective the change will be significant on the back of COVID on many levels. Be.Bendigo’s role is to engage this segment of the industry with business and industry bodies to bring collaboration and solutions to the table. Be.Bendigo has many assets to bring to the table to assist hospitality participants adjust to the new wave of regulations, health and wellbeing of businesses and growth this sector post COVID.

What do I bring to Be.Bendigo?

Growing up in business, in a small business with my parents, and subsequently with my sister has given me a great appreciation for the challenges, and opportunities in running a business. In addition, my professional role as Head of Consumer Banking at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank gives me a look at business from a different angle, particularly around the regulatory challenges that will impact our business community, and the power of communities working together via our partnership model Community Bank®


Hayley Tibbett,
Indulge Chocolates

What do you see Be.Bendigo’s ongoing role in supporting our business community in a COVID environment?

Be.Bendigo is valuable to all business from small to large, providing the opportunity to work together, share information and resources. The onset of the Covid pandemic has highlighted the role Be.Bendigo has to play being a united voice on issues and a resource for all relevant information.  

Moving forward Be.Bendigo represent  business on issues affecting all and work as one to advocate for the betterment of Bendigo.  A strong, united community supporting each other for the smart growth of our city.

What do I bring to Be.Bendigo?

I bring the unique perspective of a small business owner with ten years experience in retail and hospitality; managing staff, manufacturing and maintaining strong commercial relationships. My background includes fitness, hospitality, and administration. My commitment is to ensure that Bendigo and our region fulfill our potential to be a leading force in business in Australia.


Eve Ritchens,
Bendigo Stadium Ltd.

What do you see Be.Bendigo’s ongoing role in supporting our business community in a COVID environment?

Be.Bendigo has continued to deliver the Rob Hunt Leadership program and Mentor/Mentee program over the last two years despite impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. Both programs play an important role in our business community preparing young professionals to be future leaders.

What do I bring to Be.Bendigo?

As a committee member for the Bendigo Young Professionals I am passionate about the opportunities that living regionally presents for young people and believe that Be.Bendigo plays an important role in connecting like-minded people and businesses. I bring my background in marketing and strategic communications to the board for B2B relationships, serving on the Engagement Committee to ensure the best member experience, and the Business Excellence Awards Committee to help deliver the business awards in Bendigo.


Michael McKern,
McKern Steel

What do you see Be.Bendigo’s ongoing role in supporting our  business community in a COVID environment?

COVID has changed our lives so dramatically in so many ways, whether that be Business, home, schooling, sport or Community. Be.Bendigo’s role in the business world has never been more important or involved with the navigation around the new rules and regulations. The daily support and information on all levels with events and news provides guidance at a time when it is needed. My company has benefited greatly and will continue to do so.

What do I bring to Be.Bendigo?

As a long-term business owner in Eaglehawk, we have steadily grown the business over the years by employing the people who live in the area. We have a strong ethic around supporting local, buying local and assisting organizations that our staff are passionate about and involved with. We have our own Company foundation that has an agenda to provide kids with an improved healthy active lifestyle and future. I am also involved with an Eaglehawk foundation to support groups in the 3556 area and am the current Chair of Bendigo Sports star. Be.Bendigo has a great challenge over the next few years as the COGB grows with more people moving out of Metropolitan areas due to the pandemic, and I look forward to being part of that ongoing discussion and solution.

Current Opportunities

Our People


Rob Herbert

Rob commenced as CEO at Be.Bendigo in February 2022 having previously held Senior Management roles in Business and Specialist Banking for more than 20 years.

Rob enjoys connecting with local Greater Bendigo businesses and stakeholders to best understand how Be.Bendigo can support and advocate for the key needs of the business community.


Josh DeAraugo

As the Engagement Manager, Josh takes care of all our Members and Partners.

Working with businesses to determine what they need and how Be.Bendigo can represent and support them. As part of this role, Josh helps businesses ‘Be.Come’ new Members by signing them up to our ever-growing list and makes sure that these new members are aware of what we do and how we can help.


Sharon Good

Our weekly newsletter is brought to you by Sharon. Collating all the new information about members and partners and keeping us all up to date on current events around town, Sharon arranges all this information in a neat little package.

On top of this, Sharon oversees the organizing of our events. This involves booking venues, ticketing, arranging catering and for the last two years, plenty of rescheduling and sending Zoom links.  Everything that needs to be done so that our Events, Training and Workshops can run smoothly.


Michelle Clarke

As well as making sure all the reporting is done, bills are paid, meetings are scheduled, the phone is answered and the office runs smoothly, Michelle has recently taken over Be.Bendigo’s Social Media presence. Making sure our Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn are all on brand and representing Be.Bendigo in the best way.


Petra McLoughlin

Petra runs our GROW program and has done since the start of 2018.

With passion, Petra works with businesses, organisations and employment providers collectively challenging the status quo to create innovative solutions and develop programs to create opportunities for people with a barrier to enter or re-enter the workforce.

Be.Bendigo has retained the services of Rob Stephenson as the Be.Bendigo Advocacy Lead.