Recognises outstanding service to the co-operative and mutual sector

The BCCM champions leadership as service to the co-operative and mutual sector and this was recognised at the annual Taste of Australia Industry Dinner, which was held in the Auditorium at the Pan Pacific Hotel Perth. West Australia’s co-operative produce stole the show with a bespoke menu from Pan Pacific Executive Chef, Matt Lonne. The dinner highlighted produce from Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative (GFC) and the Western Australian Meat Marketing Co-operative Limited (WAMMCO).

Guest speakers at the event included the The Hon Michael Sukkar MP, Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Housing, Alannah MacTiernan, WA Minister for Ag, and Peter Van Onselen, Political Editor for Network Ten and Celebrity Chef Anna Gare.

One of the highlights of the night was the third annual BCCM Honour Roll announcement, when BCCM CEO Melina Morrison announced the outstanding service of our sector’s retiring or outgoing leaders with induction to the BCCM HonourRoll and presentation of a handcrafted BCCM pin.

“Because the BCCM represents every industry in Australia, the BCCM HonourRoll acknowledges inductees’ outstanding service and commitment to our sector as a whole, rather than to one particular organisation,” said Ms Morrison. “While our 2019 Honour Roll inductees are from diverse industries, they are united by the tireless work they have performed to advance Australia’s co-operatives and mutuals.”

“We congratulate the newest inductees to the BCCM’s Honour Roll candidates who were chosen because of their conviction, dedication, innovation, loyalty, selflessness and vision.”

The newest inductees to the BCCM’s HonourRoll are:

Ian Gillespie – BA, Dip Laws (BAB), FCEOI, FAICD, FAIM,
RACQ Group Chief Executive Officer, 2007 – 2019 

Ian Gillespie stepped down from Group Chief Executive Officer of the RACQ after 13 years. Mr Gillespie, a former director of BCCM, was also a Director of RACQ Insurance Ltd, a personal lines insurer that provides home/vehicle coverage to over one million policy holders. He was a Director of the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), Australian Motoring Services Pty Ltd (AMS) and the RACQ Foundation, as well as several subsidiary companies associated with the RACQ and AMS. He was also a Director of the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport Limited (CAMS) and a member of the Global Mobility Alliance (GMA) Board.

Prior to joining RACQ, Mr Gillespie spent 30 years working in a broad range of industries in Australia and internationally at CEO and senior executive level, most recently in the defence technology sector. His career includes roles in corporate law, HR, business management and private equity investment. Mr Gillespie received the 2008 AIM Professional Manager of the Year Award for Queensland.

Harvey Lennon, Bcom, FCPA, FAIM, GAICD, Adv Dip Tourism
RACT Group Chief Executive Officer, 2010 – 2019

Harvey Lennon stepped down from Group CEO of the RACT after 21 years with the group. He has been Group CEO for almost 10 years and prior to that he was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Harvey was a Director on the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) Board for more than 10 years. He is a passionate Tasmanian and advocate for RACT members, establishing a highly visible presence and personal connection with members and the wider Tasmanian community. Harvey has been committed to his community, serving on a number of community boards such as the Road Safety Advisory Council (RSAC), Tourism Industry Council Tasmania (TICT), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and not-for-profit organisation Colony47.

Harvey led the development of a 30-year mobility vision for the Greater Hobart region to address increasing traffic congestion problems, which was endorsed and referenced by state and local government as well as other stakeholders. He introduced an advocacy strategy to guide lobbying efforts for future mobility and sustainability in Tasmania. Focussed on members, he worked to increase member input, design new or enhanced products and streamline business processes. The Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) presented RACT with its customer experience award for introducing the monthly subscription model and digital platform. Harvey lobbied government and won an ACCC review of Tasmanian fuel pricing with the mandatory public posting of fuel prices on retailers’ fuel boards and he has secured federal and state government funding for a number of high priority road and infrastructure projects to address serious safety risks. 

John Cossons, People’s Choice Credit Union, Chair, 2014 – 2019 (Director since 2001)

For the past 40 years, John Cossons has been an influential member of Australia’s mutual banking and financial services community. As Chair of NT Credit Union, Australian Central Credit Union and People’s Choice Credit Union, John has strategically and decisively led the mutuals through significant market changes, including new regulatory regimes for financial services, the global financial crisis, technological advancements, increased competition, the requirement for consolidation in the sector and most recently, the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. 

John has always supported innovation and collaboration between mutuals. Under John’s stewardship, People’s Choice adopted alternative product and service offerings and the early implementation of technological developments, such as the New Payments Platform and Apple Pay. People’s Choice and CUA jointly established Mutual Marketplace, a shared procurement platform that delivers cost savings to both organisations and other mutual financial institutions. These innovations have improved member experiences and have ensured that the industry continues to provide a genuine alternative to the major banks. 

John Ritchie, Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative, Previous Chair, 1991 – 2017

John Ritchie joined the Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative (GFC) Board in 1991 and stopped the co-op’s demutualisation. He served as Deputy Chairman and became Chairman in 2008. John was Co-operatives WA Councilor from 2011 and Deputy Chairman from 2012 to 2016.

John was instrumental in guiding the Board through the move south in 2001 into a new fishing zone to increase membership. In 2007 as Vice Chairman, he strongly supported the biggest acquisition in the GFC’s history, the taking over of Westar which doubled both the membership and the market share overnight. He led the co-op through the biggest sustainability threat the Lobster fishing industry had ever encountered in 2009, when the Government halved the total industry allowable catch which resulted in halving the intake for GFC and decreasing underlying asset values by 70%.   

As China emerged as a new market, GFC (under John’s leadership) established its own wholly owned foreign entity in China and secured a bonded warehouse at Baiyun airport – a first for the industry. In 2015 when the news broke on a free trade agreement with China, John and the GFC Board acted quickly to ensure that the Federal Government included Australia and GFC’s Lobster product in the initial free trade list of commodities. In 2017, GFC opened a state of the art 80 Tonne live lobster export facility in Welshpool. Throughout his tenure at GFC, John championed Member education, communication and engagement.

John’s contribution extends beyond the co-operative family and to the wider community as he has been an active member of the SES (State Emergency Services) volunteer organisation for 10 years.

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