Guest speakers

Sergeant Margret Singe

Sergeant Margret Singe is a Family Violence Advisor with the Victoria Police. In 2010 Margret was asked to take up the role of Family Violence Advisor for Western Region Division 5, which covers the local government areas of Campaspe, Bendigo, Loddon, Central Goldfields, Mount Alexander and Macedon Ranges. In August 2011 she was again upgraded to the rank of Senior Sergeant in the role of operations Support and held this position till September 2012 when she returned to the Family Violence Advisor’s role.


Derek de Vrieze

Derek de Vrieze is the Community Banking Manager of Northern Victoria, Bank MECU Derek was the founding (2002) Chair of the Central Victorian Business Network which in 2008 joined with the Bendigo Chamber of Commerce and Industries to form the Bendigo Business Council.  He is a former Director of the Bendigo Stock Exchange Ltd, Hunter Street Veterinary Clinic Pty Ltd, Bendigo Asset Management Ltd, Central Victoria Area Consultative Committee, Mount Alexander Sustainability Group, Business Networking for Growth Inc, Bendigo Business Council and LandPartners Ltd where he chaired the Audit Committee.

Karen Corr (Executive Director, Make a Change Australia)


Karen Corr is the Executive Director of Make a Change Australia. Karen is passionate about creating positive change with over 10 years’ experience in corporate consulting and has been a part of numerous environmental groups which is the passion of her career. Karen has recently set up an organisation called Make a Change Australia, a social enterprise that works with local people to create effective social and environmental change. Karen has been recognised of her work and was awarded the 2012 Social Entrepreneur of the Year award by the School for Social Entrepreneurs, Melbourne.

Ken Marchingo

Ken Marchingo is the CEO of Haven; Home, Safe. Haven is a not for profit organisation that provides services to the homeless and disadvantaged. Ken not only works in the human services field but is also a product of its benevolent patriarchy, and as such, has a passion for the delivery of effective services and a pathological intolerance of rhetoric. Ken has also been a Director and founding chair of Power Housing Australia. He was also the Director of Bendigo Health from 2001 to 2010 where his positions included Chair of Finance committee and Inaugural chair of Consumer Advisory Committee.

Lisa Chesters

Lisa Chesters is the Labour Candidate for Bendigo.  Lisa grew up in regional Australia and understands the challenges of regional communities. Her parents owned a small business and she spent many summers working in the business. After completing her studies in psychology and politics, Lisa started working for the union that represents these workers, United Voice (formally the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union). She is the United Voice representative in the Bendigo region and on the Bendigo Trades Hall Council. Lisa has devoted the last eight years of her working life to representing and workers and their families.