For Nick Beale, Ballarat is a reminder of his home town in Zimbabwe.
It’s almost as though he has come full circle.
It’s size, and elements of the architecture seem to bring to life his childhood memories.
It has only been a relatively short time that Mr Beale has called Ballarat home, but his passion for the city is clear.
It is a passion he will bring to his role as chair-elect for the Committee for Ballarat.
Mr Beale has lived in the city for around six years, after living in Sydney, Melbourne and originally moving from Africa.
He first left Zimbabwe in 1981 when Robert Mugabe came into power, to move with his family to South Africa.
It was family that brought he and his wife to Ballarat. He made the decision to follow his daughter and son-in-law when they moved for work to the city, with the thought in mind that they would prefer to live nearby their grandchild who was at the time, yet to arrive.
In a short six years in town, Mr Beale has already established his reputation as a driver of connectivity improvements in Ballarat. Most around town may know him as ‘59-minute Nick’.
Mr Beale has experience leading in times of change, most notably as a human resources director of a major South African retail company during political change, as Nelson Mandela was released from jail and came into power.
He hopes to bring experience in change management to his role as chair-elect for Committee for Ballarat.
“I think Ballarat is in a state of change,” Mr Beale said.
“I look at the world a lot, I think about the world trying to see the movements. There is a lot of movements which affect people who have been somewhat forgotten, people in the rural areas and people outside the big cities as a whole. This is across Europe and America, and I think that is kind of starting to happen in Australia.
“Really the issue for me is how do we deal with that growth in Ballarat in a way which maintains the historical perspective and beauty with the new.
“I think it is going to be an exciting time and, as the previous chairs and CEOs have done, I want to really push the area of long term thought leadership into the future and ensure that change takes place in a good and decent way.”
Ballarat has offered Mr Beale opportunities he said he may not have had in Melbourne; being chair of a city’s committee, living two doors down from his grandchild and going back to his original career of teaching at Federation University.
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