Committee for Ballarat chair Dr David Deutscher will step down from his position next week after less than a year in the role.
In a letter to Committee for Ballarat members, Dr Deutscher said recent months had given him the opportunity to reflect on his priorities for the future and he made the decision to step away from the demanding role for personal, family, and health reasons.
"The start of 2020 has been challenging for all of us as we continue to learn lessons in real-time about what it means to be resilient in the COVID-19 era. Businesses, organisations, governments, families, and individuals have had to rapidly adapt their ways of operating to the "new normal" in order to survive and reimagine their futures despite the disruption and uncertainty," he wrote.
"The pivot to online learning, working from home, and telehealth has required changes in organisational structures and personal mindsets that many thought unthinkable at Christmas."
Dr Deutscher, who took on the role at the committee's annual general meeting in October, was born and raised in Ballarat and is now a surgeon and the clinical director at the Grampians Integrated Cancer Services.
Committee for Ballarat deputy chair Rod Walton said the board respected and supported Dr Deutscher's decision to prioritise his and his family's wellbeing, and was sad to see him step down.
"During his tenure as Chair, David has been a compassionate leader heavily invested and passionate about the work of our members and the work of committee," Mr Walton said.
"A considered and deep thinker David took a deep dive into the work of committee and has encouraged us to be 'thought leaders' to strive to make Ballarat and region the best it can be. We commend and thank David for his energised approach and tireless work and look forward to David continuing his advocacy of our work in a less formal capacity."
Mr Walton will take on the role as interim chair of the board on July 1 and the process of identifying a new chair has begun.
On Friday the Committee for Ballarat will outline its Action Plan Beyond 2020.
"The plan centres around our ambition to inspire business, government and the community to bring to life a new energy future, one that will transform local economies, create jobs and promote innovation," Mr Walton said.
"The COVID-19 implications for business has forced us to re-think our practices and assess our future. This moment in time inspires a 'disruptor' in our thinking. Now is our chance to redefine and shape our future economy. What part can our organisations play? What opportunities will it create for business?"
IN OTHER NEWS
Dr Deutscher thanked committee members for their work and their passion for Ballarat.
"Ballarat is in my veins. Born and bred here, I came back to raise a family and serve the community through my surgical career over the past thirty years. Local business, too, has never been far from my mind, with my grandfather having established Deutscher Engineering in the 1920s which my brother continues to this day.
"And having experienced the benefits of living in such a strong regional community as ours, it is clear that these benefits are not points in time, but require constant vigilance and investment.
"The choices we make today impact what kind of Ballarat we will live in tomorrow. To that end, I continue to believe Committee for Ballarat will be a positive force in establishing and driving priorities for our region. Committee's work will continue, to help build a strong and vibrant future for Ballarat beyond this pandemic, including by capturing new opportunities it may present for regional communities."
Dr Deutscher's departure continues a year or instability at the top of the organisation.
Within a week in June 2019 current Committee for Ballarat chief executive Michael Poulton was appointed after previous chief Melanie Robertson moved to a role with Ballarat Health Services, and previous chairman Nick Beale announced he too would move on from the job after having been chair of the committee for less than a year.
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