Master Builders Victoria (MBV) CEO Rebecca Casson says she is honoured to be inducted into the 2021 Victorian Honour Roll of Women (Honour Roll) in the category of Leading Through Disaster.
Celebrating the outstanding contributions made by women from all walks of life, the Honour Roll acknowledges the many ways women have made a lasting contribution to the State of Victoria.
This year, 23 women were inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women for making outstanding contributions to the Victorian community.
The latest inductees have been recognised in business, education, health and medical research, child welfare, gender equity, and public life.
Ms Casson was nominated in the category of Leading Through Disaster for her tireless work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the pandemic unfolded across our State, those nominating Ms Casson said she showed outstanding leadership in her role as a key leader in the building and construction sector, which was one of the few industries that largely managed to continue operating.
Nominators said Ms Casson was instrumental in bringing together industry unions and employer associations and encouraging them to collaborate effectively to pursue positive goals and outcomes.
Ms Casson continues to lead this diverse group and drive a process to keep it together, ensuring a unified advocacy effort is communicated to the Victorian Government.
Additionally, Ms Casson played a key role in forming the building and construction industry COVID-19 Industry Working Group and the COVID-19 Building and Construction Industry Taskforce, which has also supported the building and construction industry through the pandemic.
Ms Casson said her selection was truly humbling, and it is recognition for the many thousands of women working in the building and construction industry
“I am both honoured and proud to have been selected amongst such an extraordinary group of nominees, which is testament to the great leadership and indelible contribution women are making to our State,” Ms Casson said.
“I stand on the shoulders of many inspiring women and acknowledge all those male and female mentors who have supported me on my journey.
“I specifically thank those who took the time, in the middle of a pandemic, to nominate me.”
Ms Casson said the past two years had not been easy for many people, including builders in Victoria.
“Since the start of the pandemic, MBV has worked tirelessly with other industry associations and unions to keep our sector COVIDSafe and, for the most part, open,” Ms Casson said.
“It’s been a wild ride and very confronting at times, working with some organisations with which we haven’t traditionally seen eye to eye.
“However, leading through disaster has taught me that it’s vital to find another way and collaborate to empower everyone to build a better future.”
On behalf of MBV's Board and Council of Management, MBV President Mark Little congratulated Ms Casson on her 2021 Victorian Honour Roll induction.
“Rebecca is the only inductee from the building and construction industry included in this year’s Honour Roll and the first-ever inductee from MBV. This makes Rebecca’s induction even more inspiring,” Mr Little said.
“I hope that everyone will be encouraged and motivated by Rebecca’s efforts, strength and leadership.
“Rebecca’s induction to the Honour Roll is an acknowledgement of all participants. And it is recognised that the driving force has been the strength of Rebecca's representations, coordination, and advocacy.
“For those that know Rebecca well, they will understand that she will want me to recognise and thank all building and construction industry participants and the MBV team for their continued tireless efforts on behalf of our Association – and their support for Rebecca over the last few years.
“I am very proud to be the President of an organisation with a CEO who is brave enough to be different, always seeks to find another way of doing things, and continues to empower people to build a better future.”
Incolink CEO Erik Locke, one of the industry stakeholders that nominated Ms Casson, said her leadership during the pandemic was a cornerstone of keeping the building and construction industry largely open, hundreds of thousands of people in work, and many businesses running.
“Rebecca’s style of leadership brings people together. Like many, I consider her both a trusted colleague and a friend,” he said.
“Rebecca should not only be remembered as the first female leader of MBV, but also a true visionary and game-changer.”
MBV member and Boston Group director Glenn Jones said he nominated Ms Casson to be inducted into the 2021 Victorian Honour Roll of Women for her extraordinary leadership.
“In only her second year as CEO of MBV, Rebecca has successfully advocated for our members and for the building and construction sector in Victoria to continue to work safely during the pandemic restrictions and gained support for a much-needed path to recovery,” Mr Jones said.
“All the while, keeping MBV’s services, communication, and training to its members running efficiently.
“Rebecca and her team have provided relentless representation to Government, and many other entities, to the point that it was almost a humanitarian effort.
“In a male-dominated industry, Rebecca has earned enormous respect for her collaborative, energetic and results-driven leadership, which continues to benefit MBV, its members, and the whole building and construction sector in Victoria.”
In terms of past inductees from the building and construction industry, businesswoman and philanthropist Susan Alberti was inducted in 2014. Mrs Alberti is the co-founder of the DANSU Group, an industrial and commercial builder and developer, and took over as managing director in 1995.
Professor Paula Gerber, who specialises in construction law and international human rights law, was inducted in 2011. And Florence Taylor was inducted in 2001 as the first Australian woman architect and the first woman to train as an engineer in Australia.
The Victorian Honour Roll of Women was established in 2001 to recognise the achievements of Victorian women.
The Honour Roll was established as part of the celebrations of Victoria’s Centenary of Federation.
Public nominations for the Honour Roll open in the second half of each year, and an independent panel of women reviews the inductees.
A shortlist of candidates is then sent to the Victorian Government’s Minister for Women for her consideration and selection.
Each year, the Honour Roll celebrates exceptional women in Victoria who have made significant and lasting contributions to their communities, the nation, or the world.
Women are recognised for their achievements in various fields, including science, arts, environment, law, social justice, family violence prevention, research, health, media and education.
The latest inductees have joined more than 700 women named in the Honour Roll since it began in 2001.
It is one of the initiatives in Victoria’s nation-leading work towards gender equality.