Today is a proud day for Master Builders Victoria (MBV) with the news announced over the weekend that our CEO, Rebecca Casson, has been inducted into the 2021 Victorian Honour Roll of Women (Honour Roll). 

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 our State. 

This year, the Victorian Government's Office for Women received many nominations, and 23 women were inducted into the Honour Roll for making outstanding contributions to the Victorian community.  We congratulate the latest inductees, who have been recognised in fields such as business, education, health and medical research, child welfare, gender equity, and public life. 

Rebecca was nominated in the category of Leading Through Disaster for her tireless work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among such an extraordinary group of nominees, her selection is a testament to her inspirational leadership and memorable contribution to our State. 

As the pandemic unfolded across our State, Rebecca showed outstanding leadership in her role as a key leader in the building and construction sector, one of the few industries that largely managed to continue operating. 

Rebecca was instrumental in bringing together our industry’s unions and employer associations and encouraging them to collaborate effectively to pursue positive goals and outcomes.   

Working together, this group has helped our sector navigate the issues that have emerged throughout the pandemic.  Members of the group include MBV, the CFMEU, National Electrical & Communications Association, Electrical Trades Union, Master Plumbers, Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union, Civil Contractors Federation, Australian Metal Workers Union, Property Council of Australia (Victoria) and the Urban Development Institute of Australia (Victoria). 

Rebecca continues to lead this diverse group and drive a process to keep it together, ensuring that a unified and effective advocacy effort was communicated to the Victorian Government. MBV acknowledges this group for their collaborative work.  

Additionally, Rebecca played a key role in the formation of the building and construction industry COVID-19 Industry Working Group and the COVID-19 Building and Construction Industry Taskforce, which also supported our sector to remain safe and, for the most part, open. 

Rebecca’s induction to the Honour Roll is an acknowledgement of all industry participants. And it is recognised that the driving force has been the strength of Rebecca's representations, coordination, and advocacy. 

Undoubtedly, through the collaboration and unity driven by Rebecca, and now embedded in the relationships across our industry, our sector and community will benefit from this legacy for a long time to come.  In addition to this, the approach developed and promoted by Rebecca will no doubt continue to be the model for any other emergency or disaster responses in the building and construction industry and a benchmark for all sectors. 

On behalf of MBV's Board and Council of Management, I congratulate Rebecca 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. 

I hope that everyone will be encouraged and motivated by Rebecca’s efforts, strength and leadership. 

For those that know Rebecca well, they will understand that she will want me to recognise and thank all those involved from the building and construction industry, and especially 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. 

I thank our members for their continued support of MBV as we work together to lead a future-ready industry that builds a better world. 

A copy of the Victorian Government’s media release can be found HEREand click HERE for oumedia release. 

What the nominators said about Rebecca’s leadership 

MBV thanks and acknowledges those members and stakeholders who took the time, in the middle of a pandemic, to nominate Rebecca.  Here’s what some of the nominators had to say about Rebecca’s leadership: 

  • "During the pandemic, Rebecca’s leadership was a cornerstone of keeping the building and construction industry largely open, hundreds of thousands of people at 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. Rebecca should not only be remembered as the first female leader of Master Builders Victoria but also a true visionary and game-changer.”  - Erik Locke, CEO, Incolink  
  • "In only her second year as CEO of Master Builders Victoria, Rebecca has successfully advocated for our members and building and construction in Victoria to continue to work safely during the pandemic restrictions and gained support for a much-needed path to recovery. All the while keeping Master Builders Victoria’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. Rebecca cares about Master Builders Victoria members and invested a lot of weekend time as well. In a male-dominated industry, Rebecca has earned enormous respect for her collaborative, energetic and results-driven leadership, which continues to benefit Master Builders Victoria, its members and the whole building and construction sector in Victoria." - Glenn Jones, Boston Group  
  • "Rebecca's diverse, equal, inclusive, and conciliatory approach with the unions and employer associations has been ground-breaking. She was able to foster trust in a form that our industry has not experienced for some years. Rebecca made significant time sacrifices to make herself available early mornings, late nights, and weekends and often called me at these times too to seek feedback on important matters. She always ensured that the building and construction industry provided excellent representation, leadership, and direction in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout the associated recovery." - Graham Cottam, Regional Managing Director, Multiplex 
  • "Rebecca has been an exceptional leader during what has been a particularly difficult time for both the building and construction industry and our society as a whole. Her leadership helped a diverse range of stakeholders to work together to protect our industry and promote COVID safety and the broader interests of an industry the employs over 300,000 Victorians." - John Kilgour, CEO, Civil Contractors Federation
  • "Rebecca engaged constructively with unions, industry associations and businesses (including Bunnings as a major building materials supplier) by inviting them to work together with MBV and its members to provide a unified approach to the State Government. This demonstrated her strong leadership skills." - Ben McIntosh, Chief Operating Officer – Commercial, Bunnings Group Limited
  • "Because of her success and leadership in this area, many businesses, livelihoods, and jobs associated with the building and construction industry were saved, enabling the industry to continue contributing to the economy while delivering critical infrastructure." - Duncan Bryce, Head of Builders Solutions, Bunnings Trade 
  • "The COVID-19 pandemic emerged and escalated quickly, surprising us all with its global and local impact. Rebecca did not miss a beat and took up the challenge by promptly gathering the industry's key leaders across unions and employer associations and led a strong delegation to the Victorian Government. Rebecca single-handily pulled this group together and has continued to drive a process to keep it together. Rebecca has played a pivotal role in managing the COVID-19 crisis in Victoria, work that has assisted other sectors and States who have adopted the Victorian building and construction industry practices. Rebecca’s efforts in leading the unity and collaboration across the industry has been so important, if not fundamental, to its survival in this pandemic. Since my direct involvement with the Building and Construction Industry in the 1980s, I have not observed a more collaborative effort by the leaders working together in the sector than I have seen over the last 13 months as we have responded to the pandemic challenges. Rebecca's very large amount of credit goes to her unwavering commitment to personally engender and drive this effort. The industry screams out for greater diversity and cohesion, and Rebecca Casson is leading the way. Rarely have I witnessed a leader who has sought to break down the barriers and establish a level of collaboration with all players across the industry such that all parties achieve demonstrable benefits. Rebecca Casson is that leader." - Peter Parkinson, Chairperson, Victorian Building Industry Disputes Panel 
  • "Rebecca has demonstrated herself as a leader without peers and an empathic person who has exhibited exceptional character and personal fortitude. Over very challenging circumstances during the pandemic, Rebecca played a crucial role in ensuring that people were brought together in a spirit of collaboration to keep our industry safe and open and protect jobs and livelihoods." - Peter Daly, CEO, Master Plumbers (Victoria) 
  • "Rebecca’s strong advocacy, communication, and empathetic leadership came to the fore to substantially support Victoria's building and construction industry." - Rhett Simonds, CEO, Simonds Group 
  • "We congratulate and commend Rebecca on her leadership, resilience, and outstanding advocacy to support the continuation of our industry, underpin the state's economic growth, and, importantly, retain jobs in our sector in unprecedented conditions." - Mario Biasin, CEO, Metricon Homes

About the Victorian Honour Roll 

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 join 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. 

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. 

More information on the Victorian Honour Roll of Women Program can be found here.