Victorian Governor, Linda Dessau, talks business in Bendigo

BENDIGO businesses were in the spotlight during a visit by Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau.

Ms Dessau toured both Thales Australia and Australian Defence Apparel on Wednesday morning.

She went on to facilitate a forum of Bendigo entrepreneurs and small business owners.

A meeting with the city’s mayor, Margaret O’Rourke, and councillors was among the scheduled activities for the afternoon.

Ms Dessau was also to host a community reception in the Bendigo Town Hall.

She was pleased by the opportunity to meet with a mix of long-established and new businesses.

“I’m not such an expert in defence equipment so I’ve just been absolutely riveted by everything that I’ve seen and the expertise that goes into it,” the Governor said following her tour of ADA.

ADA has been operating for more than 100 years and is one of the largest apparel manufacturers in the nation.

About 120 people are employed at the Bendigo site, most of whom are female.

“We’ve just been at Thales and we saw a lot of men and women working there,” Ms Dessau said.

“I was delighted to see young female engineers.”

Cr O’Rourke said the council had ‘a general conversation’ with the Governor about its projects and aspirations, including its ambition for Bendigo to become the world’s most liveable community.

“She was very complimentary,” the mayor said.

“She said now that she understood that’s what we were aspiring  to, that it was very genuine the love that people have for this area.”

It was not the first time Ms Dessau or her husband, Anthony Howard, had visited Bendigo.

The Governor said she had been to the city numerous times, and for a variety of reasons.

But it was the first time Cr O’Rourke and the current council had met Ms Dessau.

Cr O’Rourke was appreciative of the Governor’s visit.

“Not everyone gets the opportunity to meet the Governor,” she said.

Ms Dessau is the state’s 29th - but first female – Governor.