This week marked the official transition from one group of councillors to the next, and the installation of Lockwood Ward councillor Jennifer Alden as our new mayor.
Our city continues to shine above almost every other regional community for its ability to get things done, and there's a synchronicity between the work council officers have overseen and completed and the momentum of major projects that continually appear on the radar.
In short, our councillors and the council officers, and our state and federal politicians have worked well together. And while we haven't always got things right, we do it better than the vast majority, a circumstance we should never fail to fully appreciate.
As a result of what's been achieved in recent years, the most recent group of nine councillors were able to get a lot of work either done or planned for, and to do so without a lot of the distractions that ultimately tainted previous councils.
Cr Alden comes armed with a strong interest in the environment and an established track record in this area, her stated goals of wanting to work towards better outcomes around climate change and the breakdown in our biodiversity should loom as no surprise.
The commitment to continuing to help the post-COVID recovery is also to be expected, and indeed commended, and Cr Alden's demonstrated support of grassroots community should prove invaluable in the months ahead.
Accepting the role of mayor, Cr Alden this week said Greater Bendigo has some challenges and opportunities ahead.
"Particularly driving social and economic recovery from COVID-19, managing the ongoing impacts of climate change and biodiversity breakdown, supporting a growing manufacturing sector, the development of clean jobs and identifying pathways to employment for young people, particularly through the tourism and hospitality sectors as a result of Bendigo and the region becoming a City of Gastronomy."
Last weekend's announcement of a massive $5 billion investment in social housing, which includes a much needed $85 million allocation for Bendigo will also be in Cr Alden's thinking.
"The City is currently working on an Affordable Housing Action Plan, so there is a great opportunity to build on this announcement and advocate for strong social, economic and environmental outcomes for our community as this new housing is built."
And as we continue our post-COVID recovery and restrictions are eased back accordingly, a commitment to broad community consultation can only drive greater engagement, and ultimately better outcomes for our region.
For her part, former mayor Margaret O'Rourke bought stability to the council and led from the front. Her efforts and her leadership reflected her strong corporate experience and her integrity and respect for good governance.
After a comparatively rocky period for councillors previously, Cr O'Rourke also bought greater unity back into the fold. Her leadership helped ensure Greater Bendigo's reputation as one of this country's most liveable communities was at the very least preserved, if not enhanced. For that, we say thank you.
And to her former councillor colleagues James Williams and Matt Emond, we likewise say thanks and best wishes. So too, former councillors George Flack, Malcolm Pethybridge and Suzie Hawke, who although unsuccessful at last month's elections, signalled their desire to serve. There are plenty of people willing to express their frustrations with councillors or any other level of politician - as is their right, but the willingness to serve and the time it requires should be acknowledged.
And to the incoming councillors, we also thank you for standing up for your community, and wish you well for the next four years.
Finally, as today's story about ongoing vandalism midst delays in heritage approvals and associated planning processes demonstrates, Bendigo is blessed to have such a strong contingent of stunning heritage architecture over which we watch.
Acting in the best interests of what we have inherited and what we wish to do in a city brimming with so much opportunity will never be easy.
The challenges associated with balancing wanting to respect and preserve our heritage also means you don't want to be the first to want to change or remove something, and you certainly don't want to be the last.