Business advocate receives OAM

Castlemaine rural and regional business advocate Kerry Anderson has received an a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to business and community development.
Ms Anderson told the Mail she was surprised but delighted to receive the honour.
Anderson, who moved to Castlemaine as a toddler, said she learnt the importance of local business and hard work from a young age with her parents operating local business Jennings Earthmoving for many years before handing the reins over to her brother.
“We were expected to get in and work in the family business and we knew the important of supporting local business.
“Some years there were holidays and some years there weren’t depending on work and cash flow,” Kerry said.
The local businesswoman, writer and business mentor found her calling working as an executive officer and program manager with Community Leadership Loddon Murray (now LEAD Loddon Murray) where she had conducted numerous leadership programs for local community members.
More recently Anderson has also been working with Start Up Central Victoria mentoring enterprising businesspeople of all ages to bring their business ideas and concepts to reality.
Her work has taken her across the country where she has forged friendships with inspiring entrepreneurs from all walks of life and inspired two books on the subject – Entrepreneurship: It’s Everybody’s Business, 2016 and more recently Australian Rural Entrepreneurs: Redefining the Future, 2020.
“Rural entrepreneurs are visionary, courageous, and passionate and I wanted to celebrate them,” she said.
Her work in the sector has previously been acknowledged with Anderson was named in the Top 50 Australian Regional Agents of Change in 2018. She also won the 8point8 Regional Innovation Ecosystem Leader Award in the same year.
Anderson is also passionate about heritage and has been volunteering at Buda Historic Home and Garden for 20 years.
“I am a tour guide and I am also on the watering roster every Sunday morning. I just love being in the garden first thing the morning when its quiet and peaceful. It’s just magic,” she said.
Her passion for heritage led Kerry to join the state government’s Working Heritage committee in 2018 and in November 2021 she was appointed the group’s Chair.
Anderson said Working Heritage are custodians of important buildings across the state including Jack’s Magazine in Maribyrnong and the Former Royal Mint in Melbourne.
The group work to restore and maintain the buildings and find suitable businesses to lease the heritage spaces.
“We just took on the Kyneton Primary School. It will be a massive undertaking. We have a lot of work ahead of us,” she said.
Anderson was also on the board at Castlemaine Health from 2019 to 2021 and is a Castlemaine Rotary Club member. Taking on the role of Truck Show director in 2020 and 2021.
More recently the writer has begun working on her first fiction novel which also aims to highlight the importance of local business and features a trucking company based in a goldfields town. Castlemaine of course!
“My work usually takes me across the country but the pandemic saw me grounded and forced to work online. However, this has given me the time to delve into this new project. I dedicated every weekend to writing the book and I just couldn’t wait until Saturday morning to sit down and get to work!” she said.
With her initial draft complete the author is set to begin a rewrite and enjoys quizzing local truckers about the industry and the inner workings of trucks. It’s been a lot of fun!” she said.

Lisa Dennis
Editor of the Castlemaine Mail newspaper and senior journalist on our sister paper the Midland Express. Over the last 24 years Lisa been proudly reporting news in the Mount Alexander and Macedon Ranges communities.