The new Chairman for the Committee for Dandenong is Gary Castricum. Gary has taken over the reigns from the inaugural Chairman, James Sturgess of M+K Lawyers who was instrumental in setting up the Committee and remains on the Committee.
Gary’s CV for being the Committee for Dandenong Chairman is exemplary. His father arrived in Dandenong in 1951 having migrated from Holland. The Castricum family has owned and operated butcher shops and businesses in Dandenong continuously for nearly 60 years. Gary is a classic born and bred in Dandenong as well as educated and entertained in Dandenong. He was born in Dandenong Hospital and lived in Dandenong North for the first 21 years of his life. He attended St Gerard’s Primary School and St John’s Secondary College before venturing beyond the regional boundaries to complete his Bachelor of Science with Honours at Latrobe University and then a Post Graduate Course in Business Administration at Swinburne University. He is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
In his business life Gary started to work in Dandenong for a pharmaceutical company, Beacham Research Laboratories and then joined the family business that involved an export meat processing plant in Dandenong South where Gary has been involved for the past 25 years. In 1998 he took over the role of Managing Director from his father. The Castricum business has been a large employer of local people and a strong contributor to the Dandenong community over many decades. Castricum Brothers exported its meat products around the world, as well as significant sales locally to supermarkets, butchers, hotels and restaurants. The Castricum business has recently ceased its export activities but continues its food services business on Hammond Road.
Gary sees the challenges for the Committee for Dandenong and the Dandenong community as being the continuation of the revitalisation, improvement of transport connections in the region and a long term vision for what this great city can be. In a recent address to South East Business Networks Gary commented on the following:
1. Dandenong’s image continually needs to be accurately portrayed. This involves telling the many good stories at both business and community level beyond Dandenong’s borders;
- Transport issues such as the Remington Drive overpass, Rail grade separation and the Port of Hastings are all items supported by the Committee; and
- Ensuring that the Centre of Dandenong continues to develop with long term opportunities being seized such as education institutions and specialty traders.
Gary commented that “I have personally been a beneficiary of Dandenong and everything that Dandenong has to offer and I now look forward to continuing to give back to this community through my role as Chairman of the Committee for Dandenong.”