IAN NETHERCOTE OAM
IAN Nethercote says his recognition on the Queen's Birthday honours' list is a reflection of family support and the power industry's "brilliant minds" who stood by and supported him during his time at the helm of Loy Yang A.
Mr Nethercote has been made a Member of the Order of Australia in the General Division for his service to Victoria's electricity sector through industry reform and restructuring, to education and the broader Gippsland community.
Supported by his wife, Margot and their three children, Mr Nethercote, 63, said the award recognised the support and input of the "talented people" he's worked with over the years - and his family who have stood by him during that time.
He said he was "very surprised" to receive an envelope containing "the gold crown" and was in denial about being acknowledged for his service to the Latrobe Valley.
Between 1995 and 2012, Mr Nethercote worked at Loy Yang A power station starting originally as a general manager for marketing and strategy before being appointed to chief executive, a position he held for 13 years before his retirement six years ago.
During that time, he also held senior roles with the National Generator Forum and National Generator Directorate as well as the Energy Supply Association of Australia as the organisation's chairman.
"I think I've always liked things to do with maintenance and operating and large plants and this provided that opportunity," Mr Nethercote said.
"There was always challenges there to improve what was being done and it just fitted with my general demeanour in life which is wanting to make things better than what they were.
"I think that one of the things important in life is not what you do for yourself but what's actually achieved that that provides something better for those who follow."
He has also served as an advisor to the CSIRO for its Energy and Transport Sector Advisory Council and the National Carbon Capture and Storage Council, to name a few.
Outside of the power industry, Mr Nethercote has held strong ties with the region's education sector having served on the boards of Federation Training and Monash University, as deputy chair and council member, respectively.
But perhaps his biggest achievement to date was the success he's had with the Latrobe's Biggest Ever Blokes BBQ which has raised more than $500,000 in six years for men's health and research into prostate disease.
Although retired, Mr Nethercote admits there is not a day that goes by where he isn't caught up helping his kids on the farm or busy working on a community project.
"I want to stay fairly active. I still get up early in the morning and I never have to worry about what I'm doing the next day because there's always something to be done," he said.