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Moves at the top for VACC

Next up: Geoff Gwilym will take the reins at the VACC as executive director from December 1, replacing David Purchase who is retiring after 17 years in the role.

David Purchase moves on after 17 years as Geoff Gwilym takes the helm at VACC

General News logo24 Oct 2014


THE Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) has confirmed that long-time and sometimes forthright executive director David Purchase is moving on from the role and will be replaced by CEO of Auto Skills Australia, Geoff Gwilym.

Mr Purchase, a champion of small business, will end his tenure as executive director in mid December after 17 years in the role.

Mr Purchase, who started with the VACC board of management and executive board in May 1997, will retire after handing over the role to Mr Gwilym.

VACC president John Buskes praised Mr Purchase for his contribution to the organisation, and highlighted a number of achievements in his time as executive director.

“David is the second longest serving leader of VACC and he oversaw many significant developments during his tenure, including membership growth, expansion of services and products and increased brand recognition through media and marketing campaigns,” he said.

“He led VACC through the global financial crisis, the reorganisation of the national body in Canberra and the amalgamation of the Tasmanian Automobile Chamber of Commerce. We thank David for his sterling efforts and wish him a happy and well deserved retirement.”

80 center image Left: Former VACC executive director David Purchase.Mr Gwilym will start the role on December 1 and comes to the VACC from Auto Skills Australia, which is responsible for the development and maintenance of nationally accredited automotive training in Australia, where he was the chief executive officer.

Mr Buskes welcomed Mr Gwilym to the role and said that he will bring a “wealth of experience” to the VACC and will ensure the chamber continues to provides its 5500 members in both Victoria and Tasmania with “excellent advice and service”.

“Geoff has a deep knowledge of the automotive industry, good relationships within the sector at all levels, excellent skills in maintaining a membership base and a depth of experience in working with Boards and Committees.

“We are delighted Geoff has accepted the role and we look forward to him leading the organisation for many years to come.”

Mr Gwilym kicked off his career in the automotive industry in the United Kingdom where he completed a vehicle body making apprenticeship, which he did for 10 years in the UK and Australia.

Mr Gwilym has already spent three years with the VACC, as well as teaching in the TAFE system for seven years.

Other roles included work with the Real Estate Institute of Victoria and the University of Melbourne.

Prior to his current role at Auto Skills Australia, Mr Gwilym was the CEO of the Transport and Logistics Skills Council.

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