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Hall of Fame - Sandra George

Jim Watkins Award for excellence in service to manufacturing Sandra George (City of Greater Dandenong)

City of Greater Dandenong’s South East Business Network Manager, Sandra George, was awarded the prestigious Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) Jim Watkins Award in 2009 for her outstanding contribution to the pursuit of manufacturing excellence.

Sandra George’s first contact with manufacturing was in 1991 when she headed up the South East Taskforce - a Federal Government initiative set up to address record unemployment in the Dandenong region at that time.

Inspiring local manufacturers using innovative forums, workshops, round tables and networks, Sandra and her team created an additional 3000 jobs over the term of the program.

With the job creation target being exceeded and unemployment significantly reduced the Federal Government did not extend the term of the Taskforce. However the City of Dandenong, a stakeholder in the Taskforce continued the work and employed Sandra to continue her work as part of Council under the banner of South East Business Networks (SEBN).

Sandra brought her passion, vision and two networks to Council and today her activities include 14 Networks including manufacturing; manufacturing excellence; quality and OH&S: Lean: Value Stream Mapping and Sustainability programs plus hosting world renowned manufacturing specialists in forums, presentations and workshops.

As a visionary Sandra continues to look at the issues effecting manufacturers in the future focusing on sustainability and best practice.

Throughout her time with SEBN Sandra has been heavily involved in promoting industry to education and was instrumental in the creation of M:Tec Program which was ultimately adopted by the State Government. Her devotion to manufacturing and education was recognised with the establishment of a special Caroline Education Foundation Fund in her name. The Sandra George Manufacturing Award is to create base funding for perpetual awards to be made to students engaged in studies in the manufacturing sector in the South East Region of Melbourne.

Sandra continues to be involved in community activities as a Life Governor of Dandenong District Hospital; Deputy Chair of South East Development; Chair of Greater Dandenong Community Safety Committee; Inaugural Chairperson of the Hand Brake Turn program designed in collaboration with Victoria Police to create awareness of career paths in Automotive for disengaged youth; Finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Award 1997; Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship 2005; Victorian Roll of Honour for Women 2005; Life Member of Little Athletics; Judge of the Premier Regional Business Awards; Awarded the Greater Dandenong Chamber of Commerce Premier Regional Business Award - Hall of Fame.