Home Future Cities Summit Michelle Bruggeman

Michelle Bruggeman

Chief Operating Officer

A dynamic, inspiring and innovative leader with over 30 years experience across the Corporate, Government and Non-profit sectors, Michelle believes success results from inspiring people at all levels of an organisation, developing an amazing culture amongst teams and learning from mistakes, challenges and adversities along the way. “When together we believe in the vision, develop a strong plan to achieve the vision, and exceed visitor/customer expectations, having fun along the journey – then success will come”.

A 25 year career with YMCA, one of Australia’s largest for purpose organisations, with a turnover of over $220m, 6,500 staff, 1,500 volunteers and spanning six different industries. Michelle was the Deputy CEO and Chief of Corporate Services, specialising in Governance, Strategy and innovating new sector markets for the YMCA to continue to grow. Michelle then joined Zoos Victoria as the Director of Melbourne Zoo, notably the first female Director in its 157 year history. Zoos Victoria is the world’s leading zoo-based organisation in conservation helping to achieve a future rich in wildlife, through excellence in conservation of threatened wildlife, animal care and welfare, community engagement and enabling people to thrive.

Today, Michelle’s current position is Chief Operations Officer with Levande, a new National company that is the third largest provider of Retirement Living in Australia that is owned by Private Equity firm EQT born out of the sale of the Stockland Retirement division to EQT in 2022. The remit for a complete business transformation and transition is never short of a challenge; develop a market leading Strategy, create an efficient Structure, build an incredible Operations model and deliver awesome resident experience. A challenge that requires inspirational leadership, innovative thinking and people and residents at the heart of all decision making.

An expert at large scale project and change management, visitor experience, governance, risk, property construction, acquisition, crisis management and much more, Michelle is well known for her operational background, often being brought in to turn poor performing properties into star performers. Michelle offers a unique blend of strategic expertise, personality, well developed people skills, an attention to detail and a leadership acumen that connects well with all stakeholders from a diverse range of industries and backgrounds.

Michelle is presently a Director on the Board of St Johns Ambulance Australia and Basketball Victoria.

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