Market chief resigns

Dandenong Market general manager Jennifer Hibbs has announced her resignation.

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Dandenong Market’s trailblazing general manager Jennifer Hibbs has announced her resignation.

The market’s founding general manager since 2013 said the time was “right” to step down.

“For the past nine years, I have had the privilege of watching the Market go from strength to strength.

“Despite all the challenges, particularly over the past two years, I do consider myself fortunate to have been able to contribute to the market and the wider Dandenong community.

“Whilst it is the right time for me to step down, I also believe that it is the right time for a new leader to build on the foundations now in place and steer the delivery of our vision for the market.”

Dandenong Market chair Donna McMaster said Ms Hibbs’s leadership was “central to improving this jewel in Dandenong’s crown”.

“Jennifer has established a first-class events and festivals program.

“She has developed our street food culture, making Dandenong Market an authentic foodie destination. Importantly, she has created an opportunity for many new traders.

“Jennifer has also set the wheels in motion for an exciting new Strategic and Retail Plan for the Market. We have a fantastic vision for the future.”

Ms McMaster also paid tribute to Ms Hibbs’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, “protecting our people, community and organisation during one of the most challenging periods in the Market’s history”.

Last year, the market’s owner Greater Dandenong Council reported a near $3 million hit in rent waivers and foregone revenue from the market due to Covid-19.

In 2021, the council also leased the adjoining Aldi supermarket site to Dandenong Market Pty Ltd for a peppercorn $1 annual fee until mid-2031.

Income from the King Street site is shared 50-50 by the council and DMPL. Its earnings were to fund capital improvements, repairs and equipment at the market.

Ms Hibbs will step down as of 8 July. She will remain as the market’s company secretary.