Ben Dennis

Ben Dennis is standing off to the right wearing a grey jumper. Behind him is a footpath and an avenue of trees.

Ben Dennis, President Terang Progress Association

A little over a decade ago, Ben Dennis arrived in Terang as a graduate teacher in what he thought would be a temporary six-month posting.

He never left. Ben married a local, Gemma, and they are now raising three daughters in the Terang community the family calls home.

Ben, now in his mid-thirties, teaches at nearby Timboon P-12 School and is playing a leading role in the Terang community.

As Terang Progress Association President, Ben is among volunteer locals who have the future of their community top of mind.

In a separate remunerated community role, Ben is also Chair of the Terang and Mortlake Health Service, a role he accepted in 2021 amid the pandemic and cyber security concerns.

The Terang Progress Association’s priorities are in supporting and operating events and opportunities to encourage more people to become connected with the Terang community.

The Terang Colour Festival and the Christmas Gala event returned as live events in 2022, after two years of covid-enforced virtual events.

Both events have stimulated wider community interest. “After the Colour Festival, large numbers of people said they would like to become involved.”

Ben also sees the progress association providing a leading advocacy role for the community to ensure vital services remain in place.

“We are at a turning point and the Terang Progress Association will be doing some advocating for the community.

“Business closures and community concerns surrounding aged care are top of mind.

“The association is doing a bit of work in the background to get a community bank in Terang.”

Ben’s first voluntary involvement in the Terang community was through the Terang Wetlands Project and he was later involved as a Terang community representative in the 2018 St Patrick’s Day bushfires recovery effort.

Seed funding from the bushfire recovery went on to establish the Terang and Noorat Arts in the Avenue project, which aims to establish the area as an arts hub.

“Having Les Cameron come into the community has brought lots of arts ideas, with a broad spectrum of arts projects which are all bubbling away.”

He encourages other members of the community to get involved.

“Everyone has a passion or skillset they can bring along.

“If you live in the community, it’s good to contribute and give something back. Find something you enjoy, commit as much or as little as you want. If you just want to touch base here or there and come to occasional working bees, that’s great, just find what works for you.”

To find out how to get involved in the Terang community visit