JOHN Maher knows a thing or two about the value of planning and hard work.
Growing up in Hamilton, Maher's dislike for school meant he was soon out of the classroom and into the workforce, taking on a job as a postman at Australia Post.
Mr Maher advanced steadily up the ladder, climbing to lofty management heights, including becoming the national general manger for all Australia Post's couriers and outsourcing businesses.
That success in the business sector meant that when Mr Maher and his wife Dianne moved to Camperdown in 2004, he was approached to become a board member of South West Healthcare (SWH).
It was an invitation he accepted in 2006, beginning an association that officially came to end on June 30.
Mr Maher's time on the board included sitting as its chair for the past five years.
It has been a time of much change, with the board overseeing stage one redevelopment of Warrnambool Base Hospital, the building of the South West Regional Cancer Centre and the establishment of the Deakin Medical School.
It is a list of achievements Mr Maher is proud to have been a part of.
"The thing I am proudest of in my time on the board has been the way everyone has worked so well as a team," Mr Maher said.
"There has been robust debate and discussion, but once decisions are made, there has always been unity."
This united approach has SWH well placed to gain funding for stage two of the Warrnambool Base Hospital redevelopment.
The board has released plans for stage two and is now waiting on state government funding.
The government has already given $7.5 million, which was used to develop plans.
“The $7.5 million has allowed us to do the ground work and present our case properly, that money was a godsend,” Mr Maher said.
"Making sure we have everyone on the one page going forward money wise. Securing funding has always been the biggest challenge of the board."
Mr Maher thanked his wife Dianne for her support during his tenure and praised the contribution of the two CEO's during his time at SWH, John Krygger and Craig Fraser.
A new chair for SWH will be announced at the board's July meeting.