Australia has lost a wise and generous man.
Kevin Luscombe AM had an astonishing career here in Australia as well as overseas.
The Melbourne marketing and business veteran had been Executive Chairman of management consultants, Growth Solutions Group; Board member of APN News & Media; and held senior corporate management and Board roles in Australia, USA, and South East Asia and Europe.
When he was honoured by the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival as a Legend of Victorian food and wine, Matt Preston called him ‘the Yoda’ of Victorian hospitality.
The other tributes that day highlighted the breadth of his support for not only the Festival but also the wider community. The Festival said that he “managed to both train its focus and broaden its horizons, all the while working his magic with business and government, via the networks he developed as one of Australia’s great marketers, to bring those bold goals to reality.”
“Kevin sets an excellent example of someone working selflessly on behalf of the wider community” his long-time friend, winemaker Garry Crittenden said.
And the ‘wider community’ was almost an understatement when it came to the breadth of his interests and his involvement in many organisations – both formally and as a pro bono. advisor
His impact will continue into the future as he also left bequests to five organisations which his children will administer.
I was proud to be asked to speak at his funeral and devastated not to be able to for personal reasons. However, a colleague of mine and Kevin’s, Graeme Chipp, agreed to read my comments to the congregation. This is what I wrote and what Graeme read:
“I’m not sure exactly when I first met Kevin – but thinking about him in recent days I realised just how important a part of my life, and many other lives, he has been over decades.
The first time we worked together closely was on the Williamson Community Leadership Board.
In many ways it was a very apt board for Kevin to belong to as he was very much a leader in everything he did.
He not only helped Williamson to grow but was also an insightful proponent of the qualities and issues the program participants needed to understand to succeed in their lives and careers.
He was also instrumental in our company becoming part of the Clemenger Group and was a constant source of wise counsel after that.
My years of working with him and the GSG team provided new insights into the depth of his knowledge and his remarkable analytical and creative powers.
He also had that extraordinary knack of getting you involved in happily helping others – whether it was about prostate cancer, arts organisations or other community groups.
It was very hard to say no to him – mainly because you always knew when he asked for your help on such projects – it would be an interesting and valuable thing to do.
Indeed, I think what I remember most about him is this generosity, combined with the breadth of his knowledge and experience, and his willingness to share it with others.
Finally, I have been thinking about what words would sum Kevin up. What are the ones appropriate for us to always remember him by?
For me – I would have no hesitation in saying there are two of them – wisdom and generosity.”