The Independent Voice
of Townsville Business
The Townsville Chamber of Commerce?
In a business world that is rapidly evolving, it is essential to stay connected, be informed, and have your voice heard by decision makers. At the Townsville Chamber of Commerce, we embody these principles every day.
Since our foundation in 1882, we have been at the forefront of fostering the entrepreneurial spirit that continues to thrive today across all pillars of industry in our region. As one of the oldest institutions in the city, we continue to play a pivotal role in helping Townsville continue to develop, grow, and prosper.
We encourage you to explore this site, join our mailing list and get in touch to see how Townsville Chamber can assist you in your business journey.
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Townsville businesses, organisations and individuals like you from a wide range of industry sectors become members to widen their professional networks, raise their profile, to learn, to be heard and be part or an organisation that supports the Townsville business community.
There are a range of membership benefits across four main levels. Chamber is the most cost-effective business membership organisations that you can be part of in Townsville.
I've had the pleasure of attending some really insightful and inspiring events over the last two weeks, such as the QLD State Development quarterly industry breakfast. Great event, thank you James Doyle and Amy Savage. Connecting with our members at the Townsville Chamber of Commerce and Townsville Young Chamber Christmas drinks - possibly too much Xmas cheer but if there is no photographic evidence it didn’t happen! Chamber hosted the Queensland Small Business Commissioner Dominique Lamb for a lunch at the recently renovated A Touch of Salt (you guys nailed it). And this week I am in Brisbane representing two cohorts of Queensland Connects. One for simulation in North Queensland and one with resilience and connectivity. Somewhere amongst this I was also a mum, wife, completed some income generating activity and got my appendix out! (No that’s the real reel!) I truly value these opportunities to connect and the amazing people that make doing business in North Queensland so rewarding and I am proud in my own small way to contribute. So many positive initiatives and things to be positive about, yet to be honest I’ve been sad and frustrated too. There is mighty chasm between “innovation initiatives “and policy support for fundamental concepts of reducing costs and red tape that support small business at a policy level. This is crippling. I talked to the Small Business Commissioner on Friday about reduction of red tape and the need for councils that have committed to the Business-Friendly Council Charter to be transparent with metrics and outcomes rather than motherhood statements. Last weekend Townsville Bulletin reported on the move of the traditional Christmas tree from flinders street central (I will no longer be calling it CBD), to the Strand. I will not go into the pros and cons of this, but not collaborating with city traders or the Chamber of Commerce was an interesting response. I appreciate there is no malice intended, but it doesn’t stop it being the wrong approach for a Business-Friendly Council. There are way too many small businesses Queensland and Townsville struggling. Are we missing in policy, grants and support levers at the basic foundations such as reasonable costs, lack of options for electricity, rising industrial relations costs, crime, and anti-social behaviour? Yes, I feel we are. As a business owner that has been really close several times to shutting the doors, I feel for businesses making challenging yet probably really sensible choices on closing businesses right now…… but there are no cool social media photo opportunities for this reality of regional business so maybe it just isn’t happening! Social washing is a thing. We cannot forget the significance of small business to our economy in the push for building the region. Collectively small business employs 98% of all employees in Australia and contribute 1/3 of GDP. Let’s not forget that. Have a great weekend.Miranda, President.
Congratulations to the team and employers behind a specialised workforce participation program which includes 5-week Customised Motor Trades orientation. Ten participants from the first intake are now moving into the placement stage with participating employers Mike Carney Toyota, Carmichael Ford, and Alexander Body Works- AMA Group. On Common Country, through the Indigenous Workforce and Skills Development Grant, have developed this program to deliver individualised work preparation and training to disadvantaged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander jobseekers in Townsville. The Indigenous Workforce and Skills Development Grant program supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples skills development through Indigenous led projects that support or respond to local training and workforce needs. You can read more about On Common Country here.
Queensland Country Bank proudly announces its new Chair, Lewis Ramsay, Deputy Chair John Weier and newly appointed Director Aileen Cull to its Board of Directors at their AGM held yesterday, as part of the organisation’s succession plan, supporting stability and its growth path for the benefit of its Members. Mr Newman says, “We welcome our newly appointed Chair, Deputy Chair and Board Director to continue to drive Queensland Country Bank’s growth strategy and its digital transformation supporting our purpose to enhance Members' financial well-being. “These appointments reinforce our commitment to maintaining a Board with diverse skills and experience, that collectively bring the right capability for effective governance. “Lewis Ramsay, our new Chair, brings both a steadfast approach and community prominence. Since joining in 2020, he's made valuable contributions to our Board and Bank Risk Management Committee." With qualifications and extensive experience in business, marketing, and governance, Lewis over the past 15 years has worked on a range of local boards and committees including Mater Hospital Townsville, Queensland Country Health Fund, Townsville Water Security Taskforce and as Chair of the Townsville City Deal Stakeholder Reference Group. Lewis is also the current Chair of the North Queensland Cowboys and has been a board member since 2017. A passion for Regional Queensland and a commitment to customer service are Queensland Country’s backbone, ensuring it remains steadfast in supporting Members' financial well-being and their goals of home ownership, entrepreneurship, and vehicle acquisitions, with $650 million in loans facilitated last financial year. Mr Newman added, “At Queensland Country, we're aspiring to be Queensland's best regional bank and with our newly appointed Chair, Lewis Ramsay, and Board of Directors, we are well on the path to our aspiration. Following the AGM held yesterday, Queensland Country Bank Chair, Christine Flynn has stepped down from her role as Chair and a Director of Queensland Country Bank that she held since May 2020. Queensland Country Bank Chief Executive Aaron Newman acknowledged Ms Flynn’s significant contributions to the organisation, “Christine has played a key role in successfully navigating Queensland Country Bank through the Coronavirus pandemic and retaining a commitment to our regional communities. “We are grateful to Christine for her substantial contribution, and leadership of Queensland Country Bank and wish her the best in her future endeavours,” concluded Mr Newman.
Do you ever look in the mirror and think “Who is that mature person staring back at me?” Or have you ever choked on your tea when you realised that a colleague was born after 2000 … or is it just me? When Young Chamber started here a few years ago, someone suggested I was too old at 40 to join. I confess part of me died that day, but I also realised that it was my turn to pay forward the mentoring advice and guidance that I have benefited from throughout my career. Since then, I have mentored young professionals across Australia and the one thing I can tell you is that although the programs are set up to significantly benefit the mentees, mentors always benefit in some way too. Townsville Chamber has been operating for 141 years because of the invaluable role played by entrepreneurs and professionals of all ages who had a passion for being part of a supportive business ecosystem. Some of the mature leaders nurtured emerging talent and shared their knowledge, skills, and networks, the mentees became older and continued the circle of Chamber life. The importance of this legacy has not changed. Kevin our Deputy President began as a member of the Young Chamber, or Projects Committee as it used to be called. As a leadership team, we are passionate about supporting the growth of the Young Chamber as we continue to build a strong and supportive Chamber community that contributes to the growth of the wider business community and showcases opportunities for emerging professionals right here in our region. We're not reinventing the wheel, we are not just embracing the future we are empowering it. Last week was a week of youthful celebrations! The Young Chamber and JCU: James Cook University, Australia School of Business mentoring program drew to a close with multiple mentors from PVW Partners Commonwealth Bank KPMG Australia Townsville Community Law Tan Lines Distilling Purcell Taylor Lawyers wilson/ryan/grose Lawyers and me at chamber all kindly sharing their time and knowledge over the year with 2nd and 3rd year JCU business students. A huge thanks to the mentors, Young Chamber Committee and Laurie Murphy and Stephen Boyle for their part in the continued success of this program. We held our first joint Christmas drinks with Young Chamber at the Heritage Exchange which was well attended, and based on some messages I received late that night about salsa dancing I think some mature members outlasted our younger members! If you like me are a little grey around the edges and are keen to find out about mentoring in 2024, just send us a message. And if not I encourage you to follow Townsville Young Chamber. Have a great week Heidi, CEO
Make your shopping, celebrations and catch-ups in the Townsville city centre easier this Christmas with free two-hour parking for the month of December Park in any spot marked with a 2P sign and get two hours of free parking, with no need to use the meter or the Townsville Parking app. Acting Mayor Mark Molachino said the free two-hour parking made it even easier for residents and visitors to enjoy the shops, galleries and eateries in the city centre. “Free two-hour parking gives visitors to the city plenty of time to check out some shops or galleries and grab a bite to eat with friends and family,” Cr Molachino said. “Head into the city to do some of your holiday shopping with our local traders and make the most of the great offerings we have in the heart of Townsville. “Remember that time restrictions still apply on all 2P spaces, so move your car once your allotted two hours is up.” Free two-hour parking in the city centre runs throughout December 2023 in all 2P parking spaces. Time restrictions apply. Parking fees still apply for all 4P and 8P parking spaces. For more information, visit Townsville Parking.
When I ask people about their first connection with the Chamber for many it has been our now famous fortnightly CBD Chamber Coffee events. Some people have gained employment, many have found clients or business partners, and some have even met their romantic partner at one of them (no promises).
During my first 10 days at Chamber, I have jumped in headfirst to connect with and hear from as many members and key stakeholders as possible. And it's been an absolute whirlwind, I’m writing this message from a Skytrans plane on my way out to tour The Bravus Carmichael Mine with other civic leaders
As I reflect on my first week, I can say it has been a great opportunity to connect with representatives from all levels of government, and many members.
Over 40 interviews covering essential information, conversations, ideas and news that matters to the business community of Townsville.Read More
Townsville Young Chamber
Helping emerging Townsville business leaders learn, grow and connect with our business community.Read More
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