Straight in the deep end

Posted: 3 November 2023

Straight in the deep end

Message from Heidi - 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 from across the region. 

So far I've had the pleasure of connecting with over 100 chamber members, representatives from JCU,  TAFE, The Ville and Council. I’ve zoomed with The Royal Bank of Australia, 15 chambers from across Queensland, and Dominique Lamb, the Queensland Small Business Commissioner. Member for Dawson Andrew Willcox MP visited us and amongst other things we discussed the progress of the reinsurance pool and the increase in insolvencies we are seeing as a result of the ATO recouping tax debt. 

Last Sunday I went from my nine year olds birthday party, to met with The Hon Cameron Dick, State Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, and The Hon Di Farmer, Minister for Employment and Small Business, to advocate for reduced fees, charges and payroll tax for businesses in our region and discuss what their plans are for the year ahead, but no I didn’t give them a lollie bag! The community cabinet was also an opportunity to connect with local leaders and advisors from various community groups, regional mayors, and listen to their priorities for the future. 

Some of the events I’ve attended in the past two weeks have covered chamber advocacy priorities like the reinsurance pool, and some have been an opportunity to learn more about imminent defence projects, and other infrastructure projects. The conversations at these events have been absolutely energising and I have met some incredibly motivated Chamber members who are pioneering innovative ways to boost workforce participation and retention. But it hasn’t all been work, one of our corporate partners Star FM, kindly invited me to join them for the NQ Media Awards to celebrate some of the shining stars in the local media industry over a cocktail or two. 

I’m listening and learning everyday, and these initial connections have all been very positive which will assist in my ability to serve our members well into the future. But the best part has been witnessing firsthand the commitment and passion of individuals who are working tirelessly to create sustainable outcomes for our community. It's sparking ideas about how the Chamber can add value, connect and create fresh opportunities for our members. The momentum is building, and we're already planning for an extraordinary 2024.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, I would like to personally invite you to an informal Christmas drinks event we are hosting on Thursday, November 23rd at the Heritage Bar. It will be a free opportunity for members to celebrate the year and for us all to connect before the holiday season kicks into high gear! 

I can't wait to meet many of you there, so be sure to register. 

Heidi, CEO