The Hills & Districts Chamber of Commerce October eNewsletter
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Welcome to the Hills & District Chamber of Commerce - a friendly and supportive business group bridging the Ferny Hills, Arana Hills, Ferny Grove, Keperra, Mitchelton and surrounding districts. Established 1992, our Chamber is not-for-profit and is affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland.
If you are involved in a business and live or work in the Hills Districts, why not register for the next meeting - new members and visitors are always welcome.

Meet Jane Kirk

Tell us how you first got involved in your industry/business?

I decided real estate was a great industry for me to enter as I'd owned my own business before (not real estate). I have a real love of helping people and I love real estate too - these two things highly motivated me to seek my Registration to work in the field. I started in September 2016.

What has surprised you most about working with your clients?

The diversity of their needs and wants and their anticipation of entering the market with their (most likely most valuable) asset. My clients are from all walks of life and I do love that, it makes me a better communicator.

What do you find that your clients find most challenging that you can help them with?

Making the decision to go to market - most of the time it's about timing, planning and preparation. Once they've lined these things up the rest just flows.

What's the best/worst thing to happen since you started your career?

The best thing so far was being able to sell my late father's home. It was a real privilege to take care of this for the family.

What do you wish other people knew about you or your business?

I've been working hard to meet as many people I can in and around the Hills District. Being a recent arrival (18 months) from interstate I'm meeting people constantly now because of the business I'm in. I really love it and being in an agency in the Hills District means locals working with locals.

Tell us about someone who has influenced your career?

My father Ron Kirk was one of my best mentors. He always encouraged me to explore my work fully, to continually learn and grow as a person and to always look to the positive.

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?

I was a professional dog groomer in a past life along with working in the music industry, a model in the 1970's (yes, I was extremely young then - ha ha) and entered the Miss Australia Quest (a bit daunting but the fundraising was fun).

What do you think will change in your field over the next five years?

I believe people just want to do business with real honest and genuine people, no hype or fuzzy advertising, just real open communication. Real estate has gone so online which is helpful for many people however having a conversation sometimes is getting missed and people sometimes get frustrated about loss of face to face. Another key thing I am noticing is the number of women in the industry and I think it will attract more mature aged women over the coming years as a great avenue to take to find a beneficial form of income and personal growth.


Jane Kirk
Professionals Priority
Ferny Hills

Meet Dean Weston

Tell us how you first got involved in your industry/business?

I've long had an interest in cars and motorsport and after 22 years in commercial banking decided to pursue that passion.

What has surprised you most about working with your clients?

The great rapport you can build and the trust given to you to solve their vehicle problems.

What do you find that your clients find most challenging that you can help them with?

Reducing the automotive terminology and conveying the message in a manner that is better understood and appreciated.

What's the best/worst thing to happen since you started your career?

The best thing has been the great feedback from customers, who either have a great experience or notice the change in attitude/ culture of the business since I took ownership. The worst thing has been when we make a mistake, albeit rarely, but it's something the customer can do without. We have significantly reduced mistakes (and rework) after introducing a number of procedures.

What do you wish other people knew about you or your business?

We're called JAX Tyres, but do all aspects of mechanical work as well - brakes, suspension, repairs, servicing, logbook servicing (even under warranty)

Tell us about someone who has influenced your career?

I love to learn from and be around motivated and successful people, regardless of their field of endeavour. You can always learn something new from a person who has excelled in their field - I guarantee you will learn something new when pushed outside of your own comfort zone. Notably, I have drawn a lot from SAS combat veterans back into my corporate and self-employment worlds.

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?

My family has been in the district since the 1860's. There are a number of roads in the district named after them and I'm incredibly proud to be associated with these people who would have pioneered the district.

What do you think will change in your field over the next five years?

Undoubtedly technology is ever changing, not just in terms of how we use it in an office environment, but also autonomous vehicles and how they will need to be serviced.

Address Dean Weston
JAX Tyres Mitchelton
3855 8322

Business Showcase

The first Business Showcase for 2017 was held on Thursday night 3 February with a good rollup of Chamber members. As we gathered in Carol Beckx's Art Studio, she told us of her life in South Africa before she moved to be near her daughter in Brisbane. We were fascinated, intrigued and in awe of Carol's courage and business skills. It was a giant leap to leave her homeland and come settle in Australia.

Now permanently settled in McDowall, her working life is never dull. Carol runs art classes as well as commissioned works such as painted watercolor sketches for a local historical publication, a large three-part mural for a Brisbane café and entered and won various art exhibitions. As part of the evening, Carol showed us some of the processes she goes through to create a canvas. One of her great loves is teaching painting skills to adults and many of her students have become firm friends.  
We thank Carol for her welcoming hospitality and an insight into the world of a modern-day artist.


Ron Crump

Hello Everyone,
We sent 2016 out with a great Christmas Function and the first ever Chamber Awards presentation. What a roll up and what a superb evening with lots of laughs and good times. Thank you to the workers/organisers of both the evening and the awards.
The New Year has commenced with a high level of energy and contribution from so many. A number of new faces have stepped up to take on key roles and I welcome Jane Kirk (Communications & PR), Mandy Bell (Women and Business), Dianne Krome (Commerce in Schools) and Mary Di Marco (The Big Breakfast). Thank you.
Thank you also to all the people who have done so much to build this Chamber and who are standing aside yet remain in a mentoring capacity.
It is interesting to note that many chambers in the region do not meet in January. We had 40 registered for breakfast and the numbers would have been way better had it not clashed with back to school.
The highlight of the breakfast for me was the number of “shout outs” that were absolute endorsements of the genuine nature of the goods and services provided by other members.
Kellie Pamic and Len Whittaker led an initiative to elicit from those attending the breakfast thoughts on what we might do or consider in terms of making the Chamber even more relevant to you. Kellie has collated the information and we will commence work with the suggestions at our next management meeting.
As a direction for the Chamber this year we are keen to help you “Grow Your Business” and one initiative that we believe will assist in this regard is to increase our membership base. As you know our strength and achievements to date are on the back of so many offering and doing so much.
Wherever you can, please consider this aim and invite guests along to see what we are about with the expectation that they will ultimately become active members. We are just shy of 100 members at the moment and it would be wonderful to reflect this time next year on an active and vibrant membership of around 200.
Finally as I reflected on 2016, it was really quite personally rewarding to see how so many of you, within the Chamber, have grown in skill, courage and putting yourself “out there”.  Enjoy, Ron
Become a Member
Upcoming Events
2017 Big Breakfast

Vice President

Kellie Pamic

Thanks to everyone at the January Breakfast who contributed to the conversation around how the Hills Chamber can deliver for our members this year. The insights were brilliant and will really help us focus on what it is that brings value to your membership.

If you were unable to make it to breakfast we would still love to hear your thoughts (complaints, compliments but more importantly specific actionable feedback!) that will help improve your experience as a member of the chamber. Give me a call 0427 198 555 or click to email. We have very exciting projects within the chamber this year and encourage everyone to get involved, many hands make light work after all.    Kellie


Leonard Whittaker

We had 35 in attendance at our January meeting. The take a card and contact a member program continues to produce worthwhile outcomes for those making the effort. The Table Discussion on ways to make 2017 better produced some great ideas. Thank you for supporting us in our desire to make the Chamber even better. Membership now stands at 94 with 6 registrations including 5 new members for the coming year.

30 Second Committee Chairperson reports were given by:

  • Awards Committee - Rob Carmody
  • Big Breakfast Committee - Mary Di Marco
  • Commerce in Schools - Dianne Krome
  • Development & Advocacy Committee - Ron Crump and Chris Hansen
  • Membership Committee - Kent McDonald
  • Communications & PR Committee - Margaret Sim
  • Women & Business - Kellie Pamic

Business card draws were won by:

  • Rana Jewell
  • Eva Porter won the ‘Bring a Guest’ draw but unfortunately had no guest so misses out.



Chairperson | Scholarship Committee
Craig Cooper

Financial Position Statement at February 9 2016 

Cash in Bank -                       $11,325.93       
Scholarship Program 2015     - $   750.00
Scholarship Program 2016    - $ 4,400.00
Business Excellence Awards     - $ 250.00
Incorporation Fees                           TBC
Balance                              $ 5,669.85
Many thanks,  Craig

Communications & Public Relations

Executive Member
Jane Kirk

2017 is going to be fantastic. As it is the Chamber's aim to raise awareness of the work of the Chamber then it is through our committee to effectively circulate news and information to our members and the public. The feedback from the members at the January breakfast provided excellent ideas for consideration. Our second aim is about increasing Chamber membership this year along with increasing rapport within the community, schools, businesses, SME’s and charities.

I also invite new members and members to join the committee as we are looking for an extra person or two to assist with our initiatives this year. If interested, please call me on 0421 440 079.
As Alisa Cork has passed the baton to me this year I’d like to thank Alisa for her hard work and generous contribution as an Executive and Committee member. Alisa continues her involvement in our committee. Thank you Alisa.  Jane

2017 Big Breakfast

Chairperson | Mary Di Marco

We are excited to announce that John Buchanan will be our guest speaker for the 2017 Big Breakfast. John is the most successful coach in the Australian cricket history. He became the Australian team coach in 1999 – a team that had enjoyed success, but was in the process of handing over to a new captain, and new players. By 2007, he finished a very successful campaign as coach of Australia.

Buchanan coached the team to a world record number of straight Test Matches (16 wins), consecutive One Day International victories (21) and set an unprecedented World Cup record with 2 World Cups and 24 games undefeated. At the time of his retirement, the Australian Cricket Team were the World Cup Champions, Test Cricket Champions and One Day Champions, and also returned the Ashes to Australia in early 2007. This record of victories makes Buchanan the most successful coach in history with a winning record of over 75% since 1999.

His philosophies, principles and methodologies have not been restricted to formal educational and training sessions, Buchanan has also released, “If Better is Possible”, which continues to be popular across many audiences from corporate leaders to sport coaches and athletes. His most recently published book, “The Future of Cricket” deals with the 20 over phenomenon and where the game may be heading.
Buchanan does not have the same pedigree as other cricket coaches, or indeed most other world-renowned sport coaches. He has an extremely modest playing background, which did not see him reach the heights of those athletes whom he coached. Buchanan has a degree in Human Movement, a teaching Diploma and a Master of Arts in Sports Administration from Alberta University in Canada.

The University of Queensland has granted him an honorary doctorate for his services to sport. This education has influenced Buchanan’s coaching approach, which is vastly different to those used by cricket coaches for generations. While he was the first coach to use computer analysis of every ball bowled, he retained a unique approach to coach the ‘whole person’ rather than just the athlete. Buchanan has a great knowledge of coaching and how good coaching helps to create High Performance Teams. He has recently gained a G.A.I.C.D certificate as a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  Mary

Development & Advocacy

Executive Representative | James Niven

Our focus for the commencement of 2017 is a Chamber Buy Local Program. We are currently obtaining all businesses within the chamber that want to participate with a special offer for the members. We will be looking outside the chamber for any other businesses that want to join the chamber and participate also. We are looking forward to this highly anticipated project in order to increase the spending cycle and build relationships amongst businesses within the chamber. If you have an offer you would like to submit please emailJames

Commerce in Schools

Chairperson | Dianne Krome

I’m excited and honoured to take on the role of Chairperson of the Commerce in Schools Committee. Schools have only just gone back but once everyone’s settled in we’ll be chatting with them about how best to engage with students. Here are some of our ideas:

  •  Teachers and students attending monthly breakfasts
  • Chamber members speaking at schools about the joys and challenges of commerce
  • Trade placements with Chamber members
  • Student mentoring program
    There are a number of roles available on the Committee. Some are ongoing and will shape our interaction with schools and students. There may also be opportunities for one-off activities such as speaking at schools. Thank you to members who have already offered to help.
    If you’d like to get involved and help shape young minds and assist those in need of financial support, please contact Di on 0499 086 454.  Di

New Members

Executive Rep & VP | Joanne Harding-Smith

Welcome to 2017 
Kent McDonald (K2 Wealth) has been phoning our new and returning members as they join/re-join. However we'd like to touch-base with previous members and see if they'd like to visit or re-join. This is all with a view of growing our lovely chamber to extend our network. If you know previous members we'd love you to take the initiative and contact them and let me know. Also, when you pick a card out of the bucket during the meeting, be sure to seek them out and learn more about their business.  Together we can work to grow our businesses and enrich our local community.
See you at the February meeting.  Joanne

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