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.

New Moreton Bay Rail link @ $1.1Billion for Kippa Ring to Petrie

On Monday 3 October, two of our Chamber stalwarts Brian Battersby - OAM and Ron Crump  had the honour of taking the historic first train ride from Kippa Ring to Petrie. The new Moreton Bay Rail link is now open for Kippa Ring to Petrie after a 135 year wait.

Women & Business Lunch

It was lovely to see such a great turnout of our fabulous local business women on Tuesday 11 October. The theme of the lunch was "How do we engage social media to drive business and what is actually working at the moment”. There were some very interesting tips from our members on their approach to social media and the impacts on their business.

Meet Kelly Whilock

EA Online – your local Virtual Assistant

Clients/target market: Small – Medium Businesses

Qualifications /experience: 19 years experience in Administration/Personal Assistant

What made you start your business? When I became a mother my work ‘availability’ changed. I had always been the employee who often stayed late to meet last-minute deadlines and was always available for my managers when problems arose out of hours, to then juggling the needs of a baby and more children. 
I felt constantly pulled in different directions trying to meet the demands of my managers as well as care for my children – very stressful! I was often witness to the Executives and senior staff ‘working from home’ when they needed but it was made clear to me that this was not an option when my children were ill. It seemed so incredibly unfair and unjust. So, my chance came after having my third child and being made redundant due to a company restructure and then I started up my business.

When did you first start your business/when did you first start in business? I first registered my business in 2015, this is my first time as a business owner. I completed the initial business setup, managed to get a couple of clients. Then I got scared about financial insecurity so I secured a part-time contract with employers that were parents and offered great flexibility. The contract ended in April of this year so I made the decision to take a risk and invest all of my energy into making a go of my business for two reasons. 1. I have always played it safe and never taken a risk and 2. I wanted to model not being afraid to follow your dreams to my children.

What have been the biggest challenges? I have always been in permanent employment, becoming a sole trader and not know where the money will be coming from to support your family and pay the mortgage is very scary.

Who helped you along the way? My husband has been really supportive. I had career transition coaching when I was made redundant and met a wonderfully inspiring lady – Donna Thistlethwaite who helped me to believe that I could do it. I have also had great support from the Chamber executive members and members and I’m really appreciative of everything they have done for me.

What has changed since you began? When I first started in my business, I thought I could remain ‘faceless’ as a VA. But I’ve quickly discovered that people want to meet me and make those connections. I’ve found this really difficult as I am very shy (the thought of being in the spotlight is terrifying!). I am slowly getting myself out there and have now realised that being able to meet with clients and work onsite is a point of difference to some of the other VA’s out there and will hopefully be to the benefit of my business.

What projects you are working on? Currently assisting with a few clients’ social media needs; in the midst of a website design; and about to take on accounts payable/receivable for another client.

Why did you join the Chamber? I was recommended the Chamber as a great way to meet with other small business owners who are also on the entrepreneurial journey and facing similar challenges.

What has been the biggest benefit of your membership? Meeting wonderful people when I can get to some of the events. I always come away from them feeling great, like I can do anything! It isn’t at all like what I expected when I first joined – I thought a Chamber of Commerce was like a ‘boys club’. This is certainly not the case at this Chamber, very proud to be a part of it.

Where to from here? I’m hoping to secure some clients who want regular administration assistance. I guess I’ve got fingers and toes crossed that it will all work out and I can make a go of it.

Any interesting anecdotes/clients/messages for others? Never give up on your dreams… without dreams we would never be motivated to make changes when we feel stuck.



Ron Crump

It has been a busy month and the Chamber continues to grow and kick goals on the back of the efforts of so many.

Our Treasurer Craig Cooper advises that he is about to send out $9,000.00 in funding to the charities that benefited from the efforts of so many of you.

This year the Big Breakfast continued in the tradition set so many years ago. Thank you to our sponsor Ross Pickering Samford Garage who invested dollars time and effort. Please make sure that you support those that support the Chamber. That includes all the people and businesses that provided prizes for our raffles. We are also grateful for the ongoing support of Councillor Andrew Wines and the contribution made by the Brisbane City Council.

The volunteers on the day and the Big Breakfast Team brought together a top production that just seemed to flow. We need to reform our Team as “The Anchor” Bruce Kimball has stepped down from the role having given it his all over the past two years. Bruce shared that special something that brings people together with focus and a desire to achieve good things. Planning for the next event has already started and we need a speaker and a new Chair for the Big Breakfast Team. Contact me quickly if you feel that you would like to take on the role of Chair.

There are a number of events coming up and I seek your support for them.
  • Combined Chamber of Commerce Affordable Energy for Business being hosted by Pine Rivers Chamber of Commerce at the Club Pine Rivers from 4-6.30pm on Wed October 26th.
  • Showcase at Ross Pickering’s Samford Garage on the evening of October 20. Hopefully you will be able to meet members from the Samford Chamber at this event.
Our Chamber is so successful because so many of you contribute your efforts and support so willingly. Thank you and let’s keep the momentum happening. Ron

Become a Member
Register for Business Showcase
Upcoming Events
Register for Christmas Drinks

Vice President

Kellie Pamic

In the rush towards the end of the year please don't forget to set aside time and book your tickets for the Chamber Christmas Drinks in December. It will be our final event for 2016 so get along and bring your partners and guests. The details are being finalised in the next few weeks but please save the date for 13.12.2016 from 5:30pm.  ​

Entries for the Moreton Bay Innovation Awards close at the end of the month, so get those entries in and get your business all of the recognition and support you can. For further details and entry forms please click here. Start Up Moreton Bay are running free workshops called "Is Business for Me?"  well worth a look if you know anyone just starting out. More information and register your details available hereKellie


Leonard Whittaker

We had 34 in attendance at our September meeting. The Table Discussion “What kind of break gives you the best relax, recharge and revive?" produced lots of lively discussion.

30 Second Committee Chairperson reports were given by:

  • Awards Committee - Rob Carmody
  • Big Breakfast Committee - Bruce Kimball
  • Commerce in Schools - Ron Crump
  • Development & Advocacy Committee - Ron Crump
  • Membership Committee - Kent McDonald
  • PR & Social Activities Committee - Alisa Cork
  • Women & Business - Kellie Pamic
Business card draws were won by:
  • Eun Joyner from Thrifty a guest of Tony Newman
  • Carol Beckx won the ‘Bring a Guest’ draw but unfortunately had no guest so misses out.
The take a card and contact a member program continues to produce worthwhile outcomes for those making the effort. James McPherson spoke about the value he has found in participating.

Our Member Speaker, Joanne Harding-Smith helped us to better prepare for our vacations. Her talk was well received with lots of questions.

Membership now stands at 89.  Leonard


Chairperson | Scholarship Committee
Craig Cooper (currently sunning himself in Hawaii)

Financial Position Statement at October 5 2016 

Cash in Bank -                      $21,579.72          
Scholarship Program 2015     $    750.00
Scholarship Program 2016     $ 4,000.00
Business Excellence Awards   $ 1,000.00
Big Breakfast Donations         $ 9,000.00
Balance                              $ 6,829.72

Public Relations

Executive Representative
Alisa Cork

If your work week is starting to speed up, you're not alone. This time of year can be crazy, trying to fit it all in as well as work on and in your business as the case may be. One tip I have found that works is to schedule your 'non-essential' tasks like marketing including social media and networking into your week before the week starts so that there is no risk of missing anything - remember that this is vital if you are going to continue to attract customers and have a business after the silly season!
So, get your calendar ready and schedule in this Thursday night's Business Showcase at Samford Garage. Also remember to register for the next breakfast meeting and also our Christmas Drinks in December..  Alisa

Big Breakfast

Outgoing Chair | 2016 Big Breakfast Committee
Bruce Kimball

The first steps have been taken for next year’s Big Breakfast following a recent debriefing by the outgoing committee. Feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive. Members specifically commented on the smooth running of the program and the entertaining photo session with Julia and her reptile friend.

Ingredients for our success included making sure we started early, choosing our guest speaker, and locking in the date at the earliest possible time. Hopefully with your support, next year’s Big Breakfast will be as enjoyable and profitable as this year’s Big Breakfast.

As out-going Committee chair, I personally thank our 2016 team for their hard work and effort in ensuring a successful Big Breakfast event. For me, I thought it was a personally rewarding and highly enjoyable experience.

The Committee is putting out a call for new members to come and join their small team of enthusiastic Chamber members. Contact the Chamber Secretary if you are interested and able to join the 2017 Big Breakfast Committee.   Bruce

Development & Advocacy

Executive Representative | James Niven

We have started to make some really positive movement towards the connection between the chamber and our Elected Government Representatives. Thanks to the hard work from Brian Battersby meeting with the Representatives and advocating for stronger links for the chamber and increasing the attendances at our meetings.

We are also drafting up a “Buy Local” campaign in an attempt to increase the spending cycle locally to The Hills District and most importantly within the Chamber. The other exciting news for us is the planning for an extended Hills Festival for 2017. This will involve a series of meetings between Representatives from the chamber, MBRIT and MBRC. Stay tuned for updates…   James

New Members

Executive Rep & VP | Joanne Harding-Smith

We'd like to welcome the following new members to our Chamber:

  • Paul Smith - Smith Audit
  • Jane Kirk (replacing Ian Weaving) - Professionals Priority
  • Tom Handford - Moreton Bay Shire Council
  • Mark Bishop - Pheonix Mobile Detailing
  • Melissa Demarco - Demarco Law

Also like to welcome back returning members Peter Dutton - MP and Mark Furner - MP.

We look forward to getting to know you and learning more about your businesses over the upcoming few months.   Joanne and Kent
Copyright © 2016 Hills Chamber of Commerce, All rights reserved.

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