The Hills & Districts Chamber of Commerce April eNewsletter
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APRIL 2017



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 or not-for-profit and live or work in the Hills Districts, why not register for the next meeting - new members and visitors are always welcome.

Women in Business Lunch – guest speaker Chris Gilbert

Join us on Tuesday 11 April 2017 at 12:30pm to network and listen to Chris share her story about Leadiship. Book online through the Hills Chamber of Commerce for your ticket.

Chris established Leadiship over 20 years ago to provide deeply engaging facilitation, training and coaching for organisations, leaders and teams. Leadiship’s key mission is to help leaders realise their full potential, along with improving organisational success, career development and lifelong learning.

Over the last two decades, Chris and her associates have built an enviable reputation delivering cutting edge leadership, team development and change management programs using contemporary methods based on the latest scientific and social research.

Where: Birds and Bees Café, 5/1-5 Queens Road, Everton Hills

Next Showcase - Thursday 27th April

Banksia Women’s Healing Centre is the venue for the next showcase.

Charmaine Renaud is opening the doors to Chamber members and their guests on Thursday 27 April for an early evening event to showcase her business. It’s open to both men and women so please come along and learn more about how Charmaine developed her business. It’s a great story. Contact Charmaine for more details on 3351 4691.

Registrations: Please register via the Chamber’s website (EVENTS) as numbers are limited, it also helps work out space requirements and catering.

Cost: Free

Time: 5.45pm for 6pm until about 7.30pm

Where: Shop 1/288 Dawson Parade, Arana Hills Qld 4054. Ample car parking available at back of premises between Glenlee and Nepean Streets (behind Domino’s on Dawson Parade).

Networking tips – how to prospect for more referrals

Here are 10 tips to get you excited!
  1. Keep in mind that networking is about being genuine and authentic, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help others.
  2. Ask yourself what your goals are in participating in networking meetings so that you will pick groups that will help you get what you are looking for. Some meetings are based more on learning, making contacts, and/or volunteering rather than on strictly making business connections.
  3. Visit as many groups as possible that spark your interest. Notice the tone and attitude of the group. Do the people sound supportive of one another? Does the leadership appear competent? Many groups will allow you to visit two times before joining.
  4. Hold volunteer positions in organizations. This is a great way to stay visible and give back to groups that have helped you.
  5. Ask open-ended questions in networking conversations. This means questions that ask who, what, where, when, and how as opposed to those that can be answered with a simple yes or no. This form of questioning opens up the discussion and shows listeners that you are interested in them.
  6. Become known as a powerful resource for others. When you are known as a strong resource, people remember to turn to you for suggestions, ideas, names of other people, etc. This keeps you visible to them.
  7. Have a clear understanding of what you do and why, for whom, and what makes your doing it special or different from others doing the same thing. In order to get referrals, you must first have a clear understanding of what you do that you can easily articulate to others (see last month’s story on the 30 Second Pitch).
  8. Be able to articulate what you are looking for and how others may help you. Too often people in conversations ask, "How may I help you?" and no immediate answer comes to mind.
  9. Follow through quickly and efficiently on referrals you are given. When people give you referrals, your actions are a reflection on them. Respect and honor that and your referrals will grow.
  10. Call those you meet who may benefit from what you do and vice versa. Express that you enjoyed meeting them, and ask if you could get together and share ideas.
(source: )

Where can I meet my best prospects?  The Chamber is one of best places to meet prospects in your business community. Effectively networking within the group provides opportunity for your business to integrate more successfully into the business community. One of the best results of good networking is the ‘referral’. ​

Meet our Member - Bruce Kimball


Q1: Tell us how you first got involved in your industry/business?

I got a tap on the shoulder from fellow Chamber member Wendy Belham inviting me to come and work for her business on the front desk/reception. It was actually a great way for me to learn about the Australian migration industry.

Q2: What has surprised you most about working with your clients?

Their particular circumstance and their reasons for wanting to live and work in Australia..

Q3: What do you find that your clients find most challenging that you can help them with?

I call it "navigating the migration minefield" - taking the stress of having to deal with the migration bureaucracy away from them. The government's visa requirements can be very complex, difficult to understand and constantly changing.

Q4: What's the best/worst thing to happen since you started your career?

Most visa applications involve a lot of money and emotion for my clients. Achieving positive outcomes for my clients always gives me a tremendous lift and sense of purpose. Conversely, the worst thing was when I was unable to help a client whose younger sibling was stuck in her home country which had become a war zone. Despite my best efforts, I felt pretty useless.


Q5: What do you wish other people knew about you or your business?

I provide a highly personalised service catering to clients' individual needs and their particular circumstances. My clients are my number 1 priority.

Q6: Tell us about someone who has influenced your career?

Clearly, Wendy Belham has guided and supported me in pursuing my migration career. I certainly learnt the importance of needing to have a strong commercial head on your shoulders. It is critically important to always know what your bottom line is when you're building a successful business.

Q7: What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?

This is the first time in my working life that I am my own boss. Up until I bit the bullet 3 years ago and established my own business, I have always been employed by someone else. It's quite a unique experience for me to be wholly and totally responsible for what I do in my business.

Q8: What do you think will change in your field over the next five years?

I expect the federal government to make it harder for people to migrate to Australia, despite the fact that we are a migrant nation.

Bruce Kimball
Bruce Kimball Migration Services
Ferny Hills
0421 449 924


Ron Crump

Hello everyone,
As we go to print many of our friends from Bowen south to Northern NSW are coming to terms with the devastation of Cyclone Debbie. I am fortunate, yet this is not so for many people. I am fascinated by how the Australian sense of humour prevails in the darkest of circumstances and how people simply join to help those less fortunate than themselves (even though they may have suffered their own serious and debilitating losses).It proves for me the wisdom of those that have been on the planet for eons.

A word from the African Bantu language, Ubuntu, speaks about the fact that humans cannot exist in isolation and about our interconnectedness. The important things in life include what we as individuals are doing to enable the community around us to be able to improve (Legacy- James Kerr).

So when times are tough we tend to jump to the aid of others and willingly give our all. This is why I am so proud to be an Australian.

To be fair though that pride is being fed by the way our Chamber has been functioning doing so many great things in the good times as well.

Individuals collectively and quietly are contributing and sharing so that our community might improve. Thank you one and all.   Ron
Become a Member
Upcoming Events
2017 Big Breakfast

Vice President

Kellie Pamic

Let's show our support for the Shop Local campaign as the Development Committee begins to roll out the details.  The program is set to benefit our businesses and the broader area as we increase the turnover of dollars within our community.  As you think about your business offer for the campaign be mindful and consider your current profit margin, markup and breakeven point so you can still create a profit after the value add or discount you intend to offer. This campaign is about strengthening our businesses! Don't forget we have our pop-up photo booth at the next chamber breakfast where you can update your profile photo/headshot for just $59. Book Here.   Kellie


Leonard Whittaker

We had 62 registered with 59 in attendance at our March meeting. Another great turnout.
30 Second (in theory) Committee Chairperson reports were given by:
  • Awards Committee - Rob Carmody
  • Big Breakfast Committee - Mary Di Marco
  • Commerce in Schools - Craig Cooper for Dianne Krome
  • Development & Advocacy Committee - James Niven
  • Membership committee - Kent McDonald
  • Comms & PR committee - No report given
  • Women & Business - Janie Grant
Business card draws were won by:
  • Carolyn Cox from Everton Park State High School
  • Deb Thomson from Brisbane Massage as guest of Luke Elin from Ey3 for the second time!

Again the new format of 2 minutes per person introductions to table members produced positive discussion.
The Table Topic Discussions format was put aside due to time constraints.
Our Member Speaker, James Niven form MBRIT produced some insight on Moreton Shire with specific emphasis on the Hills District.  He also launched our buy local initiative for 2017.

Membership now stands at 94 with 21 registrations including 14 new members for the coming year.   Leonard


Chairperson | Scholarship Committee
Craig Cooper

Commerce in Schools Update -  Unfortunately  Dianne Krome missed March Breakfast due to illness, I have been unable to obtain a report from her however I know she has engaged a couple of schools in the area and is working closely with them. It is great to see the schools represented at the previous two Breakfasts and the feedback was very positive from both schools.
Commendation – Personally I would like to give Special thanks to Gary and the team from Tradesman on Time for installing air conditioning into two spare rooms of my House on the Gold Coast.

Financial Position Statement at March 29 2017

Cash in Bank -                       $11,937.70     
Scholarship Program 2016    - $ 3,640.00
Business Excellence Awards           $ 0.00
Big Breakfast Donations                  $0.00
Incorporation Fees                 -$1,500.00
Balance                              $ 6,797.70


Communications & Public Relations

Executive Member | Jane Kirk

The Committee has a new chairperson – Margaret Sim. Congratulations Margaret on taking the helm.

We still need another volunteer or two. There are various tasks involved in writing, posting articles, Chamber public relations work and support in various other communication-related activities. The Committee coordinates the Showcases, does photo shoots at events (fun), and if you’re interested in joining us then call Margaret Sim on 0407 167 264 or Jane Kirk on 0421 440 079.  Jane

Big Breakfast 2017 - Eatons Hill Tavern

Chairperson | Mary Di Marco

I am delighted to confirm that the interest in this year’s event has been nothing short of outstanding.
It is important to note that the sponsorship proposal on offer have exclusivity to the first taker in an industry.  If you are keen to take up an option please don’t delay.  The businesses who have confirmed their sponsorship are:




  • TIM MANDER – State Member for Everton
  • DONNA FERGUSON – Rainbows Empowering Women


  • AZENSIS – Accountants & Business Advisors

Thank you to these members for their valued and much appreciated support of our signature fundraiser event.

If you are considering sponsorship we still have available: 1 x gold, 2 x silver and 3 x bronze.  Interest has been high so don’t miss out.

To ensure our Hills & District Chamber members can take advantage of booking early we are offering a special price of $435.00 for a table of ten.  This will give you the opportunity to invite your valued clients to participate in what promises to be a wonderful morning.

For those who may wish to purchase just a few tickets we have not forgotten you. We are offering the early bird price up to 24 August is $47.50 per ticket. After which time the price will be $55.00.

If you wish to purchase raffle tickets when booking your registration, you can do so. As we did last year, we will have them ready for collection upon arrival at the event.  Prices are :

  • set of 3 tickets ($5) 
  • 6 tickets ($10.00)  and
  • 12 tickets for $20.

We know it will be a fabulous event, they always are and we look forward to seeing you and your guests at breakfast. 

We are asking for any businesses that would like to supply the promotional bags for the Big Breakfast please email Donna Thistlethwaite on

For further information, please contact Mary on 0438 054 227 or Mandy on 0478 435 173.  We look forward to welcoming you what promises to be an outstanding morning event.    Mary

Women in Business

Executive Member | Mandy Bell

Our Women in Business Group has had a change of Chairperson. Mandy Bell has now moved to the Chamber Executive and Janie Grant will be the new Chairperson for our Women In Business group. The new Women In Business committee will consist of Janie Grant, Mandy Bell, Eva Porter and Christina Gilbert. If there is anyone else that would like to join the committee please contact Janie Grant.  
The Women in Business group are having a lunch next week the 11th April at the local Birds & Bees café. To reserve your place, please book online on the Chamber website. Note: Registration is free and required to confirm numbers, all meals to be paid for independently on the day. If you wish to attend, there are only a limited number of tickets available so you will need to get in quick. ​

Christina Gilbert will be talking to us about Goal Setting. Christina is a highly skilled leadership trainer and coach having worked across a variety of industries including Government, mining, health and the food industry. She has more than 20 years’ experience working with executive leaders, middle managers and supervisors focussing her efforts on developing individuals to become authentic leaders in organisations.
Thank you for those that have taken the few minutes to complete our survey. The results will help us to ensure we create lunches that are suited to what is needed in our business community. We would also like to encourage the men to come and sit down with us for lunch.
See you all next week at lunch.  Mandy  

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