The Hills & Districts Chamber of Commerce December 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 in 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 community group and live or work in the Hills Districts, why not register for the next meeting - new members and visitors are always welcome.

Cheers to 2018! Christmas Drinks and Members’ Excellence Awards

Images 1 - 5 courtesy of Shirlee Green | Green Shots Real Estate Photography
Award Winners pictured L to R: Leonard Whittaker, Brian Battersby, Donna Thistlethwaite, Eva Porter with Ron Crump.
At the close of a full and eventful year we celebrated at the Arana Leagues Club on 11 December. A group of 60 gathered to share a drink, a story or two (or three!) and to provide rousing applause for each of the Business Excellence Award recipients.

It was heartwarming that John Sinnamon attended; a special message of love to you and your family was felt in the room.

Ron Crump officially welcomed attendees then it was followed by a fun segment. Gary Somerville (the MC) separated everyone into groups to retrieve items and solve riddles from a game sheet. The first two teams who completed correctly then competed head-to-head literally, a Celebrity Heads game – thanks Joke Chadwick and James (Joanne Harding-Smith’s partner) for a hilarious and entertaining climax. Both walked away with a Christmas hamper.

A business card draw was won by Kellie Pamic, Laurence Brown (Mark Furner’s office) and Eva Porter.

Rolling into the night (drum roll) it was time to announce the recipients of the 2018 Business Excellence Awards. From a member base of approximately 150 there were a number of nominees for each of the five categories.

The Award Presenters were invited to the stage to announce the outcomes. A big congratulations go to:
  • Entrepreneur Award – Presented by Tim Mander MP to Eva Porter. This award closely follows her MBRIT Young Entrepreneur Award in November.
  • Community Service Award – Presented by Cr Matt Constance to Brian Battersby.
  • Leap of Faith Award – Presented by Laurence Brown on behalf of Mark Furner MP/Minister to Donna Thistlethwaite.
  • Hidden Treasure Award – Presented by Cathy Tonks on behalf of Peter Dutton MP/Minister to Leonard Whittaker
  • Customer Service Award – Presented by Cr Andrew Wines BCC to Ross Pickering.
And what a group of worthy winners duly rewarded for a year of hard work and commitment. It's been another successful year for our ever-growing Chamber.

Local Charities share a $15,500 Gift

Thanks to Hills Chamber of Commerce Members and Friends

The Annual Big Breakfast (held last September) is not only a major networking event in the Hills District, it’s our local Chamber of Commerce’s major community fundraising event.

“Local businesses support each other and generate enormous goodwill through their active networking, but also raise some serious money to support our local charities,” said Ron Crump, Chamber President.

Here at the Hills and Districts Chamber of Commerce (Inc), we are so proud that the efforts of some many volunteers, supporters, sponsors, elected representatives and candidates from all levels of government, and contributors, raised $15,500 from just one event.

“And it’s not just about the money. The Chamber seeks to raise awareness that these groups exist in our own backyard, and about what these groups actually do for our community every day,” said Ron.

  • PCYC The Hills District
  • North West Youth Accommodation Service Mitchelton
  • CommSync Foundation
  • Picabeen Community Association Mitchelton
  • Scripture Union, Brisbane North Region
  • The Common Good, Prince Charles Hospital Foundation
  • The Nest, Everton Park
  • Samford Commons

Chamber Members the Big Winners at the Moreton Bay Regional Business Excellence & Innovation Awards

  • Building a Stronger Community Excellence Award: Congratulations to Samford Commons, represented by Leah Hudson and Howard Neilson
  • Young Entrepreneur Excellence Award: Eva Porter, Porter Designs
  • Finalist in this category: Jessica Ricketts of JR Media
More than 200 applications for the 12 categories were judged by a panel of leading business and industry experts, start-up mentors, founders, and representatives from the Queensland Government.

It’s all about Recognition and Commitment…

Together MBRIT and the Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) collaborated to find the best of the best via these valuable awards – for recognition of ‘going above and beyond in showcasing their commitment to excellence, and ongoing contribution to the region’ Mayor Allan Sutherland said.

And our own Chamber members were nominees for two categories:

Young Entrepreneur Excellence Award

Nominees Jessica Ricketts of JR Media and Eva Porter of Porter Designs – both run their own businesses and portray commitment and passion to what they do…congratulations!

And the winner! Eva Porter. 

This award recognises an inspirational young person aged between 18 and 35 years who, through their own commitment and passion, has built and operates a successful business within the Moreton Bay Region.

Eva says of her win: “I could not believe that they called out my name and my business, I looked over to Jess as if to say "Really?" then she told me to "Go!". It was surreal and so very exciting walking up to the stage.... years’ worth of work had been recognized. It felt like a dream.”

Building a Stronger Community Excellence Award

Samford Commons won!

Congratulations to Howard Nielsen and the Board of Samford Commons. Howard accepted the award alongside Leah Hudson. They were so thrilled to receive recognition for the hard work of the group.

This award recognises an organisation in the Moreton Bay Region that delivers strong, community-based initiatives that positively impact on, and deliver long-term benefits for the community. By being a part of these awards nominees and winners get amazing exposure. MBRIT and MBRC set an excellent standard for the whole process and the Gala was spectacular.

Incredibly well organised and beautifully catered everyone had a fabulous evening to celebrate not only the award winners and nominees but also witnessing what recognition and commitment can do for us in the region. Congratulations to Steve Butler and his team at MBRIT for a very special evening. Read more about the awards on the MBRIT website.

Are you going to nominate your business in 2019?

Note: Moreton Bay Region Industry & Tourism (MBRIT) is the Destination Management Organisation for the Moreton Bay Region. A key focus of MBRIT is the collaboration of business and industry, to contribute to the regional economic development of the Moreton Bay Region and build strong industry sectors.

Image credit Top Left to Vicki Yen Photo


Ron Crump

As 2018 draws to a close it is timely to reflect on how much the Chamber has achieved. It is significant and it has been on the back of the contributions that most have made by taking on, in a voluntary capacity, much of the work that needs to be done.

The number and quality of events and activities can only be undertaken when you make the transition from being a member to being an active contributing volunteer. The workload that you have committed to and shared has been incredible.
It is not just the big jobs like chairing a committee it’s the jobs that emerge “on the day” that you seem to be attuned to where you simply pick up the baton without request and do what needs to be done.
In this regard I recall one of our breakfast meetings earlier this year that got off to a calamitous start when a key person for whatever reason went missing in action.

No one moaned and no one groaned as there was no time. A bunch of you just made it happen.
I was gobsmacked when at the end of the breakfast in general chit chat many of you made the observation that you did not know that anything was amiss.

I remember thinking then, as I have done on many occasions, that you are a very special group of people who are creating memories and traditions that will be your individual legacies to the Hills and Districts’ businesses and wider community well into the future.
There are amongst you several who for whatever reasons will not be having the most enjoyable experiences over the festive period. We will be thinking of you and we will be willing you the best time possible in the face of your challenges.
Whilst I am not big on signalling out individuals there are a couple of people who because of happenchance are no longer in a position to do so much for the Chamber. I “gotta” say Kellie Pamic and Mandy Bell, I and we miss you. You two are fantastic examples of the historical fabric that makes our Chamber so good.

Leonard Whittaker (Secretary) I know that acknowledgement like this does not sit well with you but we know that you have batted on through adversity this year with a belief in so many of us which, quite frankly, is just inspirational.
As your President I have the privilege to represent you all in open company and I was at a meeting of the combined chambers in the Moreton Region this month. At that meeting several of the presidents referred to our Chamber as “The Chamber”, the one that is held up as an example of what might be achieved.
Tim Mander, Mark Furner, Matt Constance, Andrew Wines, Peter Dutton and your respective families and support teams thank you for choosing to work together as our elected representatives to provide our community and the Chamber, in particular, with your physical presence and financial support. It is appreciated.
Thank you also to our many and willing sponsors.
On your behalf I thank your Executive Team. They really are special.
Lastly I have noted over the last few years how many of you have grown into your own skins and self belief as you have discharged your duties as volunteers on our many committees.

You have done this by extending yourselves and by taking on challenges such as chairing those committees, setting up committees, doing up front presentations and winning awards.
I extend to you one and all my best wishes for a wonderful festive season and a great New Year with lots of love, laughter and health.  Ron 
Become a Member
Upcoming Events
Breakfast Meeting

Vice President

Jane Kirk

As 2018 ends it’s good to reflect on what we did this year as a Chamber. This time last year membership sat at 132, now it’s 162 with 52 new members that have joined this year.

It’s not all about numbers though – it’s about a growing heart and soul of who we are as an active Chamber. With the successes of our events including the marvelous Big Breakfast our Chamber is attracting more and more people into the fold. Sitting next to the President of the North Lakes Chamber of Commerce last Friday at the MBRIT Awards for Excellence – he commented how amazing our Chamber is. I asked why he thought that. “You’re positively active, people notice” ….

So, congratulations to you. Your engagement in events, monthly breakfasts, Facebook interactions and individual catch ups over coffee does pay off. What warmed my heart was when I witnessed several business deals happen between members at one of our Social Drinks this year, heartfelt shout-outs at monthly breakfasts and meeting guests invited by members.

And a final acknowledgement to Kent McDonald, Donna Ferguson and Samantha Hanrahan for their warm welcomes at each monthly breakfast on the registration desk and doors. I look forward to a busy 2019 where membership experience is my top priority.  Jane


Leonard Whittaker

Our November breakfast attracted 75 Registrations with 20 Guests.  We had 6 new members recognised. Membership for the 2018/2019 now stands at 162 with 52 new members this year.

Key Community Chamber attendees were acknowledged.
  • Tim Mander, State Member for Everton, Deputy leader Opposition & Shadow Treasurer.
  • Cr Matt Constance, Moreton Bay Shire Council
  • Lawrence Brown, Mark Furner Electoral Office
  • Cathy Tonks representing Peter Dutton
  • Not for Profit Guests
  • Big Breakfast Sponsors
New Members since the August meeting were:
  • Michelle Lember, The Commercial Guys
  • Kate Pattison, Banksia Healing
  • Andrew Atkinson, AA Pest Management
  • Natasha D’Arcy, Write My Ad
  • Susan Walsh, PCYC
  • Thomas Gray, Thomas Gray Chartered Accountants
Visitors were acknowledged. Table Member introductions were energetic and noise as usual. The Business card draws were won by:
  • Dian Briscoe (Free Breakfast)
  • Christmas Cakes were won by Kent McDonald and Leah Hudson
Updates were received from the Committee Chairs or their nominees:
  • Advocacy Committee - Brian Battersby
  • Awards Committee - Gary Somerville
  • Commerce in Schools - Eva Porter
  • PR Committee activities - Vicki Yen
  • Women in Business - Di Krome
  • Young Entrepreneur Committee - Jessica Ricketts
The Financial update was given by Jessica Ricketts.
Our Member Speaker, Ron Crump gave an practical talk on coaching, inspiration and leadership. Thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Finally we presented the recipients of the Big Breakfast fundraising event for 2018.
Visitors were invited to introduce themselves. Time was allocated for several enthusiastic shout outs.  The meeting closed a little after 8:30am.  Leonard


Stuart Jaeschke

Financial report for the month ended 30 November 2018.

Advocacy Committee

Chair | Brian Battersby

Queensland Government Levy set at $70 per tonne

We have been advised by Councillor Matt Constance from Moreton Bay Regional Council that the Queensland Government new waste charge will be effective from 4 March 2019. The actual collection details are not known yet. But we presume the Qld Govt has designed it not to impact Queensland Households, as this was a commitment from Minister Mark Furner MP Member for Ferny Grove, given in March 2018.

The history, as it started from the volume of Interstate Waste being delivered to Ipswich Qld Council Waste Facility, back in Feb/March 2018, to now a new state-wide Waste Levy. 
To assist all we have asked both BCC & MBRC Councils to publicise details on how both Business and Residential waste can be even further reduced, which will benefit us all.  Brian

Big Breakfast Committee

Chair | Michelle O'Hara

The next Big Breakfast Committee will be underway shortly. We are looking for wonderful volunteers to get involved to make the event even more spectacular.

If you are keen to get involved, please contact Michelle O’Hara (Committee Chair) at or on 0438765718, the more the merrier!  Michelle

Commerce in Schools Committee

Executive Member | Peter Kenyon

On Friday 30th November, the Commerce in Schools Committee attended the Prince of Peace Business School Hot Seat.  

This was an opportunity for the students of the Year 9 class to ask the learned members of our Chamber some in depth questions relating to starting and running a small business. The questions gave our members a chance to reflect upon their reasons for starting and continuing in their small business.  It was a golden moment as we learned from each other.

The following members represented the Chamber in the Hot Seat: Donna Thistlethwaite; Anita Bird; Peter Kenyon; Ingrid Moyle; Mary Di Marco; Charmaine Renaud and Eva Porter.

Thank you to those members who gave their time so willingly to build greater ties with the community and the business people of the future.  Peter

Meet the Candidates Committee

Chair | Brian Battersby

Our committee is working towards the 2019 election date predicted for a Federal Election. In late October we sent our first letter to the seven known candidates spread across the two (2) seats of both Dickson and Ryan.

We have now streamlined the questions given from the August 2018 Chamber Breakfast down to maybe 6 or so for our planned event.  

Just a reminder again the next Meet the Candidates event is to be by video and not like our previously open community forums. Our reason is because we feel in this Federal Election it may attract some persons or groups with a much higher level of enthusiasm to express or disrupt our aim for a friendly and community-based Meet the Candidates event. This is the reason we are to hold it via Video for this Election.

On behalf of the two committees of 10 volunteers, my sincere appreciation for their time and efforts in the 2018 year.  

For further information or if you want to help, contact Brian Battersby via Email
Copyright © 2018 Hills Chamber of Commerce, All rights reserved.

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