The Hills & Districts Chamber of Commerce June eNewsletter
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JUNE 2018



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 in1992, 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.

Chamber Members | Mary Di Marco

Recently we featured Mary in a video interview with Rana Jewell on the Chamber’s Member Facebook page. This forms part of our commitment to relaying to the growing Chamber membership some fascinating insights of our members via video interviews.

Mary has had an amazing journey so far – in her twenties Mary was in Monaco working for the Lady in Waiting for Princess Grace – meeting dignitaries, royalty, former kings and princesses from Europe. Moving onto the UK Mary worked as a cook/housekeeper for the Walduck family whose daughter’s husbands best man at their wedding was Prince Charles.

Back in Australia Mary married and started her family. Her work continued into the cricket arena working for Barry Maranta – Greg Chappell’s business manager. This was where she learned the art of marketing and selling sponsorships – of which the Chamber has greatly benefited over the years by her efforts with the Big Breakfast. And there’s more to her story that led her into real estate.

If you haven’t seen Mary’s interview it’s available on the Members Page – or do you need to join the page?

Go to Facebook and search for Hills & Districts Chamber Members, hit the ‘Join’ button and you’ll get registered.

Business Showcase | Prince Charles Hospital Research Lab funded by The Common Good

Article by Roneen Fletcher

What a delight to host our first Showcase last night at the Prince Charles Hospital. Thank you to all those that took time out of their evening to attend. I'm proud of our achievements here at The Common Good and equally proud of our dedicated team of researchers, your attendance and interest in their work meant a lot to them.

Thank you.

Did you miss the tour? Or would you like another tour? Feel free to hit me up!

We're working hard to build and strengthen relationships with businesses in our local area.  Roneen


Ron Crump

Following on from our AGM I extend my congratulations and gratitude to those of you who have stepped up to help build on the great work of those who have gone before us.
So many of you who have done so much “over and above" these last couple of years have really given of yourselves in time, effort and in many cases dollars. You are special.
In my report to the AGM I mentioned the fact that our Advocacy Committee had asked the government to collaborate and consider carefully the introduction of any new tax under whatever guise (Waste Levy).
We saw the tax on the entire state as quite inequitable given the reasons for its introduction i.e. to prevent the dumping of waste generated over the border in a very small portion of southern Queensland.
This led me to then make the observation that we in small business do not seem to have much of a representation or voice with those in government.

Unions are well represented even though they represent only a very small proportion of those in private enterprise and so too are the one issue parties such as the environmental saviours of the planet.
It is said that small business is the productive back bone of our economy yet we are not to my mind effectively represented.

I believe that the reason for this circumstance is that we in small business are so busy just making ends meet and dancing to the tune of so many gazillions of regulatory government diatribe that it takes so much effort to just exist, pay our bills such as taxes (all of them) power, rates, fuel, wages etc and remain viable.
I know that governments of all persuasions have sought to be of some assistance to us in the provision of incentives and training yet so many of us are too busy to read what is on offer or attend their events.
Over the years I have espoused a personal philosophy that governments do not fix problems; we do.
So in furthering my thinking on this subject I am wondering what we might do to gain a competitive edge nationally and globally and at the same time provide reasonable incomes and conditions for those of you who run small businesses.
I see you as real workers taking the risks and just doing but that title “worker“ has already been given to others along with specially coloured collars (blue or white).
So whoever you are and we have a wonderful membership made up of you, the purpose of my message this month is to be constructive.
I am saying that I appreciate what you do, the sacrifices you make, the quiet way in which you “just do” and I have so much respect for you and what you “just do”.  Ron

PS. I sometimes wonder who listens to the hot air that I generate from time to time. Yesterday I was contacted by the small business representative for one of the major parties. 
Become a Member
Upcoming Events
Breakfast Meeting

Vice President

Jane Kirk

I’m excited to be a part of this year’s incoming Executive. A big focus will be on membership value and experience. Many members have commented how much they enjoy being part of the Chamber and furthermore the events are a great source of additional networking. One of the drawcards is the quality of speakers at the monthly breakfasts.

Since June last year membership has grown from 88 to 130, gaining approximately five new members a month.

The Membership Committee members include Kent McDonald – who loves greeting you all as you arrive at breakfast, and Donna Ferguson, one of our most active members inviting guests.

The Committee has updated their profile outlining new objectives for the coming year. We do need another couple of members to jump on board so if you’re interested contact Kent, Donna or myself.  Jane


Leonard Whittaker

Our May breakfast meeting was designated as our AGM (Annual General Meeting). It attracted 73 Registrations with 5 Guests. Unfortunately 8 from of those registered were unable to make it on the day. We had 1 new member recognised. Membership for the 2018/2019 now stands at 131 with 27 new members this year. New Members since the April meeting were:
  • Michael Pecic, In Safe Hands Educators In Safety Pty Ltd 
Key Community and Chamber members were acknowledged and presented short messages:
  • Tim Mander
  • Cr Andrew Wines
  • Ricky Blankensee, CoOrdinator of the Ferny Grove District Crime Prevention Unit
  • Lawrence Brown, Electorate Officer, Mark Furner's Ferny Grove Office.
Table Member introductions were as noisy and enlivened as usual.  We are still learning about each other. Business card draws were won by:
  • Ricky Balankesee, CoOrdinator of the Ferny Grove District Crime Prevention Unit 
  • Brendon Patrick won the bring a guest draw but unfortunately no guest so no free breakfast
Updates were received from the Committee Chairs or their nominees:
  • Advocacy Committee - Brian Battersby reported on Meet the Candidates, Advocacy and Waste Levy
  • Gary Somerville gave a quick update on the Awards (Christmas drinks) committee.  He again asked for volunteers
  • Peter Kenyon stepped in as Acting Chair of the Commerce in Schools ands Health & Wellness Committees
  • Leah Hudson and Trent Cornford reported on the progress of the Big Breakfast Committee
  • Vicki Yen promoted the PR Committee
  • Molly Brumm spoke on the Women in Business Committee
  • Jane Kirk promoted the Membership Committee
  • Sheldon Morey spoke of the upcoming Skills Development Activities being promoted by the Business Development Committee
The AGM (Annual General Meeting) component of the meeting only took a few minutes:
  • Ron Crump (President) gave a President’s report
  • Stuart Jaeschke (Treasurer) presented the Financial statement
  • Leonard Whittaker (Secretary) presented the names of the incoming Executive members:
President Ron Crump
Vice President Vicki Buchanan
Vice President Janie Grant
Vice President Jane Kirk
Secretary Leonard Whittaker
Treasurer Stuart Jaeschke
Executive Member      Brian Battersby
Executive Member Peter Kenyon
Executive Member Kellie Pamic
Executive Member Mary Di Marco

Please Note
  • All existing members of the Executive had stood for reelection
  • All nominations had been received in writing by the due date and as their were no other nominations than those presented no vote was required.
Our Member Speaker, Michael Pecic presented an enlightening, detailed overview on Safety in the workplace. It was noted that Michael’s presentation was requested by the Executive in response to some disturbing reports on member behaviour and it was felt the topic needed to be presented to the Chamber as soon as possible.
We also had Ricky Blankensee from the Crime Prevention Unit and Derek Power (our chamber member from the PCYC) in attendance representing Queensland Police
Our Table Topic focused on ideas to foster Member Protection Initiatives in the Chamber and in members businesses. Visitors were invited to introduce themselves. We finished the meeting on a high with several shout outs from members.

If you are bringing guests please advise their details so that we can welcome them appropriately. Please email Leonard Whittaker at

If you would like to view the minutes for any of our past meetings or Chamber other records contact Leonard Whittaker at  Leonard


Stuart Jaeschke

Financial report as at 31 May 2018.


Cash in Bank $23,734.69
Income Expected  
Scholarship Program 2018/19  
Business Excellence Awards  
Breakfast -$1,131.50
Balance $22,603.19


Advocacy Committee

Chairperson | Brian Battersby

Queensland Government Waste Levey Media Proposals
Recent media snippets pre-the Queensland Government Budget due for release on 12th June 2018 predicts a new Waste Levy of $70 per tonne and planned and further it is aimed not impact to residents which then means if could be aimed to impact businesses.  They also say it is planned to be implemented very early in 2019 calendar year.

This is all we have on this proposal as of writing this newsletter item. Some folks have said to me what a wonderful opportunity the Queensland Government could have had, if it was to do a state-wide consultation on this new tax or what it is all about or its benefits, before its officially announced in the State Budget soon. 

Ferny Grove Rail Station - Extensive Development Transit Oriented Development (TOD)
This is still in the planning stage with both Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council deeply involved still and some community consultation. If this project were to proceed it will create more jobs and an Economic Benefit to the local area which our Chamber aims for. However, our Chamber Mission statement also sets out we also Advocate of behalf of the Community, as issues like Traffic and Parking as just some of the items the community have raised. 

To help explain their plans our Chamber has provided time at our 26th of June Breakfast meeting, for Mr Peter Honeycombe Managing Director of Honeycombe Property Group as a guest speaker as he will explain their aims and their proposed solutions to raised issues raised. So, both Chamber Members and folks from the Community could be interested to hear the details of Honeycombes large Transit Oriented Development and just where they are at presently.  Brian

Advocacy Committee

Member | Nicky Roberts

The Mill, Moreton Bay
Are you up to speed with the flurry of activity at the old Paper Mill, Moreton Bay? Have you considered what opportunities it may present for you?

The Mill Priority Development Area (PDA) is a 460ha region within Petrie, Kallangur and Lawnton, of which a new 10ha campus for the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), Petrie will form the epicentre.  Work began on the site in November 2017, with doors expected to open to student’s semester 1, 2020. The ramifications for the residents of Moreton Bay are huge:

  • At present, 90% of students in the Moreton Bay region travel an average of 3 hours a day to attend university. By 2030, the new campus will cater for over 10,000 students, and offer over 100 courses. The university will be serviced by the adjacent Petrie Train Station.
  • The Mill PDA will also deliver a range of health, retail, residential, recreation, commercial and environmental uses.
  • Job creation: during the construction phase, and then beyond on an ongoing basis (an estimated 6,000 ongoing jobs created by 2036).
  • 204,000 m2 of new commercial and retail floor space will be created
  • 67,000 18-24 year old’s will live in the Greater Moreton Bay Region by 2031.
  • $950 million will be added to annual industry output for the Greater Moreton Bay Region as an outcome of this project.

To keep up to date with developments, subscribe here.

Commerce in Schools Committee

Executive Member | Peter Kenyon

Welcome to Eva Porter, who takes over the role as chairperson from Kylie Carmody. Thank you, Kylie, for all you have done in making this committee what it is today. 

Twice this month members of the Chamber visited the Prince of Peace College offering their wisdom and experience to the students of the Business School. Year 10 students presented their business ideas to the Mentor Team who advised, suggested and encouraged the young entrepreneurs on their various projects.
The tables were then reversed as the Year 9 students placed the Mentor Team on the hot seat with a question and answer session to ascertain what make a successful business person. The jury is still out on that one. 

Year 10 - Business Feasibility Mentoring Session            Year 9 - Entrepreneurial Hot Seat Session

Thanks to all the members who formed the Mentor Team.  Peter

Health & Wellness Committee

Executive Member | Peter Kenyon

A big manly welcoming hug to Brendon Patrick as the new Chairperson of the Health & Wellness Committee.  He’s got some big shoes to fill with the passing of the chairperson baton from Kylie Carmody.

Being ex-army and a personal trainer, he has hit the ground running with rounding up a team to talk about producing shared promotional material and a Trade Table for Health & Wellness group members.  Contact Brendon if you want to be part of the Health and Wellness team working together to improve your business and increase your profile in the region.  I think the young man has big plans for this business group.

The Health & Wellness Group meet regularly at coffee shops in the region to share and discuss ideas.  Stay in the loop.  Peter

Meet the Candidates Committee

Chairperson | Brian Battersby

The Meet the Candidates Committee was recently re-formed consisting of 8 members including one new member and all the team come with their own abilities and experiences. At our first meeting we allocated many roles between our members in the forward planning, if we were to arrange a Chamber Event for Candidates maybe both Dickson & Ryan seats in the upcoming Federal Election, whenever it is to be.
As well as allocating member roles in readiness, one important matter first up is that we all agreed to have undertaken a Risk Assessment Analysis. This is because we feel in this Federal Election may attract some persons or groups that might just wish to disrupt our aim for a friendly and community-based Meet the Candidates event. We now need to evaluate the known risks and options to mitigate those potential risks so, at present no decision to proceed yet until we consider these important matters first.
For further information contact Brian Battersby via Email

PR Committee

Chairperson | Vicki Yen

We’re tapping into the enthusiasm and energy across all the committees, and enjoying all the networking benefits those options deliver.

Maybe it’s time to look at:

  • What makes an activity successful?
  • How can we keep it going?
  • Make it better?
  • Make sense not only of each part, but how does it benefit the whole Chamber and its members?

Communication within the Chamber, between members, between event organisers and support teams works to enhance the success of all Chamber activities.

(Did you know the PR team is a support team?)

Our PR teams’ focus this month is about building bridges, thinking about the communication links that flow between events, functions, resources, and the overall member experience. Tapping into the resources different members bring, to help make all elements more effective when it comes to the small business experience.

With new executive team now in place, here’s a challenge for you:
it’s time to think big picture.
What can each of us contribute to make this group more cohesive, contributing, accessible, effective and relevant?  Vicki

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