President’s Report – December 2016

Season’s greetings to you all!

2016 has been a full and busy year for the Chamber, with eleven Business After Hours functions, bi-monthly Business Breakfasts with great guest speakers, and three major events hosted including:

International Women’s Day

The event showcased guest speaker Dr. Libby, and boasted over 300 women in attendance!

The Ballina Coast and Hinterland Business Awards

The Awards were a huge success with Emcee Mike Whitney from the Sydney Weekender on Channel 7.  Our many winners then went onto the NSW Business Chamber Regional Awards with Solprom Coaster Kings, Swish Café, Heartfelt Homes, and Morgan Earthworks making the wonderful walk to the stage for their awards.  I would like to personally congratulate all participants in both awards nights

Ballina Prawn Festival

This year saw the festival become a ticketed, therefore a sustainable festival event. Nadia Eliott-Burgess once again went over and above her role to make sure the festival was the best it could be on the shoestring budget.  This event could not have taken place without the 50+ volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the day and night and also the lead up to the event and then returned on Sunday to clean up.

A big thank you also goes to Shawn Brooks for his tireless effort and also his support of Nadia.  The Prawn Festival is a wonderful event for the whole community and without community support it wouldn’t go ahead.

What’s been happening?

Meet the Candidates

The chamber proudly hosted a “Meet the Candidates” night for the election of our new councilors. It was great to see all candidates for A Ward attend along with the Mayoral candidates.

Strategic Plan

Our Chamber Board of Management have undertaken a significant review of the Strategic Plan and have set in motion some of the outcomes from this review to endeavour to enhance the business community and find out what the business community wants from the board… watch this space.


In addition to the monthly Board Meetings held at 7am on the third Wednesday of each month and since the AGM in May, board members have attended in excess of 50 meetings as representatives of our business community, some of these were:

Ballina Port Taskforce, A Ward meeting, Community Precinct Meeting, Ballina Shark Meetings, NSW Business Chamber Regional Meetings, National Jobs Forum. And so many more!


We are excited to welcome Leanne Cawley to the Chamber team in the role of Admin & Membership Officer this month. Leanne is busy learning the ropes of our membership management software and will be in touch with members in January to say Hi. Many of you will remember Leanne from her time on the Chamber board when she worked for Chamber sponsor, Ramada Hotel & Suites. Welcome back to the Chamber Leanne!

I’d also like to let you all know that the Chamber office will be closed for the festive break from Thursday December 22nd – Monday January 16th.

I am so pleased that this newsletter is coming to fruition and that I am able to share my pride and commitment to the Chamber with you all.

I hope that the Christmas and School holiday season see wonderful trading and full accommodations for you all!


Warmest regards,

Narelle Besseling

Chamber President

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