We have kicked off the year with a Welcome to 2019, Welcome to Armidale barbecue, held at the Jackson Centre at Saumarez on Friday 18th January.
Despite the oppressive heat, the event was well attended, with over 70 adults and children. Our thanks to our Armidale guests, both business and the wider community who attended, helping make our newest members feel welcome, Saumarez for providing the venue, and Coopers for their generous provision of beverages.
Armidale continues to grow – particularly since the advent of the NBN, which has empowered small business growth – with many people and their families choosing Armidale over the years for the combination of economic opportunity and lifestyle. As well, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA), TAFE Digital, and of course the University of New England are all bringing people and their families to Armidale.
The Chamber has been working on the development of a three-year business strategy to guide its efforts. We will be consulting with our members more broadly in the nearer future as to what they would like to see the Chamber do and achieve. In the meantime, it is clear we need to expand our range of events to meet the needs of our various members.
Each program being developed will be organised by Committee members and supported by our Executive Officer, Tyler McDonald, to ensure individual focus on its success.
Our end-of-month Networking Drinks held on the last Friday of the month, sponsored by the Regional Australia Bank, will recommence on Friday 22nd February 2019.
We will be holding a speaker program throughout the year and while our full program is still in development, we are really very pleased to advise that the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Dr Phillip Lowe, will speak at a dinner on 19th September 2019. More details will follow. Please note your diaries and watch for our member newsletter or Facebook posts for tickets as we get closer to the event.
After many expressions of interest, the Chamber is reimaging the New England Enterprising Women’s breakfasts. The idea is that this will become, over time, not just a regular breakfast, but a networking group focused on women’s professional interests. The program will be led by Deborah Hunter, who was the winner of both the New England Enterprising Woman and Business Leader categories of the 2017 Armidale Regional Awards. The Women’s Networking Group (WiNG) will kick off on the morning of 12th February. Our first speaker will be Lucy MacKenzie from UGoose. UGoose won the Excellence in Innovation category at the 2018 Armidale Regional Business Awards. We are also pleased to announce that Meralli Solar, a new business operating out of Uralla, will be the sponsors for this important program. Watch our website and Facebook for booking details.
I would like to thank our 2018 sponsors, UNE, Regional Australia Bank, Armidale Regional Council, QANTAS, Nucleo, and Vivid Thinking. Without them, we would not have been able to operate an office three days a week and to offer our programs during the year. We look forward to their continued support.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our members, who are the reason we exist. We intend to build on our efforts to date and create programs that are of interest to our members, promote their interests and encourage economic development in our region.