August 2021 Update from the CEO


August (also the first month of Djilba) has been an exciting month for many of our members and a huge month for the Chamber with lots of activity, events and change. At a time when each of us is so busy, the Chamber wants to ensure that we are delivering a range of events, workshops and networking opportunities to meet the diverse needs of our members.

BGCCI hosted 7 events this month. We understand that each event doesn’t suit or interest everyone. We acknowledge and appreciate the attendance and support we have received with hundreds of our members attending events run by the Chamber over the last month.

The month kicked off with a fantastic turnout for the City of Bunbury Budget Breakfast, followed by a Visa Information Session presented by our guests Department of Home Affairs and Visa Go Australia. There were 3 Lunch and Learns this month! The SR TAFE hosted one with a panel of industry experts to talk about the range of funding and grants available to support apprentices and trainees as well as two hosted by our members, Gold Partners Mare Lawyers Workwise Advisory and Growth Profit Solutions. Our Lunch and Learn environments are a practical and effective use of time for busy people to ensure that you can implement continuous learning to improve your business. Our August Business After Hours was hosted by Fullers Co-Op with over 115 people attending. What a fabulous initiative and supportive environment Kris and Ben have created. They are providing an innovative and welcoming space for entrepreneurs and fledgling businesses to explore their commerciality and develop their unique products and services.

In July 2021, Western Australia recorded its highest level of employment on record, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) with more than 1.4 million people employed in the state and an unemployment rate of 4.6%. The unemployment rate for the South West region is 5.2% (July 2021). The most recent unemployment rate for Bunbury LGA was recorded in March 2021, which shows Bunbury’s unemployment rate at 8.2%, although decreased since December 2020 quarter which sat at 8.5%, is still 0.5% higher than March 2020. Our Sub-Region is still lagging and we are waiting to see the updated figures which should be released imminently.  

With so many businesses still struggling to get the skills and resources they need for their business, BGCCI is working with different industry sectors to host a Local Jobs Marketplace (LJM) initiative supported by funding received through the Local Jobs Program – Recovery Fund an Australian Government Initiative. These six (6) LJM events will be held between September 2021 and March 2022 and will bring together employers and jobseekers from industries such as, care and community services, horticulture and agriculture, hospitality and tourism, building construction and metal trades. Please reach out to the Chamber if you are interested in presenting job opportunities that your company has available right now.

On Monday the 23 August we held our Annual General Meeting where the President – Rob Skipsey, Treasurer – Neill Rowlandson and myself all presented our reports. The 2021 AGM Report is available to all our members, please contact the Chamber if you would like a copy.

As I indicated in my presentation and report at the AGM, my focus going forward is to continue delivering value to our members, uncovering the areas of concern and then advocating on your behalf. Over the last 12 months the BGCCI has delivered over 45 networking, training workshops, and information events. The BGCCI will continue to offer the range and subject matter across these events to help you navigate and build your business.

On the 28 September BGCCI, the South West CCI and Bunbury Geographe Economic Alliance (BGEA) will present the SW Future Jobs and Skills Forum. Featuring a range of immersive exhibits, workshops, keynote speakers, panel discussions and more, the Future Jobs & Skills Forum is a great opportunity to showcase the changes in industry innovation, education and future jobs.

Registrations to exhibit and attend are now open! For more information, please contact the Chamber or go directly to our website for more information

Through the generous support of our sponsors, we are able to run this as a free community event at the beginning of the first week of the school holidays. This is certainly an event to put in your calendar – 28 September 2021.

I wanted to take a moment and just thank all our members for their kind support in the first 10 months in my new role and for making me feel so welcome. I am driven to deliver excellence for our members. My door is always open. If there is something I can assist you with please reach out.

Gold Partners