November 2021 Update from the CEO

Here it comes… Ready or Not!

And just like that 2021 is almost done. I can’t quite believe that December is here already. What a journey it has been for my first 12 months in this role. To all our members and key stakeholders that provide their ongoing support of our Bunbury Geographe Chamber – Thank You! Membership matters and it is through the support and participation of our members that BGCCI continues to advocate with all levels of government, provide access to business resources, deliver workshops, networking and key events. It has been a big year for many in our community, with this year offering different kinds of challenges.

Resilience is a word that many of us have come to develop a much deeper appreciation of. While we are experiencing an exceptional period of economic activity in the SW, these conditions aren’t influencing us all the same and one thing is clear, it’s an incredibly intense time. And here it comes, Christmas is only a few weeks away. The festive season is certainly upon us. If you’re anything like me, you’re making that 100-yard dash to finish the year off well.

Many local businesses won’t get much of a break over Christmas and will follow the momentum of 2021 into 2022. My personal wish for everyone over this period is that you get to spend some time with your family and friends and that you appreciate the gift they are in your life. Can I also suggest that it’s important to carve out some time to stop and reflect on everything you have accomplished this year. So quickly we move on to our next challenge or goal, that we don’t get an opportunity to take that time to stop and reflect. Acknowledge your own accomplishments and how far you have come this year (as challenging as that can be to do a little self-reflection) and be sure to recognise the contribution of those around you that have helped you along the way.

In a quote from Patricia O’Gorman, author of Dancing Backwards In High Heels: How Women Master the Art of Resilience – “Our resilience increases as we recognise the magnitude of what we have already accomplished.”

Danny Griffin, BGCCI President and I were in Perth in early November for a two-day Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry conference. The first day included a forum with several Ministers and State Government representatives to discuss the issues and concerns impacting our members. The messages across the 9 regional areas of WA were consistent. Many small businesses are stretched beyond their limits. There has been too much change and uncertainty, and many are at their breaking point. Vital resources are in short supply such as skilled and unskilled labour, supplies to meet a range of industry needs, housing and accommodation.

Other items discussed concerned the Mandatory COVID Vaccination Policy and further clarification requirements for the roll out. We are expecting further clarification in the near future however, if you are looking for resources and guidance on the rollout of the Mandatory COVID Vaccination Policy in the meantime, below are some suggested resources:

Fair Work: https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au

Western Australian Government: www.wa.gov.au/government/covid-19-coronavirus

CCIWA: https://cciwa.com/resource-centre/covid-19-vaccination-guides-templates/

Small Business Development Corporation: https://www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au/coronavirus#mandatory-covid-19-vaccine-policy

Albemarle hosted our Business After Hours event in November at the Quality Hotel Lighthouse. What a great turn out with over 130 business representatives attending. Albemarle is in the final stages of completing the construction and commissioning of their Kemerton Lithium Hydroxide processing plant for their first two processing trains. BGCCI members had the opportunity of networking with representatives from across the organisation. Attendees heard from both Daniel O’Shea, Kemerton Operations Site Director, and Michael Ursino, Supply Chain Manager on the progress of the project. Michael shared with us the magnitude of the financial investment that has benefitted this region as well as the thousands of jobs the project has created during construction and the ongoing opportunity for hundreds of permanent positions. A big thank you to the team at Albemarle, including Erin van Noort, Senior Community Relations Manager for supporting this event.

Even though many of us have been stretched over these last two years, in the words of Hellen Keller Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”

Now is a great time to join a growing and thriving community of like-minded businesses. For more information about how you can become a member contact the Chamber on 9791 2292 or via admin@bgcci.com.au

Have a safe and happy holiday.

Gold Partners