Words from the CEO - November

November 30, 2023
CEO Update

Sometimes in our roles, we must make those tough decisions that we feel may let people down.  One of those decisions came yesterday, when we had to cancel our end of year celebration Sunset Vibes at Koombana. We wanted to do something different, something that would bring our whole community together.

Whilst the Sunset Vibes party is not going to go ahead, we are still going to run the ‘Pitch & Learn’ event here at our Chamber rooms. You will hear three companies pitches- Grow Impact, Reset Mind Sciences and Matilda Health- followed by a Q&A on finding out what early-stage investing is, how it works, and investors’ personal experiences, followed by some light networking drinks and nibbles.
This will be from 3.30pm - 5pm on Thursday 7 December, at the Bunbury Geographe CCI - 15 Stirling St. The event is FREE!
To attend, please email Amy at events@bgcci.com.au

This week, we say farewell to our Administration and Finance officer Wendy who has been instrumental in front facing our business, organising and keeping our offices running smoothly, along with undertaking the book-keeping role. At the same time, we welcome Bella to our team!  Bella is finishing off her Cert lV in Business at South Regional TAFE and will be working as our Administration officer.

While we are looking forward to a break, we're still actively attending & engaging out in the community;

Last week we enjoyed our final Business After Hours for the year at the new Albemarle offices in Wellington St.  Eighty of our members enjoyed hearing from our President Danny Griffin on the activation of Bunbury and the opportunities that the investment in our region brings to our many businesses.  Albemarle’s Site Supply Chain Manager Cristal Fletcher, and Regional Capital Procurement Manager Cameron Matthews shared the growth and journey of Albemarle. Local content and opportunities were a big focus and one that the team at Albemarle would like to grow with our business community.  If anyone would like to be connected into Procurement, please contact me at ceo@bgcci.com.au.

Albemarle VP Beverley East, speaking at the Critical Minerals Luncheon.

Earlier in November, we were thrilled to hear from a panel of speakers about Critical Minerals and the importance they will play in the future.  Our region is home to the world’s premier hard rock lithium mineral deposit, located at Greenbushes. This has put our region in an enviable position, including the ability to attract significant investment in downstream processing from international players such as Albemarle who are now firmly invested both in the Shire of Harvey and Bunbury.

The Shire of Harvey hosted a beautiful evening at the stunning Edith Valley for visiting delegates from the City of Moka, Japan.  The event featured a ‘Welcome to Country’ and Didgeridoo performance from Woolkabunning Kiaka Aboriginal Corporation Elder Francis Khan and Noongar man Troy Bennell. Special guests included Consul General of Japan in Perth Yasushi Naito, Robyn Clarke MLA, Nola Marina MP and Dr Steven Thomas MLC.

Twice a year the Regional Chambers from around the state meet in Perth at the Regional CCIWA conference, hosted by a Minister. This year we were fortunate to have our very own regional Minister Don Punch MLA host 26 chambers from around the state. Meeting in Dumas House, the hub of the government operations, we heard from Minister Punch about his various portfolios.  As Chamber representatives we had question time with him and each of the subsequent Ministers, including Paul Papalia, David Eaton as Commissioner of Small Business Development Corporation, representing Minister Jackie Jarvis, Premier Roger Cook and Leader of Opposition Libby Mettam.

The Future Skills Working Committee (L-R): Maryanne Baker, Corina Docking, Julie Broad, Brant Edwards & Kate Monaghan.

Our five series of Future Skills workshops finished in November, with Health & Social Assistance being the final one.  From the feedback received, the progress towards identifying the gaps has led to a comprehensive report with recommendations which will assist us in steering some key outcomes to prepare for our region’s growth expectancy. We will share this with all participants & our members soon.

Gold member South 32 hold community liaison meetings each quarter. The updates from the many participating organisations is very worthwhile to share what is happening in the region. Our last meeting was held in Collie at the newly refurbished Collie Ridge Resort with a gathering afterwards in the newly opened roof top bar at Collie Ridge Resort. Great to get out in the regions & see these new developments.

I attended Australia’s South West's end of year event on a glorious evening at the Dolphin Discovery Centre.  We really are very fortunate to have such an iconic beach front venue that spans a wonderful view of the Koombana waterfront. A tugboat guiding a ship into Port was a great reminder of our region’s diversity and wealth now exceeding a gross regional product of $16.8b (Remplan 2021-2022)

We took a trip to Busselton to attend the Master Builders Association ‘Lunch & Learn’ event to hear from DevelopmentWA and importance of the ESG landscape. We here at the Chamber will be hosting many workshops in this space in the New Year and look forward to connecting those consulting in this space to assist us.

And lastly, we were proud to again partner with Yaka Dandjoo Events & community leaders to present the Shining Stars Graduation, to acknowledge & celebrate Aboriginal students who completed Year 12 this year. It was the second time we assisted on this event, and it's a fabulous platform for students & their families to acknowledge the hard work the students have put in this year.

Year 12 Graduates at the Shining Stars Celebration