President's Report 2013

13-11-2013 20:26:00

President’s Report                                                                                 November 6 2013

A year ago it was with both anticipation and a touch of trepidation that I stepped into the role of President. I had really enjoyed my earlier role as part of the Executive and it was there that I gained an appreciation for the buzz involved behind the scenes.

I knew that I was going to be busy and it surely was! Yet here I stand before you wanting to again take the bit between my teeth and run for another year. Some people are gym junkies, I get my adrenalin hit from meetings.

With a supportive team shouldering the load, taking on the President’s role is not quite a mission impossible. It is with much gratitude that I thank the SCC for providing funding towards a part time Administration Officer. The funding application was submitted by Louise Boylen who has been of great assistance to the Montville Chamber. With her journalist background, Louise has been the face behind the newsletters and News columns. On behalf of the Montville Chamber, I would like to record our appreciation for all her hours of work these past few years.

Louise has chosen to step back this year and enjoy more times with friends and family and focus on her business. Fortunately we have 2 new committee members, Ruth Kuss and Barbara Lamont who have willingly nominated for the Executive.

My first official function was announcing the first winners of our hampers at Festive Treelighting Event. And what a night it was! Thanks to the SCC and in particular Cr Jenny McKay for officiating.

Rather than a baptism by fire, the beginning of the year saw flooding rain. As you will all recall most of us were without power or communication. It is times like this that you see the great Aussie spirit rise to take on the challenges and help out your mates. Despite the chaos, Montville was soon open for business despite the difficulties.

From this disaster, we have seen steps taken to formulate a disaster plan. Lara Mudri has been working with groups such as the MVA and SES to co-ordinate a plan. We are looking at basing the disaster evacuation centre in the Montville Hall and will be looking to fund some equipment for that early in the New Year.

With the deluge of rain somewhat dampening our spirits, it was the announcement of a Zip Line based in Montville which brought back many smiles. Despite challenging Times, Montville saw a number of new businesses open. It is especially heartening to see a few younger entrepreneurs adding to the town’s vibrant vibe.

Just this week has seen a new door open with temptation is right before me as Mayfield Chocolates adds to the delicious dining options.

With our spectacular scenery and iconic village, Montville and nearby environs has become a haven for weddings. Our A Hinterland Wedding group has venues, accommodation and professionals for all wedding services. This year A Hinterland Wedding Group held a successful stylish Wedding Expo at the fabulous Flaxton Gardens venue.

 The wedding group has seen great growth and the future is coming up roses for the Wedding industry on the Hinterland. With new chapels being built both in Montville and nearby Kondallila, this could be the start of something grand.

I would like to thank Merlin and her team for their tireless efforts in promoting the industry. This has seen a positive benefit for many businesses along the Hinterland.

The Montville Chamber has also been involved in the consultation process with the upgrades to the Russel Family Park. This is a great place to escape to, and find a car park!

For the second year, the Montville Chamber of Commerce sponsored the recent Range Restaurant and Café Awards in the run up to the Real Food Expo. This event showcased the delicious choices of tempting dining venues we have along the Hinterland. This year the winning café was Elements of Montville tucked away near Kondillila National Park. The multi awarded Long Apron, Spicers Clovelly won the closely fought restaurant category. All our participating venues were highly rated and given many glowing compliments. I recommend we all regularly experience the taste of our fabulous food!

Next year we plan to make this an even bigger event and have asked Maleny Commerce and Hinterland Tourism to support this initiative. With luck we may be able to entice SCDL to help spread the word!

Montville is bustling with visitors taking a scenic drive to enjoy our Hinterland towns. The Montville Chamber of Commerce assisted with the HTSC’s funding of the Great South East media campaign to ensure that the visitors keep coming here.

To further spread the word and assist members to connect with other businesses Montville Chamber of Commerce sponsored a series of Facebook workshops with Fig Creative. These were held in Montville Country Cabin’s great new multi-purpose venue at no charge to the Chamber.

The Montville Chamber of Commerce has been fortunate to have had Lyndsay Hodgson organise free training for members in the use of the Chamber’s defibrillator and resuscitation. The first group will undergo their training in Mapleton tomorrow.

I have enjoyed attending the regular CCIQ Sunshine Coast Chamber Alliance meetings along with representatives of 15 other chambers. I can see a closer involvement with the peak body CCIQ evolving. This organisation is giving us a stronger voice in the business world.

Another innovative co-operative effort has been organised with several tourism based groups working with our local council and State Government reps. These meetings organised by Andrew Powell MP see representatives from our local Glasshouse Electorate, local SCC councillors, SCDL, the Montville, Maleny and Glasshouse Chambers of Commerce and HTSC.

From Friday this week we will be inviting visitors and locals to do their Christmas shopping in our relaxed village environment. The Montville Chamber of Commerce is running the Christmas Campaign to encourage more people to explore our beautiful Hinterland villages of Montville, Mapleton and Flaxton rather than the major shopping centres. We are reminding everyone that If they are looking for something special, then come up to Montville to discover a great variety of unique shops and dining venues.

This is the largest project undertaken by the Montville Chamber. What I love about it is that it involves the whole community. The planning embraces many community groups such as the MVA, the Blackall Range Woodworkers Guild, The Rural Fire Brigade and the Montville State School P and C. Combining the joy of Christmas giving, great music and bringing the community together under a Christmas tree is as good as it gets!

Last year the Christmas Campaign involved 78 businesses donating money for our campaign and gifts for our Hamper Draw. A staggering $7000 was donated towards the Media Campaign and nearly $8000 of goods and services were gifted for the Hamper Draw. I would like to thank everyone for their overwhelming generosity. If we can achieve that again this year, I will be a very happy person.

I would like to thank all those members who have attended the meetings and have helped us achieve so much. By working with other Hinterland groups, together we can achieve so much more.

I look forward to a continued collaboration with other business based groups such as HTSC and Maleny Chamber as well as our local community groups. I have attended some of their meetings and find that many opportunities arise where we can support initiatives. Working co-operatively we are forging more powerful alliances.

Next year I see the Montville Chamber taking a more proactive role in establishing the Hinterland Festival. I envisage our galleries working with artists to promote the world of art during the Open Studios Program.

After some discussion, we have seen the need to revise our Heritage Map and extend it to include the Street Art. This is part of a larger project with Paula and the MVA with assistance of the Montville Historical Society, Bevan Christensen and David Parmiter. This should be in print by early 2014.

It is heartening to have more local business owners prepared to give off their time to help keep Montville in the limelight. With enthusiasm and energy, the organisation will continue to grow and support local business. I look forward to working together to share positive plans for a buoyant future for our precious jewel, Montville and our nearby villages of Flaxton and Mapleton.

Shiralee Cooper

Montville Chamber P O Box 253 Montville 4560

 



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