President's Report 2014

15-11-2014 20:08:00

President’s Report 2014

Welcome to everyone. It is great to see all the new faces and new business owners.

For a quiet lay back village, we are awfully busy. These past two years as President have been rewarding albeit at times challenging juggling demands. I have had to dramatically improve my time management.

All the projects we run, and the work that the Montville Chamber achieves would not be possible without a supportive Executive. I would like to thank the Executive for making time amidst their busy schedules for Montville Chamber business. I appreciate the assistance given by Sarah Hallam as VP, Mark Conolly our long serving Treasurer from Victor Brimrose and Partners, Christine Kardash of Montville Country Cabins and President of HTSC, Rafer Rodgers of Elements @ Montville, Ruth Kuss Celebrations to Treasure, Allan Rhode Montville Real Estate, Paula Phillips Seedhead and Barbara Lamont of The Opalcutter.

I would like to express my deep gratitude to our Admin Officer Helen who has played a most important role in organising the Exec and ensuring that all tasks are undertaken. Helen is the engine room that ensures the work gets done. Special thanks also to Ruth for stepping into the admin role when needed as well as being a part of the Executive. Best wishes to Ruth for her new role with the MVA as Hall Co-ordinator.

About a year ago I attended a Queensland Plan workshop facilitated by Andrew Powell. Our group discussed why towns such as Maleny and Montville had greater community involvement. We also noted that we had many opportunities to work in the community and that this process generally empowered our community. We came to the conclusion that many city dwellers were disenfranchised and would love to live in a place such as Montville and the Hinterland, which embraces that community spirit and embodies the values to which many other towns aspire. The many vollies have worked together to make this a better place. MCOC, MVA, MSS P and C, Stephanie Alexander KGP, Montville VIC, Montville Rural Fire, Blackall Range Care Cottage, Blackall Range Woodies, Friends of Russell Family Park to name a few.

Partnerships are so important to our community. Montville has a diverse number of businesses with the MCOC membership reflecting a good spread across the main business activities. Projects chosen are not always going to please everyone, as we have to pick winners where we believe we can make a difference. Generally that means biting off more than we can chew and going for it. I would like to thank Louise Boylen who managed to secure funding from the Sunshine Coast Council. Without this funding, we would not have been able to become involved in as many projects.

My two years have given me a far greater appreciation of the previous Presidents, particularly those such as Roger Loughnan who did not have the luxury of an Administration Officer.

The chamber recognises that Montville is largely tourism based including more recently, wedding tourism. Research has confirmed that food is a most important part of why people enjoy their holiday. It’s not just me! The Range Restaurant Awards were initiated to showcase the wonderful variety of quality venues from quirky cafes to fine dining. We believe that we have the best cuisine, the most spectacular venues, and the best service which best encapsulates what makes a memorable dining experience. This year we extended our focus to encourage our food establishments to embrace local produce.

In this light we were proud to support Montville State School’s fundraiser for the Stephanie Alexander KGP. This fabulous Christmas in July event at beautiful Flaxton Gardens was also the launch of our 2014 Range Restaurant Awards.

It is hard to believe that this time last year we were despairing of any chance of resurrecting our Australia Post. MCOC took a leadership role in facilitating discussions with AP and the community. Thanks to those locals who helped make it happen, especially Anne and Chris Wells.

It is that time of the year. Christmas is coming! Our Christmas Campaign partly funded by the Sunshine Coast Council is a major focus to help boost local retail and dining trade. The campaign rewards customers for shopping locally. This is a major campaign run by the chamber requiring many hours of volunteer work. This year we have partnered with Montville SS to produce and fund 8 fabulous banners incorporating children’s artwork under direction of Judith Sinnamon and designed by Paula Phillips. We are the only place on the Sunshine Coast with original festive banners.

The highlight of our Christmas Campaign is the Montville Festive Tree Event December 6 featuring the amazing sound of the All Stars Big Band. This is a community event partnership.

A major objective of the MCOC has been to focus on promoting Montville. This includes the creation of the Montville History and Art Trail in partnership with the MVA; monthly columns and feature articles in The Range News; editorial and ads in A Country Life; inclusion in HTSC Drive Map; a number of feature articles in Hinterland Times showcasing the RRA and the zipline; regular Facebook updates; and the latest learning curve, Instameet participation.

I would like to extend a thank you to Merlin Coughlin for her dedication to the AHW and her leadership in the formulation of the steering committee. I would like express my appreciation to Alan Thompson for Chairing the committee and the support of Julie Bevan, Sam Giles/ Felicity Sharwood for working with the AHW Steering Committee.

In recent months I have been excited to be a part of the evolution of the Montville brand and I thank Paula Phillips for her leadership role in this journey. I am hopeful that Montville will once more embrace its artistic heart as we pave the way for our future.

It is with much gratitude that I thank those many businesses that have supported both myself and the MCOC. I have very much relished the opportunity to work with an enthusiastic Exec. It is one thing to have an idea, but to make that dream a reality takes a committed team. Well done to the Exec.

A warm welcome to those who have stepped up to give of their time and energy. It is gratifying to find more and more members are both making time for our meetings and are prepared to join the committee. All hail the new comers!