The Camden Chamber of Commerce and Industry exists to support, stimulate and promote all businesses, including member businesses, in Camden and Camden’s immediate surrounds. The Camden Chamber of Commerce is a member of the NSW Business Chamber, an entity which provides a range of support services for small, medium and large businesses in NSW. The NSW Business Chamber also provides legal and legislative advice which the Camden Chamber of Commerce has utilised and welcomed during the last six months or so.
The Camden Chamber was exposed to poor and inaccurate ongoing publicity earlier in the year following the very public resignation of some of the then Committee. Vacant positions were rapidly filled by existing members of Chamber who brought expertise and professionalism to the Executive committee, including the capacity to participate fully in facilitating a cultural paradigm shift that values accountability and transparency.
This current Executive has introduced changes to Chamber policies and procedures. These include but are not restricted to, tendering for paid work, introduction of formal declarations to the membership of related party transactions, accurate and comprehensive minuting and policy mechanisms to handle potential conflicts of interest. Centralised storage of Chamber documentation has been introduced and this Executive is also transitioning to a centralised electronic mail system. The recent change of financial institutions has allowed greater financial return and will provide further multiple benefits as we move into more streamlined payment systems for meetings and other events. The financial position of Chamber remains strong, with both the Department of Fair Trading (NSW) and an independent audit satisfied with substantiated financial records submitted.
As well as a greater emphasis on ongoing governance, the Chamber Constitution has been reviewed. It was apparent that some aspects of the Constitution were not in alignment with current legislation and the proposed alterations are being presented to the members for acceptance.
As a Chamber, we are working with multiple agencies to strengthen the local economy and forge local links. This Executive has worked with Ingleburn Chamber of Commerce on multi Chamber initiatives, including the Prime Minister’s luncheon and a trial of reciprocal meeting attendance benefits. Camden Chamber recognises the importance of collaboration in the ongoing and increasing success of the area, at a regional level, as well as at a local level. The hosting of Light Up Camden 2016 will again provide a wonderful drawcard for thousands of people to Camden town centre, highlighting the town itself and the businesses located in it.
The wide-ranging breadth of speakers at the general meetings, from Australian representatives at OECD to the Economic Development Network, to the Assistant Minister for Cities, as well as small business specialists, has provided insight and knowledge, as well as entertainment, for members.
The Executive has started to put in place further collaborative initiatives designed to reinforce relevance and heighten awareness of Camden Chamber in the local and wider community. This includes planning for a schools small business incursion program, further Chamber collaborations, as well as a regional planning workshop in 2017 and community group collaborations.
I would like to thank members and guests who participate in making the Chamber so productive and dynamic. Thank you to the Light Up Camden 2016 sub-committee members for their ongoing dedication and commitment to bringing Light Up Camden 2016 to fruition. In particular, a large vote of thanks goes to the current Executive, an unpaid volunteer committee, who have generously given so much of their time to steer the Chamber and prepare it for a very successful 2017.You are invited to take a look across our website and Facebook page at the range of information pertaining to our beautiful Camden.
Maryann Strickling President