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Chamber reports on positive year

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November 15, 2017

Norm McAllister, Maree Flagg, Edward River Council general manager Adam McSwain and Member for Murray Austin Evans at the Deniliquin Business Chamber AGM.

Guest speaker Neville Purtill with Jen Edwards, John Harvie and Pam Sutton at the AGM.

Chamber president Justine Keech (centre) with Sushi Bite owner Maria Raftellis (left) and Sushi Bite employee Sitianom Geas who received a chamber scholarship.

Guest speaker Sam Birrell, Committee for Greater Shepparton CEO, with Marg Bull and Michael Renehan.

Deniliquin Business Chamber executive officer Janet Renehan (centre) with new executive members Claire Parks (left) and Brooke Doughty.

Deniliquin Business Chamber welcomed two new executive members at its annual general meeting on Wednesday night.

Murray Irrigation executive assistant Claire Parks and Regional Development Australia Murray’s Deniliquin office manager Brooke Doughty were elected to the board, replacing exiting directors Jamie Tasker and Kevin Atley.

President Justine Keech, vice president Sam Hall and treasurer Jen Edwards were all returned unopposed.

Returning board members are Kate Smith, Pam Sutton and Scott Moller.

Mrs Keech said the positive atmosphere at the AGM reflected a strong year for the chamber, which saw membership grow by 20 per cent.

‘‘As well as signing up 33 new members we’ve ‘bowled with our tradies’, ‘shopped with the ladies’, opened up the doors to SunRice’s Deni Mill, had breakfast with Robbie Sefton, discussed solar energy with the community, launched a website, and worked with council to bring John Wagner to Deni,’’ Mrs Keech told the AGM crowd in her president’s report.

‘‘We also managed to fit in a strategic plan, host 270 of the brightest and best business people at our annual awards night, and had ‘breakfast with the stars’ which included special guest Deputy Premier John Barilaro.

‘‘We’re working closely with organisations such as Edward River Council, South West Arts, TAFE, MIL and a variety of local businesses to bring projects together and have been involved with the granting of nearly four million dollars.

‘‘We’ve also consulted with local, state and federal politicians and have consolidated our position as a peak body representing business in Deniliquin.

‘‘It’s been a busy year and massive thanks must go to our executive for their continuous and unwavering support of chamber and the community, and to executive officer Janet Renehan and our accounts administrator Michelle Siena for their tireless work.

‘‘Huge thanks also go to our members and sponsors in 2017, and in particular the Pastoral Times and Radio 2QN for their coverage and promotion of our events.’’

About 30 people attended the AGM, held at the Deni Club in George St.

Guests heard from Purtills managing director Neville Purtill who spoke about the company’s transport heritage museum which is under construction in Hardinge St, Deniliquin, as well as Sushi Bite owner Maria Raftellis and her employee Sitianom Geas who received the Rotary Youth Leadership Award scholarship which is funded by chamber.

Another guest speaker was Committee for Greater Shepparton CEO Sam Birrell who was well received.

Mr Birrell outlined the funding and lobbying successes the apolitical group has achieved for the Shepparton region since forming in 2013.

Deniliquin Business Chamber treasurer Jen Edwards also reported on chamber’s strong financial position.

■More on Rotary Youth Leadership Award scholarship winner Sitianom Geas in an upcoming edition of the Pastoral Times.

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