30 March 2023 Mixer - As It Happened

30 March 2023 Mixer - As It Happened

Thank you to everyone who attended our first Mixer and membership launch - what a great turn out! We couldn't have asked for a better evening of pleasantly balmy weather too. We were buoyed by your enthusiasm - thank you. By way of update, for people who could not make it on the night, here's a rundown as it happened:
  • Sally Tabner welcomed everyone with a Welcome to Country Acknowledgement 
  • Don Willesee, Secretary of the Avalon Bowlo, welcomed everyone on behalf of the bowling club's Board and affirmed his support for a reinvigorated Avalon Palm Beach Business Chamber, saying that it was essential to the vibrancy and success of the Avalon area. He generously offered the venue for meetings and any other gatherings attendees may need to accomodate. Thank you Don!
  • Stephanie Hammond of Shores provided a brief Chamber history and context for why and when the new Chamber came into being. With transition taking place over the past year, she thanked the previous organisation and members. She described how many had met informally over the past year to help with details and ideas, including Geraldine Dalby-Ball of DragonFly Environmental, Tom Warren of Tombucha, Sally Tabner of Bookoccino and many others all giving their time and advice freely. She noted how the recent traffic issues and road changes had catapulted the Chamber back into existence earlier than planned, due to the effects of the previously planned NSW Streets as Shared Spaces and the disruptions caused in the village over summer. This was an example of a proposal which had not had liaison and consultation with an active Chamber, and hence - the needs and views of the community were not as well represented prior to implementation. She talked about the positive approach that everyone is seeking, to bring new ideas and long term improvements that benefit the community and visitors - from street beautification to thoughtful planning and that we need to be able to connect and work with Council on issues we can give them feedback on.So many businesses are in the area and just lack visibility and this is a great opportunity to improve connections. It was great to see enthusiastic support, clapping and nods on these points.
  • Stephanie also outlined what the Chamber couldn't do under its remit. The organisation is a non-profit with no funding base at present, and only volunteer power. Therefore, it would be impossible to tackle every issue in the area and that the Chamber doesn't want to replace your individual voice to council. There are mechanisms in place for addressing grievances, DAs and so on. But if there are issues that impact our business owners big and small around our district, their amenity, viability, safety or environmental and economic status – then it is something the Chamber wants to be able to represent to Council. While the Chamber can’t always guarantee a favourable outcome, everyone believes having a functioning Chamber is far better than not having one at all. 
  • Geraldine Dalby-Ball explained how important the Chamber would be for placemaking, which is the core focus of a lot of urban planning in the past 5 years. Placemaking is about developing and defining community character. It integrates the natural world, community involvement, cultural development and economic revitalisation. Geraldine highlighted this concept as a core Chamber priority. She encouraged business owners to join and support the Chamber through membership and/or volunteering.
  • Sally Tabner introduced attendees to the new Membership options and indicated the Chamber would also be adding a Supporter Option for former business owners and others who wish to simply offer nominal financial support to the Chamber. Sally also outlined the commitments the Chamber could strive to achieve the current FY and next FY2023-24:
    1. A monthly meeting of Chamber Committee members. We wish to form a Committee of 12 people who are keen and able to commit to a monthly meeting as required. We currently have 6 people. This will help get and keep Chamber projects moving. We will adhere to a monthly schedule set 12 months in advance. If you feel you can provide this level of commitment and time, then please talk to us!
    2. Quarterly Mixer event for members and business owners
    3. Advocacy for Simmonds Lane to be transformed
    4. An update for the community on Shared Spaces, when available
    5. One major community event in FY2023-24
As the organisation is a non-profit and runs only on volunteers, to make this happen, we gratefully accept your support through Memberships.

    Finally, thank you again to all who attended and all who made it a great night. We know that’s not easy with busy business and home lives. We’re excited to have a Chamber for this community and we’re grateful for your support.

    Thank you to Avalon Bowlo and Don Willisee, Alfonsos Wood Fired Pizza (amazing!) and The Red Herrings for great music for the whole community! 

    Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter also on the site - we only send important stuff and absolutely zero spam 😊. Finally - don’t be shy if you would like to get involved, and have some skills and time to offer. Hit the Volunteer Membership option and introduce yourself to us!
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