We recently released our comprehensive 2019 Workforce Skills Survey to collect information on the skills needs of NSW businesses.

The Chamber is committed to ensuring our next generation of workers develops the skills they need to meet the needs of employers or to become employers themselves. It is vital for the future of our economy that young people connect with work, and businesses are able to source skills locally. 

The survey provides an opportunity for you tell us your skill challenges, experiences engaging with the training system and importantly, the challenges and benefits of developing young people in the workplace.

Results from the survey will help us develop recommendations for the future delivery of training in the region and how to improve the provision of information to students, parents and employers on the pathways to a rewarding career.

The survey can be found at here and I really encourage you to give this your time so we can work together to improve the potential of business and develop our 21st Century workforce. The survey will run until 29 July.

Northern Rivers Regional Business Awards Programs now open

The Northern Rivers Regional Business Awards are a great way to recognise business excellence across our region and are an opportunity for us to shine a light on the amazing people contributing to our economy.

A business of excellence has a strong commitment to investment, training for employees, providing a safe work environment, environmentally sustainable and makes a purposeful contribution to the community. That’s in addition to providing excellent customer service, product innovation and achieving business goals!

The awards portal for submissions is now open and will close on Monday 2 September with the Gala Dinner set for Saturday 19 October. The State Awards will be held on Saturday 23 November.

If you would like more information about the awards programs, please email our Northern Rivers Regional Coordinator, Samantha Mearns via Samantha.mearns@nswbc.com.au or go to the awards website and portal to start your submission.

You may like to consider the following categories in relation to your business, or share with other businesses you believe are demonstrating excellence (and encourage them with a nomination):
  • Retail & Personal Services* – 2018 winner: Shopbaby Australia
  • Trade, Construction & Manufacturing* – 2018 winner: APRACS
  • Business & Professional Services* – 2018 winner: Southern Cross Credit Union
  • Health, Care & Wellness Industries* – 2018 winner: Varella Swift Pharmacy
  • Agriculture & Primary Industries* –new category
  • Tourism & Visitor Experience* – 2018 winner: Casino RSM
  • Outstanding Young Employee (18-30 years old) – 2018 winner: Kaitlyn Knight, SAE Group
  • Outstanding Young Entrepreneur (18-30 years old) – 2018 winner: Eddie Brook, Brookfarm
  • Outstanding Business Leader (31+ years old) – 2018 winner: Les McGuire, Future Proof Financial
  • Excellence in Micro Business (less than 5 employees) – new category
  • Excellence in Small Business (6-20 employees) – 2018 winner: Potager – A Kitchen Garden
  • Excellence in Business (21+ employees) – 2018 winner: Duraplas Industries
  • Excellence in Social Enterprise – 2018 winner: Yaru Water & Mount Warning Spring Water
  • Start Up Superstar – 2018 winner: Byron Bay Railroad Company
  • Excellence in Innovation – 2018 winner: Sunshine Sugar
  • Excellence in Sustainability – 2018 winner: Stone & Wood Brewing Co.
  • Excellence in Export – 2018 winner: Hemp Foods Australia
  • Outstanding Employer of Choice – 2018 winner: Stone & Wood Brewing Co.

*Local Chamber winners compete as finalists in Regional Awards but do not progress to the State Awards. All other category winner progress to Regional and State Awards.

The awards process is a great way of doing an assessment of your business, how far you have come over the past 12 months (or longer), and of celebrating your achievements.

There is real value in celebrating the success of your team and their contribution to reaching business goals.

Calling for Nominations to the NSW Business Chamber’s Northern Rivers Advisory Council

There is a lot going on in the region and crucial to our policy and advocacy efforts are our Regional Advisory Councils (RAC). Every two years, Regional Advisory Councillors are elected at an Annual General Meeting and/or if casual vacancies become available, filled throughout the year. This year’s AGM for the Northern Rivers is scheduled for 8 August. Nominations are now open and close on 1 August.

The RAC is made up of 20 positions of which 15 are held by financial members and five held by Local Chamber Presidents. The RAC meets regularly throughout the year and initiates and facilitates innovative projects and programs that improve and sustain business performance.

Regional Advisory Councillors must be financial members of the NSW Business Chamber, or be an authorised representative of an affiliated LCC. If you are interested in joining our Advisory Council, please send an email to jane.laverty@nswbc.com.au to arrange a conversation.

Yours in business


Jane Laverty – Regional Manager Northern Rivers, NSW Business Chamber