Celebrating 60 years of service

Published 1:00pm 27 November 2023

Celebrating 60 years of service
Words by Jodie Powell

Bribe Island’s Chamber of Commerce has made a remarkable contribution to the community in the past six decades and still has an important role to play.

President Rhonda Cockinos says it’s had a hand in putting Bribie Island on the map and spearheading vibrant and innovative ideas.

“We were inaugurated on Tuesday the 27th of November 1963,” Rhonda says.

“We’re 60 years young and only a small chamber, but we’re still a very strong chamber.

“We’re the oldest in the region and one of the oldest in Queensland.”

Rhonda says among the Chamber’s achievements have been launching a holiday guide and magazine, opening the island’s first Visitor Information Centre and gaining recognition from Queensland Transport.

“The holiday guide started as an eight-page publication produced on a Spirit Duplicator that came out for Christmas in 1974 and eventually grew to a glossy magazine of 52 pages.

“We did that for 49 years – for any publication to survive 49 years is a milestone in itself.”

Putting Bribie on the map

The Bribie Visitor Information Centre was a Chamber initiative and launched in 1986 with 50-50 funding from Caboolture Shire Council.

“We started with paid staff and it was not long after that it was staffed by volunteers,” Rhonda says.

“And we came up with the sticker ‘Australia’s an Island off the west coast of Bribie’ around Expo 88.

“There was an article in the paper and when it came out there was a line a mile long for the post office because people misread it and thought it was a stamp. You can still get the sticker for a gold coin.”

Rhonda says Bribie’s Chamber of Commerce is the only one officially recognised by Queensland Transport.

“You can get Bribie registration plates with our logo on them,” she says.

“It’s still got the little slogan from back in the 1980s – ‘Bribie Island – It’s different’. It was a bit corny, but it was true.”

The Chamber has also been involved with festivals, taking the annual Bribie Lights Up New Year’s Eve event over from the Apex Club.

“When we took over the attendance figures from the police were six to seven thousand.

“In the last year we did it the police said there were 40,000.

“Forty thousand for a one-day event was huge. We were the third longest in Queensland – our 8.30pm and midnight shows went for 12 minutes.

Still going strong

Rhonda says the Chamber remains true to its core purpose.

“Chambers of Commerce act as a voice for businesses, they act in the best interests of the community as a whole, particularly with the various levels of government.

“We also encourage the establishment of suitable industries and employment opportunities – if we don’t work as a team, we won’t survive.”

Planning is underway for a celebration of the Bribie Island Chamber of Commerce in the New Year.

Learn more about the Bribie Island Chamber of Commerce.


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