Changing of guard at chamber

Posted: 10am 27 Sep 2021

Incoming Redcliffe Peninsula Chamber of Commerce President Victor Nicholls is keen to build on the work of his predecessor, while reaching out to a more diverse range of businesses as the organisation continues to grow.

He replaces Brad Flynn, who will stay on as vice-president and focus on the Moreton Maritime Alliance and maximising opportunities for the region ahead of the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games.

“Firstly, I think Brad has done an amazing job to get it to where it is right now. I think he’ll acknowledge he’s tired, you get tired in whatever role you’re doing and you need revitalisation,” Victor says.

He does not have any major changes planned for the organisation, which has grown to more than 230 members in recent years.

“I want to grow the membership and look at ways to strategically do that – understanding what our value is to businesses and different business sectors. When you look at the type of businesses we have, most are service providers – they’re your accountants, bookkeepers and things like that,” Victor says.

“There’s so many other businesses on the peninsula that could benefit from what we’re doing but we don’t know what they would see as valuable. I’m really interested in finding out what that is. In business, it’s all about talking to people with the right message at the right time.”

Brad says after about three years as president, it is time for someone else to come in with fresh ideas.

“I was very guarded about who I wanted to take over, because I’ve put a lot of effort in, and Victor was a no-brainer for me,” he says.

“He’s just a breath of fresh air. Someone who’s a good business owner, who understands businesspeople, has common sense, and he’s not in it for the ego.”

Chamber’s role is vital

Victor says the chamber’s role in educating, supporting and advocating for businesses on the peninsula is more important than ever as many face challenges as a result of COVID-19.

“It’s critical. One of the things I asked at the end of the last meeting was, ‘how is everyone going? How are businesses going and if you know of someone not going well, reach out to them, talk to them, get them along to a meeting. We’ve got smart people in the room, we can help’,” he says.

“Sometimes in organisations people look at the board or the people running it as the ones that do all the work. I think it needs to be different, I think they need to step up and reach out to other people and their peers asking them how they are going.

“That’s a big part of what we’ll be doing, helping people recover and driving that a bit more – that helping each other thing.”

Victor and Brad say the chamber is well-positioned to serve its members and help them make the most of opportunities in the region, with four key factors: its good relationship with Moreton Bay Regional Council, Queensland’s strong economic and health position, the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games and the Scarborough Harbour Masterplan.

Brad says the ethos is better community through better business.

“If we have stronger businesses on the peninsula, we’re going to have a stronger community and everybody wins,” he says.

“Those things set the chamber up, the chamber is in a very strong financial position. This region has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to really take this to the next level and it’s all lined up.”

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