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Date(s) - 20/08/2014
5:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Boyd Education Centre, Riversdale




Click here to download the AGM Meeting and Dinner Booking Form

Click here to download the Executive Committee Nomination Form

Click here to download the Proxy Form

 Candidates for Presidency



Candidates for Vice Presidency




Nicole SBC Local Pic

Nicole Francis – Candidiate for President & Vice President

Nicole Francis has been in her most recent role a Business Manager for Telstra Business Centres for over 4 years, in Nowra for 2years. In 2 years the Telstra Business Centre in Nowra has not only become profitable but has just recently achieved the most prestigious award for NSW and ACT as the Telstra Business Centre of the Quarter.

Nicole is proud to be profitable as being successful provides opportunity and growth. Being both a driven and motivated person with a passion for people and business, Nicole brings years of experience in management from both previous and current roles, team leadership, with a proven ability to achieve and generate revenue. On a daily basis Nicole is engaging with small to medium business owners, she understands the daily challenges they face to become more productive and profitable.

Nicole believes this places her in a unique position, this insight and information she can leverage from if President. Nicole has already devoted 12 months to sitting on the management committee at the Shoalhaven Business Chamber, as well as being active on the Nowra CBD Promotions Committee, Nowra CBD Action Committee, and the CCTV Committee.

Nicole has also been very focused and active in community engagement, been a generous financial supporter of the Business Awards, BIG Expo, CareSouth, Gilmore Youth Leadership Forum, Rotary, SPBA, and the Shoalhaven Education Fund to name a few. Whilst leading a busy professional life Nicole is also a loving and proud mother of 3 children, and is very “hands on” in both their school and sports.

It is an exciting future ahead for the Shoalhaven Business Chamber, the business community and technology, as well as the Nowra CBD Revitalization coming to life, and Nicole is not only excited but looking forward to playing a role in this time.

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Mike Leask – Candidate for Vice President

Mike Leask is the Business Development Manager – Illawarra & South Coast for SV Partners, a national accounting firm with expertise in forensics, turnaround, insolvency and specialist advisory services. Mike’s role involves engagement with accountants, lawyers and businesses of the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Southern Highlands.

Mike’s connection with the Chamber movement includes his previous role as CEO of the Illawarra Business Chamber, and subsequent commercial engagement with local chambers across NSW. Mike has intricate knowledge of the NSW Business Chamber’s Local Chamber Alliance Program and has extensive connections with NSWBC from CEO, Stephen Cartwright through to operational levels. His knowledge and understanding of the Chamber movement will be a valuable resource for the SBC executive management team to leverage off the resources and operations of NSWBC and IBC. Mike also has strong political connections with both sides of politics and is an experienced lobbyist for the needs of local business, particularly in regional areas.

Mike was recently commercially engaged to establish the Australian Professional Government Relations Association Inc. Being an industry group for the professional lobbyist industry, Mike’s role involved strategic planning and implementation of the creation of the legal entity, operations and administration through to engagement of membership. He currently holds the position as public officer.

Mike has extensive experience as an executive Board member and is currently the Chairperson of the MindBlank Ltd charity which assists youth mental illness in areas of depression, bullying, exam stress and suicide prevention through the medium of performing arts. His strength in corporate governance and business risk and compliance have been utilised to restructure the organisation to set it up for national growth.

Mike’s previous business experience involves nearly 20 years as owner and managing director of a furniture and homewares business which had importing, manufacturing, wholesale and retail divisions. During this time, Mike joined and became Secretary and Treasurer of the Australian Retailers Association and joined them in 2008 as Director of Membership and Commercial Relations. This gave great and varied access to federal and state government and engagement in the political process, lobbying for industry change.

As Vice President, if successful, Mike would seek to give the Executive Board great insight into the effective management of chambers across the state and give strategic input to the local operations of the SBC. Mike has a strong working relationship with Jennifer and Marnie and is keen to assist them with his experiences gained as CEO of IBC. Mike also seeks to support the role of President and to be an active participant in representing the interests of local businesses in the Shoalhaven.

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Gerry Moore

Gerry Moore –  Candidiate for President

Most Chamber members will know me as the Managing Director of Habitat Personnel and as I am standing for the presidency of the Shoalhaven Business Chamber I would like to give you more information about my business and community experience.I’m a local lad who grew up in the Wreck Bay Aboriginal community attending Jervis Bay Primary School and Nowra High School.I began my working life as a tradesman, training as a painter and decorator after I left school. This gave me a very important education about the local building and construction industry and I value my early experiences in this area.My first paid community position was to work as a field officer in the South Coast Aboriginal Legal Service. This also opened my eyes to a wider range of people, institutions and experiences. After this in the early 1990s I spent 5 years working with the Department of Youth and Community Services as a Specialist Aboriginal Child Protection Officer. I was seconded to work with the NSW Department of School Education as an Aboriginal Home School Liaison Officer one of the first such positions in the state.Over this period with the encouragement of my elders in the Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community I took up a series of voluntary community leadership positions. I was a member of the Army Reserve and worked in the area of Disaster Welfare – Georges River Floods in Sydney, Nyngan Floods and also the Shoalhaven Bush Fires.My elders recognised that as a young person who did not drink or smoke I had a role to play in the community. As a representative of my community I have worked as a National ATSIC Commissioner and Regional Councillor, Chair of the Nowra Aboriginal Land Council. I have served as a board member of the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office, the South Eastern Illawarra Area Health Service and the Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority.

In the late 1990s I became the interim Chair of the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office Board. In this period I was employed by the NSW Department of Housing in Sydney to develop what is now known as the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office and its enabling legislation. This gave me experience working with the NSW Public Service and Parliament and NSW Aboriginal housing legislation is recognised to be leading legislation in the country and I continue to take an interest in this area.

In 2010 I became CEO of the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT. In this position I was responsible for overseeing 185 staff which included 85 solicitors, the other staff were made up of mostly Aboriginal field and administration.The ALS covered the state of NSW and the ACT with 23 offices in total. With a small Executive of (3) and a middle management team of about 10 staff the organisation looked after mainly crime, a small team of Care and Family solicitors, a 24 hour legal advice line and a Prisoner through-care Unit.

In 2012 I returned home to work in Nowra as the Managing Director of Habitat Personnel. This was a natural transition for me as I wanted to do something in my home community. I was a long term founding member of Shoalhaven Community Development Ltd, which is the parent company of Habitat Personnel – we coordinate three other programs, a community night patrol (in the Shoalhaven), a community links program (both for Indigenous and non-Indigenous clients in the Shoalhaven) and also (NCAP) New Careers for Aboriginal People program which operates in the Shoalhaven and a Vocational Training Employment Centre which operates along the south coast of NSW from Kiama to Eden and in the Canberra and surrounding areas.

Over the last few years Habitat Personnel have successfully placed 402 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into jobs. 611 Aboriginal people commenced work, 487 made a successful transition to employment and 402 stayed in long term employment. As a result of this success Habitat was chosen as one of only 6 (VTEC’s – Vocational Training Employment Centre) in NSW for the South Coast and Canberra and we are well on the way to placing a further 200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander   people into jobs in 2014.

Additionally I am also a former board member and former Chair of Mia Mia Properties, a private family company that owns Illaroo Farm on the Shoalhaven River.

As this biography suggests I have had extensive experience in private industry, the public service and government, community organisations and social enterprise. I am seeking the position of President of the Shoalhaven Business Chamber to value add to the good work that has already been done, bring my knowledge and skills to the table and to learn more and broaden my awareness of private industry.

It is my understanding, if elected I believe that I will be the first Aboriginal to be elected Chairman of a Business Chamber in NSW. I would be honoured to be entrusted with the position of representing Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and businesses of the Shoalhaven. This is something that I value very highly and you can be assured that I will work hard and my door will be open to all Shoalhaven business owners and operators and I will always be open for your comments, feedback and advice.

I would appreciate your vote and support.

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Keith Robinson – Vice President

  • Born in Wollongong NSW. May, 1961.
  • Educated at Wollongong Primary and Wollongong High Schools
  • Lived and worked in the Wollongong area 1979 to 2002.
  • Moved to the South Coast of NSW in August 2002, seeking a better lifestyle for my young family.
  • Married with 2 children

Business Experience

  • National Australia Bank, May 1979 to October 1986.Holding many and varied positions throughout the branch network, my final position with NAB was that of branch manager Sussex Inlet.
  • Illawarra Mutual Building Society, October 1986 to May 1999. Again holding many varied customer service positions, final position was Department Head Member Relations Department.
  • Raine & Horne Real Estate – Wollongong, May 1999 to July 2000.Working as a residential sales specialist.
  • Elders Real Estate – Nowra, August 2002 to February 2004 Employed as licensee in charge, Commercial sales and leasing.
  • Sanctuary Point & Districts, Community Bank® Branch, Bendigo Bank, February 2004 to date Employed as Branch Manager, Company Secretary and Company CEO of Bay & Basin Community Financial Services Ltd for newly established franchise branch of Bendigo Bank in Sanctuary Point.

Board/Committee Positions

  • Bay & Basin Community Financial Services since 2004, currently position,Secretary & CEO
  • Bendigo Bank Marketing committee, Current position Chairman
  • Sanctuary Point Community Pride, current position, Public Officer
  • St Marks Parish Council, Current position, Treasurer
  • Shoalhaven Business Chamber, Bay & Basin Sub branch, Chairman.

Other Qualifications & Interests

  • Justice of the peace – Obtained 1987
  • Warranted Scout Leader – Obtained 1989
  • Foster career, working with Care South Nowra, including current working with children checks – commenced 2010

Educational Experience

  • Associate member of the Institute of Financial Services.
  • Real Estate Practice. TAFE certificate course completed 1999
  • Diploma in Business (Real Estate Management)Through the Real Estate Institute of NSW, completed 2002
  • Real Estate Licence Obtained 2002.
  • In house training. Over the past 35 years I have attended many in house training courses through my employers.Some of these include: Competency based training, Dealing with conflicts, analysing financial statements, Financial Planning, Selling techniques plus many others.

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