Volunteering and Business – What’s in it for me?
For the past two years, I have had the privilege of serving as President of the Hunter Business Chamber. The mission of Hunter Business Chamber is to champion the economic and physical attributes that make the Hunter, Australia’s most innovative, prosperous and diverse regional economy. My time as President has been rewarding and allowed me the opportunity to meet and work with some extraordinary people throughout the Hunter Region. I learned a lot about business and government in the region and how difficult it is to lead a member based organisation.
I often get asked by people what do you get out of being involved in community organisations, does being involved get you more business, how can you afford to spend so much time away from your business or what did you achieve from your time involved?
My honest answer to these questions is there is no hard and fast rules that ensure you are guaranteed business success by being involved with community or business organisations. If you need to justify all of your business and life decisions on dollars and cents, then being involved with a community organisation will never provide you with the financial returns you are seeking.
For me personally, it is about being a good corporate citizen. I believe there is more to life than just business and I love being involved with my community, Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.
Like many residents of this region I often feel we miss out and don’t get our fair share from state or federal governments. I also believe that if I want change for this community, I need to get in and be part of the solution. Talk is cheap – so I put my thoughts into action and volunteered to be the Treasurer of a Surf Club and a Board member of the Hunter Business Chamber and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.
I am by no means suggesting that if you don’t get involved you don’t value your community, far from it. I have been fortunate enough to have my own business and a supportive family that have let me be involved for a long period of time.
My key message is that I would like everyone within the region to raise their social consciousness. We are all part of the region and I believe we want the region to prosper and grow. It should be a place where you can create a lifestyle for you and your family that will be the envy of Australia and the world.
The best way to achieve my vision for the region is to be an engaged member of the community. Take an interest in your neighborhood, understand the roles of local, state and federal government for the region and assist, where possible, organisations with the sole purpose of helping improve this region.
I hope you get involved if you can, and I can tell you that if you are, the rewards both emotionally and financially can be enormous.