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February General Meeting Minutes

General Meeting

8 February 2023
Held at Camden Valley Inn

The meeting was opened at 6.30pm

Welcome & President’s Report – Anne Parnham, President

Anne introduced herself as the new President of the Chamber, and she also gave a brief history of how she has come to be in this position.  She welcomed everyone to the meeting and acknowledged the life members Tony Perich AM and his wife Cathy, and Adriana Care, guest speaker Scott Taylor, and all the Chamber members in attendance and guests.

Last Tuesday Anne attended the funeral of Terry Diomis (Tezza).  He was an integral part of the Macarthur community and an amazing volunteer over the years.  Terry was remembered for his love of the area, his love of family and his amazing smile.  The room took a minute’s silence to remember Terry and think about those close that have passed and remember the good things about them.

Anne updated the meeting on her recent endeavours and meetings on behalf of the Chamber:

  • Going over all the structure of the Chamber and how it works behind the scenes and who does what.
  • Anne informed all the members and guests that the Greater Narellan Business Chamber is a not for profit organisation made up entirely of volunteers giving their time during and out of working hours to enable the Chamber to continue.  There isn’t anyone standing to gain financially from being on the Board of the Chamber and as President she takes the conflict of interest part of the Constitution very seriously.
  • On Monday she met with Wally Mehanna, the CEO of the Canterbury Bankstown Chamber of Commerce to discuss what they do and compare notes.
  • On the tables were booklets from Business NSW  with the “We Mean Business” campaign that they are running to get the attention of the State politicians who are running in March.  She encouraged everyone to look at the topics – basically lower state taxes, programs to encourage skilled employees, affordable energy costs, better access to Government contracts for NSW businesses, revitalising our CBDs in our local area. The words they are using are easier, smarter, confident, better and thriving.
  • Last Thursday she attended a Business NSW luncheon with the Premier Dominic Perrottet as the speaker.  He spoke well about the Liberal Party’s  proven record of delivering a good budget and spending on infrastructure.  The next election will be interesting.
  • Anne has also for the last 2 weeks tried to get the 8 people vying for the votes at the next NSW election coming up on 25th March to come together in a panel format to discuss what they are going to do for us.  Unfortunately, only one replied and that was Peter Sidgreaves MP – the current member, he said anytime anywhere.  So Anne couldn’t pull the panel event together but asked when you go to vote and you see the different candidates please ask them what they are promising business.  She was very disappointed not to be able to hold the panel breakfast meeting.
  • Anne reminded everyone  that this chamber is a political or politically neutral. 
  • Last Thursday morning Anne attended the Regional Advisory Council meeting for Western Sydney as the Vice President.  Lots of policy information but disappointing again.  These meetings that Stephen Grabowski, Carlene Cardona, John Siemon and Anne attend are to discuss what is happening in our area.  Her feedback was the continuously rising cost to run a business and the staffing shortages which she believes are the many issues at the moment.
  • Does anyone know of “Investments NSW” that Anne have just found out about today.  It has $4.75m in funding aimed at fast tracking the growth and development of “going out” districts across the Greater Sydney area.  They are called the “uptown grants” it’s a strategy for Western Sydney to help grow and promote our areas where entertainments and going out can be improved.  If this sounds like something you can use go to “” and give it a go.  Entries close 9th March.
  • The 13th Annual World Chamber Conference is on 21-23rd June in Switzerland.  Anne attended the 10th conference in Sydney and it was amazing.  
  • The Board got together a few weeks ago discussing this year’s events and changes.  Daniel from Brick Studios and GetMilk and Anne are working on the website that needed attention – some old items from 2018 still there.  This revamp should be done soon – remember we are volunteers.  The hope is to make it more attractive for members to get involved with what is happening. 
  • Interest rates are rising with probably another 2 rises so everyone could be in for difficult times ahead, look at your business.  Check your cash flow, P&L, balance sheets and your overheads.  Geoff Ellis gave a few points on how to prepare for the future.

Anne asked for feedback.  Males and females are different about this but she wants any feedback sent to her email –


Paul Mingay, Life Member
Stephen Grabowski, past President

Secretary’s Report – Roland Blackstone, Secretary

Roland advised the Minutes from the two meetings in November 2022 were on the website.  The Minutes of the general meeting held on November 9th were moved by Carla Upfill, seconded by Sandra Bartlett and accepted.  Any business arising please contact Roland Blackstone, Secretary.

Treasurer’s Report – Karina Rauch, Treasurer

Karina presented the Treasurers Report for November, December and January.  Total income $29,842, total expenses $31,246, net profit $1,404.  Current cash at bank is $160,007.

Membership Update – Sandra Bartlett, Membership Director

Membership of the Chamber currently is 154.

New member introductions:

  • Eyesight Optometrist
  • Food Industry Foresight
  • Miriam Roberts Property
  • Praxis Lawyers

Member Facebook Draw:

  • Caitlin Bryant of Camden Real Estate (Inglis Property Macarthur)

Member Spotlight Facebook Draw

  • Garth Lewis of Alpha IT

2 free tickets were offered by Scott Taylor to his Mastermind training on 17 February:

  • Teresa Tree of CareFlight
  • Rachel Elliott of Lansdowne Property Group

Sponsorship Update – Kelly Stanford, Sponsorship Director

Silver Sponsor presentation      Coutts Solicitors and Conveyances
                                                  Fusion Shutters & Blinds

Bronze Sponsor presentation   Pest Go

What’s On – Carla Upfill, Meeting Director

  • Campbelltown Chamber of Commerce on 15 February at Campbelltown Catholic Club with Peter Munckton, BOQ Chief Economist
  • Youth Solutions ChariTea on Friday, 24 February at Rydges Campbelltown
  • Camden Council International Women’s Day on Wednesday, 8 March from 5.30pm at Gledswood Homestead and Winery with Naomi Simpson
  • The Camden Show on 24 and 25 March

Networking Break

During the networking break all tables were asked to volunteer a speaker, the speaker then gathered brief information of who was at their table and their business.  When the meeting resumed each table volunteer introduced their table.  This is a way of everyone in the room knowing who was at the meeting so they can possibly do business with each other.

Speaker Presentation

Carla introduced Scott Taylor of Praesidium Risk and Resilience who spoke about Body Language in Business.

  • Behaviour analysis
    • Confirmation bias
    • Halo and horn bias
    • Face muscles and expressions
    • Factors of fear
    • Personal non verbals
    • Videos by Amy Cuddy


  • Cameron Finlayson asked – do some people know the rules and use them?
    • No, not normally
  • Samantha Campbell asked – are you a human lie detector?
    • Can very quickly tell truth and lie.
  • Kelly Stanford asked – Grabbing part of the arm, is that soothing or stress or duress?
    • Yes, can be.

Lucky Door Prize

Coutts Solicitors hamper won by Maureen Thorpe

Fusion Shutters and Blinds gift won by Kim Meredith of Kelly Partners

PestGo gift won by Kaisha Gambell of Coutts Solicitors

Premise gift won by Sue-Anne Collings of Guardian Funerals

Closing Remarks – Anne Parnham

Anne thanked everyone for attending and hoped everyone enjoyed the first meeting of the year and the great guest speaker. 

The next general meeting will be on March 22 (delayed due to Camden Council International Women’s Day event) at Woodlands Harrington Grove with guest speaker Dean Williamson. 

There being no further business, the meeting was closed at 8.30pm.