“Everyone sees the lights and the glory, but they don’t see what happens behind the scenes” Allyson Felix Olympic Athlete

I have spoken to a few people this week who are just working hard, and by hard I mean pushing to make things happen, putting their heads above the wave and persevering through adversity to make their businesses, their projects, our community and our place better.

This thought also struck me as I worked through our record number of nominations and entries for the Fremantle Business Awards 2020. Such incredible stories, impressive local businesses and projects that I really don’t envy the judges trying to score each one to select a category winner.

Behind all our stories in the Chamber Weekly this week there are people who go above and beyond to make a difference outside their own backyard.

I think of Peter, Pic Lee and the team of volunteers who have kept the dream of the “Little Dove” – the Duyfken – alive and enabled us to reflect on her magic for so many years down at Fishing Boat Harbour and on the Swan, and what mixed emotions they must feel as she sails off to new adventures.

Franco Andreone, our Chamber Vice President and Development and Infrastructure Committee Chair and worthy recipient of Chamber Life membership this month, who has dedicated literally a decade of his time in his roles at the Chamber to push for better economic returns for our local businesses.

Those who are coming together to try to reflect the communities aspirations in a new name for King Square, and the local business leaders who gathered for breakfast this morning to dedicate their time to rethink a vision for the Town of East Fremantle that will deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to locals, visitors and businesses and reflect the incredible heritage and built environment that shape this vibrant community.

So, this Chamber Weekly is a thank you to them for being willing to step outside their 9am-5pm routines to shape our local worlds in a way that many just take for granted.

I really look forward to getting to know a few more people behind our businesses at tonight’s Business After Hours New Members Speed Networking Night. If last years is anything to go by we will all need a good drink to come down after all the bell ringing and loud chatter. We close tickets off at 3pm today for this event so jump online now to grab a ticket.

We are also getting very close to having a sold out Business Awards over a month before the event – with a record number of nominees tickets have sold incredibly quickly for our feasting spectacular event. I wouldn’t hesitate to grab one this week as it would a tragedy to miss out and we have no options on capacity of the incredible heritage space at the Art Source Gallery. We have limited tickets to 2 per nominee and the few remaining are available here.

Thank you to our judges, suppliers, entrants and sponsors who have all worked so hard behind the scenes to start to bring the vision for this event to life.

I also wanted to thank Chamber Board member Nathan Maxwell for sharing his expert knowledge on getting products to overseas markets, with the Western Australian Brewers Association this week, and also our Export Officer Marian Bull who shared the ins and outs of Certificates of Origin and Free Trade Agreement Documentation requirements. A complex area made easier by those in the industry so willing to share and engage to help our industries grow. For those who are interested listening to the conversation it is available here.

A reminder also for those members who would like to hear about more about the behind the scenes of how we support local business here at the Chamber it would be great to see you all at the 147thAnnual General Meeting of Membersnext Tuesday evening at 6pm. Please register here. It has been an incredibly long and difficult journey to turn our Chamber ship around over the last 18 months to bring us back to financial viability, restore our historic Chamber building, and re-activate our events and business program. I hope you can come and celebrate that journey with the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce Board, Committee members, and staff.

Finally, a big thank you to Matt, Caroline and the team at the City of Fremantle for bringing the superheros to Fremantle last week. How wonderful to see how City and our businesses filled with colour, energy and happy spirits enjoying our harbour and a sense of adventure.