“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” Maya Angelou

After our last long weekend in April abruptly turned into a weekend in lockdown for most of our local businesses, I have been reflecting all week about how much more appreciative I have become on what we have on our doorstep – the fact that things keep happening, businesses are still willing to take risks and long weekend plans can still be made – despite all the uncertainty that we could be hanging out at home again at any minute.

There is a lot on in Fremantle this long weekend, as the WA Day Festival returns to the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour on Sunday 6 June. This free, family friendly event will celebrate world heritage and culture, music, dance, cuisine and arts, showcasing the rich cultures that collectively represent our truly unique Western Australian community. The extensive program of events includes a smoking ceremony, corroboree of traditional Bibbulmunn Aboriginal dance, AC/DC tribute band Hells Bells and more. A number of other local member businesses, like the Norfolk, have also scheduled a great line-up of events. I’ll also hopefully be heading to Govt Grunge at Freo.Social on Sunday – third time lucky after two earlier start-stops due to scheduling across the last two snap lockdowns!

On the snap lock downs, the Small Business Development Commission has recently announced some grants for businesses affected by these events – including some coverage for food wastage and event losses. You can read more here.

The financial year is also rapidly drawing to a close for many businesses, performance reviews are underway and strategic planning sessions for the year ahead being scheduled into the diary. It is a time to celebrate the wins, reflect on what could be done better and where we would like to be this time next year.

For those who may have something to give back to our incredible local and resilient community, our latest podcast includes some great ideas on how to make the business of giving part of your business success – be it through improved networks, demonstrated values to staff, making a difference in the community in which we operate or pure philanthropy. Well worth a listen here.

The Chamber is also planning to update and review our own five year Strategic Plan (2018-2022) in the coming few months. We will be circulating our Annual Members Survey in a few weeks to help feed into this process. In reviewing the achievement of our KPIs under the plan, I am so proud of what we have collectively achieved and I sincerely thank our members, those who put their hands up to be part of our incredible industry led committees and our Board.

We definitely have some wins to celebrate this financial year – the biggest being our growth in such an active and connected membership base, the activations across our City and the traction gained through our advocacy around the southern coastal transport corridor, connections to the Australian Marine Complex and navigating a way through the Tent City challenge earlier in the year. A win for the WAFL Grand Final bid would definitely top the year off nicely! Fingers crossed.

Finally, please do check out the program just released for Fremantle’s Winter Festival 10 Nights in Port and Hidden Treasures. It is extraordinary, warm and inviting. I’m so glad I brought my “soak” experience just as this Chamber Weekly was going to print as it is now completely SOLD OUT. Clearly others are also more appreciative and eager to experience what our community has on offer.

Have a great long weekend, and happy WA Day!

Read more in this week’s Chamber Weekly.