As I contemplate my first week as CEO of this historic and esteemed Chamber of Commerce, two over-riding themes leap out at me – the first is opportunity and the second is distinctive advantage.

In addition to feeling personally so privileged to be in the Chair at a time when Fremantle is on the cusp of such significant change and growth, it is a sense of what incredible opportunity lies ahead for Fremantle in the next 5-10 years.

The focus of conversations across just these two days have included plans for the launch of Fremantle’s new Destination Brand, the Kings Square sod turning, plans for the Old Synagogue, City wide efforts to connect the City more closely to the water – right through to the amazing Kylie Exhibition launching at the WA Museum this week.

Fremantle’s heritage, character and diverse business community are the keys to leveraging these opportunities to generate economic and social growth for our region. It is this that provides our distinct advantage. To quote the Greater Fremantle Action plan together we can create a distinctive and inventive future.

That said, there are clearly challenges in the present that will need immediate attention and these include the Water Corps Pipes for Perth, business and community safety and security, and supporting our business community in a time of economic downturn. I welcome feedback from members on how we remove these barriers to work together to use our strength and distinctive advantages to navigate our way through these challenges.

Speaking of the future and challenges, I am very curious to hear from our new guest speakers this week’s workshop on the role that cryptocurrency may play in this new economic future. There are a still a few places still left at the workshop for members who would like to attend.

I’d also love to hear from any members or associates looking for a unique working space in the heart Fremantle. We are putting together some plans to restore the Chamber of Commerce building to an innovative hub for growing businesses. Please contact me if you are interested to investigate a working space with us.

Finally thank you to everyone who has made me feel so welcome as I hit the deck running this week. I really look forward to working with the Chamber’s Board, staff, members, business community and stakeholders to make a real difference for Fremantle.