Message from the Geelong Chamber President

June 8, 2023 BY

Dr John Stekelenburg President, Geelong Chamber of Commerce

The Geelong Chamber of Commerce has supported business for 170 years.  After humble beginnings at the time of the gold rush, the Chamber quickly established itself as an integral part of the whole Geelong community to advocate for business and Geelong itself. Six years later the GCC building was opened in Moorabool Street. It was a grand building with a sandstone exterior and large columns similar to Town Hall.

To this day the GCC has been the Voice for Business. We still offer a wide range of support services to the wider Geelong business community. Social events, online webinars, member mingles, business mentoring and business advocacy are a far cry from those 1853 days.

Geelong has changed from shipping and agriculture to wool and large scale manufacturing to today where our business world is a very different place. Today our biggest industry is health, followed by education, followed by the service industries such as our council, NDIS, TAC and Worksafe. Large scale manufacturing has largely been replaced by smaller and smart manufacturing businesses.

The GCC has also changed and evolved continuously and seamlessly over the last 170 years. There is no better example of this than during the recent pandemic where we supported our members and the wider business community with support, education and socialisation solely online.

It is an honour and a privilege to be the President of the GCC in its 170th year, I am only the second President from the medical industry. I am proud that the GCC represents businesses of all sizes and all sectors.

The Chamber would not exist without those who have been involved over the last 170 years. As members we are all grateful to the current and past administrative staff, the CEOs, the sponsors and the board members, and others who have contributed including our local council and the state government.

The GCC is currently in a very strong position with a big membership base and is again looking to re-establish its own headquarters.
I look forward to the future of the Chamber.

Dr John Stekelenburg
President, Geelong Chamber of Commerce