Member News


By Jem Perez 27 Jan, 2017

Female entrepreneurs are the fastest growing segment in the small business sector but continue to face unique challenges and obstacles. The Business Centre’s, Women in Business (WiB) mentoring program is designed to help participants become successful business owners through the provision of industry leading workshops and access to experienced mentors from a range of disciplines. Applications for both participants and mentors are now open for the next WiB program, commencing in March 2017.

By Jem Perez 23 Jan, 2017
Many successful, ambitious and highly skilled people have begun their careers through TAFE and Hunter TAFE’s annual Alumni Awards seek to recognise those graduates leading the way in their industries.

TAFE plays an important role in the Hunter economy, providing employers with qualified graduates that have extensive, relevant skills and experience that are in demand by employers. With strong links to industry and 96% employer satisfaction with TAFE trained employees, it is no wonder TAFE Alumni are in demand.

Applications are now open for the prestigious 2017 Hunter TAFE Alumni Awards, which will award three alumni across the categories of Contribution to Business, Contribution to Community and Emerging Talent.

In 2016, the achievements of three outstanding alumni from the Central Coast and Hunter regions were recognised. The University of Melbourne’s Lead Dental Hygiene Lecturer, Dr Melanie Hayes, was awarded the Contribution to Business Award , the Managing Director of Creative Minds Communications, Andy Meier, received the Contribution to Community Award , and North Construction Site Manager, Peter Ives, received the Emerging Talent Award .

Hunter TAFE Institute Director, Christine Warrington said the awards are an important way of recognising the achievements and contribution of Hunter TAFE graduates to their industry and the community.

“The Awards seek to inspire current and potential students and highlight the important contribution of our highly skilled TAFE Alumni who help economies to grow and support communities to thrive. We are immensely proud of all of our Alumni, many of whom have gone on to make a significant difference to the region, the country, and even the world,” said Ms Warrington.

Established in 2012, the Alumni Association connects students and graduates with a network of people and a range of programs designed to support them throughout their career journey.

Nominations close Monday 20 February 2017. The application form can be found on the Hunter TAFE website .

The awards are open to all Hunter TAFE graduates registered with the Alumni Association. All current and past alumni who completes a course at any of the 15 Hunter TAFE campuses across the Central Coast and Hunter regions are eligible and can register to join the Alumni Association via the Hunter TAFE website.
By Jem Perez 20 Sep, 2016
The Jayco Newcastle Caravan, Camping, 4WD, Fish & Boat Expo will be held at its Heatherbrae sales centre next month.

The three-day expo, now in its third year, has something for everyone and is a great opportunity for travelers to upgrade their RV, check out new camping & 4WD accessories, plan a holiday adventure or to just check out everything that’s on offer to make your holiday special.

More than 30 exhibitors will be on hand showcasing their new products and services covering caravan and camping, fishing and boating, electronics, holiday parks, 4WD and Off Road, RV spares and accessories, RV hire, towing education, annexes and much more.

There’s plenty of family fun too with a free jumping castle, kids’ show bags & balloons, a visit from J-Jay Bird, and more than $6000 in prizes up for grabs.

Jayco Newcastle’s Damian Charleson says the expo has appeal for all the family. “Anyone who loves the great Aussie outdoor lifestyle is set for a great day out, says Damian. “It’s the perfect time to get a great deal on new or used Jayco caravans ready for the summer holidays.”

Admission is a gold coin donation to Camp Quality, how-to demonstrations will be held throughout each day with RV industry experts on hand for Q & A sessions.

And for those who picked up a new RV from Jayco Newcastle during the past 12 months, there’s a special invite only customer appreciation function on Saturday evening.

The Jayco Newcastle Caravan, Camping, 4WD, Fish & Boat Expo opens on Friday 7 October 8.30am-5pm, Saturday at 8.30am-4pm and Sunday 9am-4pm.

For more information, please contact Rachel Gowman
(02) 40280111 or
By Jem Perez 24 Aug, 2016

They are:

President: Kerry Hallett, Hunter Region Business Hub

Vice President: Toby Thomas, Thomas and Associates

Secretary: Lesley Morris, Towns With Heart

Committee members: Chris McClung from Weston Aluminium, Marj Wotherspoon and Lorraine Aspinall, both of whom are retired business women, and Rod Doherty.

The new committee would like to acknowledge and thank Rod Doherty, our outgoing President, for his long career on the executive of the Chamber, spanning well over 20 years. During this time so much changed and moved on in the Kurri Kurri district, and Rod was there every step of the way. We wish him well in the upcoming Council elections.

The first Chamber event under the new committee will be to meet the Cessnock Council mayoral candidates on the 5th September at The Hub 79-99 Barton Street, Kurri Kurri. This is our chance to find out what the new mayor’s vision for Kurri Kurri are. All are welcome, but bookings are essential. To book phone Kerry on 0438 327 072 or Lesley on 0438 639 636.

The new committee looks forward to working with the local business community and encourages you to join the Chamber and support our work. We are looking for feedback to make your chamber and your community better, so please don’t hesitate to let us know. All suggestions will be considered, so don’t be shy.

Enquiries – Kerry Hallett, President Kurri Kurri District Business Chamber. 0438 327 072.

By Jem Perez 23 Aug, 2016
Thanks to the generosity of a Maitland Family business a life changing opportunity is being offered to any current Year 10 student interested in a career in science.

The Gwen & John O’Brien Family Science Scholarship will support and mentor successful students by providing a Full Academic Scholarship to attend Hunter Valley Grammar School for Years 11 & 12 2017 & 2018. The student must be a new enrolment at HVGS and be enthusiastic about science courses plus 2 Unit mathematics as part of their HSC and be interested in a Science degree at University. The successful applicant will also be able to take advantage of work experience at Jurox, a family owned veterinary pharmaceutical company based at Rutherford.

For further information, please contact Susan Boyd, Communications Manager to arrange an inrterview with the Principal of HVGS, Mr Paul Teys.
Mrs Susan Boyd
Communications Manager
Direct 02 4931 0717 
By Jem Perez 08 Aug, 2016

Last weekend Jayco Newcastle General Manager, Damian Charleson, treated a group of customers and staff to a weekend away at BIG4 Koala Shores Holiday Park.

This was their tenth official customer appreciation weekend and the biggest one yet with over 80 RVs and 250 people attending.

Customers and staff alike enjoyed great food, great company and excellent caravanning tips all in one location.

Damian is very passionate about customer service and loves to see his customers enjoying their RVs. “These Customer Appreciation weekends are not only a great opportunity for our customers to use their vans and exchange tips and tricks, but also for our staff to get a taste of the caravanning lifestyle,” he said.

Those who attended enjoyed a BBQ put on by the Jayco Newcastle team, live music, face painting and balloons for the kids.

Jayco Newcastle has been operating in the Hunter region for more than 30 years and its Heatherbrae complex is set on five acres. At any time there is a complete range of over 100 new and used caravans as well as a spare parts and accessories department and state-of-the-art repair and service centre.

The dealership is described by owner of the Jayco Corporation Gerry Ryan as world class. ‘We are very proud of Jayco Newcastle”, he said.

The level of customer service is not surprising given the recent industry awards received by the dealership including the Motor Traders Association’s (MTA) New Vehicle Dealer of The Year, Hunter Business Awards Customer Service Excellence award and the Caravan and Camping Industry Association Best NSW Regional Dealer award.

‘Customer service is a key component of our business,’ says owner Damian Charleson. ‘We focus on creating a culture to meet the needs of our customers at sales and service levels.’

For further information please contact Rachel Gowman (02) 40 280 111 or at 

By Jem Perez 02 Aug, 2016

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