New Board for Ipswich Chamber in 2016


The Ipswich Chamber of Commerce is ready and raring to go in 2016 after members elected a new board made up of local business people who simply want the best for business in our city.

The new nine member team will be headed by a new President, Phillip Bell, who has been a member of the Chamber for almost 3 years and has taken over the role from Anita Dwyer.


President:  Phillip Bell
Senior Vice President:  Marie Kavanagh
Junior Vice President:  Cameron McKenzie
Treasurer/Secretary:  Rebecca O’Connell
Immediate Past President:  Anita Dwyer
Board Members:  Roger Gorrel,
Rachel Vickary, Steve Harling,
Pushpa Bakshi and Cathryn Warburton

By day, Phillip is the Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Services at TAFE Queensland South West, based at the iconic Bundamba campus.

“To be honest if business is going well in the region, TAFE does too and vice versa,” Phillip told Ipswich Life after the board announcement. “We are close to industry here, as we train people to support business, to make them more efficient, and that in turn drives productivity.

“I got involved in the chamber through TAFE which has a great relationship with the Chamber. I initially started finding my way as a board member, and like any new position, I had to sit and listen for a while, take in the direction, the culture and get the strategy. When I did, I loved the Chamber work. I don’t consider it work, it’s more like engagement with business for me. Especially in the last twelve months when we’ve introduced new strategies and initiatives, including Shop Ipswich, mentoring and so on.”

One of the best things about the Chamber is that all board members do it on a voluntary basis, and see it as doing something to help make a difference to the Ipswich business community.

“All of us on the board are volunteers, we are all involved in business and we have a clear belief that to get the growth we need, we needed structure.

“The RAAF superbase, the Inland rail New Generation Rolling Stock Project at Wulkuraka, the growth in Ripley, plus the expected growth in the Ipswich population…that’s an incredible opportunity for businesses to get ready. It’s immense. All of those projects will bring value to Ipswich, and don’t forget the CBD redevelopment” Phillip said.

“None of us can do it by ourselves. Council can’t do it on their own, these challenges are best served with a co-ordinated approach. One thing I’ve identified about Ipswich is that levels of government work well together and that’s what sets up apart, as it is rare to see that. We need to enhance those relationships, and so we’re starting from a good place.

“My goal is to enhance the value for our members, growing a business is not something they have to do alone. There are some fantastic good news stories out there, so let’s get behind local business!”