Advance Blog

March 28, 2024
AustCham 2018-01

Message From Chamber – March 2024

Donnah Ciempka

“Dear AustCham Members,

I am deeply honored to share this with you as the future President of the Chamber. I am humbled by the opportunity to take on this role and eagerly look forward to the possibilities for all of us. I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge our president of 2023, Andrew Norton, for his leadership and for driving a successful year with AustCham. His vision and direction enable this board to move forward with a clear strategic focus.  In addition to Andrew’s leadership, we farewell two long-standing and influential Board directors, Frank Holizer and Saj Iqabal.  Collectively, both men have served our community with energy and vigor, ensuring our chamber upholds our pillars of business, community, and connection.

As we embark on another AustCham year, we warmly welcome our new board members, Yvonne Foo, Simon Angove, and Jan Rohweder. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to benefit from their wealth of knowledge and expertise, confident that their contributions will foster our growth and development. Additionally, we celebrate the return of familiar faces to our board: Chokdee Wisansing, Chaiwat Keratisuthisathorn, and Jon Cannon. Their presence ensures continuity in our ongoing initiatives, underlining their indispensable roles in our continued success.  Lastly, I would like to thank the remaining stakeholders of our Board of Directors, Matthew Cutt, Joana Button, and Dwight Wills, as they begin their second year in office. Together, we move forward to serve our members.

Having lived abroad extensively, my involvement with AustCham has remained the singular, unwavering constant in my expatriate journey. The significance of staying connected with fellow Australians far from home cannot be overstated. The connections we establish and the relationships we cultivate enrich our experiences and those of others, and this lies at the heart of our chamber.  With this in mind, our Board of Directors has pinpointed two primary areas for focus in the upcoming year: sustainability and belonging.

Belonging: Our chamber’s enduring legacy is intertwined with our core objectives of fostering business growth, facilitating connections, and nurturing community bonds. The essence of belonging is fundamental to our mission, reflecting what we’ve strived to accomplish. A chamber’s strength lies in its members, and with your unwavering support, we can guarantee inclusive opportunities for all members to participate actively in our endeavors. With this in mind, I’d like to encourage all members to take the opportunity to respond and reflect on our work through the member survey shared by the AustCham office. This enables you a voice to shape the work we do.

Sustainability: The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the imperative of adaptability and forward thinking. It has reminded us that change is inevitable, and to ensure our chamber’s continued viability, we must be proactive and flexible in our approach. While we embrace innovation and evolution, we also recognise the importance of honoring and preserving our rich history and traditions. Sustainability lies at the heart of our chamber’s mission. We are steadfast in our commitment to preserving the core strengths that define us: from cherished events like Sundowners to our impactful CSR initiatives, robust networking opportunities, and the strong sense of community spirit that binds us together. Yet, we are equally dedicated to reimagining and refining our practices to meet the needs of future generations. The efforts of our SME subcommittee and the growing enthusiasm among our NextGen members exemplify our collective momentum toward progress. By harnessing the energy and ideas of these groups, we are charting a course toward a sustainable future, ensuring that the value of our chamber endures for generations to come.

I eagerly anticipate a vibrant and dynamic presidency filled with opportunities to engage with you and exchange ideas as we embark on another AustCham year. Your perspectives and contributions are invaluable as we collectively shape the future of our chamber. Let us seize this moment to collaborate, innovate, and make a lasting impact together.

Donnah Ciempka

President at AustCham Thailand

Donnah Ciempka, President at AustCham Thailand

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