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Case Study #2


Organisation Overview

The Bowral Chamber of Commerce was a small member based not-for-profit organisation in the Southern Highlands of NSW. It was competing with five other business chambers in the region. People made numerous attempts to amalgamate the chambers but failed.


  • To unite the business community under one business chamber
  • To develop alliances and affiliate partnerships to strengthen chamber member value and influence.

Methodology and Process

The scepticism of most stakeholders prevented change, and there were many sub self-interest groups who had their own agenda. To begin a dialog ‘what if’ scenario, workshops were facilitated over three months and during this period the following was implemented:

  • Meet the presidents of the other chambers
  • Address members of other chambers
  • Review past restructure models
  • W.O.T analysis
  • Interview businesspeople who lived in the area for decades
  • Met with senior lawyers from the NSW Business Chamber
  • Discussions with the mayor and councillors of the local council.

Outcomes & Key Benefits

  1. The Southern Highlands Chamber of Commerce Ltd (SHCCI Ltd) was founded on December 09, 2013, a milestone for the region.
  2. Four chambers were merged, and the fifth became an affiliate member.
  3. Direct and indirect business membership grew to five hundred and thirty-five. Strategic alliances were developed, and affiliate member organisations joined. The size of the organization gave greater member benefits and influence.
  4. SHCCI Ltd won ‘2015 State Chamber of the Year Award’ surpassing two hundred and seventy business chambers. This created a record for the NSW Business Chamber’s one-hundred-and-ninety-year history.
  5. The model developed by SHCCI Ltd was duplicated by the Lake Macquarie Business Chamber and used for their region.
  6. The SHCCI Ltd structure was recommended by the governing body of the NSW Business Chamber Ltd. It was seen as the model for all business chambers.

Questions? – Contact Kurt Newman +61 412 252 236 or [email protected]



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