Last month WBAC reported on the Fair Work Commission’s decision to reduce Sunday penalty rates and the NSW Business Chamber’s support of the move. The Federal Opposition recently made an announcement that could have a major impact on this.

Less than two months out from the 2017 Sydney Writers’ Festival (22-28 May), we’ve summarised some key dates and all the latest so you don’t miss anything. But event communications should be two-way and we ask members to update WBAC now on anything planned during SWF.

The NSW Business Awards are calling for 2017 entries and WBAC members, operating for two or more years, are eligible to enter through the program’s regional (City CBD) level from 18 April. 

After an extensive four-yearly review, the Fair Work Commission has recommended Sunday penalty rates be reduced.

Awards set to experience a reduction under the decision include:

full-time and part-time employee penalties - from 200% to 150%,

casual employees from 200% to 175%, and public holiday penalties from 250% to 225%.

Supporting the news, the NSW Business Chamber says the decision of the Commission’s full bench is the first step in addressing a major issue in workplace relations.

This month Sydney Theatre Company’s Marketing Manger, Campaigns and new WBAC Committee member (Retail/Arts Chair), Gabrielle Keen, talks about her role, what’s coming up at STC and what she loves about Walsh Bay.

“I have been with Sydney Theatre Company as Marketing Manager, Campaigns since May of 2015. In this position I look after all the single ticket campaigns for all STC shows. This involves advertising, print, design, distribution, partnerships and promotions and direct mail,” Gabrielle says.

“What I love most about what I do is seeing work get off the ground- from its initial conception as a draft script, right through to seeing it on stage in its full glory. The workings of a theatre company are truly amazing and it’s so special to be able to go on this journey with the creative team as they finesse their works.

In a bid to encourage an organic yet active style of networking, Manly Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a unique kayaking, SUP Board/Yoga event to bring chamber members and the business community together.

Attracting 50 participants the event, dubbed ‘Escape on the Water,' saw Chamber members and friends paddle from Manly Wharf to historic Store Beach on a double Kayak, courtesy of Manly Kayak Centre. The group then participated in a SUP Board (Stand Up Paddle Board) and SUP Yoga (Stand Up Yoga) session instructed by fellow member, Flow mOcean.

Hosting the event twice - before and after hours on Thursday 23 February, Manly Chamber of Commerce executive officer, Chantelle Hoare, says the goal was to create a unique experience showcasing fellow member businesses while enabling the local community to get together in a non-traditional networking environment.

The Southern Highlands is set to host the annual Moss Vale Rural Chamber of Commerce and the Wingecarribee Shire Council’s Moss Vale Buskers’ Battle over the weekend of 11 and 12 March with a headline act from 2016 event winner, Angus Murray.

Guests can expect to enjoy great food and wine, arts and crafts along with the main event – lots of free, live entertainment! This year the Busker’ Battle, sponsored by McDonald’s Moss Vale, has expanded to include a two-day line-up and more than $7,000 in prize money - including a new People’s Choice Award along with Judged and Encouragement Awards.

"The event is all about bringing community together, showcasing the best of the best in the busking world and showing off our incredible offering of retailers, businesses and some of the finest food and wine products in the country," says Brigid Kennedy, President of Moss Vale and Rural Chamber of Commerce.

Candaice O’Brien is Head of Marketing and Communications at Trippas White Group and new WBAC Committee member, taking up the role of Retail Chair in 2017.

Launching new venues, rebranding and developing new and exciting events and campaigns for Trippas White for more than two years Candaice was promoted to head up the group’s marketing and communication efforts six months ago.

“I have always been a creative person at heart and loved writing and being a ‘people person’. I had some family members in marketing who always used to say I should be in marketing or PR so that’s what I did! In the early days of my career, I joined a Government Affairs and Public Relations agency, working on some wildly different clients, every day was different and I loved it! After having worked with Trippas White Group for some time as a client I was offered a position in the marketing team and couldn’t resist and here I am today,” Candaice says.