NSW Business Chamber

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NSW Business Chamber
Industry Not for Profit
Founded 1826 as the Chamber of Manufactures of NSW
1995 as Australian Business Limited
2007 as NSW Business Chamber
Headquarters North Sydney, Australia
Area served
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory
Key people
Products Business support services and government representation
  • Australian Business Solutions Group
  • Australian Business Apprenticeship Centre
  • Australian Business Recruitment Solutions
  • Australian Business Consulting Solutions
  • Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors
  • Australian Business Industrial
  • Sydney Business Chamber
  • Illawarra Business Chamber
  • Hunter Business Chamber
Website nswbusinesschamber.com.au

NSW Business Chamber (formerly Australian Business Limited or ABL) is NSW's peak business organisation providing businesses with information, advice, products and services. The organisation has a membership of over 20,200 and 119 Chambers of Commerce in NSW and the ACT.[1]

The Chamber's membership represents a broad cross section of Australian industry including the food industry, clothing, chemicals, information technology, health, education and training, textiles, metals, banking and finance, transport and travel.[2]

The current President is Professor Trevor Cairney OAM, and the CEO is Stephen Cartwright.

Purpose & Role[edit]

NSW Business Chamber is a not for profit organisation whose purpose is to support the growth and success of the business community in NSW and the ACT and represent and champion the business community's interests and concerns with government.[3]

NSW Business Chamber provides a range of support services for small, medium and large businesses in NSW and the ACT including support and advice in areas such as HR, IR, OHS and payroll. The Chamber also provides legislation and awards updates and a range of events and seminars for business operators to attend to develop skills and get the latest information on changes in the business environment.[4]

The Chamber is also a member of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry .

Services for Members[edit]

Business Compliance[edit]

  • Workplace Advice Line
    • help with complicated workplace management issues.
  • Legislation and Awards- regular updates on changes to legislation and employment awards.
  • Australian Business Lawyers
    • legal representation by experts in industrial relations, employment and commercial law.

Business Results[edit]

  • Business development solutions
    • services including seminars, training, templates, DIY resources and consulting.
  • Business savings
    • exclusive business discounts offered only to members.

Business Skills[edit]

  • Australian Business Limited Apprenticeships Centre
    • advice and assistance with Australian Apprenticeships including sign ups and incentive claims.
  • Small Business Training Company (now trading as Workstar)
    • experts in flexible work-based traineeships and short courses.

Business Connections[edit]

  • Business to business networking events
  • Membership directory
    • online promotion of member's business.
  • Business Connect magazine
    • featuring case studies, regional profiles and updates.
  • E-News and E-Networking
    • legislation and business updates.
  • Information and "how to" seminars
  • NSW Business Chamber Awards
    • regional and state recognition for business excellence.

Business Representation[edit]

  • Federal, State and regional lobbying
    • cutting red tape and making business easier to do
  • Australian Business Industrial
    • membership to the peak IR council for employers
  • Defence Industry membership
  • Australian Business Foundation
    • access to ground-breaking, innovative research on business, economic and industry practices.

Business Safety[edit]

  • OHS management solutions
    • create or maintain business OHS systems with up-to-date information, DIY tools, training, templates and consulting.
  • Training
    • includes WorkCover accredited courses (in-house or public).
  • Diagnostics, workplace risk assessments, system improvement and design
  • Workers compensation insurance
    • exclusive to members, Business Cover Plus prodvies critical post accident support.

Business Globally[edit]

  • International growth specialists
    • hands-on, expert assistance with strategies to expand global opportunities.
  • Tradestart
    • offers grants and services to assist new exporters in achieving their first export sale.
  • TAFTA certificates and other export documents
    • a service that makes doing business globally easier.


NSW Business Chamber has undergone a number of name changes and mergers with other business organisations since its founding in 1826 as the Chamber of Manufactures of NSW as it has adapted to the changes in the Australian economy over the past century.

The Chamber of Manufactures of New South Wales was established with the inaugural meeting in August 1826 at Sydney's Town Hall in which the rules and regulations were adopted and Archibald Forsyth was elected as its first president.

The Chamber got off to an initial slow start with its primary supporters focusing most of their efforts on tariff policy lobbying, especially in setting up a "Protection Union", in direct opposition to the "Free Traders" led by Sir Henry Parkes.

The Chamber was finally re-constituted in June 1895 at a meeting at the Hotel Australia. The Chamber abandoned the idea of partisan political lobbying and conscientiously adopted a position of a non-political organisation which has continued to the present day.

In 1912, the Chamber of Manufactures of NSW set up the Manufacturers Mutual Insurance Company (now MMI). The insurance company arm was established primarily to indemnify employers against claims that might be made by their employees who were injured at work, and was in direct response to the new Workmen's Compensation Act of 1910.

The Chamber continued to expand in NSW over the following years opening offices in Newcastle, Lismore, Wollongong and Ballina while pursuing possible amalgamations with other business organisations such as the Australian Chamber of Manufactures and Employer's Federation, most of these options were explored but not acted upon.

In 1995, the Chamber of Manufactures of NSW broke its tie with MMI, selling its shares of the company and changing its name to Australian Business Limited. The sale of MMI shares made Australia Business Limited one of the most well funded business organisations in Australia.

In 2006 the State Chamber of Commerce (NSW) changed its name to the Sydney Business Chamber of Commerce, echoing the original concept of the chamber of Commerce that applied when it started in 1826. In December 2006, Australian Business Limited changed its name to NSW Business Chamber Limited to reflect the new entity emerging from this union. Following the transfer of all members into NSW Business Chamber Limited, the Sydney Chamber activities continued as the Sydney Business chamber, a division of the NSW Business Chamber.

Structure & Governance[edit]

Stephen Cartwright is the CEO of NSW Business Chamber

NSW Business Chamber's head office is located at North Sydney but it also has regional offices located in the Sydney CBD, Western Sydney (Parramatta), Central Coast (Tuggerah), Mid North Coast (Port Macquarie & Coffs Harbour), Northern Rivers (Ballina), Western NSW (Orange) and Murray Riverina (Albury). NSW Business Chamber is also affiliated with the Illawarra Business Chamber and Hunter Business Chamber.[5]

NSW Business Chamber has eight regional advisory councils covering eight regions of NSW including Sydney North, Sydney South, Western Sydney, Central Coast, Mid North Coast, Northern Rivers, Western NSW and Murray Riverina. Members in each region elect members to the advisory council who in turn elect the general council and governing board including the position of President.

Policy is guided by members of NSW Business Chamber who steer several committees including tax, infrastructure, environment, education and trades, OHS, and international trade.

Senior Management Team[edit]

  • Stephen Cartwright - Chief Executive Officer
  • Darren Cocks - Chief Operating Officer, Australian Business
  • Jane Nicholls - Chief Operating Officer, NSW Business Chamber
  • Simon Spicer - Director, Finance & Strategy
  • Paul Orton - Director, Policy & Advocacy
  • Jo Spencer - General Manager, Membership Services
  • David Stewart - General Manager, Australian Business Recruitment Solutions
  • Paula Martin - General Manager, Australian Business Consulting and Solutions
  • Peter Gilchrist - General Manager, Australian Business Apprenticeship Centre
  • Patricia Forsythe - Executive Director, Sydney Business Chamber
  • Nigel Ward - CEO & Director, Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors
  • Alex Diab - General Manager, Human Resources
  • Garth Haffenden - General Manager, Finance
  • Roger Millar - General Manager, ICT
  • Mei Ching Koon - General Manager, Corporate Marketing & Communications
  • Chris Burubu - General Counsel & Company Secretary
  • Damian Kelly - Senior Manager, Public Affairs

Regional Management Team[edit]

  • Kellon Beard - Mid North Coast Regional Manager
  • Joe Townsend - New England North West Regional Manager
  • Daniel Farmer - Central Coast Regional Manager
  • Vicki Seccombe - Western NSW Regional Manager
  • Naomi Stuart - Murray Riverina Acting Regional Manager
  • Chris Lamont - Illawarra Business Chamber CEO
  • Bob Hawes - Hunter Business Chamber CEO
  • Jane Laverty - Northern Rivers Regional Manager
  • Grant Payne - Local Alliance Chamber Manager, Sydney South East
  • Michelle Curuso - Sydney Regional Manager

Elected Presidents[edit]

  • Prof Trevor Cairney - NSW Business Chamber
  • Janine Cullen - Illawarra Business Chamber
  • Jonathan Vandervoort - Hunter Business Chamber
  • Stephen Grabowski - Western Sydney Advisory Council
  • Rod Dever - Central Coast Advisory Council
  • Natalie Mitchell - Mid North Coast Advisory Council
  • Gary Fox - Northern Rivers Advisory Council
  • Wendy Cooper - Murray Riverina Advisory Council
  • Samantha Hain - Central West Orana Advisory Council
  • Lyn Lewis-Smith - Eastern Sydney Advisory Council
  • Orit Karny Winters - Capital Far South Coast Advisory Council


NSW Business Chamber has several divisions that response to key interests of the business community.

Australian Business Solutions Group[edit]

Australian Business Solutions Group is a multi disciplinary professional services consultancy that offers business support in areas of International Trade, Marketing, OHS and HR and IR. It has invested resources and expertise in helping and supporting businesses implement sound HR and IR practices.

Australian Business Solutions Group provides hands on assistance to identify workplace challenges and helps business owners sustain and grow their business through consulting and online solutions development.

Australian Business has a number of products to assist with IR/HR and OHS.

Australian Business Apprenticeships Centre (ABAC)[edit]

Australian Business Apprenticeships Centre (ABAC) is one of NSW's most respected and experienced private provider of Australian Apprenticeship services. ABLAC has specialist knowledge, expertise and over ten years' experience in the signup process and ongoing management of apprenticeships and traineeships.[6]

ABAC operates under a contract funded by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).[7]

DEEWR supports the Australian Apprenticeships scheme, making funds available for employers, apprentices and trainees. ABLAC administers these funds on their behalf.[8]

ABAC lodge the Training Contracts with the relevant State Training Authority (STA) for approval. The STAs make decisions about cancellations and suspensions and mediate where necessary (ABLAC and other Apprenticeship centres have no jurisdiction over dispute resolution).[9]

Australian Business International Trade Services[edit]

Australian Business International Trade Services is the international arm of the NSW Business Chamber that's role is to stimulate business growth globally.

International Trade Services assists approximately 1,000 businesses each year of all types and sizes in Australia to achieve their international business goals to import, export or establish an on-the-ground presence overseas.[10]

Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors[edit]

Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors is a law firm providing advice in workplace relations, corporate and commercial law and property law.

Their head office is located in North Sydney and it has offices in Brisbane, Cairns and Wollongong.

Australian Business Industrial (ABI)[edit]

Australian Business Industrial (ABI) is the industrial relations affiliate of NSW Business Chamber. The main purpose of Australian Business Industrial is to develop workplace policy to lead debate on major workplace relations issues.

It has three main functions including:

  • representation of member's interest in test cases, award matters and inquiries before the NSW and Federal Industrial Relations Commissions;[11]
  • advocacy and lobbying on behalf of employers' interests to New South Wales and federal government departments, regulatory authorities, government ministers and opposition representatives about workplace and industrial relations issues;[12]
  • information and education of members regarding developments in industrial relations legislation and other workplace law. ABI also assists members with compliance with this legislation.[13]

Sydney Business Chamber[edit]

The Sydney Business Chamber was established in 1826 as the Sydney Chamber of Commerce and is the second oldest business entity in New South Wales. Today it is a division of the NSW Business Chamber.[14]

Membership of the Sydney Business Chamber is drawn from the city's corporate business community, covering all industry sectors. The Chamber provides a voice for the business community to influence city, state and national governments.[15]

Illawarra Business Chamber[edit]

Illawarra Business Chamber is the region's leading business advocate and is known colloquially as IBC.

IBC is the result of the merger between the Wollongong Chamber of Commerce and the Illawarra office of Australian Business Limited in 1998.

Through its association with the NSW Business Chamber, IBC is able to provide local businesses with a range of business support products and services across the Illawarra region, an area that covers the local government areas of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama, Shoalhaven, and Wingecarribbee.

The Illawarra Business Chamber is represented on the NSW Business Chamber State Council, and in turn at a Federal level through the Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI).

IBC is governed by a Board of Directors elected by members at the annual general meeting in November each year.

Hunter Business Chamber[edit]

Hunter Business Chamber is the independent representative organisation for Australia's largest regional business community.[16]

The Chamber provides to its 1000 members a comprehensive range of services including lobbying, advocacy, networking and advice including workplace relations, business advice and training.[17]

The Chamber represents NSW Business Chamber in the Hunter and members can access all the resources of this organisation.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au/?moduleid=26&content=/channels/about_us/default.xml, NSW Business Chamber, accessed 27 October 2008.
  2. ^ http://www.smartlink.net.au/partners.htm#abl, Smartlink, accessed 28 October 2008.
  3. ^ http://www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au/?moduleid=26&content=/channels/about_us/default.xml, NSW Business Chamber, accessed 29 October 2008.
  4. ^ http://www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au/reference/about_us/NBC_875.pdf, NSW Business Chamber, accessed 29 October 2008.
  5. ^ http://www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au/?moduleid=26&content=/channels/about_us/About_us/Regional_offices/default.xml, NSW Business Chamber, accessed 27 October 2008.
  6. ^ http://www.ablac.com.au/www/489/1001127/displayarticle/1001215.html, ABAC, accessed 3 November 2008.
  7. ^ http://www.ablac.com.au/www/489/1001127/displayarticle/1001215.html, ABLAC, accessed 3 November 2008.
  8. ^ http://www.ablac.com.au/www/489/1001127/displayarticle/1001215.html, ABLAC, accessed 3 November 2008.
  9. ^ http://www.ablac.com.au/www/489/1001127/displayarticle/1001215.html, ABLAC, accessed 3 November 2008.
  10. ^ http://www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au/default.aspx?content=/channels/International_trade/Import_Export_assistance/Established_exporters/International_Trade_overview.xml, Australian Business International Trade Services, accessed 4 November 2008.
  11. ^ http://www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au/?content=/channels/Influence_government/Australian_Business_Industrial/About_ABI/about_abi.xml, Australian Business Industrial, accessed 11 November 2008.
  12. ^ http://www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au/?content=/channels/Influence_government/Australian_Business_Industrial/About_ABI/about_abi.xml, Australian Business Industrial, accessed 11 November 2008.
  13. ^ http://www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au/?content=/channels/Influence_government/Australian_Business_Industrial/About_ABI/about_abi.xml, Australian Business Industrial, accessed 11 November 2008.
  14. ^ http://www.thechamber.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20&Itemid=34, Sydney Chamber of Commerce, accessed 13 November 2008.
  15. ^ http://www.thechamber.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=20&Itemid=34, Sydney Chamber of Commerce, accessed 13 November 2008.
  16. ^ http://www.hunterbusinesschamber.com.au/templates/hunterbusinesschamber.aspx?edit=false&pageID=327, Hunter Business Chamber, accessed 28 November 2008.
  17. ^ http://www.hunterbusinesschamber.com.au/templates/hunterbusinesschamber.aspx?edit=false&pageID=327, Hunter Business Chamber, accessed 28 November 2008.
  18. ^ http://www.hunterbusinesschamber.com.au/templates/hunterbusinesschamber.aspx?edit=false&pageID=327, Hunter Business Chamber, accessed 28 November 2008.