Vision and Mission Statement

Bega Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s vision is to advance a vibrant and financially sustainable Bega business community supporting economic development in the region.

Our mission to achieve this vision involve these key actions:


Represent the interests of the business community at local, state, and federal levels by advocating for issues of importance to economic and business development in our region.


Promoting members businesses and organisations by implementing programs and activities that benefit the business community of Bega.


Implement and support programs and activities that promote Bega as a regional centre for business, commerce, and economic growth.


Promote the Bega Valley as an attractive and desirable area for new business, new residents, and visitors to our region.


Promote the chambers activities, engage with, and support our member and attract new members to grow our membership base.

About Us

Bega Chamber of Commerce and Industry was incorporated in April 2000; we are governed by our Constitution under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 which was adopted by Special Resolution at the Annual General Meeting on the 13th September 2011. 

We hold our Annual General Meeting (AGM) usually in June each year where our audited accounts are presented, and Executive Members are elected.

Members of the Executive volunteer their time and meet monthly on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, new Executives are always welcome.

5 Reasons to Become a Member

  1. The opportunity to network with like-minded business people.
  2. Together we have a stronger voice in advocating for our community.
  3. We want your opinion, as a member you have the opportunity to raise ideas and present your views.
  4. Together we can promote Bega as a destination for business.
  5. The Chamber is respected by all levels of Government and our view gets heard.

Executive Members

John Watkin (President)

Locally born and raised, self-employed for over thirty years, the last twenty the owner of Inspirations Paint with his wife Sharon. Extensive Industry and business experience John has served on the Chamber Executive for over fifteen years with ten as vice-president. John understands the daily demands on small business owners and is keen to see the Bega Business Community thrive.

Emma Keft (Communications)

Raised in the Bega Valley, Emma has over 20 years experience in retail, media and communications and is currently the sales manager at 2EC and Power FM. Emma has joined the chamber so that she can combine her experience in media and retail as well as her connection to the Bega Valley to implement exciting events, networking opportunities and other initiatives that will benefit the local business community and promote economic growth.

Mal Barnes (Vice President)

Over 40 years working in retail and the hospitality industry with more than 27 years in small business. Mal has always seen the value of small business and the role it plays in employing the majority of Australia's workforce. He was the president of Bega Chamber for five years and is still on the executive board with the desire to give more exposure to the relevance of business chambers within the community.

Dixie Fitzclarence (Executive)

Born and raised in the Bega Valley Shire, Dixie is an experienced lawyer who with a wide range of individual, small and medium business, and local government clients. Dixie has a keen understanding of rural and commercial issues.

Lisa Hocking (Executive)

With over 30 years in the local Retail, Hospitality and Tourism industry, mostly employed at Bega Cheese, Lisa is an advocate for supporting local business & promoting tourism & business growth in the Bega Valley.

Matt Sierp (Executive)

An experienced client focused and dedicated health professional with over 35 years’ experience in the aged care industry. Matt has a wealth of experience in the aged care industry and has developed business management expertise in providing leadership around Australia. Matt is on the chamber to promote business growth and economic development in the Bega Valley.

Kirsty Towill (Executive)

Born and raised in the Bega Valley, Kirsty is committed to the growth and success of the region. With over 15 years experience in the Financial Services Industry and currently a Senior Home Lending Specialist for the Commonwealth Bank, Kirsty brings a wealth of knowledge economic development and financial sustainability in the valley. She is active in the community and is a strong advocate for any cause that promotes the long term success of the area. Kirsty joined the Chamber to promote local opportunities, economic growth and community engagement for both businesses and individuals alike.

Steven Millot (Executive)

A former small business owner and experienced small & family business advisor with a head for technology and marketing, is passionate about delivering outcomes that benefit objectives, sustainability, profitability and growth. Steve wants to make a difference and is on the chamber to promote business growth and economic development in the Bega Valley - he is also part of the Retail Sector Sub Committee.

John Stylianou (Executive)

After starting his trade in the automotive industry in 1978, John moved to the Bega Valley in 2005. John is a local business owner and is enthusiastic about our local area. He is a member of the Economic Development committee and is passionate about future development of business in our local area.

David Akehurst (Executive)

Dave has an extensive background in banking and business management, from the traditional branch network to corporate finance and has worked locally for a number of years in both the disability and finance sectors. He is delighted to have joined recently the Bega Chamber executive and will no doubt bring his experience to the benefit of the organisation and the wider business community. Currently manager of the Bega ANZ branch.

Life Members

Robert Hayson

Over 40 years in local business, including 27 years as a business owner and 13 years as Branch Managing Director of Fuji Australia and International. 25 years as a member of the Bega Chamber of Commerce, including 14 years as President, during which time he lead the Chamber to win Best Chamber of Commerce in the State under 100 members, Best Chamber of Commerce in the State over 100 members and Best Chamber of Commerce in the State for Awards, Events and Promotions.


Steve Bartlett

Stephen looks after the Chambers administration, he has 40 years’ experience in the Petroleum Industry, 26 Years as a business operator in the Bega Valley. Stephen believes that the Chamber of Commerce is a strong voice for local business to shape regional development and an excellent forum for businesses to network common issues.


Bega Chamber of Commerce and Industry encourages participation from our members, and we welcome your involvement, you can help by joining these committees which report back to the Executive:

  • Committee to Advocate for Economic Development
  • Committee to provide Member support
  • Committee to promote the Retail Sector
  • Committee to provide opportunities for Community Engagement

Get Involved – Do you want to play a more active role in your Chamber? 

Get in touch to find out more information.

Get in touch

We encourage feedback on any issues affecting commerce and industry in our region. If you have information or can help you are welcome to get in touch through our Contact Page.

Small Business Month with Kate Carnell AO

Fill in the form below to reserve your spot.​