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130 Years of the Chamber

In 1886, a group of business people met in the Great Northern Hotel of Newcastle to establish a Chamber of Commerce. Among the members were Frederic Ash, whose buildings in the CBD are still used today, John Brown, the coal baron, and William Arnott, whose biscuit business has become a national icon.

At the Annual General Meeting, President Mr R B Wallace spoke about the involvement of the group in the advancements in rail transport, in health, local tramways and water supply.

He said of the Chamber: “There can be no doubt that it will do good; and the amount of that good depends entirely on ourselves.”

His comments stand the test of time, and the Chamber continues to lead business in the Hunter – through two World Wars and the Great Depression, through natural disasters, and great political, technological and industrial change.

For more than a century, the chamber has been helping to restructure this most diverse economy that encourages investment and employment generation.

Partnering with the Chamber of Manufactures in the late 1990s, the organisation has evolved to become the Hunter Business Chamber we know today, providing to its members a comprehensive range of services including advocacy, networking, advice, training and the additional services and products of NSW Business Chamber.

Hunter Business Chamber is an advisor, a forum, a source of information and a point of access for its members, who drive one of the powerhouse economies in Australia and include some of the most innovative businesses in the nation.

In 1978 the Chamber established its annual awards system to identify and promote these outstanding business achievements. Award categories reflect the diversity of membership, and recognise individuals making a significant contribution to our business community.

From the beginning, Hunter Business Chamber has been about helping businesses – recognised as innovators – who are making a difference.

Past Presidents

Hunter Business Chamber Past Presidents

2018/2020 Hennie du Plooy
2016/2018 Jonathan VanderVoort
2014/2016 Ross Taggart
2011/2014 Richard Anicich
2009/2011 Brett Derwin
2008/2009 Karen Howard
2007 Stephen Davidson
2004/2006 Kyle Loades
2002/2004 Paul Murphy OAM 

Newcastle Hunter Business Chamber Presidents

2000/2002 Paul Murphy OAM
1998/2000 Robin Chenery 

Newcastle Chamber of Commerce & Industry Presidents

1996/1998 Ian Pedersen
1994/1996 Paul Murphy OAM
1992/1994 Colin Chapman
1991/1992 Scott Derwin
1989/1991 David Le Marchant
1987/1989 Peter Rundle
1985/1987 Laurie Molyneux
1983/1985 Peter Evans OAM
1981/1983 Clem Varley
1979/1981 George Keegan
1977/1979 Tony Samway
1975/1977 James Moodie
1973/1975 Peter Doyle
1971/1973 Bill Gilbert
1969/1971 J H Greig
1968/1969 E G A Hallet
1966/1968 James Evans
1964/1966 Alex Young
1962/1964 Sheldon Chadwick
1960/1962 Athal Levey
1958/1960 Eric Armstrong
1957/1958 A McWilliams
1955/1957 S A Dalton
1953/1955 P A Vasey
1952/1953 P E Trevella
1950/1952 L B Saddington
1948/1950 C Mills
1947/1948 P F Moroney
1946/1947 G Turner
1945/1946 K R Winn
1943/1945 G R Beath
1936/1943 Hon. T Armstrong, MLC
1932/1936 W E Alexander
1929/1932 W A Winn
1928/1929 J McMeekan
1927/1928 G E Alexander, J McMeekan
1925/1927 J McMeekan
1924/1925  M C Reid
1920/1924 J Paton
1919/1920 H Ireland
1916/1919 John C Reid
1912/1916 H C Langwill
1909/1912 T M O'Neil
1908/1909 C S McIntyre
1905/1908 J M Hyde
1904/1905 J B Brown
1901/1904 W B Sharp
1900/1901 Hon. G F Earp, M.L.C
1899/1900 G F Earp
1898/1899 R A Wallace
1897/1898 H J Brown
1896/1897 G Bewick
1895/1896 S Keightly
1894/1895 D J McLean
1893/1894  J R Hall
1892/1893 Hon. A Brown, M.L.C
1891/1892 R B Wallace
1890/1891 W B Sharp
1889/1890  S Keightley
1888/1889 Hon. A Brown, M.L.C
1887/1888 H E Stokes
1886/1887 R B Wallace

Current Life Members

Kyle Loades
David LeMarchant
Peter Evans OAM
Peter Rundle
Paul Murphy OAM
Neville Sawyer AM
Ian Pedersen
Richard Anicich AM


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