About Us.

Building A Stronger Wodonga Together.

Business Wodonga is North East Victoria’s premier business networking, support and representation organisation. With a strong membership base, well established networks across all sectors and a fresh new brand, Business Wodonga is working hard for business growth in Wodonga and the wider region in a variety of ways. Let’s build a #strongerwodonga together.

Building a stronger Wodonga involves our business community and leaders working together with Business Wodonga to achieve the best for our growing city. Business Wodonga works with large organisations like the City of Wodonga, the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Development Victoria to connect businesses, develop businesses and to showcase what Wodonga has to offer to the greater population.

Here at Business Wodonga we are responsive and keen to assist businesses with their needs.

We are passionate about helping business with business. Let us help you move forward in business.

Business Wodonga is the peak business representative body in Wodonga, that works with businesses on business, building business together.

Business Wodonga is a not-for-profit, membership-based organisation supporting our members, sponsors and key stakeholders in business for individual success and the success of Wodonga and our region. We currently have around 340 members, being the fourth largest Chamber of Commerce in Victoria. We work with nearly 7,000 employers & employees across the region and are funded by members and sponsors.

Meet Our Operations Team

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Neil Aird

CEO Business Wodonga

In my role I work across the local business community representing our members and promoting our region as a great place to do business. I work closely with the Business Wodonga Leadership Team to set our strategic direction and then develop plans to implement our strategy. I bring experience over many years of numerous business sectors, especially in relation to education and its vital role in professional development and business growth.

My vision is for Wodonga to be a vibrant driver in economic development in North East Victoria and a great place to do business and live.

I enjoy spending time with family especially the grandchildren, walking, reading, listening to music and travelling.

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Shannon Dube​

Member Manager

I am the Member Manager for Business Wodonga. I am new to the area and I bring a background in emergency services. This gives me a unique perspective that I am using to enhance current programs and develop new opportunities for our members.

I am excited to be a part of Business Wodonga’s growth into a vibrant, innovative network of classes, workshops, seminars and events that service the changing and evolving business needs of the members in our local area.

I have a small farm in the surrounding area and raise a wide variety of heritage and rare breeds of poultry, cattle and goats. I love reading newspapers from all over the world, listening to hours of podcasts on a huge range of subjects and playing competitive roller derby in my spare time.

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Nikolina Bukvic​

Info TBA

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Tracey Basham​

Events Co-ordinator

Tracey is the Events Co-ordinator for ‘Albury Wodonga Business Awards’ a joint venture between Business Wodonga and Albury Business Connect

AW Business Awards

Meet Our Leadership Team

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Graham Jenkin

President

I am Co-Principal of Generations Personal & Professional Advice, a financial planning practice with clients whom are predominantly self-employed. I specialise in business succession planning and protection, to ensure that families are not left in economic ruin should death, serious illness or injury interrupt business activities and success.

I have a passion for small business and enjoy being part of helping small business prosper and grow. I am a people person and a good listener with the ability to also share and develop ideas.

Having lived in the area since 2006, I have fallen in love with Wodonga and have enormous pride in its development into a prosperous and exciting city, that still retains its country town friendliness and character.

I believe that Business Wodonga can help Wodonga grow into an even stronger Wodonga by building on member inter-relationships and getting more members doing more business with fellow members.

I’m passionate about the Essendon Football Club, enjoy socialising (those who know me half well realise that!) and fresh air. I have also been an active Lions Club member for over 25 years.

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Brett Drinnan

Vice President

Continuing a 25+ year career in road transport, I arrived in Wodonga in 2008 after taking up the role as North East Regional Manager for the Dyson Group of Companies, transferring across from the Moama. Responsible for the Operation here in Wodonga with 60 Staff & 40 vehicles, along with a variety of vehicles and Staff throughout NSW stretching to Bathurst in the north and Condobolin in the west. I am passionate about our Region and want to see continued success and growth for many years to come. The resilience, toughness and community spirit of this Region holds me in awe.

Our Region is the premier place to work and live and by supporting business to grow and prosper, we will continue to be one of the fastest-growing regional centres in Australia.

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John Day

Vice President

I currently work with North East Water as the Executive Operations. My role is to manage the day to day core activities of the corporation in delivering water and waste water service delivery to the North East region.
I have been with North East Water for 9 years. In that, time I have held various board positions in the water industry and education. I have filled director roles on the Catholic Education Wodonga board and the Water Industry Operations Association board.

I grew up in Albury and attended the Albury High School. After leaving school, I completed my apprenticeship with an engineering company in Albury then left to travel overseas, coming back to work at the Australian Newsprint Mills where I found my passion for the water industry. Stints in the Northern Territory and the Goulburn Valley in leadership roles delivering water related outcomes lead me back to Wodonga where I have settled with my wife Kim and our 3 children.

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Renae Pitargue

Treasurer

I am the owner of First Class Accounts Ovens & Murray, a franchise bookkeeping business providing exceptional, award winning bookkeeping services to small and medium sized businesses.

I have over 20 years of experience in the financial service industry, having operated my bookkeeping practice for the last 13 years. I have a strong understanding of the needs of small and medium size business in the local area.

For Business Wodonga to be a key network/connection provider and to be the hub of offerings for business owners, particularly learning & training opportunities – helping business owners be aware of the great events/training/workshops that are available to them.

I am a keen golfer and am very active in the local community: as a Justice of the Peace (VIC), Sport Albury Wodonga committee member and Treasurer of Victory Lutheran College P&F committee.

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Deborah Culhane

Secretary

I am a sole practitioner lawyer and my firm is Duly Served Legal & Consulting”. My practice areas are commercial and property law, and I have experience supporting hospitality and tourism businesses and helping people change their lives by moving to lifestyle properties. I also support many other types of small businesses in the region and have clients throughout regional Australia.

I love seeing businesses flourish and I bring to the Board expertise in commercial leasing, contracts, marketing law, IT, IP and governance, areas of law that are as important for micro-businesses as for large enterprises. My vision is a “stronger Wodonga” attracting businesses that think strategically to provide a strong, stable, and vibrant commercial hub. I envisage Wodonga businesses offering high-value goods and services, in a rich cultural and creative community with well-appointed recreational and arts facilities.

I really enjoy sailing and once did a Sydney to Hobart. I’m also passionate about music and playing my viola. I love living in this region, with its amazing variety of food, wine, walking tracks and cycle paths.

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Wendy McInnes

Committee Member

I am the owner / manager of ‘enviro drapes and shades’ where ‘we have all windows covered.’ We work closely with clients with made-to-measure window furnishings. We share the goal with clients to create their personal environment in their home to suit their requirements.

 

I provide as a business owner in the retail sector a different view and reflections to Leadership Team discussions and decisions, promoting retail at every opportunity.

My vision is to help create a future direction for Wodonga, to encourage the partnership of all shareholders from every sector of Wodonga and surrounding areas.

I enjoy reading, riding my Harley, grandchildren and sharing life with family and friends.

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John Gibbons

Committee Member

I am the COO at The Personnel Group, a large not for profit employment service based here in Wodonga, but delivering services across most of regional NSW and VIC.

I joined Business Wodonga in 2014 (Wodonga Chamber at the time) because I believe that having a strong business community is at the heart of having a great place to live, work and raise a family. When our community prospers, all our lives improve, from the most affluent to the most disadvantaged in our community.

I love all the best things about this place we live – great food and wine, the outdoors lifestyle, country sport and racing, and our sense of community.

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Terry Kerr

Committee Member

My wife, Helen, and I have a micro-enterprise, Mynyx Pty. Ltd., that we run from our home. We provide several first aid and related courses. We both have a broad range of emergency medicine and nursing experience from our service in the Australian Army. We started Mynyx to address what we believe to be a shortfall in the first responder treatment available in our community. Being from a micro-enterprise I understand the challenges that entails.

I bring not only a representation for the smaller member businesses but also a different perspective to the Board’s deliberations. Positioned in the nexus between Government, state-based peer organisations and local businesses, I believe Business Wodonga has an opportunity to be a catalyst for business growth and evolution in Wodonga. I have a passion for music and spend a lot of time simply listening to music.

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Craig Cleary

Committee Member

I have lived in Wodonga for the past 35 years and been involved in school, sport and business for all that time. The first 10 years of my working life were as a stock and station agent/ auctioneer, then I owned and managed Sportspower in Albury for 19 years. I moved to The Border Mail in 2009 and became the Advertising Manager. For the last 4 years, I have been the General Manager of MP Training & Recruitment. I am passionate about local business and the Wodonga community and would love to keep as much money in our town as possible. I think Business Wodonga can help with this and connect people to build relationships and make it possible. A couple of fun facts are that I played football for Wodonga in the 80’s and 90’s and in the late 2000’s I completed 4 Murray River paddling marathons.

Why are we here?

Our Strategic Purpose.

The purpose of Business Wodonga is to foster a World Class Business Community Our target market is all businesses from Wodonga and across the immediate region who aim to be innovative, to grow, to collaborate for the good of all and who can see a vision for Wodonga and the broader North-East Victoria. These businesses also share Business Wodonga’s Strategic Purpose. Business Wodonga strives to build a #strongerwodonga through the services offered.

Businesses Membership services include:

Be Connected.

Develop sound working relationships

  • Events
    • Business After Hours
    • Coffee Connectors
    • Members meetings
    • Education events
    • Tradie After Hours
    • Key speakers
  • Business Women Albury Wodonga
  • Young Business Edge
  • Mentor programs
  • Member marketing
  • Member to member discounts
  • Weekly newsletter

Be Represented.

Have a voice
Be supported

  • VCCI’s services
  • Senate inquiries
  • Key stakeholders
  • Major issues
  • Promotion of efficient and orderly development of community and commercial facilities
  • Weekly newsletter

Be Well-informed And Resourced.

Information gateway
Strategies for improved business performance

  • See calendar of events and get involved in one of the many opportunities
  • Key speakers events to inspire, inform and educate
  • Leadership training and advice
  • Learn from other members
  • Important links such as Fair Work, Safety, Human Resource Management
  • Workshops, discussion groups, courses, webinars
  • Business Diploma – La Trobe
  • VCCI services
  • Valuable links, tips and tricks, ‘How to’s’ articles on website
  • North-East Small Business Festival

Our Structure.

Business Wodonga is a Not for Profit membership-based organisation governed by a Leadership Team (the Board) made up of business leaders from the Wodonga community.

The Leadership Team provides the strategic direction for an Operations Team to develop and implement. The operations team currently consists of a Business Manager, a Membership Manager, an Administration Officer and an Events Coordinator jointly managed by Business Wodonga and Albury Northside Chamber of Commerce.

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