History & Past Presidents

The Warringah Chamber of Commerce & Industry Inc. evolved from the former Dee Why Chamber of Commerce & Industry in July 1998, in a move by its grassroots members to infuse the Chamber with new ideas and people and to increase local community involvement.

The Dee Why Chamber was originally formed in 1978 by a group of local businessmen and served the business community well until 1997, when dwindling membership became a major concern for the Executive Committee.

In August 1997, the Dee Why Chamber had a total of 36 business members, 13 of whom were on the executive team. The services provided to members were monthly business breakfasts for networking opportunities and an annual golf day.

When Kurt Newman was elected President in 1997, his first commitment was to meet each member in person to canvass ideas for revitalising the Chamber and to develop a membership profile. The outcome was that the Chamber was seen to be lacking direction. There was a need for more variety in business functions and activities.

The result of the work of the 1997-98 team was:

  • Membership increased to 94
  • Executive team reduced to eight members
  • Executive team became responsible for strategic portfolios and completed accountability statements
  • The "Chamber Chatter" - a bi-monthly newsletter, was launched in February 1998.
  • Bi-monthly Business After Hours functions introduced
  • An inaugural Spring Ball was launched on September 18, 1998
  • A hard copy member's directory was introduced in December, 1998.

The chamber has continued to build on this work. The membership now includes a wide variety of business types. From homebased businesses to large corporations based throughout the Warringah, Manly and Pittwater areas.

The chamber continues to provide opportunites for members to connect with government, community groups and other business.

Some of these have been:

  • Business Forums
  • Charity Golf Days
  • Christmas Lights Competition
  • Politicians for Small Business Day
  • Training Programs
  • Northern Beaches Jobs Fair
  • Meet the 3 People you never want to see in your Business-ATO, WorkCover & Industrial Relations

Past Presidents

Debra Fraser July 2015 – September 2016
Wendy Finianos October 2012 – July 2015
Girgis Sirgyous 2012 (February - September)
Linda White 2009 – 2012
Stephen Robertson 2007 – 2009
Debra Fraser 2005 – 2007
Simon Brushfield 2003 – 2005
Sue Heins 2001 – 2003
Ron Palmer 2000 – 2001
Kurt Newman (Inaugural President) 1997 – 2000