President’s Message



As we usher in our new Committee and Office Bearers,  I would like to thank Denice O’Neill-Schlank who proved herself flexible in her response to our COVID year. It was Denice who coined our intimate dinners which saw our members getting out and meeting at our region’s restaurants when restrictions lifted last year. Members enjoyed coming together, providing support to one another and to support our region’s hospitality sector.

The club could have been thought to be on auto-pilot but Denice was steadily steering the Club forward despite the uncertain times. We have been fortunate to have been able to reconvene at our dinner meetings for most of this year. In February, we formally welcomed Denice as President,  and members have enjoyed the opportunity to reunite at these forums and hear from speakers from sport, transport tourism, industry and the community sector.

I am delighted that Scott Warren joins me as Vice President. Scott has been a rock for me for many years in business and I am honoured that this support is now recognised in a formal capacity at the Geelong Business Club. This is the essence of why we congregate, we are members supporting fellow members, in business and in life. The delta variant of COVID and limited vaccination rates means we will plunge into snap lockdowns and emerge out with regularity. I would encourage all members to consider your fellow members at this challenging time. Be authentic and supportive and we will come through this.

I am forever grateful to the esteemed Scott Anderson and I am confident that the club is in very safe hands with Scott as Treasurer.

Emma Jarman has been an incredible addition as Executive Officer this year. Her work ethic is to be admired and her commitment to the role and the Club will only see us being a stronger club through her contribution. We look forward to seeing some much overdue process improvements to managing the membership and events in the coming months.

I am thrilled to be surrounded by committee members who are equally passionate about and committed to the Geelong Business Club: Simon Jarman, Amy Fisher, Renee Jovic, Geoff Hutchinson and Sharon Hill.
This year we will be celebrating our 60th year and we will continue to welcome voices from our past featuring previous past presidents and we look forward to a Gala dinner to celebrate this momentous feat for the Club.

Our speakers will continue to inform us on a national and local scale,  and we will round out our year at our Christmas Dinner where we welcome our members to bring partners, peers, team members, family and friends to enjoy a special dinner in December.

The Pandemic has meant we needed to address some changes to the club rules which are currently being revised. Once approved by the Committee, we will congregate to put such constitutional changes forward to our membership.

While we cannot be certain if our dinners will land in or outside of lockdowns, the Club will continue to provide value to our members – whether through on-line forums, intimate dinners or our standard dinner format.

In closing, my focus as President is to ensure you our members remain engaged with the club and with each other in the coming year. As we return to GMBHA stadium for dinners I encourage you to invite your business colleagues. We truly have a unique offering, and I am sure many business professionals would enjoy and derive value in membership of the Geelong Business Club.

Thankyou and onwards as we continue in our 60th year of the prestigious Geelong Business Club.

Warmest Regards,


Maree Herath