President’s Column

President’s Column

If you have been looking for ways to engage with the Dungog Shire community there has certainly been no shortage of opportunities over the last couple of weeks.

Together with an enthusiastic crowd, I attended the Dungog Arts Foundation public meeting at the James Theatre to learn more about the current plans for next year’s Dungog Festival which will be held on the long weekend in October – Saturday, 29 September to Monday, 1 October 2018. More information regarding the Festival will be released soon on the website the proposed Core Program, which will include a Long Table Dinner on the Saturday night, and a Street Parade and Street Party on the Sunday.  There will be opportunities to support these events or to propose a business or community project to enhance the Core Program.

Festivals reinvigorate the community and stimulate economic development, as well as provide an opportunity to celebrate our community and identity while drawing on local expertise and volunteers, so I urge you to get involved. For more information email

Last week we had a very successful series of consultations as part of the Future Towns Program.  Dungog Shire Council has received funding for improving the town centre in Dungog and our project focuses on ‘place activation’.  This will enable a place-making strategy for the town centre to be developed (which includes a priority action list) and deliver initiatives to make the town centre and key spaces more active and vibrant.

Our consultants JOC have provided a plan of what is going to happen over the next few weeks which will include an online on-line survey, the distribution of a report of the engagement undertaken and ideas generated to date, and the preparation of a Demonstration Project Design Concept for the Dungog Shire Visitor Information Centre. The strategy report will be finalised JOC by the end of November.

Plans are also well underway for our “Christmas activation project”.  This includes our Christmas Street Party on Wednesday afternoon, 6 December in Dowling Street, which will feature extended trading hours by many of our local businesses, a street parade, markets from our local traders and community organisations, and entertainment including singers, face painting, and a jumping castle. Entries are now also open for our Christmas Business Decoration competition and our handmade Christmas Decoration competition. For details go to There are many ways to get involved, so if you want further information email me at

Don’t forget our last dinner network meeting of 2017 will take place at the Tinshed Brewery on Thursday, 16 November. For bookings email

Finally, I would like to thank Ivan Skaines, Economic Development, Tourism and Events, Dungog Shire Council for his continued contribution to this column.

Kind Regards,

Jennifer Lewis

President – Dungog District Chamber of Commerce