President's Column | April 10, 2019

In today’s world there seems little option but to adopt the use of social media.  Volunteer non-profits such as Dungog District Chamber of Commerce (DDCC) benefit greatly from the opportunity to be able to promote our members and our events together with business and community news and events from the Dungog Shire and further afield.

While social media platforms allow for organisations to efficiently engage with their target audience, they also allow users to easily become the targets of reputational attacks, such as unfounded complaints or smear campaigns. Trolls or cyber bullies sometimes labour under the misapprehension that they can say and do what they want online. Examples of trolling include posting repeated comments on message boards or news articles, attacking someone’s character and/or invading their privacy or comments designed to provoke argument. Trolls or cyber bullies sometimes labour under the misapprehension that they can say and do what they want online.

Recently the DDCC decided to ban a number of people from posting comment on the DDCC Facebook page.  This followed a number of negative, unnecessary and irrelevant comments which fell well below what we believe to be an acceptable community standard. Whilst we do support free speech we do not support trolls and cyber bullies and  will not support use of our social media page as a platform for their own agenda.

Together with many others, DDCC is a volunteer group of local business people who are passionate about supporting and maintaining local business within our beautiful Shire. If you are uncertain of the work we do or perhaps you feel you would like to make a contribution to work we do, feel free to contact me or a member of our committee, details of which can be found on our website .We also welcome enthusiastic, thought-provoking individuals to join our committee and of course new members are always welcome for an annual fee of $100.00.

Nominations are rolling in for this year’s Business Awards. To nominate head to our website or pick up a nomination form in many businesses throughout the Shire. This year our 12 categories open for nomination recognize businesses, organizations and individuals who have provided outstanding service throughout the year. The categories also include the popular Hall of Fame award which recognizes people who have made a significant contribution to business over a number of years. Nominations close on 17 April, 2019 with our presentation evening on 18 May at the Clarence Town School of Arts Hall. The award are open to all businesses and organizations in the Dungog Shire.