On The Land

19 May, 2023

Event to ‘grow’ connections between farmers and businesses

AS part of Queensland Small Business Month, the Malanda Chamber of Commerce is holding a not to be missed networking event to engage the farming community with the business community.

By Brigitte Daley

Guest speaker Department of Agriculture and Fisheries dairy development officer Joanna Srhoj
Guest speaker Department of Agriculture and Fisheries dairy development officer Joanna Srhoj

Malanda Chamber of Commerce member John de Rooy said the township was thriving after recent improvements such as the English Street upgrade, the pump track and adventure playground in Jack May Park and new cafes and businesses starting up.

“Our Chamber of Commerce now has 80 members and is growing,” he said.

“We feel a renewed relationship with our farmers as they are one of the pillars of our economy in the next stage of our progression towards a successful and resilient community.

“Our Q&A session at this event will discover how farmers and town businesses are able to build a more rewarding relationship.”

The chamber recently held a joint meeting with the Atherton and Ravenshoe Chambers of Commerce looking for ways to support each other and each other’s events.

They are advertising this event widely on the Tablelands and through the other chambers to ensure that they get a large and broad Tablelands attendance at the GROW event.

They want chamber members and members of the local farming community to share ideas on how to best support all regional business activity and improve the local economy.

There will be two guest speakers fol-lowed by a panel discussion with Q&A sessions to bounce around some ideas on what farmers need in terms of additional local businesses that the chamber could try and attract to Malanda, as well as what other things the chamber could be doing to better engage with and service the needs of local farming businesses.

Highly anticipated guest speakers include Department of Agriculture and Fisheries dairy development officer Joanna Srhoj who will speak on “Building Resilient Dairy Businesses in Far North Queensland”.

Jo is based in North Queensland where she is facilitating a dairy discussion group, working to increase pasture intake and supporting North Queensland extension efforts.

The second guest speaker is Lynette McGuffie from the Rural Financial Counselling Service Atherton.

Lynette will do a 10-minute presentation on the services and support available from the counselling service.

She has extensive experience assisting producers understand their business and identify options and strategies to improve their financial performance. Her passion is helping agricultural businesses and families achieve their financial and per-sonal goals and providing advocacy and support for clients experiencing financial difficulty.

MC and entertainment speaker for the night is Georgina Humphries who is known as the “Thriller from Millaa Millaa”. She has just returned from performing 10 shows last month at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Having grown up on a dairy farm herself, Georgina knows how demanding it can be.

She is flying up from Brisbane to MC the event and to perform a stand-up comedy set at the end of the evening.

“There's something so special about farming communities, they are filled with such hard working, genuine people - it will be great to see them benefit from an event like this - especially being the first of its kind on the Tablelands," she said.

“I am so grateful to have been asked to be part of an event that really hits close to home for me. Enhancing the relationship that farmers have with businesses in this area it’s a win-win for everyone.

“I know first-hand how hard our local farmers work, so hard that it becomes difficult for them to get away to have a break.

“Grow Malanda is the perfect chance. It's going to be such a great mix of new ideas, business resources, guest speakers - and a little bit of light entertainment with my rural humour to gel it all together. I can't wait."

Book your ticket for the Malanda GROW event on 19 May from 6.30pm-10pm at the Top Rail Restaurant by going to

Tickets are $30 (plus a booking fee) and include a two-course meal. For more information email:


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