Welcome address by newly elected VCCC President

Dear Members,

On the 12th December 2016 the Victorian Croatian Chamber of Commerce (VCCC) had its Annual General Meeting (AGM) where elections were held for the purpose of electing a new executive leadership team (ELT) & committee.

As part of the VCCC constitution the existing ELT had served its two (2) year tenure and could not be re- elected. I would like to thank Marko Filipovic the outgoing President, Ivan Glavas the outgoing Vice President, Nathan Brunt the outgoing Secretary, and Luke Eres the outgoing Treasurer for their commitment and dedication to the VCCC, not forgetting to mention all the other committee members, members and sponsors that have contributed so much to this organisation.

The result of the AGM election saw the appointment of Vinko Sikic as the new President, Slavko Peraic as the new joint Vice President, Monika Popovic as the new joint Vice President, Steven Milicevic as the new Secretary, and Robert Luburic as the new Treasurer.

I am personally humbled and honoured by the confidence that my VCCC colleagues have vested in me and the responsibility that comes with this appointment. The privilege of being elected to this position is not something that I actively sought but it is hard to decline when your peers believe that you can take the VCCC to the next phase of its evolution. The outgoing leadership team have set the foundation that we collectively will need to build upon for the future advancement of the VCCC and its members.

Looking forward as an organisation our objective will be to continue to attract new members and expand our local membership base. The key to this organisation is to build our local network, to show relevance as to why people of Croatian and non-Croatian decent should network and do more business together.

Opportunities come from the most unsuspecting of conversations, introductions and meetings. My personal experience has been nothing short of unbelievable. Prior to joining the VCCC I had not met any of the individuals that form the backbone of the committee today. I have been amazed at the capability, the quality, and the integrity of the people that volunteer and contribute to the VCCC. This is not all about business either, I have also made some good friends as a result of my association with the VCCC and I truly enjoy the interaction of being part of this organisation.

The VCCC has been around for a good couple of years now and we’re finding that as community awareness increases more and more people and business’ are reaching out to us, both locally and internationally. We are constantly receiving enquiries from Croatian business internationally looking to set up a presence in Australia, NZ and South East Asia. We’ve also seen Croatian Australian and Australian business’ looking to set up in Croatia. When engaged we bring these opportunities to our network to first canvas the appetite locally to form a business relationship with enquiring parties. With that being said I expect these opportunities to continue to come to the VCCC as this is a logical aggregation point in Australia for expanding businesses.

In closing, I look forward to working in the capacity of new elected President of the VCCC along with the newly elected ELT and committee members to take the VCCC to bigger and brighter future.

P.S. If you’ve thought about being a member and haven’t done anything about it, please join us and support us where you can.

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Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year in 2017.

Yours Sincerely,

Vinko Šikić

President, Victorian Croatian Chamber of Commerce

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