Business chamber hosted by new Featherdale Wildlife Park funtion centre
You wouldn't ordinarily expect business owners to meet in a wildlife park, but that's exactly what the Greater Blacktown Business Chamber did on Thursday.
It's Business After 5 meeting was hosted by Chamber member Featherdale Wildlife Park at the park's new Drovers Hut function Centre - a venue surrounded by bush and - of course - animals.
Guests got to mingle with the occasional roo, talk to a pelican stroke a wombat and, of course get selfies with Mr Personality, Archer the koala. For those seeking more variety, there are another 1700 walking, crawling and flying residents to choose from.
Chamber President, Trevor Oldfield, got things rolling introducing members of the Wildlife Park executive. They told of Featherdale's development from humble beginnings in 1972 on a seven acre poultry farm site at Doonside to become one of Australia's finest tourist attractions in Greater Western Sydney.
Director of Life Sciences, Chad Staples, who is about to celebrate 21 years at Featherdale, said that Western Sydney was fast becoming an area that was very important to the entire country, not just Sydney.
"We've become more professional and a lot more proud of what we have here and the way we operate," he said.
"Zoos always work together, they always have done. No one can do it all themselves. That's how zoos operate, but not necessarily from the business perspective. That's something we are doing."
His message to businesses was that it's always harder when you try to do everything yourself. Working with the strengths of others, as Featherdale is increasingly doing, brings success to all.
Chad's speech was made all the more inspiring by his offsider, Archer the koala, who clung to his shoulder throughout the speech and most of the night while having selfies with guests.