Southport Chamber Boss Announces Departure


For Immediate Release

After five years of dedicated service on the Board of Management and two years as the President of the Southport Chamber of Commerce, Ariana Margetts has announced that she will not be contesting the position at the upcoming Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for Tuesday, December 12, 2023.

Ariana Margetts, who made history in 2021 as the first female and youngest president in the Chamber's 109-year history, expressed her gratitude and reflected on her time with the organisation.

"I was appointed to the Board of the Southport Chamber of Commerce in 2018. I was 25 years old at the time, and the Board took a chance on me. I took over the role of President in 2021 and over the past few years, I have seen a huge resurgence of the organisation.”

During this time, the Chamber underwent significant transformations, including a widespread digital overhaul, updating its century-old constitution, rebranding, enhancing online presence, and closing its Short Street office. This period of change resulted in a substantial increase in membership, growing from 53 members at the start of the 2020 financial year to a current count of 400 members.

"This is a testament to our talented and dedicated Board Members, past and present, whose commitment to Southport has never wavered," Ariana remarked.

Ariana will remain on the 2024 Board of Management as the immediate past President. Her decision to step down is attributed to the increasing demands of her role as Chief Operating Officer at CoSpaces, where new projects have escalated in priority.

"I will always love Southport, but it's time for me to hand over the baton to another local leader who can work alongside all levels of government to lobby for Southport's best interests," Ariana explained.

While speculation about a future political candidacy runs rampant, Ariana has ruled out running for both local and state elections in 2024, emphasising the importance of timing in politics. She remains focused on contributing to the Gold Coast community in a city-wide capacity, particularly supporting innovation and emerging technology sectors to create more knowledge jobs for the city.

Earlier this month, Ariana was appointed to the Queensland Premier's Gold Coast Community Forum until June 2025. This role provides a unique opportunity to influence Queensland Government policy and engage directly with key decision-makers.

"It's a unique opportunity to champion local priorities and opportunities that will strengthen our economy, particularly representing SMEs, startups, innovation, and emerging sectors," Ariana stated.

In her final words as President, Ariana expressed gratitude to Board members, past and present, and all Chamber business members, saying, "Thank you. It has been a joy."

For over 110 years, the Southport Chamber of Commerce has believed in the potential of Southport as a strong central business district. Ariana highlighted the tremendous growth and investment in the area during her tenure, including the $60 million commitment from the Queensland Government for the Southport Spit Master Plan and significant private sector investments in the Lumina Commercial Precinct.

Ariana Margetts will continue her advocacy for Southport's interests and contribute to the Gold Coast community in her evolving capacity.



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