About Geelong Manufacturing Council



Geelong Manufacturing Council represents manufacturers, large and small, who collectively employ more than 9,000 people locally and 35,000 people nationally.  Join us and be part of a vibrant and growing community.

Besides our innovative and competitive manufacturers, GMC members also comprise supporters of the sector such as Deakin University, The Gordon TAFE, Gforce and the City of Greater Geelong, as well as many service providers who are vital contributors to the sector.

We offer connection, knowledge sharing among peers, tailored training, and advocacy. Our programs grow skills and capabilities, stimulate innovation, product and market diversification and enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We advocate on behalf of members to create a positive manufacturing environment, to support the pursuit of excellence across manufacturing and to attract talent and investment.

Our vision

A vibrant Geelong manufacturing sector now and into the future.


Our history

The foundations of the Geelong Manufacturing Council date back 148 years to the Manufacturers and Exhibitors Association.

In 1985, the Australian Chamber of Manufacturers (ACM) was formed and a Geelong division created. When the ACM merged with the Metal Trades Industry Association Australia (MTIA) in 1998, under what became the Ai Group, a group in Geelong decided to form the Geelong Manufacturing Council.

Brian Backwell had chaired the Manufacturing Industry Taskforce earlier in 1997, and Mike O’Brien was secretary.

Chairs of the GMC over the past 25 years have been founding chair, Brian Backwell, followed by David Sinclair, Bruce Jesson, Patrick McCaffrey, David Sykes, Jamie Baensch and Lyn George OAM. In July 2023, Thys Heyns became GMC Chair.


A study of Geelong and the region’s manufacturing

Geelong’s Manufacturing Renaissance


Annual reports

Please refer to the link below for the our most recent Annual Reports:

2023 Annual Report

2022 Annual Report

2021 Annual Report

2020 Annual Report

2019 Annual Report

2018 Annual Report

2017 Annual Report

Contact the Geelong Manufacturing Council for more information, or if you would like to join the Council as a new member.


Our aim is to deliver significant skill outcomes to accelerate Geelong towards advanced manufacturing.


Problem / opportunity

  • How do I leadership my skills to create better outcomes?
  • How do I develop my team to deliver better outcomes?

Solution / resource

Leadership development at all levels of your organisation via:

  • CEO Connect
  • Leadership for Manufacturing Excellence
  • Women in Manufacturing Network Mentoring Program


Problem / opportunity

  • How do I increase my productivity?
  • Who is doing well in this area?

Solution / resource

  • CEO Connect
  • Leadership for Manufacturing Excellence
  • Specialist workshops and seminars


Problem / opportunity

  • What do I do?
  • Who can help me?
  • Where do I go?

Solution / resource

  • GMC Innovation Programs
  • RICP
  • Specialist workshops and seminars


Problem / opportunity

  • How do I find out relevant, timely and industry focused information?

Solution / resource

  • CEO Connect
  • GMC member meetings, updates and briefings
  • ENG Membership and major projects briefings

Business opportunities

Problem / opportunity

  • How do I identify opportunities?
  • Who can help?
  • Where do I get information?

Solution / resource

  • ENG business connections and tender dissemination
  • Diversification and Innovation Program
  • GMC Meetings and member networking


Problem / opportunity

  • What is diversity?
  • What are others doing?
  • Who can help?
  • What’s in it for my business?

Solution / resource

  • Women in Manufacturing Network
  • Geelong Future Leaders of Industry & Girls Leading Advanced Manufacturing
  • Seminars, workshops and event

Advocacy needs

Problem / opportunity

  • How do I get help with an issue?
  • Who can help me?
  • How can I access decision makers?

Solution / resource

  • GMC Membership
  • ENG Membership
  • Stakeholder community representation

Grants & funding

Problem / opportunity

  • What grants are available?
  • How can I successfully utilise grants for my business?
  • Which grants best suit me?

Solution / resource

  • GMC Programs
  • Team knowledgebase
  • Connection to funding bodies