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CQUni Brisbane in the spotlight as city eyes global changemaker role

Published:13 August 2019

The Changemaker Panel and Networking event at CQUni Brisbane inspired a big crowd as part of the 2019 Festival of Change.

CQUni Brisbane has cemented its reputation as a social innovation destination, as the city looks to host changemakers from around the world.

Big crowds attended the campus Changemaker Panel and Networking event on Wednesday 7 August, as part of CQUni’s national Festival of Change initiative.

The event discussed what it meant to be a changemaker in Australia, and featured Tom Allen of social enterprise podcast Impact Boom, CQUni alumnus Jade Collins of Femeconomy, and Reenku Thakkar of Australia’s first charity The Benevolent Society, with CQUni Social Innovation Director Lara Carton moderating the lively discussion.

During the session, Mr Allen shared an update on the Brisbane bid to bring the Social Enterprise World Forum to Queensland in 2021.

The bid is supported by CQUni partners the Queensland Social Enterprise Council, along with the English Family Foundation, Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council.

Event coordinator and CQUni program manager Steve Williams said participants were excited about growing connections to international social enterprise, and inspired by the speakers.

“The crowd was really energised – one attendee told me he came away from the panel seeing the world in a whole new light,” Mr Williams said.

With food and drinks procured from social enterprises Good Will Wines, Good Beer Co. and Hope St Café, the session was also an immersion into the diversity of social impact.

“We’re determined to make CQUni’s approach to social innovation as holistic as possible, so the range of voices heard, and organisations involved, was really important,” Mr Williams said.

Ms Collins described the potential of female buying power to reward equality and ethical practice in business, and how her Femeconomy approval model is driving an industry-wide rethink in opportunities for women leaders. Ms Collins is CQUni's 2019 Alumnus of the Year - Social Impact.

And child development specialist Reenku Thakkar explained how The Benevolent Society’s work with families to build better relationships could build a better community, too. Ms Thakkar is studying CQUniversity's Graduate Certificate in Social Innovation, and highlighted the role that traditional charities must play in driving social change.

The Brisbane gathering was one of nearly 30 events across 10 locations for CQUni’s Festival of Change, held for the second year across 6-9 August.

Attended by hundreds of students, staff and community members, the Festival of Change supports CQUniversity’s role as Australia’s only Ashoka U Changemaker Campus.

Ashoka U is an exclusive international network of universities committed to social innovation and impact, dedicated to inspiring and developing the next generation of global changemakers.