Stadiums Queensland CEO and CQUniversity alumnus Todd Harris credits the team around him for the successes he has achieved in his career.
The humble Mr Harris was recently awarded a Public Service Medal for outstanding public service in Queensland's sporting and major events' particularly through the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I was somewhat surprised to initially receive advice of my nomination for the award'" Mr Harris explained.
"It wasn't until I stopped and thought about the last few years of intensity within our business' and the incredible efforts every single staff member made and continues to make that I appreciated what we had all achieved.
"While the recognition was afforded to me personally' I look at it as a reflection of the fantastic team of individuals that work for Stadiums Queensland. I'm one small cog in a much larger wheel and nothing could be achieved to the high standards we've all collectively achieved without true teamwork' everyone focused on delivering outcomes under the strictest of timeframes and in a high-pressure environment."
Mr Harris completed a CQU Graduate Certificate in Management in 2004 which he says helped broaden and lift his focus from operational to strategic thinking.
"It was my first postgraduate area of study and it really helped to shift my focus'" he said.
"The certification was a stepping stone to a higher-level postgraduate qualification' as well as providing practical knowledge to support and reinforce my mid-level management and operational responsibilities at that time."
After graduating from CQU' Mr Harris went on to complete an MBA with specialisation in Sports Management - which helped land his current role as CEO.
"These tertiary qualifications' coupled with practical experience in major event planning ultimately led me to Stadiums Queensland where I've had a number of varied roles including Venue Management' General Manager Operations and for close to six years now' the CEO role'" Mr Harris explained.
"My role is responsible for the strategic oversight' coordination and business operations associated with a portfolio of nine major sports and entertainment venues throughout Queensland including Suncorp Stadium' The Gabba' Queensland Country Bank Stadium' Cbus Super Stadium' Metricon Stadium' Queensland Tennis Centre' Brisbane Entertainment Centre' Sleeman Sports Complex and Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre.
"The business operates 364 days annually with no two days the same and lots of different challenges needing to be tackled (pardon the pun) regularly'" he said.
"Our venues can host any style and scale of events' from junior sports carnivals' music concerts through to blockbuster sell outs including State of Origin.
"In the last two years due to the impacts of COVID interstate' we have been fortunate to host both the AFL Grand Final in 2020 (at the Gabba)' the entire State of Origin series in 2021 (at Queensland Country Bank Stadium' Suncorp Stadium and Cbus Super Stadium) and the NRL Grand Final in 2021 (at Suncorp Stadium) - certainly not something we'd anticipated would come to Queensland easily and once-in-a-lifetime experiences for all of the people involved.
"Now to be preparing for the biggest and most prestigious event in the world' the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2032' is truly a dream come true."
Mr Harris provided some inspiring advice to aspiring managers in any field of work.
"Never stop learning' make sure you listen to those you trust and respect to help inform you and make sound decisions' and back your instincts.
"You can achieve so much of the impossible with an outstanding team of people around you."