Determined business' industry and community leaders in Gladstone who are driving manufacturing and tourism opportunities for the region have wrapped up 2021 with a Gladstone Connects Next Steps event held at the CQUniversity Gladstone Marina campus.
The event showcased the last 12 months' achievements and provided members with an opportunity to discuss the next steps to keep the region moving forward in 2022.
Led by CQUniversity academic Dr Linda Pfeiffer' with support from local government' and corporate and entrepreneur partners' Gladstone Connects is part of the larger Queensland Connects program which aims at accelerating innovation and unlocking key opportunities that will help connect and grow each region.
Each regional team has identified a 'must win battle' to concur. Gladstone Connects has committed to supporting diversification of the regional economy to shorten the supply chain and activate local manufacturing to transform the region into one where businesses can thrive and grow.
With more than 40 community representatives in attendance' Dr Pfeiffer said participants heard from initiative coordinators about the achievements to date and the next phase of Gladstone Connects' as well as local inspiring leaders to continue to motivate them to drive change in the region.
"Yasmin Grigaliunas' who is the CEO and Co-founder of the World's Biggest Garage Sale' provided a motivation talk about her experiences and bringing love into the workplace' and the importance of looking after your workers and your people'" Dr Pfeiffer commented.
"The Director of Queensland Aerial and Gladstone Engineering Alliance (GEA) 2021 Industry Innovation Awardee' Darren Jeacoke' provided some practical and technical examples of how his use of drones has been solving problems for industry on a large scale and the potential future uses of his expertise.
"They are both truly inspirational individuals who are making big differences."
Guest speakers also included Hon. Glenn Butcher MP Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Rowena Barrett' Pro Vice-Chancellor Entrepreneurship Queensland University of Technology.
Since its inception in 2020' Gladstone Connects has held three workshops with community representatives' covering human issues' Indigenous tourism' local priorities and industrial tourism.
"The workshops and events held over the past 12 months have enhanced and strengthened existing partnerships and formed new partnerships within the Gladstone community." Dr Linda Pfeiffer said.
Luke Sinclair Associate Vice President Gladstone and Wide Bay Regions said' "The intent and activities of Gladstone Connects will continue on under the guise of the Economic Development Practitioners Network' which is driven by the Gladstone Regional Council".
"In 2022' initiative coordinators have committed to continuing the 'Boots on the Ground' workshops and programs to advance manufacturing and shorten the supply chain."
Gladstone Connects is proudly supported by the Advance Queensland and the international MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program.