CREATING A CITY OF ‘YES’ PEOPLE

10 March 2016

REM4LEGAL eagle Melissa Coleman says future city leaders cannot be frightened of change in order for the Gold Coast to move forward as a flourishing city.

The Vice President of YP Gold Coast is encouraging the up-and-coming talent of the Gold Coast to be ‘YES’ people, saying the city needs strong leaders that are forward-thinking to tackle the Gold Coast’s unprecedented population growth.  

“There are too many voices opposed to the city’s progression, yet they are the same people who complain about the lack of employment opportunities, traffic congestion and property availability,” says Coleman.

“Our city leaders, while taking into consideration the voices of the minority, cannot be frightened of change.”

Coleman graduated from Bond University with Honours and made Senior Associate at Rose Litigation Lawyers at the ripe age of 26 where she has been involved in multi-million-dollar Supreme Court litigation cases.

The young lawyer is well on track to achieving her vision of becoming partner of Rose Litigation Lawyers before 30, and talks to YP Gold Coast about her vision for the city, explaining why the coastal city is the best place to live, work and play.

What makes the Gold Coast a great place to live and work?

The Gold Coast is a growing city. As young professionals we have the unique opportunity to shape our city into the environment we want to live and work in. We know we have a great work-life balance, but what we also have is the ability to create a city that is cultural, progressive and innovative. No other city in Australia can offer its younger generation that opportunity.

As a YP Gold Coast committee member, why are you so passionate about educating future generations of city leaders about the Gold Coast’s potential?

Being in the professional services industry, I can see first-hand the difficulties of recruiting and retaining quality employees. There has always been a connotation that to succeed in the legal industry, you need to work in London, Sydney or Melbourne and that there is no career longevity on the Coast. We have exceptionally good quality work on the Coast, not just in professional services, and it is so important that we encourage our best talent to see a future for themselves here.

What do you believe are some of the challenges the city is facing, and what can the Gold Coast do to overcome these?

The Gold Coast has become a victim of its own success. We have unprecedented population growth and our city’s infrastructure cannot sustain it. There are too many voices opposed to the city’s progression, yet they are the same people who complain about the lack of employment opportunities, traffic congestion and property availability. Our city leaders, while taking into consideration the voices of the minority, cannot be frightened of change. All residents must focus on the future of our city and the needs of the population and this needs to happen now.

What needs to be done to create more jobs on the Gold Coast, and grow the city’s corporate culture?

We need to become a city of ‘yes’ people. We should be saying yes to cultural precincts. We should be saying yes to initiatives that promote entrepreneurship and we absolutely must say yes to projects that improve our day to day lives and liveability of our city.

What is the city missing? 

The Gold Coast is incredibly disjointed. The geographical nature of the city naturally divides between the northern, central and southern areas and with that, come competing interests for the city. There is a real opportunity for a collective Gold Coast voice which promotes the city in its entirety. YP Gold Coast is focussed on bringing together the young professionals of the city as a whole, but our current city leaders and other established community forums must take a collective approach for the betterment of the city.