2018 City Leaders Forum Luncheon

YP Gold Coast invites you to the fourth annual City Leaders Forum on Friday 16 November for our not-to-be-missed event of the year. 


The City Leaders Forum was created by YP Gold Coast to showcase the people in our city who are driving innovation and change within the business community. This year, we are introducing a new format for the event which will see urban futurist and former Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Stephen Yarwood, deliver a keynote address on Embracing Change for a Prosperous Gold Coast.

Stephen’s keynote address will be followed by an interactive panel discussion that discusses how we evolve the Gold Coast’s brand to reflect the dynamic nature of the city, including the following key topics:

  • Every city needs a clear view on what it is today and more importantly, what is it to become. We need clarity of communication and evocative ideas about the future state of the Gold Coast.
  • How can we unify the vision and brand of the Gold Coast to position the city for future success?
  • How can government and industry collaborate on city vision and branding to ensure we all share a common view on the strengths and priorities for the city.

Panel Speakers:

  • Stephen Yarwood, urban futurist and former Lord Mayor of Adelaide.
  • Rachel Hancock, incoming editor of the Gold Coast Bulletin
  • Professor Martin Betts, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Engagement) at Griffith University
  • Ken Petty, Managing Partner at Minter Ellison Gold Coast

The panel discussion will be hosted by the President of YP Gold Coast, Flynn McFarlane.

Event Details

Date: Friday 16 November 2018

Time: 12:15pm for 12:30pm start

Location: The Star Gold Coast Pavilion Marquee

Cost: Limited release of early bird tickets available for $139 per person or $1,250 for a table of 10 | Price increases to $149 per person from 1 November

Parking: Venue parking is available and the G:Link stops outside The Star

RSVP: Early bird release on sale until 31 October | Final ticket release closes 9 November


Guests will enjoy a two-course lunch and beverage package, as well as networking with fellow forward-thinking professionals.

Previous City Leaders Forum panellists include Sunland Chairman Soheil Abedian, entertainment entrepreneurs Billy and Jackie Cross, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate, Mantra Group CEO Bob East, Gold Coast Airport COO Marion Charlton, and Griffith University Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor. 

Join us for an inspiring afternoon of lively discussion, valuable networking and exceptional hospitality.


Stephen Yarwood

Elected Lord Mayor of Adelaide at 39 years old, Stephen became the youngest Lord Mayor of any Australian capital city in 2010. He oversaw city-shaping projects including implementation of a city-wide Wi-Fi network, Adelaide’s first sister city agreement in 30 years with Qingdao, China, a carbon neutral action plan, and an integrated transport vision that included significant walking and cycling infrastructure.

Now, Stephen consults to cities, states and nations on transformative strategic planning and urban development. He has lectured at several universities in Australia and Asia and has spoken at numerous conferences around the world about innovation in cities.

Rachel Hancock

Rachel Hancock is the newly-appointed editor of the Gold Coast Bulletin, moving her family to the Coast from Brisbane where she was deputy editor of The Courier-Mail and Sunday Mail.

She was also the first female editor of one of the country's most quirky and successful tabloids, the NT News, where she quickly learnt crocs were readership gold, but they had to share the spotlight with award-winning investigative journalism.

Professor Martin Betts, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Engagement) at Griffith University

Professor Martin Betts oversees a diverse and growing engagement agenda at Griffith University spanning student, staff, alumni, donor and industry stakeholders.

In September 2016 the new Be Remarkable positioning campaign for the University was unveiled, signalling a fresh approach to student recruitment and stakeholder engagement. Professor Betts led the creation of interactive Red Zones at the Nathan and Gold Coast campuses which have attracted more than 60,000 visitors.

Ken Petty, Managing Partner at Minter Ellison Gold Coast

Ken Petty is a lawyer and the Managing Partner of MinterEllison Gold Coast, one of the Gold Coast’s largest advisory firms. Ken has over 20 years' experience in solving problems and growing organisations in the corporate and not-for profit sectors.

Ken is passionate about the success of the Gold Coast and been involved in some the city’s biggest projects including the establishment of the Gold Coast Suns, the expansion of the Gold Coast Airport, Metricon Stadium, the development of the Gold Coast Cultural Precinct and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.