As a Griffith University student, I am in a unique position to meet and be able to write about the next generation of professionals and leaders. My friends are I are out there working and studying hard to get ourselves ready for the next stage of our lives and careers. Together we are a diverse bunch, but also have so much in common. We are hardworking, motivated, ambitious, and civically engaged in our local community.

We recognise how lucky we are to live in a city known for its world-class events, infrastructure, high-ranking universities, leading healthcare, research and training, vibrant nightlife, and Hollywood cinematic productions. However, it is time to spark the next wave of maturity and evolution in our city’s growth story, particularly to entice us young professionals to stay on the coast.

To keep talented graduates on the Gold Coast we need more than just quality education. We need a city that provides global connections, employability and leading digital infrastructure.

Is this actually possible? Yes, but we need a multi-generational voice for positive change to create a city with a competitive edge.

The YP Gold Coast City Leader’s Forum is an opportunity for professionals to congregate and stimulate high-quality public debate and promote action to issues such as talent retention and job growth. As emerging professionals, our goal is to finda full-time job, access efficient transport, embrace arts and culture, be surrounded by world-class infrastructure, and enjoy the quintessential Gold Coast lifestyle.

The latest YP Great Ideas for the Gold Coast advocacy report has a distinctive vision for our city’s future – to create the “The World’s Best Subtropical City”. The idea of long-term job growth and a laidback lifestyle, unlike metropolitan city centres, is a great bargaining tool; I am sure many of my fellow university pals would agree this would be an attractive proposition from an employer.

One person cannot build a highly skilled city. As future leaders we have a responsibility to join forces to ensure we have a bright future. We need to make sure, collectively, we have an opportunity to thrive after university, and build a better life for our family and the next generation.

So, let’s not just sit back and wait, let’s take action now. Start the journey for a better tomorrow with YP at the Gold Coast City Leader’s Forum on 27 September.

Written by: Rosemary Ball, Student, Griffith University.