The City Leaders Forum is a joint initiative between Griffith University and YP Gold Coast showcasing the people in our city, who are driving innovation and change within the business community.

Q&A with Billy and Jackie Cross

What do you love about the Gold Coast?
What isn’t there to love about the Gold Coast! It’s one of the most spectacular places in the world to live. Its young and energetic, it’s beautiful and powerful. We have community world-class events, fantastic development, great leadership - the Gold Coast of 2017 really is offering something for everyone.

Do you think the Gold Coast has potential to become a global city? If so, what is holding us back right now?
Well we are already a young global city, and with the Comm Games literally around the corner – there is no reason why we can’t use this opportunity as a catalytic springboard onto the world stage. It’s really what we do AFTER the games that is important to us as locals. This is an exciting time to live on the GC.

In your travels, what have you seen done in other cities that you believe could work well on the Gold Coast?
We are big fans of showcasing our assets. We would like to see some controlled beach commercialization. The beach dining model adopted in Europe is spectacular – and it would be massively appealing if we could emulate a similar concept. We need to cater to the changing face of the Gold Coast. If we want to be taken seriously, then we need to up our game. It’s not good enough to rest on what got us to this point – it’s time to evolve!

What is your grand vision for the Gold Coast? What do you want it to look like in 20 years?
We hope that the momentum from the last 10 years will continue. It’s important that our young people stay on the Gold Coast. We are a young community, and we need to engage & empower the youth.

What is the biggest challenge facing the Gold Coast? And do you have a solution?
We have an identity crisis – we’re not considered a serious player. We need to protect and support our city’s image.

What advice would you give today’s young professionals and future leaders of the city?
Be invested! And remember that ‘No’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘Never’. Be prepared to dig deep – because that’s where the real results are.

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