View All YP News City Leaders Forum

20 August 2019

Future in Focus for New YP Gold Coast Leaders

A new committee is at the helm of leading advocacy group YP Gold Coast.                        

The group, which aims to grow the city’s corporate culture by connecting driven professionals, will be responsible for delivering a calendar of YP events and advocating for the interests of its thousands-strong membership base.

Former YP Secretary and MinterEllison Lawyer Mary Grant has assumed the role of President, following the departure of long-serving committee member Flynn McFarlane.

James Gough, from Queensland Airports Limited, and strategic advisor Martin Garred from Urbis have stepped up to the role of Co-Vice President, previously occupied by Jessica Thomas.

Matthew Dodds, of PKF, replaces Kiel Sinclair as the organisation’s Treasurer and Ania Salehirad of IP Partnership has stepped into the role of Secretary.

Giulia Badalotti (Puzzle PR) and Carla Tooma (Hot Tomato and myGC) have been reappointed to the committee and are joined by Jacqueline Bojanowski (Ruby Communications) who replaces Georgia Linton.

Morgan Summers-Smith (Study Queensland) and James Fulton-Kennedy (Morgans) round out the group of 10.  

YP Gold Coast President Mary Grant said she was proud to lead a team of driven Gold Coast professionals who are passionate about the city’s growth, and is excited to see the fresh perspectives the committee will bring.

“Everyone on the committee is here because they have an interest in the future success of the city,” she said.

“We are fortunate to have a strong and engaged membership base of local professionals and business owners who attend our regularly sold-out events.

“We will continue to deliver high-quality events as a forum to connect driven professionals.

“Advocacy will be another major focus of our committee – the Gold Coast is in a phase of rapid maturation and we are keen to back opportunities that support our bold aspiration to be the world's best subtropical city.

“We will continue to engage with government and business leaders to do our bit in shaping a city that supports opportunities for current and future professionals." 

YP Gold Coast will again deliver the City Leaders Forum in 2019 – the organisation’s hallmark event that brings together industry heavy hitters for an afternoon of discussion and debate.

The theme of the 2019 City Leaders forum is ‘a highly skilled Gold Coast’ and will see a panel of experts take to the stage in front of several hundred guests, including:

  • Kate Jones MP, Queensland Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games
  • Mayor Tom Tate, City of Gold Coast
  • Professor Carolyn Evans, Vice Chancellor and President, Griffith University
  • Paul Jaffar, Partner, Chempro

The event will be staged at The Star Gold Coast on September 27. For information and to book, please visit our events page here

YP Gold Coast is supported by Griffith University, Cronin Miller Litigation, Gold Coast Suns, GT Advisory, PKF, 102.9 Hot Tomato and myGC.com.au.

Read the full post

2 April 2019

Why We Need A Creative Gold Coast

The emerging arts and culture sector has the potential to diversify the Gold Coast economy and create jobs.

Evidence demonstrates the intrinsic and tangible value of arts and creativity to the health and competitiveness of cities. Cultural precincts, creative clusters, festivals and events are part of what the global consumer and investor expects to find and enjoy in a global city, and the types of opportunities young professionals working within these industries need to achieve long-term career growth.  

Places like Singapore, Miami, Vancouver, Barcelona and Auckland all enjoy a beautiful coastal location, but this is only part of their success story. They all have a richly diverse offering of locally relevant galleries, museums, sports, arts and culture. These elements done well play a key part in elevating the status and attraction of a city.

The Gold Coast has some of these elements but much more can be done to grow this aspect of the city. The evolution of the arts and cultural sector is an important step in the maturity of the Gold Coast as a city. It symbolises the move away from the tired and obsolete paradigm, that the Gold Coast is simply a city famous for fun.

This coming of age is critical to long term prosperity of the city. For the city’s residents, vibrant and diverse arts and cultural activities are an important contribution to the liveliness and vitality of an urban environment.

The arts contribute to well-designed public space making our coastal neighbourhoods more attractive and accessible. Most importantly, the blending of arts and culture into the urban fabric of the city will create places where people want to meet and distinctly brand the Gold Coast as a destination for new residents, tourists and business.

With over 1.1 million international visitors to the city every year, it’s important that the relevance of the Gold Coast as a premier destination is maintained. The arts and cultural sector plays an important role in creating rich and diversified tourism offers and should be seen as an enabler for future growth.

One of the first major catalysts in the evolution of the city’s arts and cultural sector is the design and delivery of the Gold Coast Cultural Precinct. This critical investment being made by the Council will create a landmark new cultural designation to redefine the role of arts and culture within the city.

The Council’s vision for the Gold Coast Cultural Precinct is:

To create a cultural centre of gravity. A new, distinctly Gold Coast and distinctly 21st century platform to express ourselves and our pride in the our City.

To truly capitalise on the opportunity, the Gold Coast must embrace and nature the arts and cultural sector. It must be at the forefront our city vision and it must be reflected in the everyday decision we collectively make about the design and future growth of our city.

Arts and culture have both economic and social value, it can make a significant contribution to the liveability of the city and our competitive advance against other cities, both nationally and internationally. The industries help foster long-term growth paths for young professionals which will also retain and invite local talent within our thriving city.

For these reasons, YP Gold Coast will continue to advocate for positive policy decisions and public infrastructure investments that supports the mature growth of the Gold Coast and the evolution of our City into a sophisticated, vibrant and cultural urban environment.

Learn more about the YP Gold Coast ‘Great Ideas for the Gold Coast’ advocacy report here.

Interested in hearing more about the Gold Coast’s film and creative industries? Join us at the ‘Creative Gold Coast’ exclusive cocktail event at HOTA, Home of the Arts on Wednesday, April 10 from 5:30pm for an insightful evening exploring the ripple effects of the film and creative industry on local jobs and economic growth, diving into the wonderful world of film and creative industries and networking with likeminded individuals.

Tickets available here.

Read the full post

21 March 2019

Meet Libby Lincoln, the woman leading arts and cultural transformation for the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast's arts and creative community is leading a cultural revolution, but what initiatives are in place to help it thrive?

Meet Libby Lincoln. Libby is currently leading arts and cultural transformation for the City of Gold Coast, and as a custodian of the Cultural Strategy 2023, a guide to the City’s cultural investment and activity, she is responsible for arts development and cultural growth in the City. 

The Culture Strategy 2023 was developed after extensive consultation with the community and local cultural practitioners, and details three major catalysts for change, delivering unprecedented opportunities for cultural development and transformation and exploring the four big ideas or strategic outcomes that will fuel the strategic vision - Built on creativity, transformed by imagination.

The Strategy outlines a future where culture is central to our community, wellbeing, our city's reputation and liveability and economic growth. 

The City of Gold Coast is committed to delivering the ambitious vision, set in the City of Gold Coast's first Culture Strategy, by 2023.

Libby Lincoln has undertaken leadership roles in producing and curating major cultural projects and managing diverse arts organisations for the past 32 years; and is considered one of the most experienced arts leaders in Australia. Organisations include Brisbane Festival, Queensland Music Festival, Expressions Dance Company, Brisbane Ethnic Music and Arts Centre, Out of the Box Festival among others.

In her roles of CEO, Executive Director, Program Director; Executive Producer and General Manager, Libby has been instrumental in strategic and operational frameworks to propel artistic organisations forward.  She has curated and implemented a range of artistic projects from international collaborations and commissions; to large-scale community projects; to initiatives that develop and profile local artists and arts organisations. 

Partnerships, artistic exchange and collaborations have been a major theme throughout her career.  Within her festival roles, she has also led the development and presentation of platforms like the Australian International Music Market; as well as the ground-breaking Earth Dialogues Forum – Natural Resource Management chaired by Mikhail Gorbachev in 2006.  

To ensure successful delivery of cultural events, Libby has implemented benchmark models through long-term partnerships with government, including regional Council, and funding bodies.  Through her arts development roles, she has provided leadership for local artists, strategies for art form and audience development, and developed education initiatives.

Join us on Wednesday, April 10 at HOTA, Home of the Arts, to hear how the City of Gold Coast is supporting local artists and our cultural community through new initiatives to ensure they have the opportunities needed to thrive in our city. 

Libby will join a panel of film and creative industry heavy-hitters on Wednesday, April 10 from 5:30pm at HOTA, Home of the Arts, for an insightful evening exploring the ripple effects of the film and creative industry on local jobs and economic growth, diving into the wonderful world of film and creative industries and networking with likeminded individuals.

For more information about the Exclusive Cocktail Event: A Creative Gold Coast on Wedneday, April 10 please visit our Events Page. Places are limited, so purchase your tickets now! 

Read the full post

18 March 2019

Meet Criena Gehrke, CEO of HOTA - Home of the Arts

There are a lot of exciting things brewing at HOTA, Home of the Arts. With news of a brand new $60.5 million gallery to be built at HOTA by 2021, as part of Stage 1b of the City of Gold Coast’s Cultural Precinct Masterplan, a recent rebrand, a new name and the launch of the city's new $37.5 million outdoor stage and arts precinct last year, it's clear that HOTA is cementing itself as the Gold Coast's premier cultural facility.  

HOTA is the home for all things creative and their vision is to become a home that brings people together where ideas are transformed into real life experiences. A place where art makes the world a better place. 

A clear champion for HOTA's vision is Criena Gehrke, Chief Executive Officer of HOTA, Home of the Arts.

She has a diverse and eclectic background in arts management and a particular passion for the role of arts and culture in building strong and connected communities. She’s worked with all tiers of government on the development and implementation of cultural policy.

Under her leadership as the Executive Director of Arts Access Victoria, one of Australia’s leading cultural development organisations, she developed a range of key initiatives. These included Australia’s only disability film festival, The Other Film Festival, and an Industry and Audience Development Program that worked in partnership with the arts sector to increase access for disadvantaged communities.

She has been a peer assessor for Creative Victoria and The Australia Council for the Arts and is a member of the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research Advisory Group.  Criena is also a past recipient of the prestigious Harvard Business Club Victoria Non-Profit Fellowship.

Before taking up the reins at HOTA, Home of the Arts she was Executive Coordinator of City of Gold Coast’s Arts and Culture Unit where she was instrumental in the development of the City of Gold Coast’s Culture Strategy 2023.  The Cultural Strategy had at its heart a central cultural precinct for the city’s thriving cultural and artistic activity. She’s now bringing this vision to life as CEO of HOTA, Home of the Arts, a vibrant arts precinct and a real home to the arts and artists on the Gold Coast.

Join Criena Gehrke and a panel of film and creative industry heavy-hitters on Wednesday, April 10 from 5:30pm at HOTA, Home of the Arts, for an insightful evening exploring the ripple effects of the film and creative industry on local jobs and economic growth, dive into the wonderful world of film and creative industries and network with likeminded individuals.

For more information about the Exclusive Cocktail Event: A Creative Gold Coast on Wedneday, April 10 please visit our Events Page. Places are limited, so purchase your tickets now! 

Read the full post

18 March 2019

Meet Gold Coast Film Festival Director Lucy Fisher

As the city's flagship film event, the Gold Coast Film Festival brings film to life in a distinctly Gold Coast way for local and visiting audiences, and helps grow and support Queensland’s screen industry from one of Australia's top filmmaking destinations - the Gold Coast.

The Gold Coast Film Festival has been running for the past 17 years, attracting a stellar lineup of nationally and internationally recognised filmmakers and boasting over 150+ films, workshops, panels and industry events annually. At the helm of this thriving, locally produced festival is Lucy Fisher.

Lucy has been the Festival Director of the Gold Coast Film Festival since June 2015. 

In three years she has more than doubled ticket sales, tripled sponsorship and introduced a raft of innovative initiatives to support women working in the screen industry, including Australia’s first free childcare offering at a film festival in 2016 and a commitment to ensuring gender parity across all speakers and panellists during the festival.  

As part of the festival, Lucy also created the first Gold Coast Movie Locations Tour to create a tourism product that leverages the recent major film shoots on the Gold Coast.

Lucy was awarded a Women in Business Awards of Australia award for Arts, Culture & Tourism in 2018 and a City of Gold Coast Women in Leadership Award for Arts and Culture in 2016.

She has been on the Executive Committee of Women In Film And Television NSW since June 2017 and is a regular panelist on ABC Gold Coast radio's 'Spin Doctors' segment.

Prior to the film festival, Lucy spent 11 years working on public relations strategies for some of the world’s leading tourist attractions and major events in Australia and the UK, including Madame Tussauds.

Join Lucy Fisher and a panel of film and creative industry heavy-hitters on Wednesday, April 10 from 5:30pm at HOTA, Home of the Arts, for an insightful evening exploring the ripple effects of the film and creative industry on local jobs and economic growth, dive into the wonderful world of film and creative industries and network with likeminded individuals.

For more information about the Exclusive Cocktail Event: A Creative Gold Coast on Wedneday, April 10 please visit our Events Page. Places are limited, so purchase your tickets now! 

Read the full post

18 March 2019

Meet Lynne Benzie, President of Village Roadshow Studios

The Gold Coast is proving itself as the perfect playground for filmmakers to anchor their productions in our city, with blockbuster films Aquaman, Thor: Ragnarok and Kong: Skull Island shot right here on the Coast.

A key attraction for production on the Gold Coast is the Village Roadshow Studios, located a short fifty minute drive south of Brisbane International Airport and adjacent to the Warner Bros. Movie World Theme Park, offering world-class film production facilities and a comprehensive support network of experienced film service companies conveniently located on the lot. 

At the helm of the Studios is Lynne Benzie, President of Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast. Lynne Benzie has over 28 years in the film, television and entertainment industry.

Her career started in the United Kingdom in Engineering, she then migrated to Australia in 1979 where she developed a very diverse background in the Insurance, Finance, Legal, building and Information Technology industries, which led her to a position with EMI Records in promotion and marketing. 

Lynne joined Village Roadshow Studios in 1990 as PA to the General Manager of the Studios, after 5 years of being involved in the operations of the Studio Complex she was promoted to Studio Manager, then to Vice President Studios Operations and in January 2008 was promoted to President of the Studios. 

In her capacity as President of Studios she is responsible for the day to day running and operations of the Studio Complex including, financial planning and marketing the studio facility, travels to U.S.A. twice a year and works closely with Screen Queensland and City of Gold Coast to attract productions in Queensland and lobby governments to increase incentives.

Lynne was on the Board of the PFTC for 7 years and was Chair on Film Gold Coast and a committee member for REDAB (Regional Economic & Advisory Board for the film industry) and is currently on the Board of Ausfilm Australia. Bond University – Film and TV advisory board, QUT - CI Faculty Advisory Committee Meeting and in 2018 on the board for Gold Coast Film Festival and Screen Queensland.

The arts and culture sector is key to the health and competitiveness of cities. The Gold Coast is coming into its own - creating a new identity that includes art, music, events such as the Gold Coast Film Festival and creativity to appeal to an increasingly sophisticated resident, visitor and investor. There is evidence that the value of arts and creativity contributes to the health and competitiveness of cities.

Join Lynne Benzie and a panel of film and creative industry heavy-hitters on Wednesday, April 10 from 5:30pm at HOTA, Home of the Arts, for an insightful evening exploring the ripple effects of the film and creative industry on local jobs and economic growth, dive into the wonderful world of film and creative industries and network with likeminded individuals.

For more information about the Exclusive Cocktail Event: A Creative Gold Coast on Wedneday, April 10 please visit our Events Page. Places are limited, so purchase your tickets now!

 

Read the full post

21 February 2019

Aimee Engelmann - CEO & Founder Beepo

Aimee EngelmannAn increasing need to outsource elements of her own work to Asia is what encouraged Aimee Engelmann to start Beepo – a premium outsourcing business that connects local companies to offshore providers, who deliver everything from payroll services to graphic design.

With 400 staff across Australia and the Philippines, and a client base spanning Australia, New Zealand, US, Asia and Europe, Aimee has plans to capitalise on the booming trend of offshoring, and grow her staff to 5000 in the next five years.

Hear how this trailblazer helps local companies revolutionise their business models to maximise efficiency at the YP Gold Coast Entrepreneurs Lunch on March 1 - book here.

Read the full post

20 February 2019

From pub crawl salesman to millionaire: meet Mike Kellett from Macro Mike

51729528 2211326832461988 4254371990967681024 nFrom bodybuilder and local pub crawl salesman, to founder and owner of a thriving multi-million-dollar business, Mike Kellett of Macro Mike is undeniably a local success story.

After dealing with his own personal digestive issues for years, Mike Kellett began exploring and testing a range of plant-based, macro and allergy-friendly whole food recipes and quickly discovered a gap in the market. 

Following a $10,000 personal investment into the business, Macro Mike was born. Macro Mike has become a pioneer in the health food industry, and has experienced rapid growth, expanding from two products to over 50 in less than two years, stocking in 500 stores nation-wide and through its e-commerce store. 

In 2018, Mike was named Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Startup), was a finalist in the Australia Post People’s Choice (Online Retainer of the Year) and winner of the Gold Coast Business Awards (Health and Wellbeing), and to top it off opened his Macro Friendly Café in Burleigh.  

Join Mike at the YP Gold Coast Entrepreneur Lunch on Friday, March 1, to hear how he transformed his vision into reality, building a multi-million-dollar business from the ground up and what's next for Macro Mike. Buy your tickets here

Read the full post

20 February 2019

Markets to millionaire: meet Simon Beard from Culture Kings

Simon Beard

Fresh out of high school and working at Carrara Markets, Simon Beard probably wouldn’t have believed you if you said his future customers would include Snoop Dogg, A$AP Rocky and Cristiano Ronaldo.

But an entrepreneurial spirit was sparked selling Schoolies merchandise on the Gold Coast, and before too long, Simon and wife Tahnee were establishing a business that would go on to become one of the world’s most renowned streetwear brands. 

The couple stared Culture Kings in 2008 with a humble shopfront on the Gold Coast, which a decade later has exploded into a primarily e-commerce business with a VIP client base that includes some of the biggest names in music and sport. The company employs 500 people and operates eight shopfronts across the country.

Hear how Simon conquered the streetwear game at the YP Gold Coast Entrepreneurs Lunch on March 1. Buy your tickets here.

Read the full post

20 February 2019

Meet Michelle Doherty – Founder of Alpha-H Skincare

MichelleAfter struggling with chronic cystic acne throughout most of her teenage years and 20s, Michelle Doherty was introduced to Alpha-H when the brand was in its infancy. Within days of using the range she saw immediate and sustained visible improvements. She fell in love with the brand so much, that soon after she quit her job and bought the company.

Over 20 years later, Alpha-H is now a globally-recognised brand, stocked in over 25 countries including cosmetic giant Sephora, Myer, international department stores, prestige clinics, TV shopping networks, and a selection of premium airlines including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. 

In 1995, the range consisted of just four products - today there are over 60 products in the Alpha-H range. The resurfacing treatment Liquid Gold is regarded as a “cult” beauty product, with two bottles sold every minute of every hour, and Harper’s Bazaar labelling it as ‘bottled brilliance’.

Alpha-H is Australian owned and operated, employing over 50 staff, with their head office based here on the Gold Coast.

Hear Michelle share her story and gain some powerful insights at the Gold Coast Entrepreneurs Lunch on March 1. Buy your tickets here.

Read the full post