Brisbane’s brilliant minds spearheading city’s global business status

27 APRIL 2023

A group of industry leading locals will supercharge Brisbane’s business events status thanks to the latest round of the Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant program.

An initiative of Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA), the program will support six Brisbane professionals and researchers to attend an international conference in their field of expertise, spanning screenwriting to sustainable energy and immunotherapy.

BEDA, the city’s convention bureau, will then work with the successful recipients through the bidding process to attract that conference to the city in the future, with openings as soon as 2025.

These new international conferences have the potential to attract an extra 3,000 delegates to the city in the coming years and provide a $6.3 million boost for Brisbane’s local economy.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the program will help put Brisbane on the world map in more ways than one.

“These brilliant individuals are helping to raise Brisbane’s global reputation, both from an industry perspective, and as a world-leading business events hosting destination,” Cr Schrinner said.

“Business events bring vast benefits, from delegates staying and spending more across the city to adding to Brisbane’s knowledge bank and developing local talents and skills.

“As a city we offer the best of Australia, providing the ultimate experience for delegates to enjoy our alfresco lifestyle, breathtaking natural wonders and acclaimed arts, culture and dining scene.”

Previous grant recipient, local purpose-driven pioneer Tom Allen, was successful in bringing the World Social Enterprise Forum to Brisbane in September 2022.

The high-profile international business event welcomed more than 2,700 delegates from around the world to the city while amplifying Brisbane’s status within the social enterprise global community.

Anthony Ryan, CEO of Brisbane Economic Development Agency, said the city’s business events credentials are set to skyrocket thanks to a $25 billion pipeline of infrastructure projects.

“Brisbane’s business events offering is transforming, with new five-star venues, exciting events spaces and greater connectivity coming online to create the ultimate conference city,” Mr Ryan said.

“This new investment will see Brisbane’s accessibility and thriving lifestyle precincts continue to evolve and excite, offering an unparalleled delegate experience while encouraging guests to embrace our outdoor lifestyle.”

The following 2022-23 Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant recipients will share in $30,000 in grant funding*:

Morris Fedeli is Project Lead at the THRIVE Project, a for-impact sustainability education platform and think tank that promotes holistic change across multiple fields to mitigate human impacts on ecosystems.

Fernando Guimaraes is Associate Professor and Group Leader at The University of Queensland’s Frazer Institute. Fernando’s research focuses on the immunology of Natural Killer Cells and immunotherapy development of “hard-to-cure” diseases.

Aaron Tham is a Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Sunshine Coast’s Business School in Tourism, Leisure and Events Management. He is a member of the Indigenous and Transcultural Research Centre and has published in top tourism and hospitality journals.

Nadali Mahmoudi is a Senior Manager in electricity market modelling at Ernst & Young, Adjunct Senior Fellow at the University of Queensland and current Secretary for the IEEE PES Society. His area of work and research is electricity market modelling, helping to develop high quality wind and solar farms across Australia.

Paula Rowntree is Head of Events and External Engagement at the Australian Psychological Society (APS). She is a recognised leader in the business events space, and in addition to her role with APS, is also a current board member of the Professional Convention Management Association.

Joanne Tindale is a PhD candidate, Tutor and Research Assistant with Griffith Film School, researching the representation of older women on screen. Her research interests intersect aging, screenwriting, and gender inequality, with a long-term career goal to ensure greater visibility of older women on our screens.

*Due to the confidential bidding process, the conference names have not been published.


Landscape image of corporate people having drinks at the Emporium Hotel South Bank rooftop bar