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  • Gavin King

    Tropic Now editor

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    New way of thinking and measured development are keys to growth in Cairns

    About 100 people have gathered at CQUni's Cairns campus to discuss the future of the Cairns region, with calls for more collaboration and action.

    CQUni wants to help shape the future of the Cairns region – and they want your voice in the conversation.

    About 100 people from across the private and public sector gathered at the uni’s CBD campus today to discuss and debate tangible ways to create jobs and foster growth in the Tropical North.

    The next step will involve an online forum made available for community members to contribute ideas.

    Today’s event was sparked by the recent report Transitioning Queensland’s Future Workforce, compiled by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) and CQUni.

    Associate Vice-Chancellor for CQUniversity in Cairns and the Far North Jodie Duignan-George said today’s event, dubbed an Indaba, was designed to find solutions to pressing challenges and help drive opportunity.

    “Indaba is a word from the language of the South African Zulu people meaning ‘important assembly’ and it has come to mean a gathering of a community’s most important and influential individuals,” she said.

    “That is exactly what we have done here in Cairns today by bringing together leaders from the community, business, education and government to talk candidly about the future of Cairns and the Far North, and how we can shape it.

    “The key learning from today was that better collaboration is required to ensure we are encouraging and supporting new ideas and opportunities that will benefit the region and its residents.

    “Essentially we need to think regionally and act globally when it comes to industry collaboration, education, entrepreneurship and employee development,” said Ms Duignan-George.

    Advance Cairns CEO and event attendee Kevin Byrne said today’s discussion would help “champion measured growth and development”.

    “It’s crucial that we grow our communities, and to do that we require both the proper infrastructure and policy,” he said.

    “We can’t grow unless we’re providing employment and that is largely up to entrepreneurs and the private sector.

    “Now is the time to change our mindset and do something different. Hopefully the discussions that have emerged from today allow us to do just that”.

    Going forward the University will develop a report based on the discussions, aimed at engaging industry, community and government to adopt and implement the ideas.

    Keep an eye on TropicNow for more info about the launch of the online forum soon.