Flinders Foundation Hosts New Growth on the Coast Business Event

Flinders Foundation Growth on the Coast event

After a sold-out launch in May, the second event in the 2021 Infrastructure Series, ‘Growth on the Coast’, will be held on Thursday, 14 October from 6:00pm at Matthew Flinders Anglican College in Buderim.

Hosted by the Flinders Foundation, the 2021 Infrastructure Series is a new seminar series to inspire and educate the community about the potential for growth and innovation on the Sunshine Coast. 

Speakers at 'Growth on the Coast' include Ted O'Brien, Member for Fairfax, Queensland; Scott Whitaker, Regional Director, Department of Transport and Main Roads; and Emma Thomas, CEO, Sunshine Coast Council.

The seminar will be emceed by Jennifer Swaine, a communication consultant to Regional Development Australia, Sunshine Coast, among other roles.

Tickets are available via trybooking.com/BUEXG

Flinders Foundation Chair, lawyer Mr John Gannon said the event series aimed to provide a positive platform for the College community and wider Sunshine Coast community to come together and learn. 

“This second event is another valuable opportunity for our guests to hear from speakers who are integral to the growth of our region,” Mr Gannon said. 

“We are thrilled to have speakers from all three levels of government provide insights into the delivery of appropriately timed major infrastructure projects on the Sunshine Coast,” he said. 

“Many Flinders families are involved in businesses across diverse industries and will be keen to hear about significant opportunities here on the Coast.”  

The discussion will explore the Sunshine Coast region’s potential for growth, with its population predicted to reach 500,000 people by 2041. 

Speakers will also explore the business potential resulting from the region securing the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Event details:
'Growth on the Coast' Business Infrastructure Series
Thursday, 14 October 2021, 6:00pm - 8:00pm   
Flinders Performance Centre
Matthew Flinders Anglican College


The Flinders Foundation aims to connect, support and engage the community and to encourage philanthropic support for Matthew Flinders Anglican College. 
This enables the Foundation to support key projects at the College, including student scholarships, information events and building infrastructure projects, including the Wonderarium learning centre, opening in the Flinders Primary School in Term 4, 2021. The new Wonderarium is wholly funded by the Flinders Foundation for the long-term benefit of students, current and future.


Emma Thomas | Chief Executive Officer, Sunshine Coast Council
Emma is responsible for an organisation with a budget in excess of $816 million, more than $6 billion in assets, over 1,800 people and overseeing one of the most innovative policy, program and infrastructure delivery agendas that seeks to position Council as a national leader in local government excellence and the Sunshine Coast as the most liveable and sustainable region in Australia.
Prior to joining Council, Emma held a range of chief executive and senior executive leadership roles with the Australian Capital Territory, South Australian and Queensland governments.  She is a values-based leader with a passion for, and commitment to, sustainable regional economic development and fostering social inclusion, community diversity, connectivity and accessibility.  These elements are an integral part of her focus and leadership as Sunshine Coast Council CEO. 

Scott Whitaker | Regional Director (North Coast Region), Department of Transport and Main Roads
Scott is the North Coast’s Regional Director for Transport and Main Roads (TMR) and leads a diverse team of more than 300 people. North Coast Region is currently focused on delivering the largest ever transport infrastructure program for the region with over $2.9 billion in capital and maintenance works programmed over the next four years. While delivering this infrastructure program the region is also tackling the challenge of planning and managing the unprecedented growth currently experienced in both the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay areas. 

Scott has a Bachelor of Civil Engineering with a career spanning over 20 years. Scott has spent most of his career in TMR in varying engineering and leadership roles with time spent in the private industry as a business owner involved in the mining and construction sector.

Ted O'Brien MP | Member for Fairfax, Queensland
Ted O’Brien is a Member of the House of Representatives in the Australian Parliament where he represents the seat of Fairfax on the Sunshine Coast. Ted also happens to be a Flinders dad, with a daughter in Primary School and a son attending FELC.

Ted wears several hats on behalf of the Australian Government. He was recently appointed by the Prime Minister to be the Special Envoy for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics and Paralympics. He is also Chair of two parliamentary committees – the Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy, and the Trade Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. He also sits in the House Standing Committee for Infrastructure, Transport and Cities, and heads up ‘Team Queensland’ which comprises all Liberal National Party MPs and Senators from Queensland in the Coalition Party Room.

As the local Federal MP, Ted has prioritised the delivery of infrastructure on the Sunshine Coast. During his time in office, the region has received more Federal Government funding than ever before, including over $3 billion in upgrades to the Bruce Highway, $390 million to upgrade the North Coast Rail line; more than $61 million for local road upgrades and a $181 million concessional loan to upgrade the Sunshine Coast Airport.  

Jennifer Swaine | Marketing and Communications
Jennifer is a communications consultant to Regional Development Australia, Sunshine Coast; Chair of the Sunshine Coast Business Awards; Vice President of the Sunshine Coast Chamber Alliance; and a Non-Executive Director of Visit Sunshine Coast. She is a regular columnist in the Sunshine Coast Daily and Hello Sunshine and works hard to actively promote, connect and collaborate with others to promote and increase the profile of the greater Sunshine Coast.

Flinders Foundation Contact:
Rachel Sotiropoulos
Flinders Foundation Liaison
07 5477 3229

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