‘Trailblazers’ to help win business events for Brisbane

Researchers in areas of mobile robots and stem cells, a specialist passionate about finding solutions for children with hearing loss, and two molecular bio scientists are among the recipients of the inaugural Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant.

In recognition of the depth of talented people in Brisbane, the Trailblazer Grant program has awarded seven professionals or researchers a share of $25,000 to enlist their help to attract valuable industry conferences to Brisbane in their chosen field.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the program would deliver grants of up to $5000 to trailblazers who nominate an industry conference which will benefit their profession or career prospects, and generate opportunities for Brisbane.

“I want to congratulate the seven recipients of the Trailblazer Grant, who have each displayed leadership and passion in their chosen fields, and will represent Brisbane’s expertise and depth of talent across various sectors,” Cr Quirk said.

“Brisbane’s people are its greatest asset, and this grant will empower these talented people who live or work in our city to attract new international conferences, which will add to Brisbane’s knowledge, help grow the economy and develop local talent and skills.

“The Brisbane 2022 New World City Action Plan commits to winning more conventions and business events, and be globally recognised in the top 50 for international association conferences, and this is just one strategy we have to achieve this outcome.

“These events bring new income sources to our city through leisure tourism and trade and investment opportunities, as well as important social change through contributions to Brisbane’s knowledge economy.”

Brisbane Convention Bureau General Manager Juliet Alabaster said the recipients were innovators, pioneers and ground-breakers in Brisbane who want to build valuable networks and create opportunities for their careers and the industry.

“Recipients of the Lord Mayor’s Trailblazer Grant will attend the conference of their choice in an effort to bring the event to Brisbane in the future,” Ms Alabaster said.

“The Trailblazer Grant will provide the Brisbane Convention Bureau with valuable connections, knowledge and insight internationally in order to enable a successful bid from the Convention Bureau to bring a business event to Brisbane.

“They will also offer considerable insight into Brisbane’s strengths and expertise within the industry, which is a key selection criterion for conference organisers in their selection of a destination for their business event.

“As well as working with this year’s recipients, we will explore all the opportunities submitted through the application process in an attempt to lure further conferences to Brisbane, with these events totalling 35,000 individual delegates over several nights.”

2018 Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant recipients:

Trailblazer Grant Winner

Emma Rushbroke is the clinical director at Hear and Say (HAS), a Queensland not-for-profit providing early intervention services for children with hearing loss.

Trailblazer Grant Winner

Michael Piper is a research scientist at The University of Queensland (UQ), studying how stem cell differentiation regulates the formation of the brain, and how abnormalities to stem cell function can give rise to brain cancers, as well as neurodevelopment disorders such as autism.

Trailblazer Grant Winner

Johan Rosengren is a senior research fellow at UQ, working primarily on bioactive peptides – naturally occurring substances that have evolved for specific functions and have uses in both biotechnological and pharmaceutical applications.

Trailblazer Grant Winner

Christina Schroeder is a research academic at UQ, working in the field of bioactive venom peptide research, mining the venom of cone snails, spiders and snakes in search of novel therapeutics for the treatment of chronic pain and cancer.

Trailblazer Grant Winner

Tom Allen works to empower purpose-led people to create positive social impact, while also lecturing at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Griffith University. He leads Impact Boom and currently works with Brisbane City Council to deliver the Elevate + Social Enterprise Accelerator Program.

Trailblazer Grant Winner

Louise Baldwin is a researcher in health promotion at QUT. Her research covers chronic disease prevention and building healthy communities. This includes sun protection, physical activity, healthy eating, tobacco control and mental health.

Trailblazer Grant Winner

Feras Dayoub is a research fellow at QUT, focused on enabling mobile robots to navigate and understand their surroundings using computer vision and machine learning, recently working within the team developing a machine to track and eradicate crown-of-thorns starfish on the Great Barrier Reef.

Find out more about the Lord Mayor's Convention Trailblazer Grant.