Past Events

We’ve already visited many regional areas across the country to talk about the issues facing local communities and to work on the solutions to the challenges people face.

Read about some of what we heard here.

Past Event
Investment the key to reversing South Australia’s brain drain
“This is a place where people can actually come back, bring their kids up, live in a very, very affordable way, and live a very good lifestyle. It's still a wonderful place here.’’ Jennifer Westacott, Business Council of Australia chief executive        Reversing the brain drain and attracting more business investment to South Australia are critical to ensuring the state can power ahead. When the Business Council of...
Past Event
Embracing change to create new industries and hope
“We are going through a tough period, but we're trying to fast-track our way to the future, and we're trying to make change a friend, not an enemy.’’ Frank McGuire, Member for Broadmeadows      Back when the car manufacturing industry was in full flight in Australia, small to medium-sized Victorian business Australian Performance Vehicles had three customers: Ford, Holden and Toyota. As a tier-one supplier to the global car...
Past Event
Western Sydney is transforming
“The challenge for Western Sydney is to create meaningful full-time jobs in Western Sydney so that people just don't have to go through this wretched commuting every day.’’ Tony Shepherd, former Business Council of Australia president     About 40 per cent of residents in Sydney’s west are forced to drive 90 minutes each way for work, said former Business Council president Tony Shepherd. It is this absence of local...
Past Event
Gladstone turns the investment tap on for jobs, skills and training
“When big business can compete, and attract that capital and make those investments, that doesn't just trickle, but it flows right down that ecosystem to medium businesses and small businesses.’’ Grant King, Business Council of Australia president     Gladstone is a magnet for business activity; a perfect illustration of the benefits that flow into a community when it attracts investment. Grant King, the president of the Business Council of...
Past Event
Vision and planning sees Toowoomba flying high
“People come for jobs and the jobs come because the people come.’’ Catherine Tanna, the managing director of EnergyAustralia     Nowhere does the adage of “build it and they will come’’ resonate  more than in the southern Queensland city of Toowoomba. The garden city’s $100 million Wellcamp Airport, built by the Wagner family and opened in 2014, has served as a mecca for development in the region. In September,...
Past Event
Rising to the challenge of technological change with lifelong training and skills
“We've got to embrace this because there are some fantastic positive community outcomes here but sitting back and being fearful is a way for it to run over us. If we lean into it, I think the opportunity is to shape it.’’ Rohan Mead, group managing director and chief executive of Australian Unity     As far as career changes go, Jodie Auster’s journey from emergency department doctor to leading...
Past Event
'The success of small businesses is dependent on the success of big business’
“It's the biggest growth of any market we have in our entire network. So, it's phenomenal what's been occurring.” Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce   The “virtuous circle” of big and small businesses generating economic activity, opportunities and jobs in Tasmania has helped the state hit its stride. Business leaders from tourism, manufacturing and agriculture industries put this success down to businesses and enterprising people being the engine room...
Past Event
Western Sydney Airport will give business a tailwind
“We need, a post-secondary plan that puts them on equal footing." Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott   Employers and workers across Western Sydney are set to get a tailwind from the Western Sydney Airport when it opens in 2026, with hundreds of thousands of jobs planned for the region, which is expected to generate up to a $15.6 billion economic boom over three decades. “The reality is our airport,...
Past Event
Strong Australia lunch
Townsville's Strong Australia lunch event featured Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott, Aon Australia chief executive James Baum, PVW managing partner Carl Valentine, Townsville Chamber of Commerce president Debbie Rains and Townsville Enterprise Limited chief executive Patricia O’Callaghan. The event was moderated by award winning Sky News political editor David Speers.
  • 02
    May

    Bathurst - 2 May 2019

    Western Sydney Airport to open up new horizons for Bathurst and the Central West

      “There’s another conversation about regional Australia and that’s the conversation about big and small businesses working together, about ingenuity in local communities." Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott    Communities in NSW’s Central West...
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  • 11
    Apr

    Adelaide - 11 April 2019

    Game of Thrones' special effects grown in Adelaide

    Students from the University of South Australia have been a part of the biggest show on earth that concludes tonight – the Game of Thrones. Rising Sun Pictures partnered with UniSA special effects students, who worked...
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  • 28
    Mar

    Townsville - 28 March 2019

    Strong Australia lunch

    Townsville's Strong Australia lunch event featured Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott, Aon Australia chief executive James Baum, PVW managing partner Carl Valentine, Townsville Chamber of Commerce president Debbie Rains and Townsville Enterprise...
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  • 13
    Mar

    Penrith – 13 March 2019

    Western Sydney Airport will give business a tailwind

    “We need, a post-secondary plan that puts them on equal footing." Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott   Employers and workers across Western Sydney are set to get a tailwind from the Western Sydney Airport...
    View
  • 14
    Feb

    Hobart - 14 February 2019

    'The success of small businesses is dependent on the success of big business’

    “It's the biggest growth of any market we have in our entire network. So, it's phenomenal what's been occurring.” Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce   The “virtuous circle” of big and small businesses generating...
    View
  • 08
    Nov

    Geelong - 8 November 2018

    Rising to the challenge of technological change with lifelong training and skills

    “We've got to embrace this because there are some fantastic positive community outcomes here but sitting back and being fearful is a way for it to run over us. If we lean into it, I...
    View
  • 27
    Sep

    Toowoomba - 27 September 2018

    Vision and planning sees Toowoomba flying high

    “People come for jobs and the jobs come because the people come.’’ Catherine Tanna, the managing director of EnergyAustralia     Nowhere does the adage of “build it and they will come’’ resonate  more than...
    View
  • 23
    Aug

    Busselton - 23 August 2018

    Open for business sign beckons boom-times for Busselton

    “What we've tried to do as a local government is to build the infrastructure and the planning to allow business to flourish.’’ Grant Henley, City of Busselton Mayor   When mining giant Rio Tinto decided...
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  • 26
    Jul

    Gladstone - 26 July 2018

    Gladstone turns the investment tap on for jobs, skills and training

    “When big business can compete, and attract that capital and make those investments, that doesn't just trickle, but it flows right down that ecosystem to medium businesses and small businesses.’’ Grant King, Business Council of...
    View
  • 17
    May

    Penrith - 17 May 2018

    Western Sydney is transforming

    “The challenge for Western Sydney is to create meaningful full-time jobs in Western Sydney so that people just don't have to go through this wretched commuting every day.’’ Tony Shepherd, former Business Council of Australia...
    View
  • 12
    Apr

    Broadmeadows - 12 April 2018

    Embracing change to create new industries and hope

    “We are going through a tough period, but we're trying to fast-track our way to the future, and we're trying to make change a friend, not an enemy.’’ Frank McGuire, Member for Broadmeadows     ...
    View
  • 15
    Mar

    Adelaide - 15 March 2018

    Investment the key to reversing South Australia’s brain drain

    “This is a place where people can actually come back, bring their kids up, live in a very, very affordable way, and live a very good lifestyle. It's still a wonderful place here.’’ Jennifer Westacott,...
    View