40 Under 40 Awards to shine spotlight on Queensland’s young business leaders

With the launch of Queensland’s new 40 Under 40 Awards, the State’s Chief Entrepreneur and awards judge Julia Spicer is hoping the event will spur young leaders and entrepreneurs to step into the spotlight.

May 25, 2023, updated Jun 20, 2023
Chief Entrepreneur Julia Spicer will lead the judging panel of the inaugural 40 Under 40 Awards Queensland

Chief Entrepreneur Julia Spicer will lead the judging panel of the inaugural 40 Under 40 Awards Queensland

Nominations for the inaugural 40 Under 40 Awards open tomorrow and provide an opportunity to celebrate the achievements, passion and vision of Queensland’s young entrepreneurs and business leaders.

The state’s Chief Entrepreneur Julia Spicer will chair the judging panel for the awards, which will be presented at a gala event on July 20.

In addition to acknowledging this year’s alumni of 40 of the state’s brightest, the winners of the 10 category awards will be announced.

Spicer said she is looking forward to “seeing the diversity of people” who are nominated or self-nominate.

She hopes the awards will encourage young entrepreneurs and leaders to step forward into the spotlight and, in the future, contribute to the state’s key business bodies.

“I’m keen to find out who they are, so that we can be making sure we’re setting up organisations, government councils and business associations with some really good young people,” Spicer said.

Advocating for the 40 Under 40 nominees and other young leaders to “create the future that they’re going to be living in”, Spicer wants to “bust some assumptions” around age, achievement and leadership.

“If that means us being able to specifically look at and promote young people in business awards like this, then that’s what we need to do,” she said.

“These awards offer a chance to showcase the great activity that happens and the great drive and ambition that people have at young ages.

“The younger generation are ambitiously wanting to solve problems – they’re passionate, particularly in the environmental and social space.

“That shouldn’t be only celebrated once you hit 47 or 55.”

Building momentum within the state’s innovative and emerging industries, and providing role models for other young business leaders are outcomes that Spicer hopes the recognition will also achieve.

“Awards like these are important to make sure they know what they’re contributing to has a bigger outcome than just themselves,” she said.

As Chief Entrepreneur, Spicer has a vision for Queensland businesses to be known for finding innovative solutions for the world’s current challenges.

“Queensland has the opportunity to really look at solving problems, not just in Queensland, but across the world,” she said.

“I think we can become global problem solvers, particularly in the climate, decarbonisation and food spaces.

“We’re a predominantly agricultural-based state. I believe that Queensland will really start to fly the flag around a couple of those areas.

“My other vision for the next five years for Queensland is that we continue to look at ways to genuinely engage more Queenslanders to create economic prosperity.

“So, women, First Nations, migrant families – and that economic growth and prosperity is accessible and equitable across the state and across demographics within the state.”

Spicer said awards, such as 40 Under 40, provide a “reflection point” and validation for nominees as they pursue their career passions.

“I hope it gives them a chance to actually sit back and reflect on what it is that they’ve achieved, regardless of whether they win.

The 40 Under 40 Awards are presented by InQueensland and The Weekend Edition. Nominations open on Friday, May 26.

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