Acknowledging our young leaders is good for all of the state

While her day-to-day focus is on SEQ, Committee for Brisbane’s Liana Heath says the 40 Under 40 Awards are about “uplifting” all of Queensland’s business community.

Jun 23, 2023, updated Jun 23, 2023
The Queensland 40 Under 40 awards will help identify our future leaders and city shapers Image: This Is Engineering, Unsplash

The Queensland 40 Under 40 awards will help identify our future leaders and city shapers Image: This Is Engineering, Unsplash

When the inaugural Queensland 40 Under 40 Awards are presented next month, Liana Heath said they will shine a spotlight on “critical homegrown talent” across the state.

The award judge and Committee for Brisbane chief partnership officer said it was beneficial to everyone to know the award alumni and what they bring to the state, the community and the economy.

“The awards will show us who, potentially, our future city shapers will be,” Heath said.

“It’s in all our interests, whatever fields we’re in, that we know these people, we know their stories, we support them […] to thrive and achieve.”

Entry to the awards has now closed with almost 300 individuals nominated by the business and wider community.

The judging process is underway to select the 40 young leaders and entrepreneurs who will comprise the first cohort of alumni, including the category award winners. They will be announced at a gala event on July 20 at Brisbane Powerhouse.

Heath said the awards aligned with the work of the Committee for Brisbane.

“The Committee has big, bold ambitions for greater Brisbane. But obviously, the awards provide a Queensland perspective on things – it’s about uplifting everyone together,” Heath said.

“Our interest is in supporting all industries and sectors, and working to align that with the government’s ambitions and business’ ambitions.

“We’re playing that facilitating and supportive role in ensuring that collectively we can achieve a really strong innovation sector, so business and community all have the opportunity to thrive.”

Over the last 18 months, the Committee for Brisbane has hosted innovation mixer events in collaboration with the office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur.

The mixers, said Heath, are intended to bring together stakeholders in the SEQ innovation ecosystem – business, corporates, academia, investors, startups, scaleups and government.

“These [events are a forum to] tell the stories of those innovators and their partners, – whether it be a business partner or an early adopter client relationship – the business challenges, and how that business journey really flourished over time,” she said.

“We feel there’s an incredible sense of pride that is generated from that.

“It also helps, obviously, with building further connections and sparking new ideas, and it’s inspiration for all of us.”

She said the 40 Under 40 Awards will play a similar, complementary role to this by acknowledging not only the alumni’s individual achievements, but “how far they’ve had to climb” to achieve their success.

“I hope it’s an opportunity to also uncover some of the quieter achievers around us – those that potentially don’t feel comfortable self-nominating,” she said.

“These awards will give us all reason to be extremely positive and have faith in the future of our region, because we have such bright minds coming through.

“I am super passionate about the place I live […] and I’m looking forward to hearing the stories, being inspired and paying that forward by Committee for Brisbane sharing those stories widely as well.”

The 40 Under 40 Awards are presented by InQueensland and The Weekend Edition.

Alumni and award winners will be celebrated at a gala night on July 20 at Brisbane Powerhouse, with the event providing a superb opportunity to network with the state’s best and brightest. The ticket price includes a 3-course dinner and premium beverages.

Tickets are on sale now.

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