Innovation to live longer at Hinkler Innovation Series lunch

Hinkler Innovation series lunch Julia Spicer OAM, Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur

How innovation can help us live longer was the focus of this month’s Hinkler Innovation Series luncheon at the Bundaberg Multiplex and Convention Centre.

Now in its sixth year, the Hinkler Innovation Series is known for bringing together expert guest speakers and the region’s most exciting entrepreneurs and innovators.

The luncheon was held on Wednesday 1 May 2024.

This initiative was established by Bundaberg Regional Council in partnership with Regional Business HQ and The Generator to foster the region’s innovation and entrepreneurship at both a local and global level.

Bundaberg Region Mayor Helen Blackburn said innovation was a big part of the region’s past and it would play a big part in its future.

“The Bundaberg Region is known around the country and even the world for its innovative practices across a wide array of industries,” Mayor Blackburn said.

“It’s crucial that we continue to foster and support local businesses to keep driving our region and its economy forward.

“This was a fantastic opportunity to network and hear from industry leaders.”

At this year’s luncheon, special guests included Julia Spicer OAM, Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur and Dr Robyn Littlewood, Chief Executive Officer of Health and Wellbeing Queensland.

They were joined by local speakers, Tanya O’Shea, Managing Director of IMPACT Community Services and Mat Grills, ultra endurance athlete and local business owner.

A vibrant rural entrepreneur and a catalyst for change, Julia is the founder of two regional businesses based in Goondiwindi, Queensland – Engage and Create Consulting and the Goondiwindi Business Hub. Julia is also the Chair of GEN Australia.

Julia has grown the activity and impact of innovation into the rural and regional business communities across the state.

She also has a particular gift for engaging women and Indigenous businesses in her work.

Dr Littlewood is an advocate for strong public health policy. As an experienced leader, researcher, clinician, academic and educator, Dr Littlewood has over 25 years’ experience working with paediatric patients and their families to address obesity prevention, nutrition and dietetics.

She believes every Queenslander has the right to better health and had worked relentlessly to achieve this using a systems-based approach, research and data to leverage $46 million in funding through partnerships in her first term as Chief Executive of Health and Wellbeing Queensland.

Dr Littlewood also holds three Adjunct Professor appointments with UQ, QUT and Griffith University and is a Fellow of Dietitians Australia.

As Managing Director of IMPACT Community Services, Tanya has more than 24 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector.

Tanya has lead IMPACT’s growth and diversification strategy under their Live, Grow and Prosper pillars which create a continuum of services that deliver a range of programs within regional communities.

Tanya is an advocate for taking personal responsibility for our wellbeing and regularly shares articles on LinkedIn in the hope of instilling action in others that will build inner strength, resilience and clarity of purpose.

Mat Grills is a husband, father to two girls, owner of The Journey specialty coffee shops and an ultra-endurance athlete.

Primarily running distance for over 15 years in both sanctioned races and self-organised projects that include, running 200 miles from Bargara to the Sunshine Coast, 100 half marathons in a row, 10 x 50 km and 40 x marathons in a row.

Mat has placed top ten and podiuming in several 100-mile races and most recently, running from Bargara to Noosa Ultra Trail to take part in the event.

Together, speakers guided attendees through the latest advancements in health, aging, disease prevention and the role technology and innovation has in promoting health and wellbeing.


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