Goondiwindi-based businesswoman Julia Spicer has been named Queensland’s new Chief Entrepreneur.
She will step into the year-long volunteer role next month, taking over from Wayne Gerard.
The appointment by Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk comes as the state turns its attention to hosting the Olympics in 2032 and the opportunities it offers for innovation and business.
“Ms. Spicer has founded and grown several successful regional businesses in her current hometown of Goondiwindi, and has been a champion of start-ups and business entrepreneurship in rural, regional and remote communities,” said the Prime Minister.
“She is an active member of the Queensland Innovation Advisory Council and has received many awards and achievements. In 2022, she was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for her services to the community through a range of organisations.
“I am confident that our new Chief Entrepreneur will help us shine our light of innovation in the decade leading up to 2032.”
Spicer said her focus will be on building a sustainable and resilient innovation ecosystem to help companies grow and scale at a sustainable pace.
“I look forward to ensuring that all residents of Queensland have access to the innovation ecosystem, wherever they are or whatever their background, to boost Queensland’s economy in every corner of the state,” said they.
“We have so much talent in Queensland and I want to showcase the quality people and products that Queensland produces on the global stage and also for Queensland’s traditional industries to build a culture of innovation and success both locally and globally .”
The Prime Minister paid tribute to outgoing Chief Entrepreneur Wayne Gerard who will continue to provide his insights and experience as part of the Brisbane 2032 Legacy Committee. One of his major contributions during his tenure was his advice to Queensland Innovation for a future economy Step-by-step plan 2022-2032.
“Wayne was instrumental in developing our new Innovation Roadmap, setting up the Innovation Advisory Council and during his term has generously contributed his time, experience and expertise to support innovation in Queensland,” said Palaszczuk.
“I want to thank Wayne for all his work in this volunteer position over the past 18 months and wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Innovation Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Spicer’s impressive career in rural, regional and remote start-ups makes her an excellent choice as Chief Entrepreneur.
“We want to tap into innovation and entrepreneurship in regional Queensland and provide opportunities to grow ideas, create jobs and thrive in the emerging global economy of the future,” he said.
“Julia Spicer understands what drives regional Queensland and how to nurture start-ups to thrive. These are exactly the credentials we need to maximize opportunities on the global stage and lead Queensland’s decade-long innovation roadmap to success.”
Perhaps the most successful regional entrepreneur in recent times in Queensland is SafetyCulture founder Luke Annear, who founded his now unicorn tech company in 2004 in a garage in Townsville.