Thursday, May 30, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Leading The Way: The First Social Enterprise Conference

Two forward-thinking local individuals and leaders in their field have brought their industry together by creating the inaugural Social Enterprise Conference which took place in the Whitsundays last week.

Inviting 120 Neighbourhood and Community Centres from across Queensland to the conference, Bec Woods of Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre and Steph Cora from Bowen Neighbourhood centre Cora led the inspiring two-day event.

Beginning with a day in Cannonvale, participants were involved with a series of workshops and information sessions.

“We wanted more professional development opportunities closer to home, and we thought, why not host an event ourselves?” Ms Woods explained.

“We are stepping into new territory [delivering a conference] but we are excited to show our peers what we can achieve.”

The second day of the event took place at Flagstaff Hill Conference Centre in Bowen.

“It was really important that we showcased the whole region,” Ms Woods said.

“We want to showcase our communities and the best way to do this was to host the event in each location,” Ms Cora added.

“Facilitating 120 attendees to spend time in our region is one of the best ways to support our towns.”

An opportunity for professional development, the conference made inspiring movement toward social enterprise models and less reliance on funding from the government and charity to deliver community development.

Eight knowledgeable speakers were brought together to lead a variety of workshops and lectures on relevant subjects.

The conference has been supported by industry peak body Neighbourhood Centre Queensland, Abbott Point Operations and Whitsunday Regional Council.

Rebecca Woods from Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre speaking at the inaugural Social Enterprise Conference. Photo credit: Daniel Heggie

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