October Newsletter

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Message from the CEO

An important step for the Sunshine Coast’s economic development
The official launch event for Sunshine Coast Regional Innovation Program #SCRIPT was held October 9, 2017 at the Maroochy River Golf Club. More than 100 people from across the Sunshine Coast region - including Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson, and Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington - gathered to celebrate the commencement of the program. This is an important step for the Sunshine Coast - and further evidence that the region is gaining increasing recognition for its leadership in entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic development programs.

Continued growth is reliant on attracting or developing talent locally. Every meet-up I go to, people comment on the lack of coders and programmers on the Sunshine Coast to help entrepreneurs and innovators develop their ideas. To try to solve for this, RDASC, in partnership with TAFE Queensland East Coast and Sunshine Coast Council, launched the Introduction to Coding course for anyone looking to develop skills in coding. After consulting with businesses to better understand industry needs, the six-week TAFE course was developed, and is supplemented by internships, industry placements and ongoing training and development once a student finds employment. The next course will commence on 1st November 2017. Early interest in coding is also supported through programs like CoderDojo Sunshine Coast. This runs during school terms and provides skills in a supportive and fun environment.

- Darrell Edwards, CEO RDA Sunshine Coast


Palaszczuk Government backs Sunshine Coast business growing cottage industry to global market
A Sunshine Coast business is set to transform native bee honey from a cottage industry into a sustainable export market with funding from the Palaszczuk Government’s Advance Queensland Ignite Ideas Fund.
Read more

Sunshine Coast Health Accelerator announced 
Expressions of interest are now open for medtech, health & wellbeing innovators to participate in the region's first health accelerator in 2018 providing more than $12,000 of value.
Learn more 

Saucy Coast business shows appetite for expansion
Two million people a week consume dressings and sauces made at an expanding Coast factory but they probably don't even realise it. Epicurean Products managing director Tim Spence Thomas has welcomed a $514,000 funding boost to help his company grow that number.
Read more

Sunshine Coast Council recognised at Economic Development Australia Awards
Sunshine Coast Council has been nationally recognised for excellence in a number of programs designed to support and grow the economic development of our region.
Read more

RDA Sunshine Coast welcomes the new network charter

Under the new Charter, and working in close partnership with fellow RDA committees, all levels of government, and the private sector, RDA committees will:

1. Collaborate with relevant stakeholders to identify economic opportunities and leverage private and public sector investment to the regions;

2. Connect regional businesses, councils and industry sectors with international trade partners, financial markets and potential investors;

3. Promote and disseminate information on Australian Government policies and grant programs to state and local governments and industry, business and community sectors;

4. Support community stakeholders to develop project proposals to access funding;
5. Develop and maintain positive working relationships with the local government bodies in their regions;

6. Facilitate public and private sector decentralisation;

7. Assist in the delivery of Australian Government programs, where relevant and where requested by the Minister;

8. Engage with regional entrepreneurs and emerging business leaders to explore new opportunities to grow local jobs in their regions;

9. Provide information on their region’s activities and competitive advantages to all levels of government, industry, business and community sectors; and

10. Provide evidence-based advice to the Australian Government on critical regional development issues positively and negatively affecting their regions.

Entrepreneur Mike Knapp speaking at the #SCRIPT launch
$1 Million Regional Innovation Program Launches
The $1 million regional innovation program was announced this week, with the program designed to drive innovation, boost economic opportunities and create new jobs in the Sunshine Coast.

More than 100 people from across the Sunshine Coast region, including Sunshine Coast Mayor, Mark Jamieson, and Noosa Mayor, Tony Wellington, gathered at the Maroochy River Golf Club to celebrate the commencement of the program.

RDA Sunshine Coast Chair Tony Riddle said the announcement of the program will help propel the Sunshine Coast region into the future with thrilling potential.

“We are on the verge of an economic transformation that will see us – in the words of leading demographer Bernard Salt – become the home of nimble businesses, tech-savvy millennials and highly-educated young families,” said Mr Riddle.

“The ultimate goal – with the assistance of local, state and federal government; and industry, business and community sectors – is to ensure that existing businesses develop, strengthen and grow; and that new ones start up and succeed.”
How to share in the Kawana health precinct boom
Fuelled by the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital and its associated health precinct, the population of the Wurtulla-Bundilla area is expected to nearly double in the next 25 years.

The number of people working in that area has grown by 16% over the past five years, compared with a 10% growth in the entire Sunshine Coast region over the same period.

Kawana Chamber of Commerce, backed by the Sunshine Coast branch of Regional Development Australia and Sunshine Coast Council, is doing all it can to ensure local small businesses benefit from this booming health precinct.

Their Ripple Effect project, funded by RDA Sunshine Coast and the Sunshine Coast Council, was initiated last year to make sure businesses were aware of the opportunities being created, and how to take advantage of them.

Seeking Applications for Chair Position –Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast Committee

Regional Development Australia (RDA) is seeking highly-motivated leaders with vision, drive, and strong ties to their region to volunteer to Chair their local RDA Committee.

RDA Committees are vital promoters for their region. They bring together private business and all levels of government with regional communities to build and drive economic growth.

Applications are sought from business and community leaders who have a proven track record of achieving meaningful outcomes in a complex environment.

Women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with diverse cultural backgrounds, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

For more information including the role description and how to apply, please visit

You can contact the RDA team via phone 1800 505 938 (Mon–Fri 9am-5pm AEDT) or email

Applications close at 4pm on Friday 3rd November 2017.
Photo courtesy of Mic Black @micblackau
Sunshine Coast shines in National GovHack Awards

Sunshine Coast took out three GovHack National Awards in Brisbane on the weekend. Two for the ‘High Flyers' a project aimed to deliver healthcare outcomes for those unable or incapable of travel to receive health care.

FlowAI also won for their project using real time ongoing analysis traffic flows and predicted weather events, utilised to make real-time proactive decisions on traffic routing.

Congratulations to all those involved!

RDA Sunshine Coast CEO Darrell Edwards, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Member for Fairfax Ted O'Brien, RDA Sunshine Coast Project Officer Shanna Douglas. 
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visits Buderim Men's Shed

Darrell Edwards and Shanna Douglas at the Buderim Mens Shed with Ted O'Brien for the Prime Ministers visit - to showcase the Buderim Men's Shed and to discuss regional priorities for the Sunshine Coast. 


One Day Business Management Systems Workshop
26 Oct 2017
9.00 am to 4.00 pm

Better Business Breakfast
26 Oct 2017
6:15am - 8:45am

Doing Business with Council Workshop
8 Dec 2017
8am to 9.30am

Contact us

RDA Sunshine Coast
17 Ocean Street
Maroochydore Q 4558
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Have your say!
We welcome your feedback about any of our projects or news items featured in our monthly newsletter. If you have regional news stories or economic development events relevant for the Sunshine Coast community, please contact us at Editorial deadline is by the 28th of each month.
Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast is an Australian Government initiative that works in collaboration with the Queensland Government, Sunshine Coast and Noosa Councils to support economic development within the region.
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