March Newsletter

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Message from the CEO

Welcome to new RDA Sunshine Coast Committee Chair Carol Cashman. Carol has previously worked with all levels of government, community and business and is passionate about helping the Sunshine Coast reach its potential. Carol is currently recruiting her new board. Applications are open now.

I think we would have made a good team. Unfortunately I decided some time ago that I would not extend my contract with RDA Sunshine Coast beyond 30 March. I am looking forward to taking on the even more challenging role of developing my own business and more travel.

I joined RDA Sunshine Coast in 2015 after initially accepting a three month contract. The fact I stayed so long is testament to the calibre of people I have had the pleasure working with, and the positive contribution I feel we have collectively made - not only in elevating important topics like transport infrastructure and commuter behavioural change, education pathways to employment, regional innovation and digital agendas - but also in starting the conversation about our region getting a fair deal on government investments through City Deals.

Our focus is regional and it has been great to see the three levels of government draw together to work on region-wide initiatives for the benefit of the community – like the Integrated Transport Forum.

I believe collaboration is key to success. I would like to thank all the fabulous people that have collaborated with RDA Sunshine Coast. We work with great people across many projects - too many to mention individually - and I want to wish each and every one of you a happy and fulfilling future. 

It is an exciting time to be on the coast with so many great opportunities for the community and business owners to harness the momentum and potential.

I would sincerely like to thank to all past and present committee members for the guidance, leadership and support, and Shanna Douglas who has ensured we have been as effective as we can.

I am sure I will see you sometime soon.

Darrell Edwards
CEO                                                                               Regional Development Australia (RDA) Sunshine Coast

RDA Sunshine Coast Committee welcomes new Chair
Former Brisbane City councillor Carol Cashman is the new chair of the Regional Development Australia (RDA) Sunshine Coast Committee. Her three-year appointment will provide leadership to the regional RDA committee, help drive economic growth and maximise the potential of the Sunshine Coast region.
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The Ripple Effect - How YOU can do business with SCUH
As a local business owner have you thought about the opportunities that may exist for your business with the new hospital?

Many local small to medium businesses have already begun working with the hospital via the facilities manager Spotless. Spotless has identified opportunities outside of the provision of health services they believe can be filled by the local businesses already operating here on the Sunshine Coast. Come along to this free event to connect with current opportunities - and find out what exiting new opportunities may await you ...
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Sunshine Coast’s Hive Haven making a beeline towards overseas markets
Six years ago a colony of bees made its home in the wall of Ann and Jeff Ross’s mechanical workshop at Beerburrum on the Sunshine Coast. Instead of calling in pest control, Ann and Jeff coaxed the bees into a box and began a project that became Hive Haven, a producer of award-winning stingless native bee boxes, and stingless native bee honey. The couple has just returned from a trip to the Global Food Innovation in Agriculture forum in Abu Dhabi as guests of the Abu Dhabi Food Authority.
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Applications open for RDA Sunshine Coast committee members
Make a difference in your region
Regional Development Australia (RDA) Sunshine Coast is seeking regional leaders with vision, drive and business experience who are able to facilitate economic development opportunities and investment for our regional communities and create jobs and growth.
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Fast train dream takes massive step with Federal funding
A FORTY-five minute train ride from Maroochydore to Brisbane has moved a massive step closer to reality with Federal funding secured to develop a business case.
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Sunshine Coast: The place to be – Encouraging an entrepreneurial culture
Who forms part of the Sunshine Coast Entrepreneurial Ecosystem?
How would Sunshine Coast entrepreneurs like to be supported?

Focused on getting a better understanding about the different types of entrepreneurs on the Sunshine Coast, and how the community can better support them, the research report uncovers a range of typical entrepreneurial personas on the Coast, their needs and suggest a way forward to develop and grow the local ecosystem.

The report seeks to inform and guide the development of future programs that will encourage further entrepreneurial activity.
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Noosa, Good for Business
Blessed with natural assets, award winning restaurants, stunning beaches and signature events, Noosa is best known as one of Australia’s most iconic holiday destinations. If your business is well placed to take advantage of Noosa’s many competitive advantages, then join the growing number of entrepreneurs and innovators who combine the ultimate lifestyle with emerging business opportunities.
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The Future is Here
The Sunshine Coast offers a winning combination of locational advantages, a lower cost of doing business, economic resources, government support and investment opportunities. The region is already experiencing robust economic growth and is seeking discerning investors looking to capitalise on the associated market opportunities.
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Regional Growth Fund applications open

The Regional Growth Fund will provide grants of $10 million or more for major transformational projects which support long-term economic growth and create jobs in regions undergoing structural adjustment.

Initial Applications will close at 5pm AEST on 27 April 2018

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2017-18 IET Partnership Fund Round 2
The IET Partnership offers funds of $1.2 million per annum are available to eligible consortia in the Education Sector to deliver projects aligned with the goals of the Queensland Government’s International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016–2026.

Regional Growth Fund (RGF)
The Regional Growth Fund will provide grants of $10 million or more for major transformational projects which support long-term economic growth and create jobs in regions undergoing structural adjustment.

#SCRIPT Advance Regional Innovation Program (ARIP)
The Advance Regional Innovation Program (ARIP) will provide $1 million over 3 years to develop innovation and entrepreneurial activities across the Sunshine Coast region.

Veteran and Community Grants
The objective of the Program is to maintain and improve the independence and quality of life for members of the veteran community by providing funding for projects that support activities and services to sustain or enhance health and wellbeing.

Visit our Grants & Funding page for a list of grants and funding opportunities.
The Mayor's Telstra Technology Awards
The Sunshine Coast’s innovative young minds are invited to enter the 2018 Mayor’s Telstra Technology Awards to showcase new or creative uses of technology. Run annually since 2016 as a joint initiative between Sunshine Coast Council and Telstra, the Mayor’s Technology Awards encourage students in years 10 to 12 to submit new technology ideas for a chance to share in $10,000 worth of prizes.

The first round of competition closes on April 24.
Trademarking and IP
Knowledge is extremely valuable in business. Some even say knowledge is everything. This session will provide you with the tools to determine what you should do to protect your intellectual assets.
Thursday 22 March 2018, 7.00-8.30am
SPARK Bureau, Maroochydore
Five legal tips for high growth companies
As your business takes off, it’s important to have strong foundations to support high growth. We cut through the clutter and provide you with our top 5 tips to secure your business’s success for the long run.
Wednesday 28 March 2018, 10-11.30am
Innovation Centre, Sippy Downs

Facebook Advertising Masterclass
There is now a plethora of advertising options available on many of the leading social networks. This is some of the most targeted marketing that has ever been made available to businesses and it’s time you started leveraging it!
Wednesday 18 April 2018, 9am - 4.30pm
The Creative Collective, Maroochydore
Instagram for Business Workshop
Join us for an extremely interactive and hands on full day workshop in Instagram, and be guided through how to create amazing imagery, and take your Instagram activity to the next level.
Wednesday 16 May 2018, 9am - 4.30pm
The Creative Collective, Maroochydore


NextGen in Business
The future starts now with the multigenerational workforce

We are on the cusp of an unprecedented moment in history where there will be five generations working together in the workplace for the first time. Understanding how Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers and Traditionalists think differently and creating a workplace environment where everyone can thrive is the next big test for business.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s new event series leverages lessons from global innovators like Netflix as businesses learn to meld the skills and expectations of five distinct generations in their workplaces.
Queensland Surf Lifesaving Championships
The pinnacle event on Surf Life Saving Queensland’s sporting calendar, the Queensland surf life saving championships see more than 2000 competitors from all across Queensland line up each year to battle the surf, sand and each other in their quest for state glory.
16 to 18 March, 2018
Maroochydore SLSC

Kenilworth Cheese, Wine and Food Fest
Come and enjoy the Cheese, Wine and Food Fest, showcasing the unique range of the Mary Valley's finest foods, liqueurs and wines.
Saturday, 31 March 2018
Kenilworth Town Park

Noosa Food and Wine Festival
The beautiful Noosa waterways will be a magical backdrop for the Noosa Food & Wine Festival, with more than 35 fantastic events showcasing some of Australia's best chefs in beautiful locations throughout Noosa. 
17 to 20 May 2018
Noosa (various locations)

Putting the 'hipster' into heritage

One of Nambour’s emerging creative businesses is taking stories to the streets with their immersive sound walk app, Soundtrails.

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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 (or even awesome images of this great place we call home that you would like to share!) - please contact us at

Editorial deadline is by the 28th of each month.

Contact us

RDA Sunshine Coast
17 Ocean Street
Maroochydore Q 4558
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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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