Queensland regional startup founder Julia Spicer named the state’s new chief entrepreneur

Goondiwindi-based businesswoman Julia Spicer has been named Queensland’s new chief entrepreneur.

She will enter the year-long volunteer role, taking over from Wayne Gerard, next month.

The appointment by Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk comes as the state looks to hosting the 2032 Olympics and the opportunities they provide 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-up and business entrepreneurship in rural, regional and remote communities,” the premier said.

“She is an active member of the Queensland Innovation Advisory Council and has received numerous awards and achievements. In 2022, she was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for her community service through various organisations.

“I am confident that our new Chief Entrepreneur will help us shine our innovation in the decade before 2032.”

Spicer said it will focus on building a sustainable and resilient innovation ecosystem to help companies grow and scale at a sustainable pace.

“I look forward to helping to ensure that all Queenslanders have access to the innovation ecosystem, no matter where they are or their background, to drive Queensland’s economy in every corner of the world. State,” she said.

“We have so much talent in Queensland, and I want to shine a light on the people and quality products that Queensland produces on the world stage as well as in traditional Queensland industries to build a culture of innovation and achievement, both locally and globally.”

The Premier paid tribute to outgoing Chief Contractor Wayne Gerard, who will continue to share his ideas and experience as part of the Brisbane 2032 Legacy Committee. One of his main contributions during his tenure was his advice to Queensland 2022-2032 innovation roadmap for a future economy.

“Wayne was instrumental in shaping our new innovation roadmap, establishing the Innovation Advisory Council and during his tenure he generously contributed his time, experience and expertise to support innovation in Queensland,” said Palaszczuk.

“I would like to thank Wayne for all his hard work in this volunteer role over the past 18 months and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Innovation Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Spicer’s impressive career in starting rural, regional and remote businesses makes her an excellent choice as chief entrepreneur.

“We want to leverage innovation and entrepreneurship in the Queensland region and provide opportunities to develop ideas, create jobs and thrive in the future emerging global economy,” he said.

“Julia Spicer understands what makes the Queensland region tick and how to encourage start-ups to thrive. These are exactly the credentials we need to maximize opportunities on the global stage and drive Queensland’s decade-long innovation roadmap to success.

Perhaps Queensland’s most successful regional entrepreneur of late is SafetyCulture founder Luke Annear, who launched his now unicorn tech company in a Townsville garage in 2004.

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