The transition of Newcastle from a great regional city to an emerging global city is the centre of attention again this week, as 23 of the brightest young professionals in our region considered the vision and branding for the greater Newcastle region and how it can be promoted as a global city (HunterNet Future Leaders Project brief, 2019).
These young professionals participated in the 2019 HunterNet Future Leaders Program. Delivered across 12 sessions, the Program is designed to equip young leaders with the skills they need to step into management/senior management roles within their organisation. Following these sessions, the participants were divided into four multidisciplinary teams to consider the project brief, under the guidance of their assigned mentor. This year’s mentors consisted of:
- Rebecca Johnston – Barr Property and Planning
- Tim Donoghue – TUNRA
- Warwick Sommer – Ampcontrol
- Ian Winn – One Clan
The Project Brief had two key areas:
- Develop an identity and positioning concept for the greater Newcastle region which promotes it as a global city.
- Identify an ASX-200 listed company which your team believes should establish a new headquarters in Newcastle with the aim to improve the economic diversity of the region.
Using the skills they attained in the first half of the Program, the teams were encouraged to “Think Big, Think Bigger and then Bigger Again” when researching and scoping their projects. Under the supervision of their mentors, each team was required to produce a 25 page report and deliver a 30 minute presentation to our judging panel. The 2019 judging panel was comprised of:
- Kari Armitage – Quarry Mining
- Will Rifkin – Hunter Research Foundation Centre
- Prem Chand – Roadhound Electronics
- Michelle McPherson – nib Health Funds
- Tony Cade – HunterNet
Jacqui Warren, Industry Advisor at HunterNet and Future Leaders Program Director said:
“Our aim was to challenge our Future Leaders to think outside the box and inspire them to develop a passion for the region. Each of the teams submitted proposals that are both innovative and practical, demonstrating a commitment to the prosperity of the region that is sustainable in the long term.
The quality of the submissions is a credit to the teams, as well as the many volunteers behind the Program. We are fortunate to have a very high calibre of judges, mentors, presenters and committee members delivering this Program each year. I congratulate the teams on their efforts and look forward to the announcement of the winning team at the Gala Dinner.”
The winning team is HealthPort, consisting of the following members:
- Sam Noakes – Port Waratah Coal Services
- Nicholas Oliveri – Bohemia Interactive Solutions
- Dr Bin Chen – TUNRA
- Chanel Egan – Forsythes Technology
- Brodie White – NAB
- Andrew Fisher – Ampcontrol
- Ian Winn (One Clan – Team Mentor)
The teams project centred around “attracting health and technology companies to Newcastle to promote economic growth, sustainability and diversity” through the establishment of three “interconnected ‘innovation precincts’” (Team HealthPort, HunterNet Future Leaders Program 2019).
The winner was announced on Friday 25th October 2019 at the Annual Future Leaders Program Gala Dinner at Town Hall Newcastle. In attendance was the Program participants, their mentors, company sponsors and other distinguished leaders from the local business community.