Goondiwindi-based businesswoman Julia Spicer has been appointed Queensland’s new Chief Entrepreneur.
She will step into the year-long voluntary role, taking over from Wayne Gerard, next month.
The appointment by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk comes as the state turns its attention to hosting the Olympic Games in 2032 and the opportunities it provides for innovation and business.
“Mrs Spicer has founded and grown several successful regional businesses within her current hometown of Goondiwindi, and has been a champion for startup and business entrepreneurialism in rural, regional and remote communities,” the Premier said.
“She is an active member of Queensland’s Innovation Advisory Council and has received many awards and achievements. In 2022, she was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for service to the community through a range of organisations.
“I am confident that our new Chief Entrepreneur will help us keep our innovation light shining in the decade before 2032.”
Spicer said her focus will be on building a sustainable and resilient innovation ecosystem to help businesses grow and scale at a sustainable rate.
“I look forward to helping to ensure all Queenslanders have access to the innovation ecosystem, no matter where they are located or what their background is to drive the Queensland economy across all corners of the state,” she said.
“We have so much talent in Queensland, and I want to shine a spotlight on the quality people and products that Queensland produces to the world stage and also to traditional Queensland industries to build a culture of innovation and success, both locally and globally.”
The Premier paid tribute to outgoing Chief Entrepreneur Wayne Gerard, who will continue to provide his insights and experience as part of the Brisbane 2032 Legacy Committee. One of his chief contributions during his tenure was his advice towards Queensland’s Innovation for a Future Economy 2022-2032 Roadmap.
“Wayne was instrumental in developing our new Innovation Roadmap, setting up the Innovation Advisory Council and over his term he has generously provided his time, experience and expertise to support innovation in Queensland,” Palaszczuk said.
“I want to thank Wayne for all his work in this voluntary role over the past 18 months and wish him well on his future endeavours.”
Innovation Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Spicer’s impressive career in rural, regional and remote business startups makes her an excellent choice as Chief Entrepreneur.
“We want to tap into innovation and entrepreneurship in regional Queensland and deliver opportunities to grow ideas, create jobs and prosper in the emerging global future economy,” he said.
“Julia Spicer understands what makes regional Queensland tick and how to champion start-ups to thrive. They’re exactly the credentials we need to maximise opportunities on the world stage and drive Queensland’s decade-long innovation roadmap to success.”
Perhaps Queensland’s most successful regional entrepreneur of recent times is SafetyCulture founder Luke Annear, who launched his now unicorn tech company in a garage in Townsville in 2004.