(This content first appeared in Gold Coast Bulletin on April 20, 2015. Click here to read the original story).
As a professional strategist, it’s no surprise HLB Mann Judd managing partner Janelle Manders believes some higher-level, cooperative thinking is what’s needed to get the most of our city.
Janelle Manders has built a decades-long career in strategic planning, risk management, taxation, global business, governance, and financial reporting. The managing partner of the Gold Coast office of HLB Mann Judd Accountants and Business Advisors is also a director of the Gold Coast Suns Football Club and has been chairwoman of the St Hilda’s Foundation and Australian Institute of Company Directors Gold Coast Committee, director/treasurer of Careflight (Qld) Ltd and a director of the Gold Coast Institute of TAFE.
What do you think could be done better on the Gold Coast?
“Being on the Coast forever and a day and advising businesses, I really think that we need to support our privately-owned businesses. There are heaps of passionate people who have got lots of opportunity, but it’s actually being able to make sure that, with the opportunity, they actually do it in the right way to mitigate the risk of what they’re doing.
“We’ve got lots of examples of businesses where the foresight and attitude is amazing, but sometimes they over commit, sometimes they don’t think of consequences.
“I think we could create an environment where we celebrate our successes but we also mentor, innovate and support our businesses.
“The other thing I don’t think we do really well is the interaction between the universities, the TAFEs and business.
“We’ve got some of the best university and TAFE programs here and research being done, but there doesn’t seem to be a really easy exchange of ideas.
“Lastly I think we should be more proud of our city being a linear city and not trying to keep coming up with a CBD.
“Embrace the fact that it is linear and we have this collection of villages that each have their own style and use that ability to be able to separate the different experiences that locals can have. We need to be embracing it instead of trying to be like everybody else.”
In your travels, what have you seen being done elsewhere you think could work well here?
“I love ventures where people’s passion have driven them to do something special and because of that, other people have been attracted to go there.
“There’s this wonderful gallery in Arken, in Denmark — it’s just this little speck of a town and the art gallery is almost on the beach. It’s not a fancy building, but it houses some amazing modern art. You go there for a day, it’s lovely.
“Even the way we started here — John Longhurst built a theme park here. I really think people are attracted by passion.
“I think more of those types of ventures would really give us an incredibly vibrant city.”
What conversations should Gold Coast movers and shakers be having?
“Creating an environment that’s going to help the next generation of businesses to succeed. We need to allow them to have the confidence to have a go, the ability to profit from their passion and the ability to understand the risks of their decision.
“The creation of an organisation that focuses on strategies for the Gold Coast.
“Identifying and rolling issues that affect the long-term prosperity and livability of the city. We all know the potential of the Coast and we all want it to succeed and be sustainable but the only way we’ll achieve that is if we start focusing on what’s best for the Gold Coast.”
Read the full Gold Coast Bulletin story here.
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