December 16, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

The Gold Coast is continuing to up the ante on its intellectual proposition for business events, with Destination Gold Coast announcing the first three ambassadors in its renewed ambassador program.

The initial Gold Coast advocates pack a punch between them – Dr Hal Rice is a founding partner of Qscan Group, director of interventional neuroradiology at Gold Coast University Hospital and an associate professor at Griffith University School of Medicine; Rebecca Frizelle OAM is on the organising committee of the 2032 Olympic Games, co-owner of the NRL Gold Coast Titans and deputy chancellor of Griffith University; and Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM is a doctor, lawyer, disability advocate and researcher as well as being the 2021 Queensland Australian of the Year.

“We are excited to launch BE Connected Gold Coast with leaders who are making a big impact through their contribution to the social, cultural and economic achievements of the city,” said Selina Sinclair, Destination Gold Coast’s head of business events.

“They will showcase the Gold Coast’s changing profile as a hub for innovation, by attracting and building best in class business events whose benefits go beyond visitation and are a key contributor to the city’s growth.

“Gold Coast’s Australian of the Year, renowned stroke specialist and one of the founding ambassadors from the original program, Dr Hal Rice is a great example of partnering with Destination Gold Coast to not only bring events to our city but through his work is putting the Gold Coast on the world medical stage,” she said.

“Dr Rice has continued to bring international medical conferences to the Gold Coast, generating millions of dollars in economic benefit for the city and is now, through both public and private sector investment, in the final stages of building a world-class training centre for image-guided surgeries right here at the Gold Coast’s $1 billion Health and Knowledge Precinct.”

The Gold Coast’s rockstar mayor, Tom Tate is a patron of the ambassador program, which has been called BE Connected Gold Coast. He said the three announced ambassadors would be the first of many.

“These three extraordinary people will work with us to expand the program and promote the city as a place to do business and exchange knowledge through meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions.

“These leaders are contributing to the Gold Coast’s extraordinary reputation as a place where innovation is flourishing; a region of Australia where investment in research and start-ups, health, science, sport, screen, education and many other areas is booming.”

The ambassador program is a natural flow on from the Gold Coast’s “Imagination Capital of Australia” campaign launched in February this year, which seeks to broaden the appeal of the Gold Coast for business events to include its lesser-known intellectual capital which is continuing to grow.