From left:
Kris Carver, John Jung (ICF), Steve Huff, Will Shrapnel (HeliMods), Sandra Arico (HeliMods), Russell Gibbons, Anne Lawrence (SCC), Myles McNamara (EyeOnIT), Kim McCosker (4Ingredients), Paul Skillen (SCC), Gabrielle Troon (SCC), Tim Marchington, Mayor Mark Jamieson
Intelligent Communities Forum
  • Last updated:
  • 28 Apr 2022

Showcasing our region's successes to international judges 

Sunshine Coast Council has worked with more than 45 organisations and individuals across the region to present compelling award submissions in 2019 and 2020 - both resulting in the region being named a Top7 Intelligent Community across the globe.

Being a Top7 Intelligent Community is a significant recognition of council’s long-term strategy delivered in partnership with the community, education and industry leaders over many years.

In August 2020, the Sunshine Coast hosted a two-day virtual visit by the ICF judges as the next stage of the awards program to determine the 2020 Intelligent Community of the Year winner - awarded to Tallin, Estonia - announced at the ICF's virtual global summit in Dublin, Ohio, USA on 29 October.

The virtual visit involved local students, community groups and business owners to highlight the collaborative relationships we have here on the coast and the amazing talent and skills available. 

Chancellor State College’s Simon Richardson, student Sarah Eisenmenger and Audrey Hearn joined
Graeme Breen from Mountain Creek State High School to talk about their robotics and coding 
programs with the ICF judges during the Sunshine Coast’s virtual visit

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the accolade benchmarked the Sunshine Coast against cities, provinces and regions from across the globe against the six focus areas of broadband, knowledge workforce, innovation, digital inclusion, engagement and sustainability which were essential to developing intelligent communities. 

“Being recognised as a Top7 Intelligent Community for 2019 and 2020 acknowledges how our collaborative programs and initiatives exemplify best practice when compared with those of other locations within the international community,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Participating in the awards program has given us the opportunity to showcase the Sunshine Coast, and everything it has to offer, to a global audience.

“It also reinforces the work to position the Sunshine Coast as an ideal location for the businesses and industries in the digital age, which deliver enduring employment opportunities that are in demand and are less susceptible to global fluctuations.

“This is a key objective of our Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Strategy 2013-2033 and is particularly important as our region seeks to rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayor Jamieson said. 


Sunshine Coast - Intelligent Community
June 2019


 The Top7 finalists for 2020 (in alphabetical order):

  • Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  • Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • Hudson, Ohio, USA
  • Markham, Ontario, Canada
  • Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
  • Tallinn, Estonia
  • Westerville, Ohio, USA

Sunshine Coast - Intelligent Community awards

  • 2020 – Top7 and Smart21
  • 2019 – Top7 and Smart21
  • 2018 – Smart21
  • 2017 – Smart21
  • 2015 – Smart21
  • 2014 – Smart21

Sharing our COVID-19 learnings with the world 

The Sunshine Coast continues to collaborate internationally, with Mayor Mark Jamieson participating in an online interview on 28 April 2020 about our region’s response to COVID-19. Speaking with ICF co-founder Lou Zacharilla, Mayor Jamieson explains the role of our Disaster Management Group, supporting the community through programs such as COVID kindness and online resources for businesses.

The video interview is part of an ICF series with leaders of Intelligent Communities about how their communities are being engaged and informed during this pandemic and sharing their learnings with others around the world. 


Our Intelligent Community journey

Council, together with innovative businesses, educational institutions and community groups have been delivering successful region-wide programs and initiatives across the awards' six Intelligent Community indicators, summarised in the links below:

  • Broadband: encouraging deployment and adoption, and deploying our own networks where necessary
  • Knowledge workforce: creating economic value through knowledge, skills and ability to use information effectively
  • Innovation: creating a culture that engages the entire community in positive change
  • Digital inclusion: providing access to digital technology and connectivity, and offering digital skills training
  • Engagement: building a common understanding of the challenges facing the community and a shared vision for overcoming them
  • Sustainability: improving the quality of life for our community. 


From Smart City to Intelligent Community ICF Sunshine Coast
April 2019


Each year, the ICF presents this awards program for Intelligent Communities and the public-sector and private-sector partners who contribute to them. It provides communities with a platform for attracting international attention, stimulating inward investment and building public support for progress.

Gaining a place among the year's Smart21 is considered a badge of honour as well as the first step to greater recognition as an Intelligent Community positioned to prosper in the broadband economy.

The Top7 communities represent models of economic and social transformation in the 21st Century. Each exemplifies best practices in broadband deployment and use, workforce development, innovation, digital inclusion and advocacy that offer lessons to regions, cities, towns and villages around the world.

The Intelligent Community of the Year is named on the closing day of the Global Summit in June of each year.