A digital state of mind
  • Friday 08 April 2016
ImageThe digital world is upon us and it is a key to connecting communities, creating jobs, attracting investment and improving our lifestyles into the future.

With this in mind, the council-supported Digital Sunshine Coast initiative aims to connect digital innovators within our region as well as those who want to do great things digitally. 

As part of this program, 26 local businesses, organisations and individuals have been recognised as Community Digital Champions to encourage more locals to adopt digital technologies and services that increase productivity and competitiveness within our region.

Three Sunshine Coast Community Digital Champions were also recently named as Advance Queensland Digital Champions in recognition of their achievements in improving Queensland’s digital literacy and digital adoption.

Warana-based Aluminium Balustrade North Coast General Manager Sam Bevis said he hoped to use his Digital Queensland Champion status to inspire more Sunshine Coast businesses to discover and benefit from digital technologies. 

“The intention of accepting the nomination for Advance Queensland Digital Champion wasn't to further our brand or business but to help give back to the local business community by getting people on board with the adoption of cloud-based technologies,” Mr Bevis said.

“However, the networking and collaboration benefits between our business and others in similar industries will be priceless. 

We are all very excited to be a part of Advance Queensland, not only as a digital champion but as an advanced manufacturer on the Sunshine Coast and we look forward to meeting with and encouraging other businesses to take that first step into the cloud app space.”

Fellow Sunshine Coaster Pauline O’Sullivan also achieved Advanced Queensland Digital Champion status after co-founding a global internet business. 

Victus Health's cloud-based nutrition platform contains specialised software that enables clinicians to tailor highly specific nutrition programs for even the most complicated health condition. 

"I am the last person anyone would have expected to be involved in building a digitally-based business as I was a complete technophobe when we began,” she said.

“This revolutionary system is now leading to faster and better health outcomes proving to do just that for thousands of patients in 10 countries and reduced workloads for their practitioners. 

“In my new role I want to encourage others who may have a life changing ideas, but don't feel technically equipped. 

“I would like to help them to realise that you don't have to be a computer wizard to embrace the new digital economy - just collaborate with a few of them." 

Mooloolaba-based creative technologist Mic Black was also named as an Advance Queensland Digital Champion after creating Pixel Mosaic, an interactive digital art project with a strong community focus that is delivered through government initiatives, community organisations, travelling workshops in schools, public events, art galleries and online.

“It's nice to be recognised for using digital technologies in new and innovative ways to address the needs of the community,” Mr Black said.

“The Digital Champion award has given us an opportunity to attend events locally and further afield and represent the vibrant ecosystem of do-ers we have on the Coast.

“As a region we suit being strong in our knowledge economy with our idyllic lifestyle perks and strong people ecosystem. 

“Whilst some regions are waiting for the memo on how to ‘embrace innovation’, the Sunshine Coast, bolstered by some great people will have already moved on to their next success.”

Mayor Mark Jamieson said it was terrific to see Sunshine Coast businesses achieving highly in the digital technology industry.

“Council is very proud to be a supporter of Digital Sunshine Coast and many other initiatives and programs that nurture our technology industry and encourage individuals and businesses to adopt new and innovative technologies,” Mayor Jamieson said. 

“Knowledge and Professional Services is one of seven high-value industries within the Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS) that are identified as the keys to future employment and economic strength in our region.

“Council supported initiatives like the Mayor’s Telstra Technology Awards, CoderDojo as well as the upcoming Startup Weekend and Startup Weekend Youth all aim to help encourage, nurture and support the Sunshine Coast’s next generation of entrepreneurs.”

The Advance Queensland Digital Champions program is now taking nominations. 

For more information about the program or to nominate someone, visit www.qld.gov.au/digitalchampions