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Conference to provide welcome business boost

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THE WHITSUNDAYS will host a state-wide conference, in May 2024, bringing a welcome boost to the region’s local economy.

It will be the first Social Enterprise Conference for the region, and its staging is thanks to the Bowen and Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centres.

The Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre’s Rebecca Woods and Bowen Neighbourhood centres’ Stephanie Cora have been pushing to bring professional development opportunities for the community services sector to North Queensland

The pair launched the Queensland Social Enterprise Conference: ‘The Business of Neighbourhood Centres’ to industry leaders during their keynote address, last year.

The two-day conference will be held in both Bowen and Cannonvale, from Wednesday, May 22 to Friday, May 24, 2024.

Industry leaders from 120 neighbourhood and community centres from across Queensland will gather to learn Social Enterprise business models, that enhance organisational capacity and resilience. 

“We wanted more professional development opportunities closer to home and we thought, why not host an event ourselves,” Ms Woods said.

“We are stepping into new territory [delivering a conference] but we are excited to show our peers what we can achieve.”

Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre will host the Cannonvale event, at Mantra Club Croc with attendees bussed to Flagstaff Hill Conference and Event Centre, where Bowen Neighbourhood Centre will host the event.

“We want to showcase our communities and the best way to do this was to host the event in each location,” Ms Cora said.

“Facilitating 120 attendees to spend time in our region is one of the best ways to support our towns.”

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