CULTURAL HUB WILL POLISH CITY’S IMAGE AS THE PLACE TO BE
THERE is no doubt the Gold Coast has come of age.
As Australia’s sixth-largest city, the region continues to expand its influence and reputation beyond its traditional roots as an international tourist destination. Preparations for the 2018 Commonwealth Games have allowed us to reimagine the city as a mature, sophisticated destination to live, work and play.
GC2018 is more than a sporting event. It is a golden opportunity to show off the best of the city’s health, education, arts and cultural sectors to a global audience.
Studies have shown that a dynamic arts and cultural scene help attract and retain the best and brightest across a broad range of industries and professions, as well as, of course, increasing tourism.
The dynamism and energy of the Gold Coast make it the ideal destination for creative start-ups that will help drive the developing new economy.
A city that supports arts and culture benefits from the creativity that is so important to supporting innovation and new industries.
In this sense, the arts are not just an isolated industry. In fact, they add broader economic value as an underpinning industry that fosters the creative ethos essential for the future. For example, this intersection between the arts and manufacturing is evident in Griffith University’s planned hub for innovative digitally enabled design — a place where art meets science and health with remarkable results.
Millennials are in search of communities that offer something beyond a place to work and live — they want to be part of a vibrant cultural hub that challenges and inspires.
Ensuring that we have the cultural infrastructure in place will help future proof the city and attract this new “creative class” of innovators to the city.
In turn, this will be the economic catalyst for revitalising all corners of the City and improve the quality of life for everyone who calls the Coast home.
As both Vice Chancellor of Griffith University and Chair of the Queensland Art Gallery Board of Trustees, I know the arts plays a vital role in the intangible infrastructure of a city, helping create a local identity and sense of community — something that is as important as hard infrastructure like transport, health and education.
It is important we retain the Gold Coast’s unique identity — but we must add elements that elevate and celebrate the City’s burgeoning arts and cultural scene.
Our emergence as an arts and cultural centre in Australia will only serve to support a stronger and more vibrant Gold Coast, and I look forward to enjoying the many benefits it brings.
PROFESSOR IAN O’CONNOR AC Vice Chancellor and President, Griffith University GUEST COLUMNIST