Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - OPINION -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.