Brisbane Business Summit

A photo of a man in group discussion

Learn from leading business minds at the Brisbane Business Summit on 21 April 2021.

A year on from Brisbane’s coronavirus shutdown, the summit brings together business leaders to reflect on the impacts of the pandemic on our local economy and the trends expected to shape our city for years to come.

Hear from the experts, network and tap into new opportunities that could help your business emerge from these uncertain times stronger than ever.

The Brisbane Business Summit is just one of many free Council business events, workshops and programs available to help businesses at every stage of their journey.

Event details

Event date and location of Brisbane Business Summit
Date 21 April 2021
Venue Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Virtual spots will also be available for those unable to attend in person.

Register online to secure your place at this free event.

Guest speakers and program

Get a sneak peak of the speakers and program to feature at the Brisbane Business Summit. Full details will be announced soon. Please note program and speakers are subject to change.

Mark Bouris, Executive Chairman, Yellow Brick Road  

Mark Bouris - Brisbane Business Summit guest speaker

Having built his reputation as a finance specialist in the top echelon of corporate life, Mark Bouris has always been willing to share his boardroom of knowledge with rank-and-file Australians.

As host of The Mentor podcast on Southern Cross Austereo’s Podcast One, which has already attracted more than two million downloads, he’s in a unique position to share his financial expertise with a growing number of Australians keen to bottle his advice. His 2019 three-city speaking tour brought together more than 9,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs keen to savour his advice.

His sharp financial analysis has been followed, and in many cases adopted, in recent years through his previous forays on national television as host of The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice on the Nine Network and The Mentor on the Seven Network.

Mark Bouris has established a successful career from building disruptive businesses to challenging the market and provide smarter solutions for consumers. He is currently the Executive Chairman of the publicly-listed Yellow Brick Road Group.

Appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2015 for his significant service to the finance industry, particularly the home loan mortgage sector, to education, and to charitable organisations, Mark Bouris currently sits on the Western Sydney University Foundation Council and is an Adjunct Professor for Banking and Finance and Business Law and Tax at UNSW Australia Business School. He is also an alumni of UNSW Australian Business School and works with the university to mentor tomorrow’s business leaders.

The author of Wealth Wizard, The Yellow Brick Road to Your Financial Security, and What it Takes, Mark Bouris writes for some of Australia’s most recognised publications, including News Corp’s Money Saver HQ. Away from television cameras and boardrooms, he’s an ardent rugby league follower and sits on the board of 2018 NRL premiers, the Sydney Roosters. 

Matthew Tobin, Co-Founder and Managing Director, UAP

Matthew Tobin - Brisbane Business Summit guest speaker

Matthew Tobin is co-Founder and Managing Director of UAP. He and his brother Daniel established the company in 1993 as a studio and workshop to collaborate with artists and create artwork for the public realm. These days, Matthew oversees the company's operations globally and spends his time in the Brisbane, Shanghai and New York studio and workshop facilities. Matthew's primary focus is strategic business growth and development, which includes the advancement of the Art Makers, a breakthrough funding vehicle bringing to life new works of art, and most importantly, the organisation's engagement with advanced manufacturing techniques and Industry 4.0.

Matthew has played an integral role in UAP's evolution from a small Brisbane workshop to an international and leading business in the arts and manufacturing, fostering an outlook that embraces all creative possibilities. From 2009 – 2012 he was based in China, establishing UAP's Shanghai office. Matthew has a vast knowledge of all aspects of project delivery, providing sound government that enables the ever-expanding UAP team to undertake jobs that push innovative fabrication and artisanal craftsmanship levels.

Matthew studied Visual Arts at the Queensland University of Technology. He currently resides in Brisbane.

Mark McCrindle, Principal, Demographer & Futurist

Mark McCrindle - Brisbane Business Summit guest speaker

Mark McCrindle is a social researcher with an international following. He is recognised as a thought leader in tracking emerging issues and researching social trends. His advisory, communications and research company, McCrindle, count among its clients more than 100 of the largest companies and leading international brands. Armed with the latest findings and presented in a customised and innovative way, Mark is an in-demand communicator. 

Li Cunxin, Artistic Director, Queensland Ballet

Li Cunxin - Brisbane Business Summit guest speaker

Li was born in China and was selected to study at Beijing Dance Academy in 1972 and received one of the first cultural exchange scholarships to America. Li subsequently became principal dancer with Houston Ballet and then The Australian Ballet. After retiring from dancing in 1999, Li made a successful career transition from ballet into finance, working as a senior manager at one of the largest stockbroking firms in Australia. In 2003, Li published his international best-selling autobiography, “Mao's Last Dancer”, which has received numerous awards and was adapted as a feature film in 2009. He is currently on the Advisory Board of the ‘Committee for Brisbane’, is the Vice President of the RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) and is a Member of the Queensland Government’s ‘Creative Economy Taskforce’. Li has been the Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet since 2014.

Dimity Dornan, Founder & Executive Director, Hear & Say

Dimity Dornan - Brisbane Business Summit guest speaker

Dimity Dornan is an entrepreneur, bionics advocate, speech pathologist, researcher, Founder and Executive Director of Hear & Say, Founder and Chair of Bionics Queensland, member of Senate of the University of Queensland, a Fellow of Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and of the Queensland College of Arts and Sciences. She is currently working to bring new bionics solutions to market for the benefit of people with previously untreatable medical conditions.

Llew Jury, Founder & Managing Director, Sprint Ventures

Llew Jury - Brisbane Business Summit guest speaker

Llew is an experienced digital business and marketing leader who's founded, managed and exited global digital marketing and consulting businesses over the past two decades. He is the Founder and Managing Director at Sprint Ventures - growing, mentoring and investing in the very best early-stage ideas and most importantly, their founders. He is a director of, a Saas platform on a mission to help business owners, CEOs and managers get HR confident. He is also the Founder and Chair of Reload Business Group, one of Australia's leading digital marketing groups.

Andrea Culligan, Partner, Deloitte Australia

Andrea Culligan - Brisbane Business Summit guest speaker

Andrea helps clients tackle disruption, become market leaders and grow by owning the next horizon of innovation. Bringing the experience of starting and scaling seven businesses across two countries alongside Deloitte's Venture Growth and Doblin frameworks, Andrea's passion lies in building new ventures and creating growth through innovation. In doing so, Andrea's clients experience growth, strong shareholder support and become market leaders. Andrea's background not only lies in starting and scaling her own ventures, but in supporting others through advisory board roles with the tech community, entrepreneur in residence roles and contribution to numerous accelerators and innovation hubs.

Sofie Formica, Presenter

Sofie Formica - Brisbane Business Summit guest speaker

Sofie Formica is a well respected TV host, and presenter. After 12 years hosting Queensland’s most popular lifestyle TV show, Sofie recently founded her own production company, TravelWell Media and is co-founder of a new wellness and healthy ageing initiative. Much sought after as an expert communications advisor,  brand ambassador and conference facilitator, Sofie is excited to apply her skillset, network and public profile to shaping the future of Brisbane.


Keynote address: Opportunities for the future and the way forward for business
In times of great change, organisations that innovate and respond are the ones that thrive. In this session, leading social researcher Mark McCrindle will equip business leaders and organisations with an understanding of what the future will look like. From changes to the way we live to the way we work, lead, motivate and communicate, this session will help leaders understand and navigate the implications of COVID-19 for the ‘new normal’.

Panel discussion: Our city. Our strengths
As a dynamic new world city with a subtropical climate, Brisbane is well positioned to create unique opportunities for business whether it is through its people, landscape or innovation led economy. With more organisations looking to manufacture locally, support Brisbane businesses and strengthen the local economy, we are presented with a unique opportunity to step up as a city, to collaborate and grow together for everyone’s benefit.  Join us for a 360 perspective on what our city has to offer and how you can better leverage its unique strengths.

‘We got this’. An upbeat outlook for 2021
Australia’s outlook for 2021 is looking better than most. Unemployment figures are dropping, the deficit is looking healthier and most of us are leading very envious lives (for a pandemic that is). But what is the logic behind these metrics and what do they really mean for business? Join us as we dig into the economic changes that are impacting our country, particularly with a focus on the job trends, structural employment changes, reduction in JobSeeker and a whole new world of work. 

What will the new workforce for 2021 and beyond look like and how can you take advantage of the changes?

More information

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Last updated: 8 April 2021