Business leaders to dish up feast of ideas at forum


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Chris Morris, Australia’s 48th richest man in 2016, will be the big drawcard at the business forum in Port Douglas on Tuesday. IMAGE: AFR.
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THE Douglas Shire Council’s Business Forum, which is being held at QT Resort on Tuesday, February 21 from 1pm, and is the second of its kind, offers a smorgasbord of speakers who should leave the attendees with many take-home messages.

From experts in research, science, multi-media, fashion, energy, the sugar industry and social media and marketing, it is no surprise organisers put up the full-house sign after only a few days of registration.

Entrepreneur Chris Morris, Australia’s 48th richest man in 2016 (according to Forbes), will be the big drawcard at the forum.

Morris is the owner and Chairman of the Morris Group and founding member of Computershare in 1978 and its Chief Executive Officer from 1990 to 2006. He is currently a Non-Executive Director and largest shareholder.

His extensive knowledge of the securities industry and its user requirements was instrumental in developing Computershare into an ASX Top-50 global company, which currently employs over 18,000 staff globally and has a market capitalization of approximately $7 billion. Morris recently bought a cattle station in Queensland, which he plans to turn into an ultra-high-end resort.

Dr Dean Miller and John Rumney, from the Great Barrier Reef Legacy are other high profile speakers.
Dr Miller is a scientist, multi-media professional, BBC television presenter and an Australian Geographic sponsored explorer. With a PhD in coral reef management and resource allocation, Dean has a wealth of scientific experience in the field from Antarctica to the Arctic and everywhere in between, having been involved in over 300 ocean expeditions all over the globe in some of the most challenging environments known.

Rumney, recipient of the 2017 Australia Day Award for Douglas Citizen of the Year, has dedicated his professional and personal life to supporting research and pioneering marine ecotourism on the Great Barrier Reef. He has been an outstanding advocate for marine conservation whilst demonstrating the “commercial advantage to saving the reef”.

Although Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu will not formally participate in the forum, she will introduce the Economic Development Strategy for 2017-2021.

A council spokesperson said take-away messages from the forum will be work-shopped internally and acted upon as appropriate.

See the the full list of speakers here.

Will you be heading to the business forum on Tuesday? Let us know in the comments below!

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