From the desk of CHDC

Best is yet to come for 2023



We are in the thick of organising multiple events for the remaining half of 2023.

It starts with our eighth annual Farm to Fine Dining regional produce showcase at Brisbane’s Blackbird Bar and Grill on 20 July.

This invitation-only, three-course meal brings together local stakeholders and key decision-makers from outside the region, while promoting the Central Highlands’ high quality agricultural produce.

The event is a platform to advocate for important projects, policies or changes, and puts Central Highlands produce in front of guests who might otherwise not have access to it.

Through the food and the ensuing dinner-table conversation, this event raises the profile of the region, its fresh produce and the people who produce it.

Next on the calendar is CHDC’s Resources and Innovation Forum on 17 August at Emerald’s Mayfair Tavern.

I’m excited to confirm our presenters are:

  • Queensland Resources Council’s Andrew Barger, who will provide an update on commodity forecasting; future markets for coal; and trends, themes, and challenges within the industry.
  • Aaron Birkby from Tribe Global Ventures and the Innovation Advisory Council, who will touch on regional innovation and trends; the innovation ecosystem; and regional investment in innovation.
  • Last but certainly not least is Sojitz Blue’s Ann Houston, who will give an operational overview and discuss the future of coal and Sojitz Blue; innovation and technology; decarbonisation; and energy transition.

This event will include dinner and networking. Ticket sales will open soon.

Arguably the region’s biggest business event of the year is the 2023 Central Highlands Business Excellence Awards.

Nominations for the People’s Choice category are open until 7 July but entries for the other categories are now closed.

Our prestigious judging panel – QLD Chief Entrepreneur Julia Spicer, Ben Hughes from Hughes et al and Imvelo’s Dr. Sharna Glover – now have the completed entries in their hot little hands.

The criteria outlined in the Nominations and Entries Guide provides a well-rounded structure for the judges to apply in the scoring process.

The finalists will be announced next month and we’ll schedule the judges’ in-region site visits with those businesses to help determine the winners. This year, we have requested the judges provide feedback to share with the entrants.

All winners will be announced at the Awards Gala Dinner on 9 September at Emerald Town Hall.

Tickets will go on sale on 22 July but I’m happy to confirm now that we’re going to be able to offer attendees a real night of celebration at an affordable price, thanks to the amazing partnerships we’ve secured for this event.

We’re also very excited to welcome back The Koi Boys, a musical trio who will amp up attendees to dance the night away and celebrate their achievements!

Board and Events Coordinator or (07) 4982 4386.