The collaborative nature of the Queensland Leaders program is one of the best examples of Queensland's advantageous business environment in action. Queensland Leaders partner and sponsor companies are helping to foster the next generation of international companies based in Queensland. It is a unique venture in which leaders of successful Queensland companies such as Super Cheap Auto Group, Colorado Group, Domino's Pizza Enterprises, Mincom, RP Data and Macarthur Coal help to mentor the program's up-and-coming member companies. The 2008/09 members have just ‘graduated' and the drive for members of the 2009/10 series will be launched on August 25.
Queensland business icon, Ben Macdonald, said it simply at the ‘graduation' event for Queensland Leaders companies recently.
"Queenslanders always come together. We're different in the way we do business together and we are far more successful because of it," he told the business leaders gathered at the graduation dinner.
Mr Macdonald - one of Queensland's most prolific business leaders, holding chairmanships of AP Eagers, FKP and Reef Casino Trust - was there as a retiring foundation advisory board member of Queensland Leaders. Retiring he may have been, but typical of the spirit of the organisation he admitted he would stay engaged with Queensland Leaders.
Some were there to celebrate the culmination of their company's time with the Queensland Leaders 2008/09 program. Other business leaders were there to celebrate the work and camaraderie they had built up with the Queensland Leaders members over the past year - much of which had led to positive business outcomes that would otherwise not have materialised.
Some of these examples, outlined by members, included vital advice from Export Solutions that helped solve a serious export challenge; assistance with human resources issues for a rapidly growing company; introductions that brought unanticipated business opportunities; advice from Millhouse IAG on a capital raising program that overcame a serious product development hurdle; and many examples of advice from partners and sponsors that enabled members to meet current economic and management challenges.
In his address to the Queensland Leaders gathering, former State Treasurer, Deputy Premier and University of Queensland chancellor, Sir Llew Edwards, urged the group to keep striving and innovating and maintain their "uniquely Queensland spirit".
Member companies of the Queensland Leaders 2008/2009 series are:
CEO Ken Ingbritsen said BioGlobal aims to become a profitable global bioscience company by developing biochemical technologies for the major pest management market opportunities created by the trend to clean, green and naturally-based products. Bioglobal's products fall into two green technology platforms, mating disruption (MD, which is the use of pheromone chemicals (insect smells) in dispensers to disrupt themating habits of insects; and attract and kill (A&K), the use of pheromones and kairomones (plant smells) to attract insects to insecticide-laced baits or mass traps. www.bioglobal.com.au
CLINICAL TRIALS GROUP
This group of collaborating companies, administered by Queensland Clinical Trials Network (QCTN) CEO Mario Pennisi, is made up of QCTN, Clinical Network Services (CNS), Mater Medical Research Institute (MMRI), The Wesley Research Institute and TetraQ.
QCTN is an independent, not-for-profit umbrella organisation established as one of the Queensland Government's Smart State initiatives. It has more than 55 members. QCTN is a primary point of contact for domestic and international organisations seeking to undertake preclinical and clinical research in Australia and helps them to identify and connect with appropriate research institutions, hospitals, CROs and other life sciences' service providers. Clinical Network Services (CNS) is an Australian based contract research organisation (CRO) providing clinical management support to the healthcare community during the early phase clinical development of their products and is Queensland's leading educator of research professionals.
MMRI is building a world-class medical research institute to discover, develop, translate, and commercialise medical research that integrates with relevant areas of excellence with Mater Health Services.
The Wesley Research Institute conducts research that focuses on improving patient care and quality of life - turning basic scientific findings into better health care outcomes for patients as quickly as possible.
TetraQ is an Australian CRO providing a range of high-quality, integrated and tailored preclinical services globally to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. In order to assist clients to navigate the commercialization process, TetraQ has prepared the Preclinical Drug Development Roadmap which is available on its website.
Conics is a leading development consultancy focused on urban growth and infrastructure, headed up by CEO Peter James.
Conics helps clients meet the challenges of urban growth and infrastructure delivery through a unique combination of economics, advisory, design, planning and surveying services. Conics development intelligence and services are delivered by 650 employees from 12 metropolitan and regional offices across eastern Australia. Clients include property developers, infrastructure providers, resource companies and government agencies.
Conics was formed in 2005 through the merger of PMM and C&B, two of Queensland's leading land development consultancies.
Cutting Edge provides world class post production services to the Australian and international film and television industry.
Renowned for its work in reality television, such as Big Brother, a field in which it leads the world, Cutting Edge has grown its team from three employees in 1992 to over 150 fulltime employees and 500 part-time employees in 2008.
Cutting edge director Matthew Lawson said through a strategy of continuous reinvestment in its technology, facilities and staff, the business has grown into the largest post production facility in Queensland and the most diversified in Australia.
From Cutting Edge's world-leading post production facility on the shores of the Brisbane River at West End, it produces an award-winning portfolio of work around the globe, including the UK Reality Television market, television commercials and work on feature films.
The company has won over 20 international awards for the creation of world-class television commercials.
DE VRYER & ASSOCIATES
De Vryer & Associates (DV&A) is a high-net worth financial planning practice that specialises in the administration and management of self managed superannuation funds. The business delivers low stress and high performance investment and superannuation solutions to wealthy individuals and their families. Managing director Jonathan Bonnett said De Vryer's management team is visionary and enthusiastic with an excellent blend of practical and creative skills.
GILMORE ENGINEERs, e3k
Gilmore Engineers began in 1986, when Duncan Gilmore at the age of 35 began offering engineering consulting services beyond his role as a senior lecturer at The University of Queensland. In 1993, Dr Gilmore left the university and formed Gilmore Engineers Pty Ltd, a mechanical engineering consultancy specialising in research and development and expert witness services.
The brand name ‘e3k' - derived from ‘engineering3000: new technologies for the new millennium' - was registered and trademarked in 2001 to operate as the New Product Development Division of Gilmore Engineers. The ‘big picture' vision for e3k is to become a global player in the development of intellectual property for the increasingly technological world.
Complete products which satisfy an identified market and consumer demand are created from initial concepts, or partially developed devices. A complete idea generation, design, prototype development and testing service is provided.
Commercialisation and manufacture of the product is considered constantly with assistance being given in protecting IP, conducting market research, liaison with regulatory authorities, and importantly interacting with sources of finance.
E3k has developed technologies which include a renewable energy power system, driven by tidal or ocean currents, with an advanced prototype currently feeding up to 200 kW of electrical power into the Victorian electricity grid from a site at San Remo, near Phillip Island, south east of Melbourne. Four engineers from e3k are nominated as inventors on the original base patents. The technology is expected to be taken worldwide by international investors.
Apart from renewable energy, in which e3k remains active, the group has developed high-lift grass cutting blades for Rover Mowers Ltd which were originally destined for Europe but are now sold worldwide. It developed a unique patented drug delivery device, with the technology being finally sold to Canon, Japan.
Underground mine rescue equipment has been developed for CSIRO, extra-high efficiency hydro turbines are operating in New Zealand, quick-acting hydraulic fastening systems are used in nuclear power plants worldwide, jumbo jets are held to the tarmac by e3k tie-down devices, and Australia's kayak athletes won Olympic Medals in Sydney using sensors developed for use in their preparatory AIS training.
GROUND BREAKING INNOVATIONS
Ground Breaking Innovations Pty Ltd (GBI) has a unique business in the mining industry. CEO Graham Lumley said GBI started in 1999 with one employee and now has 20. Turnover has increased at a compound rate of 24 percent. He said the mining industry is data and information-rich but knowledge poor. GBI recognised this problem and started analysing dragline data to bridge this gap.
"We now also collect and analyse data from trucks, electric rope shovels, front end loaders, hydraulic excavators and hydraulic backhoes," Mr Lumley said. GBI has headquarters in Brisbane with an office in Witbank (South Africa) and clients in North America, South America, Africa and Australia. In the last 12 months GBI has been developing the unique resource of analyzing drill data.
GBI employs engineers, ex-operators and IT professionals to provide services to the mines and to train their people in our methods of understanding and interpreting the data. Nobody can compare the performance of a piece of equipment or operators with best practice from around the world without using GBI data, Mr Lumley said.
Grow Green Technologies aims to promote environmentally sustainable and cost effective farm production processes based on the premise that improved plant yield and quality is built on the foundation of improved soil health.
Grow Green manufactures a unique range of liquid (ProfertR) and solid (Soil RevivaR) fertilisers based on naturally sourced nutrients recovered from predominantly marine organic waste.
Soil RevivaR is a ‘release on demand' bulk nutrient delivery syste whose mineral structure ensures that nutrients do not leach into waterways or volatilise into the air making Soil RevivaR environmentally friendly and economically viable.
ProfertR is a rapidly acting, amino acid based fertiliser that can be applied foliar or through irrigation systems.
Manager Robert Smith said Grow Green has recently commenced marketing its liquid fertiliser range through the AIRR network of 130 distributors along the Australian eastern seaboard and is also looking ahead to export markets, currently conducting major university and company trials in India, in addition to an ongoing trial program with major Australian horticulturists and viticulturists.
Heat Treatment Australia is an innovative company offering metal heat treatment services to the engineering and tool making industries in Australia. General manager Karen Stanton, said the Queensland owned family business has operated since 1979 and grown from a one man show to a staff of over 50 located at three branches - Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
Heat Treatment Australia offers a comprehensive thermal processing service to the east coast of Australia with customers reaching into other geographical areas including Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.
Heat Treatment's three plants include some of the most sophisticated thermal processing equipment currently available.
Infinity Design Development Pty Ltd is a product development company specialising in industrial design and the development of innovative products for manufacture. The company has been involved in many large R&D projects including taking a lead design role in a $16million program with James Hardie for the design and advanced automated manufacture of products for the construction industry.
Managing director Glenn Bevan said development projects in the consultancy environment range from consumer, industrial and medical electronic products, through to sports equipment, homewares and food packaging. Infinity Design has a varied client base including Queensland Rail, Australia Post, Tabcorp, Rio Tinto Iron Ore, Tait Radio Communications, Leica Geosystems, Brita Water filters, Hayco manufacturing, Furi Knives and Alvey Reels. The company has an export focus and currently generates over 25 percent of its income from offshore clients.
Information services company, ireckon, has been developing end-to-end applications and services using internet technologies since 1998. CEO Darryl King said ireckon aims to help business use its information profitably using technology.
"Before buzz words engulfed the internet, ireckon was developing rented software applications (Software as a Service), web widgets and agile developments that allowed our customers to get the most out of the then emerging internet technologies," Mr King said.
With a head office in Brisbane providing solutions throughout Australia as well as in the UK, ireckon provides businesses with tools and expertise to enable them to ‘webify' their business. ireckon has its own robust enterprise hosting facilities, which deliver millions of transactions every month for SMEs across Australia and New Zealand as well as content management solutions that support major multinational news organisations.
Founded in 1978 by managing director Chris Findlater, Ironbark Software supplies ERP solutions to clients in fresh produce, timber, supply chain, fuel, manufacturing, building and construction, project management, wholesale distribution and retail industries.
The total Ironbark solution consists of integrated software business systems along with financial and process specific applications which are customised to meet their client's unique requirements.
Mr Findlater said this year marks a major milestone event for Ironbark Software, celebrating its 30th anniversary at a gala event in mid-October in Brisbane.
Today Ironbark Software is operating in over 300 sites in Australia, New Zealand and China.
Leslie Consulting (LC) is a mechanical engineering consultancy which, since inception in 1989, has endeavoured to provide complete engineering solutions in an holistic manner, to a variety of clients and industry sectors.
The five key elements of LC's business are Engineering and Design, Consulting Services, Products, Renewable Energy and Land and Developments. Director Bruce Leslie said, in particular, LC's development and commercialisation of monitoring systems for draglines are at the forefront of data acquisition technology and fatigue cycle analysis.
With a head office in Brisbane and other offices in Mackay and Johannesburg, the company employs over 40 professional engineering staff and operates under the guidance of Engineers Australia for professional development advice for its staff, all of whom have professional development plans. With a growing client base in the resources, transport and material handling industry sectors, the company has averaged over 30 percent growth in revenue year-on-year for the past five years.
Map creative caters to the growing demand for custom media publishing. Managing director Carl Lindgren said map creative is the link to the world of traditional publishing and online media.
"We will develop custom media products for your business to maximize your unique brand value and build your customer community," Mr Lindgren said. "At map creative we exist to facilitate the dreams of our clients and to realise their marketing strategy. Map creative can create a stand-alone magazine or a magazine that can integrate into larger marketing strategies."
The map creative team is responsible for creating map magazine, a lifestyle magazine that changed Brisbane's inner-city media landscape and became part of the urban cultural vernacular. Mr Lindgren said the map creative team is made up of a creative group of passionate dreamers, editors, art directors, positive media activists, designers, illustrators, copywriters, project managers, and a dedicated sales team, all committed to delivering inspirational solutions both in editorial content and advertising.
MIPAC provides expertise and solutions to optimise plant wide process control and enable operational excellence for its clients. Managing director Eddie DeRivera said MIPAC had a proven track record and strong know-how in industries that require continuous control for complex, business critical operations, such as mineral processing, metal production, oil and gas and pulp and paper.
"We serve major global companies and have delivered solutions for more than 100 projects around the world, including Australia, China, Fiji, Germany, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, New Caledonia, Peru, Thailand, South Africa and Zambia," Mr DeRivera said.
Perfect Potion's pure plant preparations are designed to care for customers' wellbeing, delight their senses and enhance their environment.
Perfect Potion assists people in making informed choices about their health and wellbeing through its engaging and knowledgeable team, education programs and publications.
"We provide people with a nurturing environment to assist them in discovering their harmony and balance - this is the Perfect Potion experience," said Perfect Potion managing director Salvatore Battaglia. "Our customers are socially and environmentally aware individuals who look for ways of enhancing their health and finding balance in their life, they desire to lead a life that is not in conflict with nature."
Perfect Potion has recently become the first company in Australia to achieve Certified Natural Cosmetic status for its skincare range.
This means Perfect Potion products are not only gentle on skin, they are also environmentally friendly, with no sulphates, ethoxylates, parabens, petroleum by-products or synthetic colouring agents or fragrances. None of its products are genetically modified or irradiated.
Mr Battaglia said the company also uses 100 percent recyclable packaging, as will soon be indicated by the Recycle logo on its product labels.
PRIESTLEY'S GOURMET DELIGHTS
Priestley's Gourmet Delights manufactures a range of gateaux, tarts, slices and other tempting products as well as being a distributor for a range of savoury products for the domestic and international food service market.
Priestley's has key accounts in the cafe, restaurant, quick service restaurant, catering and institutional markets. Priestley's was founded in the early 1990s and originally operated only within the Brisbane area.
Gourmet Delights, an independent business, distributed Priestley's products on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. In late 1995, an opportunity arose for Gourmet Delights to acquire Priestley's and, as a result, a new company was formed which acquired both businesses in January 1996.
The company currently distributes its range of products nationally and also exports to New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Russia, with key accounts in the cafe, restaurant, quick service restaurant, catering and institutional markets.
The company spread its manufacturing and distribution capability into New Zealand with its acquisition of Melba Foods in November 2006.
Managing director Andrew Beohm said Priestley's has also recently commenced representing a gourmet savoury range through a strategic partnership with a specialist manufacturer. These new products compliment the traditional sweet offerings and are consistent with their "total cabinet solution provider" strategy.
URBAN ART PROJECTS
Urban Art Projects (UAP) designs and fabricates site-specific artwork and custom street furniture for architectural and landscape environments.
"We ensure artwork outcomes support and enhance design aesthetics by managing the design process through concept, documentation and construction," said principal Daniel Tobin. "We source artists for project teams and realise existing concept designs."
UAP offers a unique turn-key approach to commissioning large-scale artworks, providing low-risk solutions for clients.
Xenome is a biotechnology company that is focused on the discovery and development of peptide-based therapeutics. The company's lead product, Xen2174, is a novel conopeptide analogue for the treatment of severe pain, according to CEO Ian Nisbet. In 2007, Xenome and Amylin Pharmaceuticals entered into a partnership to screen Xenome's library for new drug candidates against metabolic disease targets. Xenome's discovery platform is based on a proprietary library of venom peptides.
Both Xen2174 and the Amylin partnership leverage off Xenome's unique expertise in peptide chemistry and its ability to translate the evolutionary advantages inherent in venom peptides into highly bioactive, drug-like molecules.
Youngcare's goal is to provide a relevant and dignified lifestyle for young Australians with high care needs, according to director David Conry.
"Aged care is no place for any young person. Sadly though, many young people with high care needs have no choice other than to live in aged care facilities, simply because there are no other alternatives," Mr Conry said.
With the assistance of the community, government and business, Youngcare aims to create change by building a number of purpose designed apartments across Australia for young people requiring full time nursing care. In addition, Youngcare will look toward providing other care alternatives such as holiday accommodation, respite care and in-home assistance.
Queensland Leaders Partners: ABC Learning, Alchemia, AP Eagers, Australian Agricultual Company, Colorado Group, Domino's Pizza, FKP, Industrea, Macarthur Coal, Mincom, Queensland Gas Company, Reef Casino, RP Data, Super Cheap Auto & BCF, and Trinity.
Sponsors: ABN Amro Morgans, Aon, BBS, Business Acumen Queensland magazine, Chandler Macleod, Export Solutions, Fisher Adams Kelly, Gibsons JBS, Grant Thornton, IBM, McMahon Clarke Legal, Millhouse IAG, Suncorp, TT Group Telstra, University of Queensland, and Wesley Corporate Health.