The GCCEC Linkage Grants Program is now being offered twice a year with expressions of interest opening in July and again in February of each year.
The program provides grants up to $5000. Attendance at conferences provides the opportunity to learn about the latest thinking, trends and innovations, as well as the ability to network with peers and establish links to professional colleagues. The program also provides professional and personal development in the form of travel and increased industry knowledge.
In return, the recipient champions GCCEC as a choice for future international conferences and exhibitions through their new professional networks.
The program has been established for seven years and has resulted in 10 applicants attending 11 conferences. Last year we awarded four successful academics from Bond, Griffith and UQ Universities with a full grant to attend conferences in the health, technology and engineering fields.
To date the Linkage Grants Program has provided 70 conference leads for GCCEC. With leads taking an average of five to seven years to convert into conferences, GCCEC has secured EcoSummit 2020 and is in the bid phase for four other international conferences with the potential to bring millions into the Gold Coast economy.
St Stephen’s College Assistant Director of eLearning Matthew Jorgensen is a recent recipient of a GCCEC Linkage Grant.
The teacher successfully applied for a grant in 2017 to attend the British Educational Training and Technology Show (Bett Asia) conference in Kuala Lumpur.
The two-day leadership summit and expo featured expert speakers, edtech solutions and training sessions led by Bett Asia’s worldwide partner Microsoft.
Matthew said he was notified of the grant program via email.
“I thought it sounded great. We don’t really have a big education conference in South East Queensland and Bett Asia has never been held in Australia before so we thought it was a good fit for the grant initiative,” he said.
The former Microsoft employee made some useful contacts at the conference, continues to speak to them and believes the Gold Coast is in the mix for a major education conference in the next few years.
Matthew has another conference lead that he’s working on and hopes that will result in an international conference for the Gold Coast. He’s also championing the grants program through his local networks and encouraging others to become involved.
He said the experience was enlightening both personally and professionally as he met several interesting educators from around the world who were doing amazing things, from turning school attendance around in the villages of Indonesia to developing learning products in China that enable a range of STEM activities like testing soil and programming sound-activated mechanisms.
“It was definitely an enriching experience. I’m keen to apply again next time and have been sharing the opportunity through my professional learning network.”
Applications for the July program are now open with successful applicants notified in October. The second application period will open in February next year with applicants notified in May 2019. GCCEC welcomes applications from academics who are working in Australia including those who are not Australian citizens as well as from all QLD and Northern NSW residents.
Applications can be lodged via https://www.gccec.com.au/gccec-linkage-program.html