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Linkage Grants Expansion

Twice as Many Opportunities for Conference Grants

Posted on 20 July, 2018

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 

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I have conducted two major formal dinners at GCCEC for approx 700 people each time, the more recent of these being held in March 2015. I am completely satisfied with all aspects of working with GCCEC and their performance in presenting our function. They were completely professional and were willing to do things exactly the way I wanted them done, even meeting some unusual requirements. When I requested to make layout changes only hours before the dinner the request was accommodated immediately and with professional ease. The dinner was an alternate drop three course full service meal with drinks package, and it was without a doubt the best formal dinner I have ever attended. I have managed many similar dinners in the past but this dinner achieved by far the best result, it was the easiest to organise and to then manage on the night. Our GCCEC functions manager was a competent and willing professional who achieved an absolutely flawless event. I am still trying to understand how the catering staff were able to prepare almost 700 perfectly cooked and presented meals and get them to the tables whilst still hot. An excellent event perfectly presented by cheerful and competent professional staff.

Bruce Schmidtchen
Chairman, 5RAR Assoc Inc 50th Anniversary Reunion Committee

We have held our major event, the Conference of Major Superannuation Funds (CMSF), at the GCCEC on six occasions since it opened in 2004. Through holding our event at the GCCEC we have established a terrific relationship with the venue. Each and every staff member works tirelessly to ensure that our event is run to the highest calibre. Any task, no matter how little or large is undertaken to ensure our expectations are met and our event is delivered successfully.

AIST Events Team

It’s the small things that make such a big difference. My organisation has held its conference annually at GCCEC since 2008, during which I’ve experienced unparalleled service. I continue to be amazed by the dedication, friendliness and professionalism of all staff – be it sales and event management to back of house and floor staff. They know my event inside and out, making the experience seamless. I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every conference I’ve held here!

Marika MacKenzie
Communications Manager, Optometry Queensland Northern Territory

You guys did it again! It is such a pleasure to work with a dedicated, proactive and friendly team. Your can-do attitude, your attention to detail and your willingness to try something new all help to make our lives easier and to keep our event fresh and interesting. Once again, the food was superb and the level of service provided by everyone at the centre was exceptional.

Julie Hood
Director Events Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association

There is no doubt that next time we need to be ‘creative’ on the Gold Coast; the GCCEC is the only venue we’d choose. No matter how difficult or unusual our demands prior to the event, nothing proved impossible for you and during the conference your professionalism and attention to detail ensured that everything ran without a hitch enabling us to focus properly on the job in hand. Last, but not least, the catering was superb!

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General Manager - Rural Merchandise CRT Rural Supplies