The Sunshine Coast’s agent for positive change
  • Friday 14 October 2016

An agent of positive change for economic development on the Sunshine Coast over the past decade, Sunshine Coast Council Coordinator for Investment Attraction, Alex Lever-Shaw has been recognised for his efforts, winning the ‘Agent of Change Honorary Practitioner Award’ at last week’s Economic Development Australia (EDA) Awards for Excellence.

The award recognises individuals who have had a significant impact on revitalising communities and are at the forefront of developing and delivering projects that drive innovation and change in economic development. 

Mr Lever-Shaw said the receiving the award was an honour but also a team effort.

“I work with a fantastic group of highly dedicated, motivated and skilful people within Council’s Economic Development team and they have all contributed to the success that we’ve achieved, particularly during recent years,” Mr Lever-Shaw said.

“As the Coordinator for Investment Attraction within council has also assisted in the development and implementation of the seven high-value industries plans developed under the Regional Economic Development Strategy 2013-2033.

“It has also been an enormous thrill to help major companies like Youi, Stellar and Auto & General expand their operations on the Sunshine Coast and in doing so, create employment opportunities and positive endorsement for our region as a great place with great opportunities for successful businesses to invest.”

Mayor Mark Jamieson said Mr Lever-Shaw’s award highlighted council’s commitment to advancing the Sunshine Coast economy.

“Alex is an accomplished economic development practitioner, investment attraction and business development specialist who is using his skills in his role with council to help position the Sunshine Coast as a region that offers an outstanding mix of opportunities for new investment and business expansion,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Alex has been tasked with a new unit to drive forward marketing and investment attraction activities for the Sunshine Coast.

“He has worked to build the reputational change of the region being perceived as a 'lifestyle' region to that of a business investment destination of choice. 

“These promotional strategies have been complemented by a comprehensive number of investment outcomes, the strategy for which is now articulated in the region's Investment Attraction Action Plan. This document encompasses a Corporate Partnership Program, an Investment Aftercare Program and a Regional Ambassador Program, all innovative programs which have all been adopted for implementation by the region’s economic advisory board.

“He maintains a professional interest in place brand marketing and developed the region’s first Economic Disaster Recovery Manual, believing that maintaining the businesses you have in the face of adversity, is every bit as important as attracting new business in better economic times.

“To support Council having a close relationship and quick response to business needs through the Regional Economic Development Strategy, Alex was also a key player in developing the guidelines for the recruitment, operation and governance of the seven supporting industry taskforces, involving close on 50 members of leading businesses assisting council with its policy implementation.”

Mr Lever-Shaw joined Maroochy Shire Council in 2006 and has a long list of prior achievements including winning the CEO’s departmental award for the teams activities within the region’s rural hinterland and created the region's first inward investment attraction initiative “Natural Advantage” in 2011 which won a Government Communications Australia (GCA), national award and gained special recognition by Austrade.

Sunshine Coast Council was also a finalist in the 2016 Economic Development Awards for Community Economic Development initiative and in the Single Event or Activity category (with Regional Development Australia Moreton Bay).