The Old Ambo And The Regional Innovation Program

The Old Ambo And The Regional Innovation Program

We are pleased to announce that the Old Ambulance Station is represented on the Sunshine Coast Regional Innovation Program Steering Committee. We were part of the (ultimately successful) bid led by Sunshine Coast Regional Council for Advance Queensland co-funding of the program, which will provide $1M to regional development over the next three years. Importantly, this locates the Old Ambo in a central position with relation to the ‘five key priority areas’ of our region: Smart Cities; Food and Agribusiness; Health and Wellbeing; Sustainability and Environment; and Creatives Industries. We are now senior partners in an economic development network which includes more than 20 stakeholders, including Sunshine Coast and Noosa Councils, Regional Development Australia (as government collaborators), the SC Innovation Centre, SunCentral, Innovate Noosa (itself a consortium of Noosa region enterprises) and Telstra, among others. We anticipate – and we’ll work hard to achieve – professional opportunities for our members and stakeholders through this exciting new network, either directly, under the Program umbrella (which will support cross-sector projects) or by leveraging our position in the network to source (or earn!) new opportunities and new revenue. Our development of the Old Ambo as a social enterprise is critical to this, and it’s very important that our members and stakeholders understand what’s happening so they (we) can take advantage of opportunities as they arise – please get in touch if you’d like to learn more, and if possible attend our ‘Catching Up On Ourselves’ evening on 6th October at 5pm. A core idea for this growth in our vision and operations is contained in the idea of ‘grunge entrepreneurship’, our own...

The Three R’s

There are varying interpretations of the origin of the phrase ‘the three R’s’, usually engaged in an exhortation of the need to ‘teach the basics’. It may come as a surprise to some that ‘the three R’s’ – usually taken to mean reading, writing and ‘rithmatic – were also conceived as: Reading and writing Reckoning and figuring Wrighting and wroughting … where the third ‘R’ refers to the knowledge of action, of making and undertaking. The third ‘R’ is about making things, practical knowledge, the knowledge we attain in the University of Life. It’s where creativity (and ethics) sit and grow. … And brings to mind, again, the distinction between mere competence and *capability*, a foundation of skills and competencies which are not ends in themselves but the testbed and toolbox for an occupation – and  life. Michael Doneman is President and Board Member of The Old Ambo...
The Old Ambo Inspires Nepalese Visitors

The Old Ambo Inspires Nepalese Visitors

On 17 August 2016 The Old Ambo hosted a visit from the Business School at the University of Queensland, who were in turn hosting a visit from twenty government officials from Nepal under the ‘Australia Awards South and West Asia Role of Government in Private Sector Development’ scheme. Specifically, the group was looking at Australian examples of “micro-enterprise development through public-private partnerships”. Ambo Board members Robbie Murray and Judy Pippen prepared a tour of our various spaces as well as morning tea for the group. Michael Doneman facilitated an accompanying discussion. Project leader Dr Sarel Gronum reported that “your initiative is a great example of an Australian case” and expressed appreciation of ‘a warm welcome and a very relevant and insightful discussion”. At one point he tellingly exclaimed, gesturing to the space in general, ‘This is Nepal!’ meaning, we think, that the Ambo’s bare-bones and pragmatic approach to encouraging creative social enterprise was entirely appropriate to under-resourced Nepalese conditions. In the words of Dr Greta Nabbs-Keller, Manager (Indonesia & Southeast Asia) at UQ International Development, “The experience was invaluable to the course participants who were inspired by your space for creative business. Your insight into supporting local entrepreneurs, artists and organisations to build their business was motivating for our guests who will take this experience with them to Nepal.” Michael Doneman is President and Board Member of The Old Ambo...