Cindy Vogels.
Cindy Vogels. CONTRIBUTED

Gympie business beats 80 others for breakthrough opportunity

FIFTEEN exciting projects - including a Gympie woman's concept - have been selected to take part in The Refinery, the Sunshine Coast's first creative incubator.

The successful applicants were selected form a field of almost 90. They will take part in a free, 10-week program to refine, test and launch their ideas into businesses.

Gympie designer Cindy Vogel has been chosen for her live art performance movement that aims to unite communities for positive change and promote creative collaboration.  

Cindy Vogels.
Cindy Vogels. CONTRIBUTED

Sunshine Coast Council Arts Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said The Refinery's class of 2019 would embark on a journey to transform their concept into a sustainable business.

"Receiving almost 90 applications for our first ever creative incubator is really excellent and demonstrates just how eager and responsive the creative industries are here on the Sunshine Coast,” Cr Baberowski said.

"From education disruptors to First Nation start-ups, slow fashion makers and podcast creators, the ideas that will progress and develop through the incubator are an apt reflection of our vision for a healthy, smart, creative region.”

Cindy Vogels is a milliner, stylist and designer. She is now hosting a millinery workshop in Caloundra to share her creative talents with others.
Cindy Vogels is a milliner, stylist and designer. She is now hosting a millinery workshop in Caloundra to share her creative talents with others. Patrick Woods

Sunshine Coast Creative Alliance president Phil Smith said participants would gain access to world class industry mentors, immerse themselves in workshops and networking opportunities and unlock seed funding to help turn their ideas into reality.

"With programmed workshops, masterclasses and coaching from industry leading mentors including Heidi Middleton of Sass and Bide fame, Ian Mason from Virgin Start-Up's, Timothy O from Hatched, Kaylene Langford of Start-Up Creative and QUT Creative Enterprise Australia, The Refinery participants are in for an amazing journey,” Mr Smith said.

"Participants will be immersed in the creative incubator space to begin the journey to develop their idea.

Emily Wurramara in a dress constructed by Gympie woman Cindy Vogels and hand dyed by members of Emily's family and friends from her former home in Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory.
Emily Wurramara in a dress constructed by Gympie woman Cindy Vogels and hand dyed by members of Emily's family and friends from her former home in Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory. Contributed

"The program will culminate in a public showcase where the creative cohort will present their ideas and vie for a $10,000 investment into their business journey.”

The 15 participants come from a variety of backgrounds including art, fashion, architecture, music, therapy, education and indigenous enterprise.

The participants are:

Wildlings Forest School

Disrupting the education system with adventure play, Wildlings will grow their nature-based forest school into an outdoor education revolution.

Shannon Carroll

Band of Frequencies singer, Shannon Carroll will be developing a library of geo-specific local audio stories about everything from history to the environment.

Matilda Morgan (Boo & Westley)

A socially responsible fashion label that works in collaboration with artists to create bold one-of-a-kind patterns for short-run collections.

Gabrielle Quakawoot (Art of String Theory)

A cultural mathematics project, The Art of String Theory draws on ancient techniques bringing our dreaming, nature and mathematics together with a piece of looped string for educational, creative and personal growth. 

Jordan James Sweeney

A creative co-operative that brings together local artists and community through a space for production, exhibition and collaboration. 

Rose Feely

Art and science collide with a new wallpaper range featuring original prints of Sunshine Coast endemic species.

Carmen Spencer (Oddish Threads)

Sunshine Coast sustainable fashion and jewellery label challenging the industry norms with bold colours and trans-seasonal styles for real women of all shapes.

Brianna Asher

A First Nation's co-operative connecting Indigenous and non-indigenous people to country, networks and people.  

Nicola Turschwell

A psychotherapist incorporating art into corporate workplaces to improve culture.  

Samantha Taylor (Project Fort Awesome)

An arts and architecture collaborative platform creating unique cubbies, projects and tools to support neighbourhood and community engagement.

Preparations for the Rococo Beach Club Marquee events, including Miss Hummingbird, for Noosa alive! with Rosanna Natoli and designer Cindy Vogels.
Preparations for the Rococo Beach Club Marquee events, including Miss Hummingbird, for Noosa alive! with Rosanna Natoli and designer Cindy Vogels. Michele Sternberg

Cindy Vogels (CollabAnation)

A live art performance movement to unite communities for positive change and promote creative collaboration, starting in Nambour.  

Tash Lawton (Talk Revolution)

Filmmaker and founder of Period Talk, Tash will create a talk revolution on a range of taboo topics.

Teegan Haidle

A testing ground, atelier and retail space that connects emerging local designers with their market. 

Melissa Lanham and Chloe Lanham (LJ Projects)

A digital dance program to upskill and educate teachers and emerging contemporary performers.

Carlie Dirie (Cloudwalker Collage)

Creating custom digital collages combining photography art and imprinted blooms.

Find out more at www.therefinerysunshinecoast.com

The Refinery is proudly supported by Advance Queensland through the Sunshine Coast Regional Innovation Program (SCRIPT), Arts Queensland through the Regional Arts Development Fund and CQU. 

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