SUNSHINE Coast Mayor Bob Abbott turned up in Gympie on Thursday night specifically to be “re-energised” by international community builder Peter Kenyon.
Cr Abbott told the audience at the business dinner at the Gympie Civic Centre that he had previously worked with Mr Kenyon and being able to hear the presenter’s stories was a real boost for his energy levels.
The dinner was organised by Mary Valley Inc, the community networking group connecting the villages of the Mary Valley and guests included Gympie and valley business operators and residents.
Mr Kenyon arrived in Queensland on Thursday morning after working in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia and conducted a full-day leadership workshop at Kandanga before heading into Gympie for the business dinner.
He is a great story teller, using examples of other regional towns to motivate his audience.
During the dinner he talked about success stories such as the New Zealand town of Tirau which made corrugated iron into an art form and a major tourist attraction. He also spoke of the former Christchurch mayor Vicki Buck who on her first day in office placed a classified ad in the local newspaper asking people to ring her with a good idea. Other sources of inspiration included entrepreneurs like Tom O’Toole who transformed the Beechworth Bakery into a major success story.
Mr Kenyon spent Friday helping the Mary Valley Renewal Team in collating data collected from community meetings and preparing the draft Mary Valley community and economic action plan.
The sessions included discussions on how the plan could be used to make a real impact on a positive future for the Mary Valley, and who would be responsible for making this happen.