Get to know Brisbane Marketing’s new Chairman, Paul Spiro
Q: You are Chairman of Gadens, a law firm that actively supports the Museum of Brisbane and QAGOMA. You are also Chairman of the Brisbane Festival, a member of the Lord Mayor’s Creative Brisbane Advisory Board, a Committee Member for the QAGOMA Foundation and now Chairman of Brisbane Marketing. How does a property law expert become so involved in the creative industries?
PS: My involvement with the creative industries goes back to when I came to work at Gadens over 30 years ago. I was inspired by the then-managing partner to be involved in the arts and the firm’s strong relationship with the Queensland Art Gallery. I really loved being a part of that environment. It has been tremendous for my personal development but also a great enabler for the firm. Law firms can be quite staid but being involved in the creative industries opens ideas about creativity, innovation and being connected to place.
Q: Would you agree Brisbane’s creative industries are undergoing a resurgence?
PS: There is no doubt that Brisbane is going through positive change at many levels and the creative industries are moving forward.
For example, participation at Brisbane Festival has been staggering and the numbers going through QAGOMA are fantastic. People are much more engaged with the creative industries and I think that is due to years of hard work to build those foundations.
Q: Brisbane is recognised as a city of innovators. How are you innovative in your work?
PS: Innovation can have many meanings. Law firms haven’t always been leaders of innovation but that’s all changing because the legal profession now understands that if you don’t innovate you’re going to suffer.
Clients expect it, but so do staff and that ties back to engagement with the arts. We have unique artwork and sculptures placed throughout the Gadens office, mostly sourced from Queensland artists. By creating an environment that engages with the creative industries, we are enhancing the ability of our lawyers and management to think creatively and to innovate.
Q: What do you think makes Brisbane a great place to do business?
PS: The key to what makes Brisbane a great place to do business is the degree of collaboration among people and businesses at all levels.
Unlike some larger cities in Australia, you can pick up the phone to someone at a senior level and have a good conversation about how to work together. We’re competitive but we’re collaboratively competitive.
Q: What opportunities do you see lay ahead for Brisbane?
PS: It is exciting to hear the Lord Mayor talk about the opportunity for South East Queensland to have the 2032 Olympic Games – collaborating with other Councils to present a package of what the region can do
It could be the culmination of years of infrastructure and property projects that Brisbane has moving forward. That’s a great thing to strive for and I think it will bring us together as a region.
Q: What do you want to be known for as the Chairman of Brisbane Marketing?
PS: Under former Chairman Ian Klug’s stewardship, Brisbane Marketing achieved tremendous outcomes. The more we can do to build industries and create jobs – that’s good for everyone.
I’d like to be known as somebody who continued this good work and someone who will openly collaborate with other business leaders in the city to create the best we possibly can for the people of Brisbane.
There is a lot of positive momentum here and I’d like as many people to be involved in discussions about how to make Brisbane a better place to live, work and play.