Become a Brisbane Trailblazer and make your impact on the world - Choose Brisbane


Become a Brisbane Trailblazer and make your impact on the world

Howard Smith Wharves

Applying for a Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant will empower you to attend a leading international conference and assist with attracting the conference to Brisbane. The Lord Mayor’s Trailblazer Grant offers up to $30,000 worth of grants per annum to help emerging professionals and researchers make valuable connections and grow Brisbane’s reputation as a global convention city. 

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner says enlisting Brisbane’s brightest minds to attract more leading conferences has a significant economic impact on the city. 

“The Convention Trailblazer Grant program is a win-win for our city’s economy and the talented people who are blazing a trail across a range of sectors, bringing together world-leading experts and providing opportunities for research partnerships, investment and collaboration,” he said.

“We want local trailblazers to benefit from attending an international conference where they can build valuable global networks, broaden their knowledge and skills and gain recognition of their work in Brisbane. At the same time, the recipients will work with the city’s economic development board Brisbane Economic Development Agency and partners to bid for the conferences to be held in Brisbane."  

Why become a Brisbane Trailblazer?

The Trailblazer Grant provides successful applicants with a chance to build new networks, broaden their knowledge and further their careers globally. Molecular bioscientists Dr Christina Schroeder and Dr Johan Rosengren were two of the recipients of the inaugural grant. “The Trailblazer Grant allowed Johan and I to attend and present our research at the International Peptide Symposium in Tokyo [in December 2018], and to present our bid to bring the conference to Brisbane,” Dr Schroeder says.

Christina Schroeder Johan Rosengren

Not only were Dr Schroeder and Dr Rosengren successful in securing the International Peptide Symposium for Brisbane in 2021, but their attendance at the Symposium also helped them to make their mark on the world stage. “The program has significantly helped raise my international profile in my field,” Dr Rosengren says. “I have made many new important connections and future collaborations by attending the Conference.” 

Emma Rushbrooke, the Clinical Director at Hear and Say, a Queensland non-profit organisation that focuses on early intervention services for children who are deaf or hard of hearing, was another successful recipient of the Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant. The grant enabled Ms Rushbrooke to head to Scottsdale, Arizona, for the 2018 AG Bell Global Listening and Spoken Language Symposium. “The knowledge and networking opportunities gained from attending the 2018 AG Bell Convention were invaluable.”

Trailblazer Grant Winner

Thanks to the doors opened by the Trailblazer Grant, and with the assistance of the city’s economic development board, Brisbane EDA, Ms Rushbrooke was successful in securing the AG Bell Global Listening and Spoken Language Symposium for Brisbane in 2021. “Brisbane EDA has been a wonderful support assisting with the bid document for AG Bell. I’ve learnt a lot in that process and I’m very, very grateful for that.” 

Why does Brisbane need Trailblazers?

By demonstrating their expertise at international conferences and helping to attract these conferences to Brisbane, recipients of the Trailblazer Grant play a key role in positioning Brisbane as a global knowledge hub. 

The 2021 International Peptide Symposium secured by Dr Schroeder and Dr Rosengren is expected to attract over 650 scientists to Brisbane, providing opportunities for networking and knowledge sharing. “Brisbane’s excellence in Life Sciences research has helped boost Australia’s reputation as a leading player in the worldwide peptide community,” Dr Schroeder says. “Hosting the International Peptide Symposium here in 2021 will facilitate further networking opportunities, creating long-lasting collaborations and partnerships with the city.” 

Dr Rosengren says the symposium will give local scientists a chance to collaborate with international experts. “Collaborations are essential for success in research and hosting the symposium in Brisbane will help further strengthen and grow our international knowledge network. It will be an exciting opportunity for the University of Queensland to showcase its world class research, and for the large number of peptide scientists across Queensland to interact with their peers from around the world.” 

Similarly, the 2021 AG Bell Global Listening and Spoken Language Symposium secured by Trailblazer Emma Rushbrooke’s advocacy will highlight Brisbane’s world-leading expertise in paediatric hearing and healthcare research, and is expected to attract over 500 attendees. “This conference will significantly boost Hear and Say’s profile, enhancing our reputation as specialists on an international scale, and showcasing our Brisbane HQ as a centre of excellence for paediatric hearing healthcare, research and training.”

Blaze your own trail now

“The Trailblazer Grant will provide an opportunity to broaden your horizons and interact with world leaders in your field,” Dr Schroeder says. “I highly recommend anyone who is interested in organising a conference to apply for the Trailblazer Grant and take advantage of the support you will receive from Brisbane EDA.” 

The Lord Mayor’s Convention Trailblazer Grant is run by economic development board, Brisbane EDA. Applications are open now and close on Sunday 12 January 2020. To view the criteria and to apply, visit