Fresh global focus on economic development for Redlands


The Redlands Economic Development Advisory Board’s newest member needs little introduction.

John Aitken is well known for his achievements as former CEO of Brisbane’s economic development organisation, Brisbane Marketing including establishing Brisbane’s new world city positioning globally, and delivering $4billion in economic outcomes.

John Aitken

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said securing the extraordinary talents of John Aitken is a real coup for Redlands and will add enormously to the considerable expertise already sitting around the Board table.

“We want to thank Terry Morris of Morris International – and founder of Sirromet Winery at Mount Cotton – for his great expertise and contribution since joining the Board in 2016.  He has resigned the board for personal reasons and we wish him well in his future endeavours.

“John’s role as Managing Director of Inspiring Cities, and his specialisation in economic development of globally competitive cities; inspiring precincts, destinations, tourism and major events is a perfect fit for Redlands as we face the future with confidence, Cr Williams said.

Redlands Economic Development Advisory Board Chair Samantha Kennedy said the Board’s representatives span the region’s key industry sectors of construction, education and training, financial and insurance services, health care and social assistance, manufacturing, retail trade, rural enterprises and tourism (accommodation and food services).

“John’s business acumen and extensive experience across several industry sectors and economic development more broadly will be invaluable in helping to identify opportunities for new investment in Redland City and to enhance business relations within Australia and internationally,” Ms Kennedy said.

Mr Aitken said he has had the pleasure of working with many of the Redlands Economic Development Advisory Board members in past roles.

“Redlands is strategically pursuing its economic future to deliver many of the things that the Greater Brisbane region needs to succeed internationally. This includes tourism attractions, education and medical services, specialised manufacturing and a high quality lifestyle located next to Moreton Bay and the islands, and I’m delighted by the opportunity to play a role.”

Since 1980 John founded many of Queensland’s major event traditions before overseeing the Sydney Royal Easter Show. He has created Brisbane’s Digital Strategy including The Capital innovation hub and was responsible for Brisbane’s G20 leveraging strategy.

John is currently a board member of Tourism Transport Forum, Brisbane Urban Futures Board, AICC (Qld) Advisory Board (Chair), Global Games Brisbane 2019 (for people with intellectual disabilities) and Queensland Community Fund Board of Governors.