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19 April


24 April







Emerging Leaders Program 2017

The Cairns Young Chamber have once again joined forces with James Cook University to deliver the 2017 Emerging Leaders Program which is a highly sought after Leadership Program.  

Eleven participants have been chosen to take part in the program which boasts a regional capacity focus and is aimed at taking young professionals out of their comfort zone and showing them what it really means to be a remarkable leader. 

Basic Program Framework Includes:

  • Industry Sector Site Famils – to showcase which key industry sectors drive our economic growth 
  • Keynote Leadership Presentations from some of the region’s biggest and the best organisations
  • Opportunity to complete a Critical Reflection Journal to qualify for advanced standing equivalent to two subjects in the James Cook University MBA Program
  • Leadership Competency Training in areas such as Media, Conflict Management & Resolution, Taxation and Business Planning and many more
  • Speed Mentoring Session & Formal Mentoring Partnerships
  • Involvement in the Cairns Chamber of Commerce Regional Industry Leaders Program with attendance at chosen collaborative forms/workshops with industry sector groups
  • Each program participant will play a key role in a community based project that will benefit the city in which they live and work
  • A series of Networking & Mentoring events

For more information follow the CYC Facebook page.

Ashleigh Edwards

Ashleigh is a Cairns local, having completed her schooling at Saint Monica’s College. After school, Ashleigh commenced studying at the University of Adelaide. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Japanese in 2009 and a Bachelor of Laws in 2011. She was lucky enough to complete a semester of her Arts degree at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka. 

Ashleigh was accepted into the Maurice Blackburn Trainee Lawyer program in 2012 and was admitted as a solicitor in Queensland in 2013. She returned to Cairns to practice in Maurice Blackburn’s Cairns office, predominantly assisting injured clients with workers compensation, motor vehicle accident and public liability claims. She has recently been promoted to Associate and continues to gain valuable experience working with a wide range of people and advocating for their rights.

Ashleigh is involved in a number of committees, including the North Queensland Law Association and volunteers at the Homeless Persons Legal Clinic. Outside of work, Ashleigh enjoys fishing and planning her next travel adventure.

David Rootsey

David Rootsey has worked with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for 17 years, starting as a Teller while completing a joint degree in Accounting and Information Technology through Southern Cross University in Coffs Harbour. After completing his studies he joined the Banks’ graduate program and moved to Gosford NSW, then to Alice Springs NT, till finally landing in Port Douglas as Branch Manager over 10 years ago.

Recently starting a secondment in Cairns as a Relationship Manager within the Business and Private Banking sector of the Bank, David now looks to build his network and understand the local Cairns economy through the Emerging Leaders program. 

Outside of work David participates in the Douglas Heat basketball team and completes a weekly write up of the Port Douglas A Grade competition through the Heat Facebook Page. David watches too much NBA and NBL in his spare time.

Jacinta Perry

Jacinta is a community services professional with a passion for projects focused on community development, education/training and economic participation issues.

Jacinta has recently begun work as Employment Programs Manager for local company Skill 360 where she leads the Indigenous Employment team and manages contracts servicing clients from Townsville to the Cape.

Prior to this, Jacinta designed and worked on a number of employment related projects servicing the local Cairns community, with a particular focus on migrant and refugee cohorts.

Having graduated from Monash University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts (hons) in Social Sciences, Jacinta has made the decision to study further and has commenced an MBA with James Cook University.

She sees the Emerging Leaders Program as a fantastic way to continue to develop strong bonds with like-minded business people in the Cairns community and challenge herself on a personal level.

Jeaninne Kidd

Jeaninne Kidd was born and raised in New Zealand where she started her career in banking after completing a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance from Otago University in 2007. Having spent over 10 years in various finance roles in retail, agribusiness, commercial & corporate banking has given her valuable experience in the banking sector. She has experienced working with a range of clients in various industries and thoroughly enjoys working with businesses and helping them to grow and achieve their goals.

In 2011 Jeaninne made the move to tropical Cairns and fell in love with the Cairns lifestyle.  Her role with Westpac as Commercial Relationship Manager sees her managing a portfolio of local customers with a focus on business development and supporting the growth of Cairns businesses.  Jeaninne is passionate about Cairns and is looking to become more involved in the community and to grow her network.

Jeaninne joined the Emerging Leaders program to continue to advance personally and professionally and take away insights from other local leaders and her own personal mentor. It is also a great opportunity to meet regularly with like-minded young professionals. 

Kane Hart

Kane Hart was born in Fremantle, Western Australia; however, has been lucky to call Cairns his home for the past eighteen years. Completing secondary education at Cairns State High School and a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering across both the Cairns and Townsville James Cook University Campuses, FNQ has provided Kane with endless opportunity to develop locally as a Mechanical Engineer.

Since graduating from university in 2008, Kane has worked as a Mechanical Building Services Engineer across a wide variety industry sectors including Energy, Health, Retail, Commercial and Industrial. Over this period he has found true passion in the field of sustainability and energy management. Between 2011-2012 Kane spent eighteen months abroad in the United Kingdom and Europe, travelling whilst continuing to work remotely for a local building services consultant. 

He has since returned to Far North Queensland where he is the Senior Mechanical Engineer and Cairns Branch Manager for McClintock Engineering Group, a specialist mechanical engineering design consultancy who provide innovative solutions for air-conditioning and ventilation systems, energy modelling and district cooling systems. Kane believes that participation in the Emerging Leaders program will provide him with the toolkit he needs to lead change and innovation within the Cairns Building Services industry.

Kerry Sell

Born and raised in Cairns, Kerry loves the beautiful weather and tropical lifestyle that Far North Queensland has to offer. By working in media sales and design at The Cairns Post for 5 years, Kerry’s drive for providing outstanding service led her into the real estate industry through property management. Working in a small team allowed her to quickly gain insight into the charms and challenges of real estate and within 10 months Kerry progressed to a Sales Agent with Quaid Real Estate. 

Two years later, Kerry’s passion to provide the best possible service to clients continues as she likes to ensure the life impacting process of buying or selling a property remains memorable for all the right reasons. 

Joining the Emerging Leaders program Kerry is looking forward in advancing her skills personally and professionally and embracing the mentor experience. 

Krystal King

Krystal King is the Business Manager of I Want To Study In Australia and has been instrumental in positioning the Cairns-based company as one of Australia’s leading career development hubs.

Krystal started her career in the education industry when she took the reigns of I Want That Course in 2011 after graduating from James Cook University with a double degree in Tourism Management and Marketing. Her dedication has seen her build the business from a five-person team to a staff of 16, whilst simultaneously growing enrolments to over 1000 per year. 

Her management talents and business achievements saw her as a finalist in Australian Institute of Management’s National Young Manager of the Year Awards, and also as a finalist in the Cairns Business Women's Club’s Business Woman of the Year Awards. 

Krystal and her husband Chris recently welcomed the second addition of their baby girl Kiana to their young family.

Krystal joined the Young Emerging Leaders Program with the Chamber of Commerce so she can continually learn and develop her skills as a leader in business. She loves that the program offers your own personal mentor from the Cairns Community and that you receive two credit points for an MBA at James Cook University. She looks forward to what the year brings through this fantastic program.

Leah Collins

Leah is a Cairns local and grew up on the Northern Beaches. You could say her ‘career’ started as a junior at Terry White Chemist in Smithfield Shopping Centre. Since finishing high school, she has undergone a Traineeship in Pharmacy, Certificates in Management and has experienced a wide range of positions within the Pharmacy Sector from stock controlling, marketing and management. Leah currently works for Retail Pharmacy Group as Store Manager of Alive Pharmacy Smithfield. She has worked in both a Hospital Pharmacy setting as well as Community Pharmacy but finds her true passion lays in Community Pharmacy where the industry is fast paced and ever changing. Leah enjoys engaging with her customers and finds helping them to better their health highly rewarding.

Leah has found that her career goal is moving towards becoming a Business Development Manager in Pharmacy, as she experiences more within the pharmacy industry. This career goal is what led her to apply to participate in the Emerging Leaders Program where she hopes to learn more about how businesses in different sectors run, what makes them successful and how that could be applied to the Pharmacy industry. Over the next 12 months, Leah’s excited to gain new skills and valuable experience, which would help her grow personally as a confidant leader.  

Lucas Sexton

As a fourth generation Cairns local, Lucas is as local as you can get and is the great, great grandson of Charles McKenzie who was the 3rd Mayor of Cairns in 1905 - 1907 & was again from 1912 - 1913.  Coming from an extremely well known family in the Cairns community, Lucas has both extensive contacts amongst local business leaders and is extremely knowledgeable about the local area.

As a child Lucas had a strong work ethic bred into him and enjoys putting in the extra effort and hours required to be successful in his chosen career path.  He is has a strong belief in that if you work harder and smarter that anyone else you will achieve results that others don’t. 

Maggie Robinson

Maggie Robinson is a Project Coordinator at Cairns PCYC, a not-for-profit organisation that creates opportunities for young people through the delivery of two broad youth services: development (intervention) programs and recreational activities. 

In addition to project coordination Maggie is an Entrepreneur who founded Transformation Pty Ltd a Health and Wellness business in Cairns and Papua New Guinea.  Maggie is also in her final year of completing a Law degree, and together with her husband founded and Pastor Breakthrough Church Cairns Inc. 

“The heartbeat of what I do is “Empower People to fulfil their purpose”