10 May 2023

Olympics needs a legacy outside of south-east Queensland

| Sarah Martin
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Advance Cairns CEO Jacinta Reddan, Douglas Shire mayor Michael Kerr and Cooktown’s Kristina Olsen.

COOKTOWN’S Kristina Olsen has flown the flag for regional and remote areas in the state’s capital after being chosen to join an elite group contributing to the planned ongoing legacy of the 2023 Brisbane Olympic Games.

Ms Olsen joined 500 of what Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk called the “best, brightest and boldest” minds from all walks of life to brainstorm ongoing benefits following the Olympics.

“It was a pretty intimidating room when Annastacia walked in, I was like wow, this is quite serious,” Ms Olsen said.

“There were attendees and speakers from high school students, business leaders and former Paralympians right through to the Premier.”

Ms Olsen represented FNQ alongside Douglas Shire mayor Michael Kerr and Advance Cairns CEO Jacinta Reddan.

“There are a whole lot of ways the Olympics can change cities, states and nations and they spoke about London and Barcelona in terms of the really positive legacy the Olympics left behind,” she said.

Ms Olsen said it was extremely positive to hear some of the forum speakers discussing topics she had hoped to raise at the event, including a focus on Closing the Gap rather than simply celebrating Indigenous culture.

“I’m really confident that First Nations culture is going to take front and centre at these Games,” she said.

“But it was really validating and put my mind at ease to hear other speakers say that we can’t just show off our amazing culture, or the world is going to show us up; there has to be meaningful change in terms of Closing the Gap in the next 10 years leading up to the Games.”

Ms Olsen also pulled the focus from the south-east of the state, raising the need for an ongoing legacy in regional and remote areas like Cape York.

“There was a lot of push from south-east businesses around the economic benefits, but the reality is we’re just looking for basic needs for many of our communities,” she said.

“It’s quite important that it’s not just focusing on Brisbane, then it provides opportunities for everyone.”

Ms Olsen said a draft Legacy Vision would be released mid-year, based on feedback from the event.

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