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Anthony Ryan named as Brisbane's new economic chief


One of Brisbane’s most prominent business networkers and a key advocate for social welfare has been named as the next chief executive of Brisbane City Council’s influential economic development agency.

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Anthony Ryan will shift from his role as chief executive of community organisation Youngcare to head up the Brisbane Economic Development Agency later this year.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said Ryan beat a field of about 100 candidates for the role, which is likely to take a central part in ensuring the city leverages the economic benefits of hosting the 2032 Olympics.

“As the world’s newest city to host the Games, the attention of the world will soon turn to Brisbane so Anthony’s role recognising and delivering opportunities through his role at BEDA will be vital over the years to come,” Schrinner said.

Ryan said he was thrilled to be joining the agency and steering it through what was sure to be “both exciting and challenging times ahead”.

“Since the announcement of Brisbane as the host of the Games, the city has been abuzz with excitement, and while small business is still feeling the after-effects of COVID, we have a unique and very real opportunity,” he said.

“I know how important it will be to position the city over the next 10 years and I’m looking forward to building strong, reliable relationships with the right networks that will help BEDA and Brisbane harness the power of the collective.”

He replaces Brett Fraser, who announced his departure earlier this year after four years in the role. The agency’s general manager of tourism, business and major events, Juliet Alabaster, will be interim chief executive until Ryan steps into the job in mid-November.

Schrinner announced Ryan’s appointment a the same time as revealing he had set up a Small Business Round Table to take over the work of the economic recovery taskforce in finding ways to help the private sector bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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