Ideas from the TEDxTownsville Creative Gathering

Ideas from the TEDxTownsville Creative Gathering

On May 22nd, we held a Creative Gathering for the Townsville community. A creative gathering is a neutral forum for fresh thinking and ideas worth spreading. 200 or more local folks got together to write down their best ideas at our recycled 'Idea's Stations.' Read the ideas collected below. We did our best to decipher the writing and collect them all. Do let us know if we've missed any. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for coming and collaborating as a community with the TEDxTownsville team. 

Our question to you is...what can we do about these? Who can champion these ideas? If you want to go the extra step, here is a great resource to do so:

For easy reading, we've grouped them in genres...


  • Plan for sustainable water

  • Take responsibility for Townsville’s ecological footprint regardless of the $ cost, if our ecosystems fail, humans fail.

  • Bringing it back to the basic principles slow the lifestyle pac. Use local/national produce in a better community involvement

  • Persuade the government to look after the environment and not make it worse.

  • Solar panels on all new constructions including car parks, solar panels not shade sails.

  • Urban cooling, initiative, shaded walkways, link in suburbs with art installation, landscaping/community gardens.

  • Aim to match EU countries (Denmark + Portugal) in generating 100% of power (for limited times granted, 4 days) from renewable sources. Denmark - wind port,, wind and solar.

  • Using tech and infrastructure to bring in sustainable innovation and connect citizens  to opportunities / allowing creativity by design.

  • Embracing a vegan lifestyle

  • Encourage local produce sales and make australian food cheaper than imports

  • Local animal farm sources

  • Goal of more frequently 100% renewable network demands will become more and more frequent in coming times in EU. Australia is placed to do likewise with solar.

  • Clean up our city/community. Fines for littering. Employ people to issue fines. Employ unemployed to help clean up.

  • Mindful choices - less waste

  • Only pushbikes in the city

  • Wind farms, come on we have wind

  • Solar panels power every roof space

  • Inspire a culture that values our dry arid climate by role modelling water conservation arid gardens and encouraging water tanks

  • Support projects that promote growth and stable employment for locals rather than super stadiums e.g. desalination plants to avoid water storage

  • Garbage bag electricity

  • Vegan clean food, clean water and clean air

  • Increase compassion, decrease consumption

  • Eco-incubator for emergence / growth of eco business and sco initiatives

  • Plant trees that don’t die in humid environments


Re-using Public Spaces

  • Use railway sheds as a city hub - arts, music, markets, tourist attraction for port visitors ect

  • Revive the CBD. Bring business, local markets, events to the CBD. So many empty buildings.

  • As a visitor, TSV is very dependent on car transport. I walk… 1. Plan for accommodation to be closer to attractions 2. Bicycle rental stations. TSV is a small but spread out city.

  • Technology hub - teaching users, innovation stations, sales, etc.

  • Legalise ride sharing, a reliable and realistic bus transport.

  • Development of the CBD to be ‘the’ gathering place

  • Consider the ideas exchange and resource shaving from opening up your spare room to visitors and facilitation of that.

  • Cross pollinate in co-working spaces

  • Carriageworks (Sydney)

  • Create more accessible walking pathways like they have here at Jezzine Barracks. One in each suburbs so we can go walking in shaded by native trees.

  • Create a better community meeting area, comfortable seating, grassy, shady space, tiered (roman style)

  • Council to commit to supporting existing spaces and grassroots orgs

  • Castle hill slippery dip

  • Turn an old building into an indoor skate park built by youth using donated materials and labour. Engage with youth through workshops and social gatherings :)

  • Ironic that we talk about re-designing spaces for art while next door to arts hub that the council shut down.

  • Actual low-cost sustainable spaces for artists, freelancers, startups and SME’s that doesn’t kick everyone out and raise rent value beyond event market price.

  • Portland development commission, Melbourne city council community councillors, 600km of underused rail lines emanate from TSV CBD, why aren’t we using this resource?

  • Green spaces of peace sleep zones for our homeless

Arts & Community

  • Education cultural diversity

  • More gatherings and public events to share moments and embrace the city

  • Renew Townsville (Take 2)

  • “Dads of Belgian Gardens s.s” stories - seems to be lots of hands on dads challenging gender stereotypical roles

  • Florence onus, Gracelyn Smallwood’s stories

  • Follow the lead of canada - equality & diversity

  • Using “zoom” technology, to connect regional people and create a global communities of practice.

  • Encouraging indigenous elders to enter schools for both indigenous + non indigenous children.

  • More food vans showcasing local and international cuisines with regular food van event (like perth) and an app where’s my van

  • Community gardens

  • Social creative community and where people come and share ideas collaborate invite local and international resident creatives to share and expand our minds like singapore’s hub can we use the old railway buildings for this and have mixed with cafes for local produce, mix industries together for cross pollination

  • Quirky public art projects i.e. random yarn bombing (someone else added) - seeds for bees

  • Start from the young, bring diversity to schools and education

  • The Powerhouse Brisbane, movies, theatres, art, markets, food, dining, a museum itself.

  • Support independent artists and art organisations

  • Support handmade

  • A wise women's group who can advise companies, government and not for profit groups as they need to make decisions, bringing feminine traits and diverse life experiences to the boardroom. Building a support network for women of all ages.

  • Better community based communication i.e. events and forms advertising more not just ‘word of mouth’

Townsville Pride

  • Annual street parade local business and community together doing up floats and advertising our local talent.

  • We rely too much on looking outside for creativity and economic health - need to generate support of our own.

  • Improved advertising of local events. There is so much great stuff that happens in Townsville, however you often find out too late. Get a bigger, more collective, “What’s on” townsville website. Ie. Melbourne and Newcastle have awesome city branding

  • Passion vs. indifference

  • Transform nightly news (showcase more positive stories/inventions/businesses ect)

  • Start a new story for Townsville - instead of tropical, embrace its landscape, native trees or stop watering our lawns. Celebrate Townsville for what it is, exquisite weather, not hot, never cold, embrace the rareness.

  • Citizen initiated referendum system. Online = participation. Elected officials, local/state/federal. Should respond and act on the wishes of the majority. This would remove self interest and corruption from the ‘system of power.’ Power to the people. Referenda do not need to cost $$

  • Make townsville a more beautiful place, beauty inspires and uplifts

  • Luke from Tobruk, pool’s story - that pool is a community not a business

  • Pacific festival - festival of the pacific, invite all pacific cultures, inutit, south american/polynesian/SE Asia, become a hub for pacific nations

  • We need to know of and appreciate Australia’s history, not just the last 100 years.

  • Sister Kerry Gordon “The magic house” a beautiful soul full of empathy

  • Positive media - if we tell ourselves negative stories we become that. Front page, happy stories.

  • Townsville mardi gras, yeah!!

  • Brian Lewthwaite, JCU Education lecturer specialises in indigenous education.

  • Rukea - Turkish lady (aussie) supports refugees coming into townsville to assimilate into the community

  • Tell the stories our indigenous people haven’t yet been asked, our planet still pays the deficit and so it’s people suffer.


  • Embrace NBN communication options

  • Use our uranium for cheaper nuclear power

  • Technology for universities to deliver lectures so there are able to attend to get the same advantage.

  • 3D printing

  • Use blockchain to unleash online voting everywhere.

  • Floating holographic super stadium

  • Invest in renewable energy

  • Build tele community hubs - allow people to work anywhere but stay local

  • Use our state of the art submarines to transport our refugees to safety so that the boats don’t sink at sea


  • A more balanced convo re. refugees/asylum seekers

  • Community connections for people of all ages

  • Create and improve spaces for community gathering in the hot months and make outdoor spaces more comfortable to meet/exchange ideas eg. shady/breezy/water coolers

  • Providing support and stepping stones for emerging independent businesses.

  • Economic less decisions motivated by political agenda.

  • Everyone has multiple stories we can write and identify as being single-faceted honour the multifacetedness of who we are, what our history is, our experiences, our passions.

  • Include someone with a disability in your life, who knows it might make your day.

  • Building internal locus of control

  • Need more grass-roots instead of ‘highly educated’. Life experiences goes a long way to leading a community forward.

  • Classes in schools that teach modern multiculturalism and other stories other than our own.

  • Make multicultural days in school mandatory

  • Community college