Nadine Zrinzo and Lisa Renneisen, founders of Bright Conferences, found their true calling when they were having difficulty hiring millennials to help grow the business. So they created generationYOU, a shared learning experience for young Australians designed to bridge the gap between education and employment.
My name is Nadine, my company is Bright Conferences and I live in Brisbane.
I was very active in student organisations at university and that kind of naturally pushed me towards events and I got a job as a conference producer in London, did that for a couple of years and then started freelancing.
We are a small team, a young small team. We all sit and work around one big table so whenever there's a problem or a challenge or something, everyone just throws it out there and we'll work together to fix it.
There are tonnes of resources available to small businesses at the moment. I find it great that whenever I have a question around employees for example I can pick up the phone, call Fair Work and get a straight answer from them, or around tax I can call the ATO.
I'm lucky in the sense that because we run a lot of great events, we get to hear from a lot of great speakers and everyone has an inspiring story to share and I think that's one of the biggest sources of inspiration for me.
Nadine and Lisa identified a knowledge gap between formal education and the hands-on skills required by employers — a gap millennials can struggle to bridge. So they created generationYOU and, partnering with the Queensland University of Technology, held their first conference in Brisbane in 2015.
Designed for young people aged 17-25, generationYOU brings together mentors, entrepreneurs and employers to share knowledge and advice to help young people unleash their potential in the workplace.They are taught practical skills such as networking, building a personal brand, communication, problem solving and leadership, and take part in critical discussions around career development and the future of work.
The generationYOU events have helped more than 2,200 young Australians at conferences featuring 130 speakers and a growing list of partners from the tertiary sector in Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.
Bright HQ, a renovated wool store in Brisbane's historic Teneriffe, is the company's own dedicated events space.
The company helps host a number of other events including the Email Marketing Summit Australia, Brisbane Innovate and the Multicultural Queensland Charter Speaker Series. As much a social enterprise as a commercial concern, Bright Conferences' work enables others to unleash their potential at work and in life.