About Townsville & North Queensland
The Townsville & North Queensland Region has a population of 231,628 and covers 80,041 km2 stretching from the Great Barrier Reef Islands and is bordered by Mt Isa in the west, Hinchinbrook to the north, Burdekin to the south and Paluma National Park in the north-west. Townsville, the largest city in the region, has a population of 200,000+ and is a major gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the Wet Tropics and the Queensland outback. It has a proud heritage founded on strong agriculture and resources sectors, Australia’s largest military base, a major international port, and world-class educational institutions.
Future growth areas for Townsville & the North Queensland region include: Mining & Minerals, Tropical Sciences, International Education & Training, Renewable Energy, Food & Agribusiness, health care and social assistance, and construction. The Social Enterprise Network of Townsville & North Queensland is a network of Social Entrepreneurs, Social Enterprises, and supporters of Social Entrepreneurship with a mission to connect, inform, and empower social enterprise in Townsville & North Queensland to achieve social impact through business.
Regional Champion: Ricky Esterquest
Ricky Esterquest is the current Regional Champion for the Townsville & North QLD Region. Ricky is currently the Managing Partner of Towards Better, a boutique social enterprise that brings out the best in individuals with disabilities and communities through “Good Life” strategies. Ricky brings his dynamic leadership, community connectedness and wealth of experiences to this role. He has experience leading businesses in a variety of areas including not for profit, food services & hospitality and training & education. Ricky is passionate about social change particularly for marginalised groups of people such as individuals with disabilities, refugees, older adults, individuals experiencing homelessness, people with mental health needs or people with prior justice system involvement. As Regional Champion, Ricky believes that the region is only as good as the sum of all its parts. Therefore, he is committed to ensuring that the fantastic skills, gifts and passions of the individuals, businesses and communities in the region are uncovered, connected, and empowered to create lasting social impact.