Launchpad firmly believes that business is a key driver of solutions and change. Through hearing how our different industries are tackling social issues, we can expand our view of exactly how our own businesses can drive impact, creating a ripple of goodness in our communities.
Byron boasts the third highest concentration of businesses in the nation per capita and plays an essential role in the local economy. However, all business owners are faced with the same challenge, attracting and retaining staff.
We’re all aware of Byron’s pressing affordable housing crisis. The latest census data reveals that Byron Shire currently grapples with the highest rate of housing stress in all of NSW with over half of locals forced to allocate over 30 percent of their household income toward housing.
The domino effect? Byron Bay now houses more rough sleepers than Sydney.
How can we address this issue head-on with solutions-focused, creative initiatives to attract staff and reduce the mental toll that securing affordable housing has on our community and staff.
There is an opportunity for transformation through a combination of social enterprises, local business owners and private investments.
Join us for a panel discussion that explores how experts in the industry are being the makers of change and how business owners can positively rally together to support housing solutions.
Moderated by Jessie Summons, Chief Operating Officer at tech start-up Matrak this power panel discussion is joined by trail blazers: Mark Howard, Managing Director of Propel Capital, Dr Dionne Payne, CEO and Founder of High Impact Property Investments and Ben Kirkwood, Director and Co-owner of Beach Byron Bay.
Come for breakfast, our trademark high vibes Launchpad community, and to build new connections.
About the panellists
Mark is the Managing Director of Propel Capital, a property developer and fund manager focused on sustainable property solutions and investor returns. With 20 years of experience in property investment, development, and funds management, Mark previously served as the Investment Director at Heathley Limited, overseeing capital raising and deal sourcing. This resulted in substantial growth, from ~$200m to over $750m, and the sale to ASX-listed Centuria Capital Group. In 2017, Mark co-founded Veyor Digital, a construction technology company now globally recognized for logistics management software. A local resident in Byron, Mark is dedicated to addressing housing crises with innovative solutions.
Dr. Dionne Payn
Dionne is the Founder and CEO of High Impact Property Investments, specialises in raising capital for affordable housing, sustainable properties, and inclusive homes. A speaker, author, and property coach, she holds a PhD in Natural Products Chemistry. Having managed multiple property developments near Byron Bay, Australia, she’s assisted over 40 investors in achieving double-digit returns. Dionne’s commitment to ethical property development began with a 2017 project delivering affordable homes in an unaffordable area.
Ben is the Director and Co-owner of Beach Byron Bay who has spent the last two decades dedicated to the hospitality and tourism industry, operating restaurants in Australia and abroad. His journey has instilled in him an unwavering commitment to forging a mutually beneficial relationship between tourism and local residents. Ben’s commitment to hospitality has seen him take leadership roles across a number of campaigns for Tourism NSW, Northern Rivers Tourism, and Restaurant and Catering Association NSW. He is also active locally as a board member for both Byron United (Chamber of Commerce) and Byron Visitor Centre; as Chair of the Restaurant and Cafe sub-committee of Byron United; and Vice President of both the Local Tourism Organisation (Byron Shire) and the Artscape Biennial (outdoor sculpture exhibition).
Meet the moderator
Jessie is the Chief Operating Officer at technology start-up Matrak, and was formerly the Head of Outreach and Development at Australia’s leading technology accelerator Startmate. She joined Startmate after co-founding and leading Nightingale Housing as CEO for two years.
Jessie specialises in all facets of business operations, go-to-market strategy, process improvement, pricing models, early-stage business development, and has a special bent towards sustainability. She currently acts as an adviser to early-stage startups, Good Designs and Bluethumb.