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Two remarkable things happened at the launch of Creative Innovation 2010. Firstly, a senior representative from a leading Australian bank told an endearing story about her early successes outside the banking sector. (It's a rare thing to be won over by a representative from the Australian banking sector.) Secondly, conference organiser Tania de Jong, surprised the crowd with a story about her grandmother's inventiveness... before bursting into song.
Is innovation a driver of economic development down-under? The simple answer is, yes. But is it a core driver – part of our national psyche, supported by government policy? I personally don’t think that it is. I’m not so sure that ‘necessity’ is a part of life for most Australians. I don’t think that the ‘tyranny of distance’ still forces us to work smarter, not harder. In fact, the only cultural description I believe worth citing as part of this innovation debate is Australia’s reputation as a ‘lucky country’.