Episode Archive

SCP E154 Working and Learning Together in Regional Communities Joy Taylor

In this episode I have a brilliant chat with Joy Taylor, the Co-Founder and Community Manager of Canvas Coworking Space here in Toowoomba, QLD. She is also a Startup Weekend Global Facilitator and has been recognised as an Advance Queensland Community Digital Champion for her work teaching kids to create with technology at CoderDojo Toowoomba. Joy tells us about her background in finance and agribusiness, and her journey from there to the coworking and startup space. We discuss the various programs and projects Joy works on to support Regional Communities here in Toowoomba and also across Australia, and the three main elements she focuses on when mentoring: skill development, behaviours and connection. We then dive deep into one of the Smart projects Joy champions, which is CoderDojo. You may remember back in Episode 122 Emily Royalle told us about the CoderDojo program and how it has benefited both the children involved and the city of San Antonio, Texas, US. Joy is one of the mentors at CoderDojo Toowoomba and in this episode she shares all the benefits and opportunities this program affords the students who attend, but also their parents and the community, and how some skills can only be learned in community. Joy also tells us about some other programs like METS Ignited and Zero to Startup, which have involved lots of integrating with industry, private enterprise, government and community organisations. We finish our chat discussing the emerging trend of a 3-pronged approach to sustainability in business: sustainable for the people, planet and profit. This episode is part of our spotlight on the regions and I’m glad to be able to bring you a champion from my own home region, here in Toowoomba and the Darling Downs in QLD. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it. 

Listen here: 

What we cover in this episode:

  • Joy’s background in finance and agri-business and her journey into ecommerce, startup ecosystems and coworking
  • Joy’s passion for family, travel and health
  • What sparked Joy’s interest in the coworking and community business space
  • The benefits of coworking and what a Smart Community is to Joy
  • The importance of understanding WHY you do things, and of having an outcomes-based approach
  • Programs Joy works on to support Regional Australia and Regional Communities 
  • The three main elements Joy focuses on when mentoring: skill development, behaviours and connection
  • The CoderDojo program Joy is involved with and the great benefits it offers children to learn skills that can only be learned in community
  • How willingness to collaborate and seek opportunities helps integration across industries, disciplines, governments and academia
  • Some programs Joy has run that involved a lot of integration, like METS Ignited and Zero to Startup
  • The emerging trend of sustainability in business and Joy’s 3-pronged focus of people, planet and profit 
  • An exercise to stop and think about and be more conscious of how we are using our own and the planet’s resources 


“I think [Smart Communities] use their resources wisely. It’s looking at how are we doing business? How are we living our life? How are we connecting with others? Are we doing that in the most efficient way when it comes to our resource consumption? It doesn’t always mean physical things. Sometimes it means time. Sometimes it means energy—and energy as a person as well as [electricity or fuel.]”

“Even though we run a coworking space in Toowoomba we also are conscious that a number of members live outside of the region or just can’t physically get into the space even if they live in town. So we use technology like Zoom to be able to provide a lot of what we do online, which helps people access that either at a time that suits them or from wherever they are.”

“It’s about teaching kids to create with technology in the first instance. And then beyond that, and without them necessarily realising it, it’s about getting them to actually build their own community and talk to each other.”

I think [we should be] focusing on sustainability in business, everything through your supply chain, right through to how your product or service is disposed of or used after or repurposed…It really is that whole life cycle of a business but also of the products and services that we produce and create.”


Queensland Rural Regional and Remove Women’s Network or QRRRWN

The University of Southern Queensland or USQ

Startup Weekends and Hackathons 



Advance Queensland 

QLD Chief Entrepreneur Leeane Kemp

Canvas Coworking


Find the full show notes at: www.mysmart.community 

Connect with Joy on LinkedIn or Facebook, or via email joy@canvascoworking.com.au 

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect with My Smart Community via LinkedIn or Twitter and watch on YouTube

Podcast Production by Perk Digital


  1. Joy

    Thanks for inviting me to chat on your show Zoe! I really enjoyed it, and hope that those who listen find something new to think about or a fresh perspective to ponder from.

    • The Smart Community Podcast

      It was great to have you on the podcast Joy!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Episode Archive


Want to be a guest?

Would you like to be a guest on The Smart Community Podcast? 
Get in touch and send me your pitch.