Richard Colbran to discuss community development and health

Community Development Richard Colbran

Richard Colbran will speak on how healthy, well country kids are a catalyst for strong communities

Community development: We are pleased to announce Mr Richard Colbran, Business Director, Royal Far West as a speaker, at the 3rd Australian Regional Development Conference; Participation and Progress which will be held in Canberra on 5 – 6 September 2016.

Richard Colbran will be speaking on ‘Healthy and well country kids – a catalyst for strong communities’ in the Community Development stream.

Healthy and well children and families are important to secure and sustain the next generation of regional Australia. However, families living in country Australia can face challenges in accessing services and good-quality infrastructure (AIFS, 2013). Rural communities are on average sicker, poorer and more disadvantaged compared to people in urban settings. They also have less access to health care (Wilson et al, 2009).

Children living in regional Australia have the right to receive the health and education services and support they need. This is essential so that they can develop well and participate fully in community life. Investment in country kids has exponential advantages to Australian society, delivering benefits and savings in health, education, justice and social welfare and enhancing human capital and productivity.

The presentation will provide examples of RFW approach: highlighting key steps in mobilising integrated funding partnerships, explaining how RFW is addressing the paediatric specialist and allied health workforce shortage and sharing RFW experiences of building service stream capacity to enhance health and community outcomes.

Rural Community Development – Richard Colbran

Richard Colbran is an experienced not-for-profit organisation manager in health and social services and is currently Business Director at Royal Far West – an independent, non-government charitable organisation which has been providing health services for rural and remote children across NSW since 1924.

An advocate for social leadership, Richard’s interests include discovery and innovation, building the capacity of individuals and organisations in order to create change for the community’s health, safety and wellbeing, and the commercialisation of services and products to support NGO sustainability.

Community development will be discussed at The 3rd Australian Regional Development Conference; Participation and Progress will be held in Canberra on 5 – 6 September 2016 to register for the conference CLICK HERE.

With over 60 speakers and 7 keynote speakers, it is the regional conference to attend. To view the 2016 Conference Program CLICK HERE.

The conference addresses issues such as sustainable development, environmental sustainability, land use, community development, investment, agribusiness and innovation.

Big potential for growth in East Arnhem Land

ABC Rural

The head of a development body in Nhulunbuy believes the region is well poised to capitalise on potential agriculture and aquaculture ventures.

Rio Tinto’s decision to curtail the local alumina refinery in 2014 meant more than 1,000 people lost their jobs and the town took a huge economic hit.

Developing East Arnhem Land, which was created last year as a result of the curtailment, has been pitching to the major projects conference in Darwin this week.

CEO Carley Scott said there were a number of opportunities for investment in projects beyond mining.

“There’s been a big move in East Arnhem Land where we’ve seen people go through a really tough period and now come out the other side to a large degree,” she said.

“We can look at the port infrastructure that we’ve got there and what we can do with aquaculture in particular, agriculture as well.

“Whether it’s beef product that we already have there or… the crocodile industry, which is of interest to us.”

Ms Scott said there were a number of challenges that needed to be overcome to achieve the development sought, including access to land.

“If you’re looking to access land to develop, there is certainly commercial land available so that’s a real positive,” she said.

“You’re looking to build those partnerships… so you’ve got those really strong networks and the ability to really work well in the region.”

Read more.

Rural communities fear ‘data drought’ despite launch of NBN satellite Sky Muster

ABC News

Frustrated rural internet customers fear it could be 18 months before their substandard services are improved by the National Broadband Network (NBN Co) satellite Sky Muster.

The new half-a-billion-dollar satellite was launched this week, but due to months of testing will not be commercially available until mid-2016. Central Queensland farmer Kristy Sparrow said the bush cannot wait that long. Ms Sparrow has called on NBN Co to do more to improve speeds and lift data limits for those struggling with the congested interim satellite service (ISS), which Sky Muster will replace.

To address the congestion on the oversold system NBN Co introduced a fair use policy at the start of the year. All ISS users had their data plans cut.

Megan Munchenberg from Gregory Downs station in far north Queensland has seen the impact on her two children, who study by school of the air.

Alex Appleton doing distance education from schoolroom on Islay Plains Station, Alpha Queensland.

Alex Appleton doing distance education from schoolroom on Islay Plains Station, Alpha Queensland.

In March the station schoolroom’s 100 gigabyte plan was halved to 50 gigabytes, then three months later reduced to 45 gigabytes.

“Each child by standard has been recommended that they need 20 gigabytes month each. Currently we have 20 gigabytes for five children,” she said.

Despite rationing, the schoolroom cannot make it through the month, and their internet is “shaped”, or drastically slowed. “It’s pretty much just turn the computer off and walk away because the ability to do anything is impossible,” Ms Munchenberg said.

NBN Co’s general manager for fixed wireless and satellite, Gavin Williams, said he does not like to hear stories of hardship caused by the ISS.

“It’s incredibly humbling when you hear the real world impacts of individuals in the bush just trying to do things that people in the city just take for granted,” he said.

“When you can’t do a banking transaction because it times out, that a kid has to get up at 5:00am to do a lesson, they’re heartbreaking stories.”

Ms Sparrow said there is an information drought about the new long-term satellite service (LSS) and called on NBN Co to provide more information.

“How much are these families going to be able to access? What data limits? What costs? How long is it going to take to service every family?” she said.

“It’s a digital world and there’s a digital divide. The interim satellite at least deserves to be fixed until then.”

Read more.

Bush telecommunications needs help with more reforms

The Australian, 3 September 2015.

Vodafone Australia chief Inaki Berroeta.

Vodafone Australia chief Inaki Berroeta.

Recently I drove to Armidale in country NSW to open a new ­Vodafone retail store with the local federal MP and Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce. During the drive I had cause to reflect on the potential for improved mobile telecommunications in regional Australia.

Vodafone will soon be building more than 18 mobile base stations in the region around Armidale, dramatically improving our ­mobile coverage by an extra 2000sq km. This will deliver better mobile coverage and more employment opportunities in the community while giving more choice and competition to local consumers and businesses.

This would not have been possible without the government’s mobile black spot program and the support of the NSW government, which fund not only improvements in mobile coverage but also competition in regional and remote areas where it is severely lacking. The combination of subsidised construction of mobile stations with a requirement on industry to work together to share infrastructure is a major step forward for which both governments deserve significant credit.

Our geography and low population density means there are major challenges in ensuring regional and remote Australians can benefit from a choice of fixed and mobile telco providers.

Many Australian taxpayers would be surprised to learn that over the past decade Telstra has received more than one billion of their dollars to maintain and ­extend its network. There would be a huge outcry if a major supermarket chain received such substantial amounts of taxpayer funds to maintain its market dominance, but such a huge handout to the incumbent telco has gone largely unquestioned.

Further, Telstra charges monopoly prices for other operators to access its fixed transmission links, many of which were built when Telstra was a government-owned monopoly. To build mobile base stations, carriers need to connect to these fixed transmission links to take the voice and data traffic to the rest of the world. But there are some shoots of green; the policy environment is changing. The NBN rollout and the mobile black spot program are solutions

Australia will not achieve its potential, or lift its long-term economic and social wellbeing to its highest level without access to modern telecommunications services at affordable prices.

These are exciting opportunities and we look forward to ­continuing to work with government, industry and consumers to maximise the benefits of more competition and choice in telecommunications for regional and remote Australia.

Inaki Berroeta is the chief executive of Vodafone Australia.

View the full article here.

Dr Viveka Hocking from Australian National University to present on ‘Reimagining Rural Features: Design for Regional Development’

Dr Viveka Hocking, Design Researcher at Australian National University will present at the Australian Regional Development Conference will be held at the Commercial Club Albury on the 26– 27 August 2015.

Speaker Introduction: Viveka Turnbull Hocking is a design researcher and theorist who looks at design-led approaches to research and the significant value of creative practice to constructing knowledge. Her research interests include social innovation towards sustainability and rural design. She researches through the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University and teaches in the School of Design and Architecture at the University of Canberra.

Presentation Title: Reimagining Rural Futures: Design for Regional Development, Innovation and Sustainable Wellbeing

Overview: Regional wellbeing can not be designed. A multiplicity of actions from people and everyday life make vibrant sustainable rural communities. The role of design in regions with aspirations to support their community’s wellbeing is not one of master designer. Rather it is to provide the spaces for innovation to occur. This paper investigates a design-led approach to enabling sustainable wellbeing for Australian regional futures.

About the Conference:

The Australian Regional Development Conference is an initiative of the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., a non-Government ‘not-for-profit’ organisation.

Themed Redefining the Future of Regional Australia,  the Conference will explore the issues and opportunities facing Regional Australia today and into the future.

Sub themes for concurrent sessions

  • Sustainability / Renewables
  • Population Movements
  • Community Development
  • Government Policy
  • Innovation
  • Infrastructure
  • Cultural Tourism / Regional Tourism Development
  • Free Trade Agreements
  • Transport and Logistics
  • NBN / Broadband Communication
  • Banking / Finance

To view and/or download the Conference program, please click here.  For information on registration or to book your delegate pass, visit the website here.