The 2018 Australian Regional Development Conference was held at Twin Towns Services Club, Tweed Heads, over 17 and 18 September.
The conference theme for 2018 was Uncovering Regional Possibilities, which aimed to encourage out of the box thinking and spread learning from passionate advocates about the great things that are being done to develop sustainable communities.
The 2018 Australian Regional Development Conference continued to provide a unified platform to network and be part of the conversation on the learnings, solutions and challenges of Australia’s regional and rural areas.
Dates for 2019 will be announced soon.
- Federal and state or local council
- Decentralisation of government offices, opportunities
- Facilitating program transition, local involvement
- Flexibility of programs and policy implementation
- Renewable energy and energy supply
- Natural resource management including water management
- Food and agriculture, farming
- Fisheries, ports, offshore
- Transport logistics, road, freight rail, shipping ports and regional airports
- Telecommunications, increase connectivity
- Digital Economy
- Job creation and skilled migration, telecommuting, working age population
- Supporting the younger working population
- Service delivery provision – health (NDIS), housing, aged care
- Housing affordability and urbanisation
- International and domestic education, universities and vocational training
- Cultural and entertainment, libraries
- Banking and finance, liveable and investable, domestic superannuation
- Is growing bigger towns the solution?
- Developing training, supporting upskilling
- Engaging industry sector opportunity – tourism, education, creative industries, defence force
- Leadership; influence
- Initiatives in structuring a vibrant community
- Placemaking case studies
- Engagement and innovation, person centred
- Futuristic view
- Trends in relation to industry, innovation and entrepreneurship decline, solutions
- Population decline and shift in demographics
- Challenges associated with economic development for aged care
- Infrastructure, engagement, development and planning
- Long term sustainability
- Attracting investment, economic growth strategy
- Retention and increase of job availability
- Embracing entrepreneurship
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Conference Highlights 2017
Mr Jack Archer, CEO, Regional Australia Institute
Jack Archer has been with the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) since its inception in 2012, and developed the RAI’s policy and research program including major products such as [In]Sight: Australia’s Regional Competitiveness Index and [In]Form: Australia’s Online Library of Regional Research. Jack took up the role as Chief Executive Officer on 1 July 2015.
In previous roles as a consultant and public servant, Jack contributed to major regional reforms in water, climate change, indigenous issues and industry. Jack’s 2017 presentation focused on regional population trends and how regional communities are responding.
Ms Lorraine Gordon, Project Director, Farm Co-operatives & Collaboration
Lorraine Gordon is the director of the Federal Government’s Farm Co-operatives and Collaboration Pilot Program, known as Farming Together. The national, two-year $13.8m program is developing and supporting co-operatives, collective bargaining groups and collaborations among Australia’s primary producers. The co-initiator of the successful Ebor Beef Co-operative, Lorraine is the former NSW Rural Woman of the Year and CEO of Regional Development Australia (RDA) Mid North Coast.
Lorraine’s 2017 presentation had an emphasis on developing self-sustaining collaborative groups among Australian primary producers.
Cr Col Murray, Deputy Chair, Regional Capitals Australia & Mayor, Tamworth Regional Council
Cr Murray is in his fourth term on Tamworth Regional Council and his seventh term as Mayor. He served as Deputy Mayor for two years prior to becoming Mayor. He is the Deputy Chair of Regional Capitals Australia – an alliance of local government associations advocating for continued growth and sustainable development of regional capitals around the nation. His presentation in 2017 discussed the importance of regional capital cities to the regional development agenda.
Mr Will Rayner, CFO, Rural Bank
Will joined Bendigo’s specialist agricultural offering, Rural Bank, in September 2013, and was appointed Chief Financial Officer in October 2015. Will is a non-executive director of Community Insurance Solutions Pty Ltd, and non-executive director of the SA Dairy Industry Fund. Will has spent his life immersed in Australian rural and regional affairs. He grew up as a fifth-generation farmer on his family’s wheat and sheep farm in the mid-north of South Australia.
In 2017, Will presented on Agriculture as a growth engine for regional Australia.