Submissions are now open to become a presenter at the 2020 Australian Regional Development Conference.

Share your insight and be part of a greater regional movement.

The 2020 Australian Regional Development Conference is currently looking for:

Oral Presenters

Oral presentations run for 30 minutes (20 minute presentation and 10 minute Q&A time with the audience).

When submitting a presentation to become an oral presenter, outline the aims, methods, relevance, results and conclusions of the work, research, project or case study you’re presenting.

Panel Presenters

Panel presentations run for 90 minutes.

Panel presentations bring together a range of different views in an Q&A style session with three + panellists, one chair and the conference audience.

Hosting a panel gives you the opportunity to delve into many points of difference.

Poster Presenters

Poster presentations combine text and graphics highlighting one or more of the conference topics and will be displayed in catering and networking areas for the duration of the conference.

Specific information regarding size and mounting requirements will be provided with the notice of acceptance.

Workshop Presenters

Workshop presentations run for 90 minutes and are designed in an interactive format to facilitate active learning, such as discussion, activities, small group role plays.

Presenters will be entirely responsible for the workshop facilitation, with the opportunity to offer hands-on learning opportunities.

Table Top Presenters

Table tops act as a pathway for networking and sharing of information directly with delegates in an interactive setting. Table tops involve multiple presenters, with each presenter at a round table of up-to 8 participants.

Presenters change tables every 14 minutes to present to a new round of participants.

Pecha Kucha Presenters

Pecha Kucha is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images, keeping to the time limit.

Each presenter has approx. 7 minutes and 20 slides.

2020 Submission Topics

Technology & Growth

Smart city technology has transformed our region’s abilities to connect, operate and expand into a broader marketplace. While fields such as agriculture and aquaculture have the means to increase production via greater innovation, research and development continues to transform our regions into hubs for greater community connectivity.

Despite the significant steps that have been made in the realm of technology, there also remains a regional dimension to the digital divide. Due to location, accessibility and implementation, the cost of Internet access remains higher for those who live in rural and regional Australia compared to those in metropolitan areas. This inequality lends itself to subsequent impacts on e-commerce, automation and future developments.

Share your insight into how regions are utilising technology to better connect and grow, and the challenges of implementation, maintenance and development in a regional area.

Indigenous Initiatives

Indigenous peoples are among rural and regional Australia’s largest landholder, with native title rights are recognised on more than 37% of the nation’s landmass. Indigenous culture plays a significant part in the development of our regions, with a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander enterprises active in fields of agriculture, land and water management, and protected land management.

By providing greater access to affordable housing, more opportunities for training and development, and greater means for employment, we can foster the needs of our Indigenous community. This will in turn provide better opportunities for Indigenous leadership and greater security for future generations.

Discuss how the role of role of Indigenous community and culture can create meaningful change in our regional areas, and what we can do to facilitate greater Indigenous engagement in business and communities.


Multisectoral collaboration and coordination will pave the way for greater investment in our regional areas. Leaderships and partnerships at all local, state and federal levels are essential for policies and procedures to be formed, implemented and maintained in a manner best suited to the individual needs of a region.

Additionally, greater attention to spending and funding allocations will enable our regional areas to invest in resources to better serve the needs and demands of its citizens.

Join the discussion – let us know how governance plays a role in the continued growth and development of your regional area, and how the challenges of policies and processes can be streamlined or adjusted to improve current practices.

Health and Wellbeing

On average, Australians living in more rural or remote areas have shorter lives, higher levels of disease and injury, and poorer access to and use of health services compared with people living in metropolitan areas.

To improve physical and mental wellbeing in our regions, there needs to be a wider focus on increasing connectedness between residents, while improving access to healthcare facilities and services. Medical research, development and innovation will continue to impact on the accessibility of treatments available in regional areas, with aged care services receiving a greater amount of attention.

Get involved – inform attendees on the latest projects and developments taking place in your area that encourage and advocate for improved health and wellbeing.

City Connections

From food and clothing through to water and electricity, majority of the resources utilised by our cities originate from our regional areas.

Due to location, cost and convenience, there is a heavy reliance on cities in order for our regions to thrive. For our regions to be able to gain more independence, this reliance needs to be transformed into an interconnective relationship. Collaboration and partnership formations between city and regional areas will enable all residents to enjoy the benefits each area brings.

Share your thoughts on how to most effectively connect our regional and city areas to work harmoniously and overcome the challenges associated with reliance.


Despite the many developments that have been made in regional and remote regions, factors such as location, feasibility and a lack of investment have meant that areas outside of our cities remain at a disadvantage.

To improve our connectivity and increase opportunities for growth, investment in infrastructure is crucial. While airport upgrades and subsidies can increase the amount of people coming into our regions, investment in our road, sea and rail transport can increase the amount of freight being distributed.

Greater government and private sector funding opportunities would also improve our region’s ability to further advance, including the development of community infrastructure projects such as schools, hospitals, parks and aged care facilities.

Share how your investment in infrastructure is impacting on your region, and share the challenges and opportunities faced with project development, delivery and construction.

Globalisation Opportunities

From the globalisation of agricultural and other markets, regional Australia has made (and will continue to make) a significant impact in our nation’s economic success.

Due to our close proximity to Asia, we have at our disposal a wealth of new and existing markets in which to enter, expand and capitalise. A greater investment in trade relationships and agreements can enable our regions to increase importing and exporting opportunities, while increasing the amount of corporate and private sector investors.

By delving into the successes and failures of international case studies, we can gain a greater understanding of how to capitalise on certain opportunities for growth, while overcoming the challenges associated with being situated in a regional area.

Business, Trade and Investment

Providing employment for one in three working Australians, regional areas make a formidable contribution to our nation’s economy. Measures to protect and grow business, trade and development are crucial. With the right investment, our regional areas hold an even greater potential to grow.

Despite the progress that’s been made, regional areas continue to struggle with attracting and retaining certain skilled workers. This leads into the need for flexible migrant agreement, greater risk management measures, and the development of attractive employment and small business packages.

With the Industry Skills Fund focused on training and upskilling through businesses, and start up businesses investing in an entrepreneur’s program, there is significant potential for growth. From a leadership perspective, more strategic partnerships, relationships with fellow regional partners and greater linkages between rural and urban areas will also enable business, trade and investment to flourish.

Join the discussion and share your ideas, insight or experience in undertaking business in a regional area, the challenges faced, and solutions for greater trade and investment.

Community Engagement and Leadership

Community is at the heart of regional Australia. Greater connections and engagement among members of the community create a sense of belonging and culture, while paying homage to the area’s history and heritage.

In order to progress, community leaders need to use tools for change to positively influence the behaviours of residents. Measures for greater diversity and inclusion (including aged, youth, disability and Indigenous populations), as well as strategic partnerships are essential. Policies on immigration and refugees also need to be revised or assessed, in order to advance our regional communities, encourage growth and add to a culturally diverse population.

Share your ideas on how to foster community engagement, lead regional communities into greater change and encompass an all-inclusive dynamic.


Presentation Submissions Close
Friday 24 April 2020


Program Available
Thursday 21 May 2020


Early Bird Registration Closes
Friday 24 July 2020

Please note that all presenters at the conference are required to register.
A special discounted rate is offered with all details supplied after presentation submission.