SEGRA is back on the 26–28 October 2016

SEGRA - Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia

SEGRA 2015 Speakers

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Ministers

Keynote Speakers

Regional Collaborative Investment Summit Facilitators and Speakers

Rural Regional Remote Research Agenda

Business Breakfast Speakers

Plenary Chairs

Spotlight Facilitators

Spotlight Discussion Leaders / Speakers

Challenge Leaders

Challenge Champions

Regional Best Practice Chairs

Regional Best Practice Speakers

Workshop Facilitators

Workshop Speakers


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Ministers

 

The Hon. Warren Truss MP, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia

The Hon. Warren Truss MP is Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

He became Leader of the Nationals in 2007 and is the longest serving federal leader of any political party in Australia today.

A third generation farmer from the Kumbia district near Kingaroy in Queensland, Mr Truss first won the federal seat of Wide Bay in 1990.

He was a Minister in the Howard Government for 10 years, serving as Minister for Customs and Consumer Affairs in October 1997, and a year later, Minister for Community Services. In July 1999 Mr Truss became the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, where he served for six years. He became Minister for Transport and Regional Services in July 2005 and, in September 2006, was appointed Minister for Trade.

Before entering Parliament, Mr Truss was a Kingaroy Shire Councillor (1976 to 1990), including seven years as Mayor. He was Deputy Chairman of the Queensland Grain Handling Authority and a member of the State Council of the Queensland Graingrowers Association for more than 10 years.

Mr Truss is also former State and National President of the Rural Youth Organisation and President of the Lutheran Youth of Queensland.

At the 2013 federal election, Mr Truss led The Nationals to the Party's best electoral result in 30 years.

 

The Hon. Julie Collins MP, Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Local Government

The Hon. Julie Collins MP is the Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Local Government.

Julie was born in Hobart and was educated locally in TAFE, gaining a Certificate IV in Business Administration. She first joined a union at age 14 while working at a local supermarket. Julie reluctantly decided she was unable to continue her education due to financial limitations. Looking back at her experiences, Julie realises that access to education and information was just as big a barrier to equality as being poor was, and she vows to ensure that all people have access to a quality education.

A passionate, strong voice for health reform, affordable child care, education and creating local jobs, Julie was elected to parliament in 2007. In 2011, Julie was appointed Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Community Services, and the Status of Women. In 2012, she was appointed Minister for Housing and Homelessness.

Julie is married to Ian and is the mother of three young children. Like most working mothers, Julie has taken an active interest in her children's educational and sporting activities and has a first-hand understanding of the difficulties many families face.

 


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Keynote Speakers

 

Lauren Andrews, Rural & Regional Affairs Strategist, Bendigo Bank

Biography
Lauren Andrews is the Regional and Rural Affairs Strategist for Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. She was appointed to the newly created role earlier this year after the Bank recognised it could do even more to ensure the opportunities and challenges facing regional Australians were better represented in public discussions and policy debates. Prior to her current role Lauren led Bendigo and Adelaide Bank's Media and Communications team for eight years, working closely with the Bank's staff, customers, community partners, shareholders and various other stakeholders including the media and government. Lauren started her career as a journalist and worked as a television reporter in regional Australia with WIN News, and in Melbourne at the Seven and ABC newsrooms. Lauren recently finished her MBA with La Trobe University in Bendigo, and is involved with an exciting new initiative to introduce the Bank's unique Community Bank model to universities across Australia. Lauren lives in Bendigo and enjoys road cycling in her spare time.

 


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Co-presenter - Ashley Bland, Senior Manager - Environment, Skillset

Biography
Ashley comes from a commercial organic farming background and studied engineering and ecology before working in the mining industry in north-west Queensland. He returned to the farm growing broccoli and working as a musician for a period before re-joining the natural resource industry, managing the ACT and S-E NSW for Conservation Volunteers. Meeting the love of his life resulted in a 3 year sojourn overseas that included 2 years on Cruise ships, much of that as a photographer/videographer. On his return to Australia, Ashley again worked with Conservation Volunteers in a Corporate and Government affairs role before his current position with Skillset as Senior Manager - Environment.

Throughout this diverse career one constant theme emerges; that of concern and action for environmental issues and the realisation that people are both the source and the key to our sustainability challenges.

With Skillset, Ashley played a leading role in developing the Flannery Centre, an $8.5 million training facility themed around sustainability and constructed under the Green Star program to worlds best practice. Through this centre Ashley is now offering and developing programs aimed at transforming individuals and industries, from construction to agriculture, waste and energy.

Ashley remains passionate about the opportunities for regional Australia from a new, greener economy where deceltralised services deliver genuine social, environmental and economic returns for ours and future generations.

 


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Emma Bradbury, Chief Executive Officer, The Murray Darling Association

Biography
Emma joined the Murray Darling Association in May 2014 in the role of Chief Executive Officer she is also a current councillor with the Shire of Campaspe. As the director of a hydraulic engineering and mine maintenance business in the Bowen Basin, QLD for 15 years and Campus Manager of Bendigo TAFE, Echuca Campus, she has extensive business management experience. With a background in mixed farming and involvement in local government Emma has felt the effects of policy decisions on local communities first hand. Emma is committed to the principals of good governance and public participation. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science and a Graduate Diploma in Education.

 


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Don Burke OAM, Director, CTC Productions

Biography
Don Burke, OAM, is an ex President of the Australian Institute of Horticulture NSW and multi Logie winning Executive Producer of both Burke's Backyard & Backyard Blitz TV programs, editor in chief of Burke's Backyard magazine & presenter of Burke's Backyard radio program.

President Aust Institute of Horticulture NSW 1979-1981
Recipient inaugural Golden Wattle Award 2011
Australia Day Ambassador since 1990
Past board member Landcare Australia Past board member Sustainable Development Australia
Past Chair Australian Environment Foundation 2005-2008
Lobbied Federal government & subsequently set up APVMA
Member of founding groups: Greening Australia, Year of the Tree, Decade of the Tree Recipient 2010 Order of Australia for services to environment, horticulture & the media
Patron - Retina Australia 1990 to present
Current member of University of NSW Science Advisory Committee
Ambassador for Asbestos Awareness – 2005 to present

*Presenter and Executive Producer of Burke's Backyard TV program for 17.5 years. Received 6 Logies & 2 People's Choice Awards.
*Variety Club's 1990 TV Presenter of the Year
*Executive Producer of Backyard Blitz - received 6 Logies.
*Editor in chief of Burke's Backyard Magazine July 1998 to March 2013
*Syndicated radio segments currently going to stations around Australia. *Author of 16 books

 


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Michael Campbell, Senior Consultant, AEC Group

Designing and Implementing Projects that Deliver Policy Intent


Abstract
Is your project a Go'er? How do you know that your project is a good one? There are plenty ideas out there for projects that can improve your community, but how do you know that you have got the right idea? Government agencies are increasingly seeking projects that are 'investment ready' and provide not only a community or social benefits, but economic ones as well. Equally, there is more private sector investment flowing into regional Australia than ever before, with a wide variety of international investors entering Australia, a growing number of superannuation funds looking for investments and many private sector investors as well as new avenues, such as crowd funding. In order to access funding, projects need to be ready and worthy of funding (public or private sector). This presentation will review ways of investigating projects to ensure they have the best chance of success.

Biography
Michael Campbell is a Senior Consultant with AECgroup and has considerable experience in economic and regional development, which he gained in the United States, Europe and Australia. Michael is a trusted adviser to many local and state governments in regards to economic development, regional development, investment attraction, tourism and planning. He regularly provides advice and guidance related to strategy development, marketing and promotion, property economics, land use planning, incentives and infrastructure. Michael also provides advice to private sector companies and property developers regarding investment projects across a number of sectors including industrial, hotel, residential and mixed use. Michael's consultancy experience benefits from his practical background in economic development and investment where he has successfully secured corporate investments equating to $425 million in capital investment and over 4,000 new jobs. He has also engaged with hundreds of businesses about their expansion/relocation plans and built numerous quantitative models to analyse various investment projects for corporate clients. Michael has Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of North Carolina (USA), an International MBA from the Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina (USA) and an MBA from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (Austria). Michael is a current member of Economic Development Australia (EDA) and was one of the first in the country to receive the ACEcD (Australian Certified Economic Developer) accreditation.

 


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Amanda Chadwick, Executive Director - Industry Policy, Economics & Regional Development,
Department of Industry, NSW

Approaches & Priorities of the NSW Department of Industry to Regional Economic Development


Abstract
Regional NSW, home to 2.9 million people, is the largest and most diverse regional economy in Australia. Vital to NSW, it contributes about a third, or $138 million, of Gross State Product. In August 2015, it was the only Australian regional area to record an annual increase in employment. To drive continued long-term growth, the NSW Government developed the Economic Development Strategy for Regional NSW. The Strategy consolidates over 100 actions across Government, designed to facilitate competition, invest in the drivers of productivity and growth, and maximise benefits from public investment. Rebuilding NSW, the biggest infrastructure program in the State's history, will boost regional infrastructure investment by $6 billion, to a record $19 billion. A new $190 million Jobs for NSW fund will deliver job creation incentives, and significant investment in skills development will help deliver the workforce needed for new jobs. The presentation will update on the Strategy and these priority initiatives.


Biography

Amanda Chadwick is Executive Director, Policy & Economics at NSW Trade & Investment. Amanda drives the industry policy and regulatory change agenda for industry investment within NSW. Her team undertakes economic and market analysis for NSW Trade & Investment and develops the policies that support industry productivity and innovation and growth in business employment and investment. Amanda has a background in the development and implementation of government policy. Prior to joining NSW Trade & Investment, Amanda was the Director of Water at the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). Amanda holds qualifications in law and economics from ANU and Masters of Science (Regulation) from London School of Economics.

 


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Prof. Darryl Low Choy, Professor, Environmental and Landscape Planning, Griffith University

The Regional Landscape - Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists' Blueprint for a Healthy Environment and a Productive Economy


Abstract

Over a number of decades now, regional landscapes in Australia have not attracted the same degree of community focus and policy attention as urban areas largely due to their low population footprints, limited community prioritisation and poor understanding by urban populations and politicians generally. This has been particularly the case in land use planning and natural resource management circles. Planning systems and processes for regional landscape are poorly developed and have had limited application in practice. In September 2014 the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists released their Blueprint for a Healthy Environment and a Productive Economy. The aim of the Blueprint is to describe the magnitude of the environmental challenges that Australia faces, establish the case that it is possible to grow the economy and protect the environment, and to describe some long-term institutional and economic reforms that are essential to achieve these ends. This presentation will outline what the Wentworth Group's Healthy Environment and a Productive Economy's desired scenario could look like for future regional landscapes in Australia.

 

Biography
Professor Darryl Low Choy is Professor of Environmental and Landscape Planning and Head of Discipline (Planning) in the School of Environment, Griffith University. He has extensive industry experience as a practicing planner before and during his academic career. He has completed a number of major secondments to State Government planning initiatives, more recently the Queensland Government's SEQ Regional Plan. He is a qualified professional town planner and serves on a number of state and national government boards that deal with environmental planning and NRM matters.

 


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Dr. Jen Cleary, Chair, RDA Far North, Senior Research Fellow, University of South Australia and SEGRA National Steering Committee

Localism and Leadership in Regional Australia: what do we really need?


Abstract

Why is it that some rural communities thrive, while other, seemingly similar communities do not? What are the characteristics of 'thriving' towns that make them different to 'surviving' towns or even 'diving' towns?' There are many reasons, not least of which is that every community is unique (or, if you've seen one country town, you've seen one country town). However, one characteristic that 'thriving' towns seem to share is that they have very effective leaders. How do leaders in thriving towns operate? Why are they successful? In this presentation, I discuss some of the traits of thriving-town leaders and the ways in which they use their skills to benefit their communities. The presentation is drawn from my experiences over many years of living, working and researching in Australia's regional, rural and remote communities. The presentation introduces the '6 C's' of effective governance and leadership in local contexts: Capacity, Connectedness, Courage, Commitment, Crocodiles and Catalysts.

Biography
Dr Jen Cleary is Chair of RDA Far North in South Australia, and a human geographer with the University of SA. Her research interests lie in regional development, rural communities and agriculture. Jen's recent research has focused on community participatory planning and local decision-making in rural and remote communities in Australia. She has also recently completed work on farmer collective bargaining in the agricultural sector and investigated the potential of Geographical Indications of origin as regional development tools.

Jen is recognised for her leadership in regional Australia and holds a number of positions that reflect her knowledge and experience. She currently sits on the Deputy Prime Minister's Regional Australia Reference Group, co-chairs the International Rural Network and is a member of the SEGRA National Steering Committee. Jen also holds an honorary position as Adjunct Associate Professor at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra.

 


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A/Prof. Michelle Evans, Senior Lecturer in Leadership, Charles Sturt University

Australian Indigenous Entrepreneurial Leadership


Abstract
This presentation will outline the research design for a new ARC Linkage study investigating the impact of human and social capital of Indigenous business leaders on business routines and outcomes. The research will explore the leadership challenges faced by Indigenous business leaders, including how do they attempt to overcome these challenges? The research aims to contribute to understanding the leadership experiences and perspectives of Indigenous entrepreneurial leaders and better explain the challenges faced and the contexts Indigenous leaders work with. This study will provide evidence based research and policy advice on effective business education interventions for Australian Indigenous enterprises and individuals. It will also explore the unique challenges Indigenous leaders face in owning or operating commercial enterprises. Chief Investigator, A/Prof. Michelle Evans will speak to the themes that have emerged from the qualitative data in year one of the ARC project focusing on business models of Australian Indigenous enterprises and explore unanswered theoretical questions.

Biography
A/Prof. Michelle Evans, originally from the Hunter Valley NSW, is a Bathurst based academic, writer, facilitator and cultural producer. Michelle holds a Senior Lectureship in Leadership at Charles Sturt University and is a Research Fellow at Melbourne Business School. Michelle leads Australia's first Indigenous Business Master Class series - MURRA - established to skill up Indigenous entrepreneurs. Michelle is a Fulbright Scholar (2013); a Visiting Fellow of the Centre for Co-operative and Community Based Economy at the University of Victoria, Canada (2012); and is Trustee of the Yvonne Cohen Award for Indigenous Creative Young People.

 


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Prof. Max Finlayson, Director, Institute for Land, Water & Society, Charles Sturt University

Biography
Max Finlayson has been Director of the Institute for Land, Water and Society at Charles Sturt University, Australia, since the end of 2007, with responsibility for the Institute's strategic development and delivery of research and technical guidance to stakeholders. He has over 30 years experience of scientific and conservation research, largely but not only in tropical ecosystems, with over 200 papers and other publications on the ecology, assessment, conservation and wise use of coastal and inland wetlands and the ecology of aquatic plants, water pollution and interactions between land uses, such as agriculture and mining. He has been involved in many international projects and global environment assessments (on water, biodiversity, ecosystem services, agriculture, climate change) and has a long-standing interest in, and strong commitment to, the transfer of environmental science into policy-relevance and decision-making, and the involvement of local people in science and policy-development.

 


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Kerry Grace, Director, Evolve Network

Biography
Through the past 10 years, Kerry has crafted a business which carries a brand that is synonymous with an ethical approach, reliability, entrepreneurship and creativity. These qualities are reflective of Kerry and her unquenchable passion for her work. Known for her strengths in getting things done, Kerry has been exploring the role of the enabler over the past few years whilst honing her skills as a coach. She is now immersed in a learning community of thousands learning a multitude of skills to better help her clients to live lives that truly matter to them. Having spent her earlier career in the corporate sector, Kerry found much more satisfaction working with the community and in this context has undertaken contacts with non-government organisations and government agencies across a broad range of projects incorporating research, service management, direct service delivery, business development, community economic development and marketing.

 


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Michael Heard, A/g General Manager, Regional Economic Policy Branch, Policy and Research Division , Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

Progress in Australian Regions


Abstract
Over the past year, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has released several publications that examine regional trends and patterns that can help to explain the shape of our regions. Progress in Australian Regions: Yearbook 2014 brings together information about Australia's regions from a range of different sources and presents that data in a consistent format over time. The Yearbook provides a statistical resource that can help answer the question of how our regions are progressing against economic, social, environmental and governance indicators. This information can assist governments, private investors and the community to identify trends that are important for policy development and investment decisions. State of Regional Australia 2015 draws on data from Yearbook 2014 to illustrate the trends and patterns of economic and social progress in regional Australia. The report considers changes and patterns in demographics, economics, structural change, social progress and infrastructure. State of Regional Australia 2015 also includes a number of case studies to demonstrate the different aspects of this variation and how they have changed over time.

Biography
Michael Heard is a member of the Policy and Research Division of the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. He has worked on a wide range of regional engagement, policy and implementation issues. At the former Department of Regional Australia he had a number of roles relating to the national Regional Development Australia committee network. Michael has also worked at the Department of Defence and the Australian Public Service Commission.

 


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Kristian Kolding, Associate Director, Deloitte Access Economics

Australia's Economic Outlook


Abstract
As always, the Australian economy is facing challenges and opportunities. Our greatest current challenge is China. China is slowing as it manages the difficult transition away from construction-fuelled growth. Falling demand from our largest trading partner has accelerated the decline in the price of our resource exports and investment in the resources sector. Beyond the immediate challenges however, Australia is also facing long term demographic headwinds, as our population ages and the participation rate declines. Together these forces represent our productivity challenge: factors that have in the past supported growth in living standards are now weighing on per capita income growth, and we must find new ways to boost productivity in order to continue increasing our living standards. At the same time, Australia is managing its own transition. Growth drivers are changing as business investment falls, resource exports rise, and lower interest and exchange rates favour growth in the south-eastern states. So where will future productivity come from? First and foremost, Australia must take full advantage of the Asian opportunity on our doorstep, and free trade agreements are an encouraging step in the right direction. Yet Australia must also tackle the more complex issue of economic reform. Deloitte has recently released the first of two reports shedding light on the tax reform debate, and in October, we will release the fifth instalment in the Building the Lucky Country series. The steps outlined in these reports are just some of many that Australia will have to take if it is to maintain current living standards, and capitalise on more than two decades of economic growth.

 

Biography
Kristian Kolding joined Deloitte through the acquisition of Access Economics in 2011. He is an Associate Director in Deloitte Access Economics' Macroeconomic Policy and Forecasting team where he undertakes much of the economic forecasting underlying publications such as Business Outlook and Building the Lucky Country. Kristian's economic consulting experience covers a wide range of areas, including industrial relations, infrastructure privatisations, and education and labour market policy. Prior to joining Access Economics, Kristian completed a Masters of Economics in Denmark and spent time working in India. He is currently undertaking his MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management and in his spare time Kristian enjoys getting outdoors to coach his soccer team.

 


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Peter McMillan, Executive Officer, RDA Central West

Biography
Peter McMillan joined RDA Central West in April 2013. Prior to that, he worked in supply chain management and headed up the planning and logistics team at Simplot's value added seafood plant in Bathurst. Over the past 20 years, Peter has held management roles with Simplot in Melbourne and with BHP Billiton in the Illawarra region and Northern Territory. Peter completed a Bachelor of Commerce Degree at the University of New South Wales, including a secondment to Copenhagen to undertake an International Business Studies Program. During his time in Europe, Peter witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall. He enjoys travelling, cycling and reading.

 


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Gerry Morvell, Chair, Conservation Volunteers Australia and Chair, Wetlands Australia

Don't Demonise Carbon! It is Essential to Regional landscapes, Rural and Remote Communities and You


Abstract
World-wide many moralising and mischievous activists and ill-informed and headline seeking media commentators are demonising the terms 'carbon' and coal with catch-all cries to for a "carbon free economy", a "fossil fuel free world" and to "leave-it-in the ground". Such demonising is being done in extreme ignorance of what the words really mean in ecological, economic and social terms. Scant regard is being given to the reality that carbon is the foundation element of all forms of life on earth and that it is essential for the maintenance of the biophysical environment and our livelihoods and lifestyles.

Yes, nations must move quickly to reduce and mitigate the deleterious effects of emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses that are forcing factors for accelerated global warming. And this is where the confusion commences. Carbon is not carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gasses as promoted at times in media 'short-hand'. Rather, it is a chemical element that forms a vast number of compounds many of which have as yet unmeasured value to mankind. Many scientists and technologists argue that carbon will be for the 21st century what iron and steel were for the 19th and 20th centuries. And coal is a mineral of fossilised carbon, which among many uses, is essential for the production of steel, plastics, carbon polymers and pharmaceutical products.

The proposition: Don't demonise carbon! It is essential to regional landscapes, rural and remote communities, a sustainable future and you serves to remind us of the value of retaining and putting carbon into the soil to maintain and enhance production and conservation landscapes. As well, it highlights of the inherent value of coal as a source of new 21st Century products, rather than simple burning a valuable non-renewable resource to generate electric power using 19th century technology. For example, producing and using 'carbon-in-water' fuel from either brown or black coal to reduce the vulnerability of primary producers, the mining industry and the transport sector across rural and remote regional production landscapes to the insecurity of imported diesel. Carbon could also serve as a medium for energy storage for intermittent renewable sources and is essential for the production of silicon metal for the solar industry and turbine blades for the wind industry. Many new technologies that underpin energy efficiency are carbon based.

Maximising the benefits that carbon can bring to production and conservation landscapes and reducing greenhouse gas emission could in fact be achieved by moving towards having an 'enhanced-carbon society and economy'.

 

Biography
Gerry is a company director and consultant on environment and energy issues including conservation, low emission technologies and waste tyre waste. He has experience as a senior executive in the Australian Government where he was responsible for high level policy and program advice on range of issues including low emissions energy, environmental assessment, coastal and marine policies, climate change, and sustainable industry development. He has extensive high level governance experience in Australian and international organisations including the United Nations Headquarters. He chairs of the boards of Conservation Volunteers Australia, Conservation Volunteers New Zealand, WetlandCare Australia, Brown Coal Innovation Australia and Tyre Stewardship Australia

 


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Kristine Peters-Deray, Independent Researcher & Artist

A New Creative Engagement Model for Robust Community Consultation and Interaction


Abstract

This paper introduces the concept of creative engagement as a novel method to elicit tactic knowledge from people in regional communities; in this case throughout riverine systems of the Murray Darling Basin. The equitable and effective distribution of limited water is challenging for those communities whose identity and livelihood are linked to water access and usage. Highly profiled contention around the initial Murray Darling Basin Plan was evidence of what can occur when the wider community is not actively and appropriately engaged in the planning process. This paper proposes that creative events or 'public interactives' can provide platforms from which to collect and collate 'spoken - about' knowledge held in communities. Such platforms are supportive of a grass roots response that can be focused through provision of a non-threatening space for social interaction. Leveraging creative engagement as a communication 'tool' could have benefit over more traditional means (such as, meetings, charts, text reports and / or spreadsheets) as such events allow people to 'unpack' the dataset in a way that humanizes the information. This is due to the nature of such events that rely upon interactive experiences in public settings accessed through digital technology. This is a different approach to traditional Research and Critical Analysis and yet capable of equal rigor. This paper describes the conceptual modeling of creative engagement, the stages of a project, and through a scenario demonstrates the potential of the method to gain information that reflects knowledge relative to a complex issue - in this case, water.

Biography
Kristine has worked in the creative arts space as a choreographer and visual artist before completing a PhD in computing science. After leaving her most recent post at the University of Technology Sydney, Kristine has continued her fascination with human/IT interfaces and visual arts. Ashley Bland has an ecological engineering background, designing and implementing environmental projects spanning natural landscapes to renewable energy. Together they have collaborated on creative use of technology and gamification in engaging the community and eliciting behaviour change.

 


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Robert Prestipino, Director, Vital Places Pty Ltd

Place-Based Investable Business Cases


Abstract
What does your community do if you don't have the good fortune of having obvious strategic infrastructure within your region? Even if you do, how can you ensure there will be long term local benefits? Today, all regional communities face the challenge of transitioning into the new economy. To succeed, communities will need to facilitate economic development that strengthens their unique sense of place as well as the regional economy. This presentation will outline a smarter and faster way for communities to leverage their unique local assets into more highly investable business cases for regionally significant projects.


Has Place Been Hacked by the Hipsters?

Abstract
We know place is the foundation of local identity, regional character and the economic opportunities of the 21st century but, are we prepared to create the places that will thrive in this rapidly changing world. Could our love of place be our greatest weakness? Do we really understand the true nature of the experiential economy? This presentation explores the typical journey of well-meaning placemaking and shines light on the deeper motivations needed to solve the 'wicked problems' confronting the future social and economic vitality of regional communities.

 

Biography
Robert specialises in helping regional communities identify local growth strategies and catalyst projects that support regional sustainability and local lifestyle. For more than 25 years, Robert has worked with government, community and local business stakeholders to develop innovative solutions and deliver more with less to ensure regional communities secure a vibrant future. He is a qualified Urban Designer, Registered Landscape Architect, Corporate Member of the Planning Institute of Australia, Member of Economic Development Australia, An Australian Certified Economic Developer and Local Ecommerce Marketer.

 


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Robert Reed, Director, Forms Express Pty Ltd

Practical Ways to Build Social Capital and Business Enterprises of Local Levels: response to global drivers


Abstract
Geelong has a proud manufacturing history, but global drivers mean that this will not be Geelong's future. This presentation is about the shaping of one part of Geelong's future, ICT, where it started, who were the drivers, what was the vision. Its about the building of the eco-system, how this has progressed, what worked and what were the lessons learnt.


Biography

In more than 30 years in business, Robert Reed has worked closely with numerous "startups".

Robert has a proven track record in identifying market needs, the technologies that address them and in building and selling successful companies.

Under Robert's direction, Forms Express Pty Ltd has grown from supplying billing services to one council, to today supplying billing services to over 175 councils and utilities throughout Australia. Forms Express has received many awards and continues to receive accolades for its innovation.

In November 2007, FE Technologies installed its first RFID based library system at Geelong Grammar, and through Robert's direction, it had installed systems in over 600 libraries in 6 countries by mid 2014.

Robert is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of HealthRFID that uses RFID technology to enable doctors to provide patients with a whole new level of service to hospitals to minimise waste of a very precious resource, blood.

As CEO of RFID Technologies Robert's primary focus is to chair the development of the novel printed RFID project, and liaison with partners to assist with the commercialisation of the technology in various markets.

Today, through Forms Express, HealthRFID, RFID Technologies, and other investments, Robert has the privilege of using technology to help change people's lives.

 


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Mark Ritchie, Executive Officer, RDA Riverina

Biography
Mark is currently the Executive Officer for RDA Riverina having recently taken up the role and relocated back to Wagga Wagga after 2 years as the Chief Executive Officer of Landcare Tasmania. From time as a Jackeroo in Western Australia, to the Environmental Manager for the North Australian Pastoral Company in Western Queensland and Policy Director with the Cattle Council of Australia in Canberra, Mark has travelled and worked extensively in the farming and grazing zones across Australia. He has over twenty five years' experience within the government, commercial and community not for profit sectors, predominantly from an agricultural and natural resource management perspective. Mark is also a Churchill Fellow having studied a range of environmental management issues relevant to the pastoral industry and commercial agriculture, in Canada and the United States.

Originally from the western Riverina, Mark is passionate about the sustainable management of the regions' natural resources and the role community can play in driving economic growth and development. The Riverina region is home to some of the smartest industry innovators in Australia and is a significant economic driver for the NSW and Australian economies. With the potential for significant growth and expansion within a number of industries, particularly agriculture, RDA Riverina is currently facilitating projects to develop the right tools, opportunities and infrastructure to allow these industries to develop and grow into the future.

 


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Tony Slatyer, First Assistant Secretary - Water Division, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

Biography
Mr Slatyer is a First Assistant Secretary in the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. He heads the Water Division of the Department. In this role, Mr Slatyer has been a lead adviser to the Australian Government on water resource policy responses to the millennium drought, improvements to the national water market, and the current Murray-Darling Basin water reform. Before holding this position, Mr Slatyer held a number of senior executive positions in the Australian Government, with environment, transport and regional development policy responsibilities. Mr Slatyer has also held the positions of Executive Director of the Australian Government Bureau of Transport and Regional Economics, and Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum based in Fiji. Mr Slatyer holds degrees in Law and Arts from the Australian National University and has been awarded the Public Service Medal.

 


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Felicity Taylor-Edwards, Chief Executive Officer, RDA Orana

Biography
Felicity is currently the CEO of RDA Orana, based in Dubbo NSW. The Orana is a large area comprising 13 LGAs and covers 25% of the landmass of NSW. Felicity leads a team in the Orana with a focus on economic development and innovative and collaborative practice in all of RDAs work. She has lived and worked in the Central West of NSW for the past 15 years working with both NSW State and the Federal Government and NGOs, primarily in Community Development and Policy roles with a focus on Indigenous Affairs and skills development. Felicity also spent many years living and working in Cape York and the Gulf of Carpentaria in north Qld and Arnhem Land NT.

She is passionate about regional Australia, its contribution to the economy of the State and Nation and the need to regain some equilibrium and accountability for outcomes of social investment balanced with the need for infrastructure and economic development. She is particularly interested in the need for economic investment to drive economies where people want to live and work, local decision making and accountability and clear outcomes all being high on her agenda. Felicity likes to work "outside the square" and naturally innovates and brings collaboration and a partnered approach to all projects. She believes strongly in the need for regional leadership and is prepared to put RDA up to facilitate that.

 


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Prof. Andrew Vann, Vice-Chancellor, Charles Sturt University

Leadership: what does it mean, how is it evidenced, advocacy and lobbying


Abstract
This presentation will focus on leadership in the context of regional Australia and the part effective leadership can play when drawing attention to regional issues, advocating the regional voice and lobbying for regional change.

Regional Australia fulfils a peculiar place in the national psyche in that whilst it is celebrated as a fundamental part of the national character, it is also frequently regarded as being inherently disadvantaged and problematic.

It is also notable that 'regional' is a flexible concept depending on where you stand. For example, the 2012 NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan identified Parramatta as NSW's premier regional city which seems somewhat humorous on the other side of the Blue Mountains.

As leaders, it is important that we advocate the fundamental strength of regional Australia and clearly identify structural issues specific to regional communities and economies. This allows us to lobby more effectively and to generate innovative ideas around ways to address these issues.

Major media organisations and a number of key decision makers are based in capital cities. This adds a level of complexity to not only describing the unique issues of regional Australia, but also ensuring a collaborative understanding and attention to the issues, beyond those publicised in stereotypical ways.

Social media and online communication is connecting regional Australia and providing a voice in a way never previously possible. Harnessing the power of viral communication has provided different and innovative opportunities to gain attention for regional issues at a national level.

Finally, the presentation will discuss lobbying at all levels and its place in creating effective advocacy. The political, economic and demographic structures of issues and their advocates affect what can be achieved. However, developing a long-term strategy and providing a voice allows business, media and political cycles to be used when opportunities present themselves.

 

Biography
Professor Vann trained as a civil engineer and worked in engineering consultancy before completing a PhD in the Civil Engineering Systems Group at University of Bristol in 1994.

He lectured in structural engineering at University of Bristol prior to coming to Australia in 1996 where he took up a similar post in the Faculty of Engineering at Central Queensland University in Rockhampton. During this time he pursued research interests in structural monitoring and artificial intelligence as well as leading pedagogical change in moving the Bachelor of Engineering at CQU to a project-based format.

He held various senior academic and administrative roles at CQU before joining James Cook University in North Queensland in 2004 as Pro Vice-Chancellor Information Services and Technologies, subsequently Pro Vice Chancellor and, from 2008, was Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for the Faculties and Teaching and Learning.

Professor Vann joined Charles Sturt University as Vice-Chancellor in December 2011.

He has held a number of board and community leadership roles, is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, Associate Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia.

 

 

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Brent Williams, General Manager Constraints Management Taskforce, Murray Darling Basin Authority

Biography
Coming Soon

 

 


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Regional Collaborative Investment Summit Facilitators and Speakers

 

Christine Doan, Director, Malanda North

The Apprenticeships of the 21st Century


Abstract
This interactive talk lures the audience through human cultural/economic development by focusing on how differently 'apprenticeships' have been organised at each new stage: agricultural economy, industrial ; information, and finally today's emerging creative economy. Although no developmental framework is addressed directly, evolution of culture underpins the concept. Because the power point gives structure to a 30 to 40 minute presentation more Socratic than lecturing in nature, it is very simplified. Regardless of the simplistic approach, the understanding that human culture develops but does not extinguish previous 'levels', rather transcends and includes them, comes across very clearly without any theoretical rhetoric on that subject. Many participants experience truly AHA moments when they realise that the trades which we most often identify as apprenticeships , are, in fact, the still relevant, but no longer leading edge remnants of an industrial era which once created huge wealth and increases in living standards. Today working in a factory is not seen as a crowning achievement, as that status has long given way to business success in finance and services. The fact that the 'apprenticeships' of the information economy (eg. uni degrees, internships with internet giants) are now giving way to the next level of cultural/economic development in the creative economy is also a revelation to many. The novel analysis of events like Start Up Weekends and Crowdfunding as the 'apprenticeships' of the 21st century, requires some grounding in historical context in order to hit home. Interestingly, this original idea does hit home at every telling, regardless of the sophistication or age of the audience. Once experientially contextualised through requiring the audience to answer penetrating but, on reflection, quite answerable though largely unasked questions, this presentation leaves listeners not only energised but also thoughtful. They carry away a new perspective which can instantly find pragmatic application in most lives.

Biography
Christine Doan has a long history of creating a success out of taking a different perspective. She immigrated to Australia in 1970 when America was clueless about its location on the globe. She delved into alternative therapies and applied them to horses in the seventies when alternative therapies for humans were few and far between. She successfully applied that twist, and her penchant for being able to spot talent, to a berth on the Australian Olympic team in Barcelona, 1992.

After selling two Grand Prix horses in Europe for gob-smacking amounts of money, she dug herself out of Olympic debt and charged into the arena of sustainable industry, first in forestry, now in real estate development, taking innumerable side tracks along the way.
A community advocacy addict and devoted fan of the Atherton Tablelands, she is determined to find solutions to rural economic development dilemmas for herself and her community.

 

 

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Paul Niederer, Chair, CIM Australia

Biography
Paul Niederer is one of world's leading authorities in collaborative and equity based crowdfunding investments and raisings. He is CEO of a revolutionary funding platform at the Collaborative Investment Management Australia. He has personally been involved in transactions with 90 different entities seeking capital. Paul also consults to a number of organisations and governments internationally on how to structure their funding portals, processes and regulations to successfully manage funding with transparency governance. Internationally he is known as "Mr Governance" due to the fraud free reign he managed while CEO of ASSOB, the world's oldest equity crowdfunding platform. ASSOB raised $146 million for over 300 Australian companies using techniques tailored by Paul and his team over many years. Paul lives south of Brisbane on Australia's eastern coast and relishes the opportunity to discuss peer to peer finance developments and any moves towards better governance in fund raising and the democratisation of capital.

 

 

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Rural & Remote Regions Research Agenda


 

Dr. Jay Rajapakse, Lecturer Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology

Biography
Jay Rajapakse is a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, UK and is a Lecturer in the School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences at QUT. On gaining a doctoral degree in public health engineering, as a Deans Scholar from University College London (UCL), he worked as a post-doctoral researcher in water treatment at UCL and at Imperial College London, jointly with Anglian Water Services Plc (Alton Water Treatment Works). He was the project engineer for Salford Civil Engineering Ltd (SCEL, UK) for two years and subsequently joined the PNG University of Technology as a Lecturer in 1997 rising to be an Associate Professor in 2008. On leaving PNG, Jay spent a year at Cambridge University on a sabbatical attachment investigating new filter media for water filtration while gaining an MPhil degree in engineering from Cambridge University before joining QUT in 2010. Between 2005 and 2007, Jay won three competitive international awards: two from UNESCO-Daimler Chrysler (Water treatment solutions for remote communities, Mondialogo Engineering Award, Berlin 2005 and India 2007); and one award from the World Bank (Innovations in Water and Sanitation), Washington DC, in 2006.

 

 

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A/Prof. Peter Waterman, Adjunct Associate Professor in Environmental Science, University of the Sunshine Coast

Sources and Quality of Domestic Water for Northern Australia: an initial overview and evaluation

Abstract
Australia wide the social and economic viability of many small towns and isolated communities in rural and remote regions is threatened by the inadequacy of domestic water supplies. Often, the limited quantity of poor quality water that is available for human consumption is an environmental threat to population health. Maintaining and expanding populations is central to the development of rural and remote regions in Northern Australia. Without affordable secure and safe potable water, many existing towns will not be able to expand and the development of new settlements to support emerging regional enterprises could be seriously constrained.

The 2014 report of the Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia (JSCNA 2014) noted that there were: ongoing water supply challenges in many areas and that the seasonality of water availability was considered a 'limitation specific to the region'. However, the report did not dimension this area of issue and only indicated that 'water supply' was one social and economy infrastructure constraint along with education, health, energy provision and roads. Arguably, the provision of secure and safe domestic water supplies is an 'inter-jurisdiction' challenge that must be addressed as a matter of urgency if the vision for the development of Northern Australia is to be realised.

This paper provides an overview and evaluation of potential regional development constraints arising from the lack of secure and safe water across northern Australia. Sources of domestic water are broadly identified and dimensioned spatially and quantitatively using governmental reports and scientific and technical literature. As such, this paper seeks to make an initial a contribution to the regional strategic planning necessary to underpin agricultural, pastoral, tourism, mining and related initiatives across Northern Australia. Specifically, to explore how such constraints may impact on population growth and the socio-economic viability of existing and new regional settlements. Finally, we seek to indicate ways forward to ensure that adequate and healthy water is an integral component of the economic and social infrastructure of Northern Australia.

Biography
Visit: http://www.segra.com.au/segra_committee.html#peterwaterman

 

 

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Plenary Chairs

 

Prof. Mary Kelly, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry), Charles Sturt University

Biography
Professor Mary Kelly was appointed Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) (DVC RDI) in June 2015. Prior to taking up this position, Professor Kelly was Director, Major Grants and External Links at CSU.

Professor Kelly is responsible to the Vice-Chancellor for the administration of research and research training at CSU which includes governance of six Research Centres, the Research Office, and the newly expanded Office of the DVC RDI which since late June 2015 includes the Pro Vice-Chancellor International, Education and Partnerships Prof. Heather Cavanagh and the Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Prof. Jeannie Herbert. This expansion is intended to bring new dimensions to the Portfolio and strengthen the connectivity across the university around research as guided by the Research Narrative and the Research Sub-Plan 2015-2016.

Professor Kelly's background includes a BSc Hons. Biochemistry (University College Dublin), PhD Microbiology (University of Georgia) as a Fulbright Scholar, Conway Postdoctoral Fellow and Health Research Board Fellow, University College Dublin, and over a decade in professional research management positions including Science Foundation Ireland, University of Canberra and 5 years at the Australian Research Council in a number of different roles including Director, Program Operations NCGP and Branch Manager Strategy.

 

 

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Spotlight Facilitators

 

Andrew Crowley, Director VET Delivery, TAFE NSW Western Institute

Biography
Andrew began his professional career as a social worker in rural New South Wales, gaining experience in interacting with people from all walks of life in Australia and also overseas. Since 2004, Andrew has been part of the senior management team at TAFE Western which specialises in excellence in vocational education and training across an area more than half of NSW. Andrew is employed as the Director VET Delivery – Production Industries. In this position Andrew provides leadership to 350 staff across a variety of teaching disciplines in the production, service and trade sectors.

 


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Dr. Kim Houghton, General Manager, Policy and Research, Regional Australia Institute and Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Canberra

The Future Economic Performance of Australia's Regions


Abstract

The presentation will detail the findings of the RAI's analysis of economic modelling results for every Australian LGA to 2030. Based on an optimistic, pessimistic and business as usual scenario, the range of future economic outcomes for each LGA have been estimated. Areas most likely to outperform or underperform, to be stable or volatile in response to macro-economic changes are revealed by this analysis. This has significant implications for development approaches and priorities in regions around Australia.

 

Working with SMEs


Abstract
SMEs are often characterised as the 'engine room' of an economy - even more so in many regional economies where they make up the vast majority of businesses. How can regional leaders and economic development practitioners work most effectively to harness and extend the capacity and potential of these businesses? The first part of the workshop will have participants sharing their experiences in working with SMEs, discovering the success factors and pitfalls. The second part will step through practical application of five tools and resources for supporting SME growth: Energizing Entrepreneurs (Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship US) NxLevel (Western Entrepreneurial Network US) Economic Gardening (Chris Gibbons, Colorado) IDEAS business innovation evaluation system (Jack English, UTAS) Springboard Business Development Program (Kim Houghton) The strengths and weaknesses of each tool and resource will be covered, and discussed to highlight the filtering needed to select the right approach for the target group of SMEs. Some programs work best for groups of compatible growth-oriented businesses, while others work best for independently-minded individuals either starting out or expanding. The third part of the workshop will involve participants designing an SME growth program matched to the needs of their region.

Biography
Kim Houghton established specialist consultancy firm Strategic Economic Solutions in 1997 to help regional communities understand and prosper from economic changes happening around them. Under Kim's leadership the company has undertaken many practical and research projects on issues affecting regional economic growth. The company has also created innovative programs to help small businesses directly including the Springboard Business Development program. Kim previously worked at the Australian National University in Pacific economic relations, and in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Kim has a PhD in economics from the University of Tasmania and a BSc from the University of Tasmania.

 


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Prof. Mark Morrison, Sub-Dean (Research), Professor in Economics, Charles Sturt University

Determining the Factors Influencing the Success of Private and Community-Owned Indigenous Business Across Remote, Regional and Urban Australia

Abstract
This is the first large-scale study that incorporates a systematic analysis of the issues facing different types of Indigenous businesses across different locations of Australia. It is the first large scale (360 Indigenous entrepreneurs) and national (covering Indigenous enterprises in urban, regional and remote areas of all states and territories of Australia apart from Tasmania) analysis of the contemporary Indigenous business enterprise landscape, with a focus on micro, small and medium Indigenous enterprises. Indigenous private enterprises are the main focus of this research, although the research also included community-owned businesses and co-operatives. The qualitative methodology included in-depth interviews with 38 Indigenous entrepreneurs while the quantitative methodology involved a survey of 324 Indigenous entrepreneurs in private (n=263), community (n=51) and co-operative (n=10) enterprises. The findings indicate that Indigenous businesses operate across a range of industry sectors and that business success as measured by growth, number of employees, sales revenue and longevity depends crucially on the adoption of sound business practices and the receiving of business support. Overall, a picture emerges from these results of what drives the growth of Indigenous businesses across Australia. Business growth is driven by the adoption of a range of quality business practices including marketing practices, accounting systems, ICT, business planning and being able to adaptively respond to changes in the market. Business growth also depends on getting appropriate support to help improve these practices, including a tertiary education, involvement in business networks, mentoring (for older businesses), having a spouse and potentially accessing finance.

Biography
Professor Mark Morrison researches in the area of environmental economics and environmental marketing. In environmental economics he has published widely on non-market valuation, and has worked on several high profile decisions including assisting the Murray-Darling Basin Authority with benefit estimation for the Basin Plan, and two Copyright Tribunal hearings on the value of music. Mark is interested in the use of incentive programs and has conducted several projects with a number of catchment management authorities and regional bodies investigating how to encourage landholder participation, particularly among difficult to reach landholder segments. His work in environmental marketing includes research on climate change communication, and household demand management of electricity. He has also conducted research in the area of marketing education.

 


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Paul Rosair, NAJA Business Consulting Services

The Current State of the Regional Development in Western Australia


Abstract
Regional Development in Western Australia has experienced unprecedented growth and challenges as a result of the establishment and implementation of the State Government's 2008 Royalties for Regions (R4R) program. In its 7th year of operation it has faced many challenges and criticism but has survived intense political, media and public scrutiny to achieve bipartisan support at the 2013 State election. The R4R program has recently been described by the Premier of Western Australia as The Royalties for Regions program has had the biggest effect on regional Western Australia in our history, and I don't think there is anything equivalent to it elsewhere in Australia maybe the Snowy Mountains Scheme in the 50s. Over $4bn has been invested since 2008 directly into regional Western Australia through some 3500 projects. This has resulted in major infrastructure, economic diversification and community development across the state including initiatives such as the $330m Ord Irrigation expansion, $1.2bn Pilbara Cities, $90m Regional Mobile telecommunications, $300m Indigenous Economic Development and $80m Supertowns, to name just a few. This unparalleled investment has faced many challenges in areas of governance, capability, land tenure, native title, government approvals, fiscal policy and planning alignment across all four layers of government; Federal, State, Regional and Local. This presentation will provide a candid and unique insight, overview and reflections on the last six halcyon years, the journey, the learnings and more importantly the lessons learnt, contentiousness faced and more importantly the opportunities to be realised for the future.

Biography
Paul was the inaugural Director General of the Department of Regional Development and Lands formed in July 2009, now the Principal of NAJA Consulting. Paul was responsible for the establishment and administration of the Royalties for Regions program, commencing 2008. He managed initiatives such as the Ord Expansion, Supertowns, and Pilbara Cities.

The R4R program was recently described by the Premier of Western Australia as: "The Royalties for Regions program has had the biggest effect on regional Western Australia in our history, and I don't think there is anything equivalent to it elsewhere in Australia – maybe the Snowy Mountains Scheme in the 50s."

Paul has worked across government in environment, water, land management, Aboriginal affairs, infrastructure, planning, corporate service and NRM portfolios. He has a broad perspective on policy and strategic issues confronting regional Australia. He works across all layers of government, federal, state, regional and local.

 


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Prof. Kishor Sharma, Professor of Economics, Charles Sturt University

Internal Migration Across Regional Australia: the impact of industrial change


Abstract

Internal Migration Across Regional Australia: the impact of industrial change Abstract In Australia, the analysis of the internal migration across regional areas smaller than states has been restricted by the availability of suitable data. This paper endeavours to use a new experimental data set produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) which records the internal migration of Australians between sub-state regions over the period 2006/7 to 2010/11. This period is of particular interest in inland and remote Australia as it follows on from a severe national drought which adversely impacted agriculture and its related industries and coincided with the latter stages of a mining boom driven by demand from China. Understanding the impact of these events on population, and hence labour, mobility is essential for the effective development and implementation of government policy. We use the new ABS data in conjunction with data on regional economic performance to apply a fixed effects regression model to explain the impact of the economic performance of the regions on their internal migration experiences.

Biography

Professor Sharma teaches economics and researches on trade and development issues. He is the author and editor of seven books and over 80 journal articles and book chapters. Prior to joining CSU in 1992, Professor Sharma worked for the UNDP. He has been a consultant to the UN agencies and the Asian Development Bank.

 


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Bronwyn Voyce, Co-Deputy Chair, Regional Development Australia Far North Queensland & Torres Strait Inc and Co-Founder, yRepublic - Cairns Millennial Taskforce

Biography
Bronwyn's knowledge extends across the public and private sectors and she has worked with industry as well as with corporates, SME's and startups. Her cross-sector experience affords her with solid business acumen, strategic communication, project management and problem solving skills. Most recently, Bronwyn was the Senior Economic Development and Innovation Officer at Cairns Regional Council where she led the development and implementation of the G20 Economic Leveraging Strategy for Cairns; enhanced the region's innovation and entrepreneurship agenda; and worked with key national and international stakeholders to attract investment and grow business into the region. Bronwyn's genuine and professional qualities enable her to shine as a well networked, highly respected and valued leader in her field. Her peers describe her as a talented thinker and a compelling doer with a passion for achieving excellence in all she does. With a love for learning, Bronwyn has a Graduate Certificate in Economic Development, a Masters in International and Community Development and a Diploma in Business Management and Administration.

 


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Spotlight Discussion Leaders / Speakers

 

Ian Aitken, Director, Engineering and Solutions, Samsung Electronics

Biography
Ian has worked in the IT industry for more than 20 years, and in that time has worked for four companies, the most recent being world-leading electronics company, Samsung Electronics as Director of Engineering and Solutions. Prior to Samsung Electronics Ian worked for Cisco Systems for 13 years culminating in his role as Regional Engineering Director. Within that time Ian has gained extensive knowledge and experience in both Software Development, Hardware Development, Post and Pre Sales Engineering and many Operational aspects of client side IT environments. This includes Enterprise, Data Centre and Service Provider technologies, processes and practices.

 


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Dr. Parikshit Basu, Associate Professor in Economics/Finance, Charles Sturt University

The Determinants of the Adoption of Current Recommended Practices for Natural Resource Management in the Wimmera Region of Australia

Abstract

The Wimmera Catchment Management Authority (WCMA) is responsible for approximately 30,000 square kilometres of land in the west of the state of Victoria in Australia. The predominant land use in the Wimmera is agriculture which is primarily responsible for the clearing of 85 percent of the region's native vegetation. The 2003-2008 Wimmera Regional Catchment Strategy (WRCS) confirmed the natural resource management (NRM) priorities for the Wimmera Region. The Strategy document identified a number of current recommended practices (CRP), the adoption of which would contribute to the future sustainability of the region. Qualitative research identified thirteen critical CRPs that were investigated in a survey of land-management practices in the Wimmera. The research reported in this paper is based on the data collected in this survey of over 1200 of the region's landholders. Our research, using an econometric model for count data, seeks to identify the determinants of the number of CRPs taken up by the regions landholders and to provide policy recommendations for enhancing the future adoption of NRM activities in the region.


Earnings Outcomes in Metropolitan and Regional Labour Markets: a gender based analysis for New South Wales


Abstract
Gender issues have frequently been highlighted in the many analyses of urban Australian labour markets. This paper seeks to establish if discrimination by gender differs between regional and urban communities in the Australian context. The conceptual framework used in this research is in the tradition of human capital analysis. We first analyse, separately, determinants of hourly wage rates and weekly incomes by gender in Australian metropolitan cities and regional areas. We then utilise the Blinder-Oaxaca procedure, to decompose the mean outcome differences between men and women within a region into that part that is 'explained' by gender differences in endowments and that part which remains unexplained by such differences and which therefore provides a measure of discrimination. The data is drawn from individual level confidentialised unit record files (CURF) data of the 2006 Australian Census. Gender-based analysis is conducted for each region, Sydney, regional NSW, Melbourne and regional Victoria, with a view to discerning if the impact of the determinants vary spacially. The research confirmed that gender plays an important role in influencing labour market outcomes. The research also identified a number of factors that impact on both hourly wages and weekly earnings and assessed how these factors impacted differently for men and women across metropolitan and regional areas. The results indicate that, in general, differences exist between men and women in hourly wage rate and weekly income earned. The determinants of these differences varied between metropolitan cities and regional areas.

Biography
Currently Dr. Basu teaches undergraduate and post-graduate level economics and finance subjects. He is also involved in management of a finance subject in Australian Graduate Management Consortium (AGMC), a professional course of CSU. He supervises doctoral students. So far two students have completed their doctoral degrees under his principal supervision. In the recent past, he was 'Acting Director - DBA Programme' at the Faculty of Business, CSU. He is an active researcher and has published in international referred journals in Australia and overseas. He was involved with the corporate sector in senior management positions in Australia and overseas for 18 years and represented countries in international forums. He assumed academic career in 1998 and taught at University of Queensland and at Griffith University, both in Brisbane before joining CSU (Bathurst) in 2001. He also worked as an independent consultant in Australia during 1996-98 and completed several economic and tourism related projects.

 


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Matt Bennett, Manager, Assets & Infrastructure Planning, TAFE NSW Riverina NSW Institute

Maximising Access to VET


Abstract

'Max Access' is a program to provide Vocational Education & Training (VET) to regional locations across the Murray Riverina using video conferenced delivery of training. The program is a partnership with local government where the LGA makes space available in a Shire facility and TAFE Riverina provides the equipment & technology support as well as the training. TAFE NSW courses are made available to people in more isolated locations who would wtherwise have to travel. Employment options are enhanced and students can opt to take up further enrolments in higher level study. This creates econimic benefit for the students, enhances the relationship between local government and TAFE and also displays adaptability to changing circumstances.

Biography
Matt Bennett is the Manager, Assets & Infrastructure Planning at Riverina Institute - TAFE NSW and is based at Albury. He has a teaching background with a focus on history. In his work with TAFE NSW at Deniliquin, Finley and Wagga Matt has developed a strong interest in regional issues related to vocational education & training (VET) and is keen to promote greater access for people living in regional and remote Australia to all types of learning. He has recently completed a pilot project to improve access for residents in the Murray Riverina to VET using video delivered training.

 


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Dr. Rui Bi, Lecturer in Management, Charles Sturt University

IT Innovation and SME Performance


Abstract

Grounded in the resource-based view theory, we develop, theorize, and test a theoretical model to evaluate e-business capability and e-business value in the fast growth small-to-medium enterprise (SME) context. We propose that e-business value depends on how fast growth SMEs deploy IT resources, strategic planning, culture, and business partnerships to develop e-business capability and business process competence which help these companies to achieve outstanding business performance. Structural equation modeling is employed to test our theoretical conceptualization on a cohort of 310 Australian fast-growth SMEs across different industrial sectors. The results show that IT resources, strategic IT alignment, market orientation, and business partnerships do contribute significantly and indirectly to e-business value through the mediating effects of e-business capability and business process competence. Our study provides an initial empirical evidence to understand the relationship between IT and entrepreneurial SME performance. These findings have important implications for research and business practices. Keywords: IT Resources, Strategic IT Alignment, Market Orientation, Business Partnerships, E-business Capability, Business Process Competence, E-business Value, Resource-based View of the Firms Theory, Fast Growth SMEs.

Biography
Dr Rui Bi is a Lecturer in Management with the School of Management and Marketing at Charles Sturt University. Her research interests focus on Entrepreneurship and IT innovation, E-business and supply chain management, and fast growth Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Her work has been published in several peer-reviewed academic journals, national and international conference proceedings.

 


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Simon Boughey, Chief Executive Officer, Cherry Growers Australia Inc. and SEGRA National Steering Committee

Where Have All the Regions Gone?


Abstract

There seems to be a growing disconnect, whether real or perceived between the three levels of government, a range of other land councils and the community they serve in Australia and this seems to increasing across the country even though we are developing new approaches to regionalism and how to meet the needs of their communities. We need to look to new opportunities and directions for Australia to be by 2030 out to 2050 and break the archaic nexus of the original boundaries of Federation from 1901 as it constricts us all and really is still the only real mechanism for the Federal government to carry out regional programs. We need a new paradigm that includes a seismic shift and change in thinking and governance in this country to move from one federal government, six State governments and two Territory government and 560 plus land councils perhaps to as Richard Murray (2011) indicated to 24 Regional and City Councils and a Federal Government. We must ask though is this the right model for this island continent and in the last twelve months where have all the regions gone as we talk up big picture issues such as Northern Australia and big infrastructure? Would need to be a range of measures taken across the Federation and a referendum held and the question could this become a reality through consensus or will there be the continuation of the Rise of the Regions to make it occur and create there own pathway but we need to find them again!!

Biography
Visit: http://www.segra.com.au/segra_committee.html#boughey

 


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Prof. Jock Collins, Professor of Social Economics, University of Technology, Sydney

Permanent and Temporary Immigrants and Rural Development in Australia


Abstract
In recent decades an increasing number of permanent and temporary immigrant have settled and worked in regional and rural Australia. These new immigrant arrivals assist in redressing labour market shortages, particularly seasonal shortages in the case of Working Holiday makers, and counteracting the internal migration from regional and rural areas to Australian cities. Drawing on the findings of two RIRDC research grants, this paper documents the new migration pathways to regional and rural Australia before presenting research on the economic and social impact of these new immigrants and on the perceptions and experiences of these new permanent and temporary immigrants in the Australian bush.

Biography
Jock Collins is Professor of Social Economics in the Management Discipline Group at the UTS Business School, Sydney, Australia. He has been teaching and conducting research at UTS since 1977.  He is Co-Director of the Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre at UTS.  His research interests centre on an interdisciplinary study of immigration and cultural diversity in the economy and society. His recent research has been on Australian immigration, ethnic crime, immigrant and Indigenous entrepreneurship, immigrant youth, ethnic precincts and tourism, multiculturalism, the Cronulla Beach Riots, global teachers, immigrants and the built environment and immigrants in regional and rural Australia and the social use of ethnic heritage and the built environment. He is the author or co-author of ten books, the most recent of which is Global Teachers, Australian Perspectives: Goodbye Mr. Chips Hello Ms. Banerjee (with Carol Reid and Michael Singh) to be published by Springer Press later this year. He is also the author of over 100 articles in international and national academic journals and book chapters. His work has been translated in Swedish, French, Japanese, Arabic, Dutch, Chinese, Portuguese, German, Turkish and Italian.  Jock Collins has had visiting academic appointments in the UK, Canada, Sweden and the United States and has consulted to the ILO and OECD.

 


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Dr. Paul Collits, Adjunct Professor, School of Business, University of the Sunshine Coast

Re-Imagining the Region: what it means for regional business development


Abstract
For twenty years Australian and much international thinking, policy and strategy has assumed a conception of "region" that the paper argues is now outdated, if it ever was relevant to the real world. Policy and practice have focused exclusively on the "stickiness" of regions as locations of business units and people, and almost not at all on their 'slipperiness". We now inhabit a world of hyper mobility occasioned by the coincidence in time of globalisation and the rise of the knowledge economy, increasingly built on digital platforms. Doing business is being transformed, business models are being disrupted, management and much work is now distributed, and people and ideas now move across space in ways previously unimagined. These developments have consequences for policy and practice, and old models of spatially defined competitive advantage no longer work. They have consequences too for regional industries and businesses and the ways we should be developing them.

 

Biography
Paul Collits has worked in economic development for over 20 years, in research, analysis, policy, teaching, practice and consultancy. Currently he is Economic Development Projects Manager for Napier City Council, and is part of a team now developing an economic development strategy for the Hawke's Bay region of New Zealand. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Business School at the University of the Sunshine Coast, and is co-editor of the Australasian Journal of Regional Studies. He is immediate past president of the Australian and New Zealand Section of the Regional Science Association International. He has presented and written widely on all manner of topics related to regions, rural Australia and economic development.

 


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Anthony Friday, Chief Executive Officer, Pilbara Regional Council

Designated Area Migration Agreements


Abstract
The Pilbara Regional Council is currently structuring a Designated Area Migration Agreement for the Pilbara region with the Federal Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Designed to provide 'top up' labour in times of peak economic activity, the program is an essential component of community sustainability for regions that suffer fluctuations in population due to large projects. This presentation will walk participants through the process of building the case for a DAMA, and present an innovative model to land a well-qualified, English-speaking labour pool in any region of need.

Biography
Tony Friday is responsible for the Pilbara Regional Council, an umbrella local government serving the interests of the four member local governments in the Pilbara region of WA. As a corporate CEO and Company Secretary, he has worked across technology, property development, corporate advisory, and contemporary theatre; leading several organisations through period of intense growth and into new international markets. Working in Government has allowed him to extend his professional capability beyond the traditional boundaries of shareholder return; instead focusing citizen returns, social equity, and regional economic development. During his time at the Pilbara Regional Council he has led a range of exciting initiatives encompassing foreign direct investment attraction, specialist migration instruments, and innovative tourism market development. He is a passionate adventure traveller in his spare time, most recently crossing the Sahara Desert by motorcycle.

 


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Co-presenter - Maxine Greenfield, Aboriginal Partnerships & Industry Liaison, TAFE Western

Biography
Maxine Greenfield is a descendant of the Gurring-gai people and is a Business Capability Consultant, Aboriginal Partnerships and Industry Liaison for TAFE Western Institute. Maxine has been employed in the education sector in one way or another for over twenty five years, holding senior state and regional positions. Maxine has a University Degree and Diploma's and also conducts research into Aboriginal perspectives in education.

 


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Dr. Benjamen Gussen, Lecturer in Law and Economics, University of Southern Queensland

The Legal Personality of Cities and Reforming the Federation


Abstract
In October 2014, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) published a timely report on reforming our federal system. While the report touches on the themes of local government and subsidiarity, providing valuable contributions in this regard, it does not address the 'powerlessness' of what this author suggests is the nucleus of our federalism: the city-region. In this paper, the legal status of cities will be analysed both descriptively and prescriptively. The key proposition is that the Commonwealth is largely a network of cities that power our political, social, and economic systems. Reforming our federalism would hence not only necessitate creating more 'alpha' cities, but also affording these cities a wider (asymmetrical) margin of autonomy. Bringing about such change is easier to institutionalize relative to proposals that rely on the vagaries of constitutional amendments.

Biography
Benjamen F. Gussen is a law and economics lecturer in the School of Law and Justice at the University of Southern Queensland. His main research focus is on the principle of subsidiarity and its application in unitary and federal polities. Ben's other research interests include the amelioration of Australian federalism, the role of city-regions within 'world-systems', and the application of complexity theory to the analysis of legal polycentricity. Ben holds graduate degrees in law, economics, engineering, business administration and education.

 


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Bettyanne Hauville, Educational Planner, TAFE NSW Western Institute

TAFE Western Connect: more choices in more places


Abstract
TAFE NSW Western Institute (TAFE Western) services more than 50% of NSW, including some of the most disadvantaged and isolated communities. Feedback from stakeholders within the region confirmed the need for an increased range of training solutions to underpin the region's economic and social wellbeing. TAFE Western Connect (TWC) is a regional strategy to increase access to quality Vocational Education and Training for all students, irrespective of where they live. TWC extends the capacity of TAFE Western to reach rural and remote communities through blended delivery models utilising our extensive video-conferencing and web-conferencing networks, fleet of mobile delivery vehicles and combination of online and face-to-face training across a broad range of courses. In 2013, TAFE Western Connect won the 2013 NSW Premier's Public Sector Award for Revitalising Regional NSW, clear recognition of the valuable contribution of this initiative. In 2014, over 4,000 students undertook training through TWC. Significantly, 28% of these enrolments were Aboriginal, highlighting strong support for TWC within Aboriginal communities. TWC continues to provide significant service delivery improvements in western NSW communities by increasing the number of training options for isolated and disadvantaged learners. It is also Bridging the Gap by providing a new accepted and effective way for Aboriginal learners to access training. The uptake of course offerings in skill-shortage areas has been significant in communities where training was not previously available. Examples include Certificate III Children's Services; Certificate II Resources & Infrastructure Work Preparation; Certificate I Logistics; Responsible Service of Alcohol and Responsible Conduct of Gambling.

Biography
Bettyanne Hauville is the TAFE Western Connect (TWC) Coordinator at TAFE NSW – Western Institute. Her role is the development and implementation of the TWC delivery strategy which aims to increase access to high quality vocational education and training for all students, irrespective of where they live in the region. Her background is in vocational training, with over 30 years as a teacher in the Business Services and Information Technology sectors. Bettyanne was an early adopter of the blended delivery model and trained fellow teachers in the management, facilitation and support techniques of this new training approach. As the TWC Coordinator, she continues to support teachers in developing new and innovative strategies to deliver training to rural and remote locations across the large geographical area of TAFE Western and beyond.

 


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John Hemphill, Director, Voyager Strategies Pty Ltd

The SME Regional Job-Creation Opportunity


Abstract
Growth SMEs are the great under-exploited opportunity in Australian regional development. They have the potential to create new, sustainable, high value jobs. But how is this to be brought about? CEOs and management teams learn by doing. From this learning they can innovate. And from successful innovation they can grow and create jobs and wealth. But they usually need help to learn the right things the right way - and then the right way to successfully apply them.

This paper, drawing on experience in fostering successful learning in hundreds of regional growth SMEs, sets out what has been shown to work successfully. Points it will cover include:

• The demographics of growth SMEs;
• The mind of the growth SME CEO;
• Delivering successful experiential learning;
• Typical cost and resource requirements;
• Results obtained;
• Vignettes of success and failure.

The paper ends by answering the opening question – how to bring this about.

Biography
Since 1991, John has owned and led companies teaching SME management practice. He has run regional technology programs for the Victorian, ACT, NSW and Federal governments (over 300 SMEs), and delivered a long-running ITC SME management program (330 SMEs) for the SA Government.
Independent research on these programs showed that the right learning delivered the right way to the right SMEs led to sales increases, job creation, increased productivity, and other favourable outcomes such as joint ventures, exports and investment. There was a large leverage in the value of results compared with the program funds employed.
John graduated from Duntroon, and subsequently as a civil engineer and economist. He served with Australian forces in Vietnam, and then as an Australian Trade Commissioner in four countries. He was on the team which established Austrade and was a direct report in that organisation.
John is a contributor to the forthcoming Regional Australia Institute's Discussion Paper on Growth SMEs.

 


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Co-presenter: Lani Houston, Former Chief Executive Officer, RDA Riverina

Biography

Lani Houston is the Former Executive Officer, Regional Development  Australia-Riverina. She was President, Long  Paddock Committee project (2005 – 07), and a former committee member, Griffith  Regional Theatre & Art Gallery. She has over 10 years experience in  community and economic development roles in the Riverina region.  Her former position as EO for Regional Development Australia (RDA) – Riverina is part of  an Australian Government initiative that brings together all levels of government  to support the growth and development of regional Australia.  She has developed the RAD-Riverina Regional  Plan 2010-2015 and is working with 13 LGAs and their communities to grow the  region.

 


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Ren Hu, PhD Candidate, University of Wollongong

Australian Agricultural Restructuring and Disadvantaged Farmers


Abstract
The neoliberal turn of Australian national economy since the 1970s has triggered profound restructuring in agricultural industries. With economic gain being viewed as the only major criterion in resource allocation, agriculture, which accounts for an insignificant share in the national economy, has been experiencing a considerable loss of arable land, human resources, and social capital. Under adverse economic conditions, farmers have been experiencing declining terms of trade, long working hours, low profitability, increasing indebtedness, the decline of agriculture-based rural towns, a loss of farm autonomy to financial capital, abuse of market power by supermarkets, disadvantaged position in competition with foreign products, psychological and physical pressure, and relatively high suicide rate. When farmers are pressured to increase productivity, natural resources will be stressed. Environmental degradation is widespread on farms and is a billion-dollar problem. The future of Australian agriculture is uncertain. Problems have usually been attributed to the neoliberalisation. Neoliberalism does come naturally, but from the internal dilemma of capitalist economic development. From the agricultural boom in the 1950s and 60s, to the neoliberal age since the 1970s, and to the unfolding of a financial crisis in agricultural communities since 2012, we have witnessed a coherent trajectory that brings us to today's situation. Besides the economic development, we also discuss cultural and structural reasons why farmers are especially disadvantaged compared with people from other occupations. For the future, the capitalist economic path of Australian agriculture would be increasingly disturbed by the two by-products of capitalism, environmental degradation and technological unemployment.

Biography
The first author, Ren HU, is currently a PhD candidate in health & society at University of Wollongong. Ren graduated with a master's degree in environmental science also at University of Wollongong. During his mater course, he has conducted a mail survey project on Wollongong residents garden-related environmental behaviour and attitudes toward environmental weeds. He obtained a bachelor's degree in ecology at Northeast Normal University in China. Ren's general research area covers agriculture and capitalism. His specific interests include Australian agriculture, rural communities, farmer's economic and financial conditions, neoliberalism, globalisation, evolutionary history of global capitalism. Recently, he had been organising an interview project on Illawarra farmers strategies to cope with economic and financial pressure.

 


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A/Prof. Branka Krivokapic-Skoko, Associate Professor in Management, Charles Sturt University

Pacific Seasonal Workers in the Australian Horticultural Sector


Abstract
The urgency of the labor shortage in the primary industry in Australia has been regularly emphasized by the key agricultural industry agencies - such as the National Farmers Federation, the Victorian Farmers Federation, the Australian Table Grapes Association Fruit and the Vegetable Growers Association (Growcom) - as well as farmers and growers across Australia who would say that securing labour is their biggest and most difficult challenge. In 2008, the National Farmers Federation (NFF) predicted around 100,000 farm workers were needed across the rural sector. Australia has a very large temporary immigration program, but unlike most other immigration nations in North America, Europe and New Zealand - Australia has not had a large scale seasonal worker program of temporary agricultural workers. A Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme was introduced in Australia in 2008 for three years (DIAC 2011) for Pacific Islanders to work in low-skilled jobs in the horticulture industry across Australia and in limited locations in the tourism agriculture (sugar cane, cotton); and fisheries industries. The program is demand driven with 12 000 visa places available over the 2012-16 period (DIAC 2013). However the everyday ground realities for Pacific Seasonal workers may be impeding productivity. This presentation is based on the preliminary field work and focus group discussions organised with seasonal workers from the Papua New Guinea and Kiribati in the Robinvale-Mildura-Euston region. The focus was on getting more in signs into a settlement process, working and living condition of the seasonal workers and their relationship with the community

Biography
Branka obtained her doctorate from Lincoln University, New Zealand based on her research on ethnic entrepreneurship. During 2001-2002 on she worked with Australian Centre for Cooperative Research and Development (ACCORD) on research projects which explored different aspects of agricultural co-operatives. Branka joined CSU in 2002 and during the last few years her research activities have focused on ethnic business communities, new forms of agricultural co-operation, and ethnic diversity in rural and regional Australia. She also did research on psychological contracts in the context of theory and practice of management.

Branka has published in the area of mixed methodology, and the Boolean based comparative method. She is currently a Chief Investigator on two large projects funded by Australia Research Council and Rural Industry & Rural Development Corporation on ethnic communities and the built environment in Australian cities, and new immigrants in the regional and rural Australia.

 


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Co-presenter: Dr. Devaki Monani, Lecturer in Social Work, Australian Catholic University

Biography

Dr Devaki Monani joined the Australian Catholic University in 2015.  She completed her PhD from the School of Social Work, University of Melbourne in 2008.  In 2013 she completed an executive qualification in Social Impact Investment from the Said Business School, University of Oxford. She was offered a prestigious government internship in Victoria and was mentored by the chief social innovation strategist in Australia.

She worked in the capacity of post-doctoral research associate for five years on numerous projects at the Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Centre at the University of Technology Sydney. She has managed several government commissioned research projects and worked across Universities. Since 2012 she has been researching immigrant productivity in Australian Agriculture in regional Australia in a multi-disciplinary team along with senior scholars from Charles Sturt University and the University of Technology Sydney. Her research interests include Immigrants Settlement; Regional Areas and Social Impact; Human Rights; India and Australia.

Her teaching areas reflect her areas of research: Social Policy and Social work with communities. She has a particular interest in cross-cultural study of communities. 

 


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Dr. Thomas Murphy, Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Charles Sturt University

The Role and Linkages in Employment Growth Across Australia's Regions


Abstract
This paper seeks to establish if the labour market performance of Australian regions is dependent on the level of the internal integration of a region's industries and on the extent to which a region's industrial structure contains industries growing faster than each particular industry's national average in terms of the local employment growth component attributable to those industries. We hypothesise that regional labour market performance will be strongest in regional markets where both the number of industries outperforming their state average (for both growing and declining industries) and the number of highly regionally integrated industries is highest. Conversely we hypothesise that labour market performance will be weaker in regional labour markets that have been hollowed out and exhibit relatively less internal integration. An input-output matrix is developed for the economies of each of Australia's regions. This matrix is then used to undertake an extended form of linkage analysis to compare the extent of internal integration of all of non-metropolitan regions of Australia with internal integration measured as an index and based on both backwards and forward linkages. We then conduct shift-share analysis across Australia's regions to identify the industries in each region where the local factors contributing to employment growth in that industry exceed state factors. The results will provide direction to local economic development officers in terms of whether to focus on strengthening internal integration or assisting underperforming industries or developing nationally faster growing industries.

Biography
Dr. Murphy has over 35 years of experience in applied economic research. He was Executive Director of Western Research Institute (WRI) for over 15 years and has made significant impact in developing regional policy and planning. Currently, he is adjunct senior lecturer at CSU.

 


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Prof. Edward Oczkowski, Sub-Dean (Research Students), Professor in Applied Economics and Quantitative Methods, Charles Sturt University

Emerging Trends in Skills Shortages in Regional New South Wales: the case of the Riverina region


Abstract
Skill shortages are commonly reported in Australia and are seen as being amongst the biggest issues in the Australian labor market. Despite this, studies examining the causes and effects of such shortages, particularly in rural and regional Australia, are very limited. The purpose of this study is to fill this gap by investigating the causes and effects of skill shortages in rural and regional NSW using the Riverina as a case study. The examination of skill shortages in this region is important, generally, because it is one of the largest regions in NSW in terms of gross regional product, population and area covered. The region is particularly important for wine industry, contributing over one quarter of the State's total production. Our preliminary analysis suggests that while both State and Federal governments have numerous programs to address skills shortages, at national and regional levels, many sectors in the Riverina - particularly agriculture, services and manufacturing industries, continue to face skills shortages notwithstanding the fact that the regional migration program has somewhat helped address skills shortages in some professional areas in the region. The chronic shortage of skills has forced some businesses in the region, particularly those in agriculture and food processing, to pay higher wages to attract labor or to rapidly automate their processes in order to ensure that they continued to meet production deadlines and remain competitive in the market. Our analysis suggests that improvements in services and physical infrastructure will help attract and retain skilled workers in the region.

Biography
Eddie is a Professor in applied economics and quantitative methods and Sub-Dean (Research Students) in the Faculty of Business. Eddie's previous appointments include: tutor at La Trobe University (Bundoora), Head of School of Management at CSU, co-director of the Australian Centre for Co-operative Research and Development (ACCORD) and the Director of Graduate Studies at CSU. Eddie has over 25 years teaching experience in areas such as Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Managerial Economics, Applied Econometrics, Business Forecasting, Business Research Methods, and Higher Degree research supervision. Eddie's expertise is applied econometrics with an emphasis on limited dependent variables, modelling markets for agricultural products and structural equation modelling applications to marketing and management.

Previous research interests have covered areas such as: modelling agricultural disequilibrium markets, hedonic wine pricing, bargaining in the coking coal trade, the demand for eggs, Australia's bilateral aid allocation, agricultural co-operatives, air-travel demand and marketing and HRM applications of structural equation modelling.  Eddie has received external grant funding from organisations such as NSW Department of Fair Trading, RIRDC and NCVER and has conducted various consultancies for local businesses and regional councils.

 


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Graham Perry, Chief Executive Officer, Inland NSW

Leveraging a Cohesive Digital Strategy to Deliver Economic Growth


Abstract
Tourism is a major economic driver, with 79 million domestic trips taken in 2014. In NSW alone, this contributed $22.2 billion to the economy, accounting for 1 in 23 jobs. Increasing visitor dispersal to regional areas provides significant growth opportunities for local communities. Inland NSW has invested heavily in a comprehensive destination management process that has improved local relationships and resulted in collective regional marketing campaigns to build local economies. One of the key priorities identified was the need for a collaborative digital strategy. The industry currently works in silos, making trip planning difficult, marketing cut through costly and challenging for smaller regional destinations with limited budgets. To deliver a solution, Inland successfully obtained an $832,000 grant from the NSW Government to develop a digital platform to bring the regional together as one to drive increased conversion and overnight expenditure to the Inland region. The first of its kind with its scale and scope, the platform, entitled 'Travel In' is the result of a successful partnership between Inland and Bauer Media Group. Travel In will help grow overnight visitation and expenditure to the State's inland communities through making it easier for people to book and research their travel. Launching in July 2015, it addresses the needs of consumers providing cross regional information throughout the travel lifecycle. The benefits of such a cohesive digital strategy includes greater collective audience reach, cost efficiencies for marketing and overall a better consumer experience resulting in greater visitation, delivering economic growth to regional areas.

Biography
Graham is a natural executive leader and adept at aligning company visions with rapid growth strategies, from the Board through multiple stakeholders. Graham's 30+ year career has spanned the globe in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors. Prior to joining Inland NSW, he has operated at a senior level across a number of roles. As Managing Director of EMEA in the 90s, he managed Utell's 2,500 hotels. Moving to Australia in 1995, Graham operated as CEO for Traveland responsible for 1500 staff and 420 retail travel centres before being appointed CEO, See Australia (the domestic arm of Tourism Australia). His work at See Australia underpins the current No Leave No Life domestic tourism campaign running to this day. Graham's role as Managing Director, Classifieds of Fairfax Digital saw him growing internet based revenues in excess of $100m annually. Graham has consulted and mentored many clients with high growth objectives.

 


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Craig Randazzo, Chief Executive Officer, Skillset

Biography
Craig Randazzo is CEO of Skillset and Principal of Skillset Senior College. Craig has been in the education and training and employment services sector for over seventeen years and has worked across most areas of service delivery including employment services, work for the dole, disability services, apprenticeship services and training services. Craig has tertiary qualifications from the University of Sydney in Psychology and Education and Management and has been a presenter at the Bangamalanha Indigenous national conference 2014; the National CCA conference 2012, the National Jobs Australia Conference 2007, the National Agrifoods Skills Council Conference 2009 and a facilitator at the National Employment Services Association Conference 2010 and a presenter at the 2010 Homelessness National Conference. Craig's professional interests include research in alternative approaches to senior secondary education and research in the field of Positive Psychology. Craig is also Principal of Skillset Senior College an alternative Alesco senior school in Bathurst NSW. Craig is passionate about the transformational power of education, and believes that regional NSW has so much to offer in terms of business and lifestyle opportunities.

 


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Co-presenter - Danielle Ranshaw, Chief Executive Officer, Western Research Institute

WRI Lunch - Tuesday, 20 October 2015

The Western Research Institute (WRI) was formed in February 1999, with the purpose of providing research and analysis aimed at developing the Western New South Wales economy. As the name suggests, WRI's main area of focus geographically in its early days, was Western NSW. In fact, WRI received some initial financial support from the regional development boards of Central West NSW, the Orana region and Far West NSW, as well as Charles Sturt University.

WRI's reputation for providing solid and credible research soon spread, and this saw our geographic market spread too. Now we support organisations all over Australia. In addition, we've evolved our business in response to changed funding opportunities and to meet changing needs across regional Australia.

There's an important and distinct role for a local regional development research capacity, benefitting from regional staff with regional connections, experience and knowledge. Our role in supporting regional Australia is to connect organisations with credible research that enables them to maximise opportunities for sustainability, growth and future development.

WRI's research portfolio has changed over time and people often say to us "we didn't know you did that kind of work". Therefore, this presentation is an opportunity to showcase some of our more recent research projects, and the support we can provide our regional communities.

 

Biography
Danielle leads the team at WRI, managing overall research output and developing the organisation's business and profile. With over eight years of experience in research with WRI, and qualifications in economics and finance, Danielle has a solid background for managing the organisation's operations. She has led projects for clients ranging from local and state government, to education institutions, not-for-profit organisations, finance and peak industry bodies. Alongside a strong focus on project planning and management, Danielle has a "hands on" approach, being involved in roles including survey development, data analysis, stakeholder consultation, focus group facilitation and reporting. Prior to re-locating to her home town of Bathurst, Danielle spent several years' as a project manager within the Information Technology sector. Danielle's return to the Central West of NSW with her young family has reinforced her love of the country and she is passionate about developing opportunities for sustainable growth in the regions.

 


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Co-presenter - Jamie Sampson, Educational Leader Aboriginal Programs, TAFE Western

Biography
Jamie is a proud Kamilaroi man from Coonamble in Central Western NSW. Jamie has been a teacher in Primary Schools and Secondary Maths, as well as a Deputy Principal. He is the Educational Leader Aboriginal Programs for TAFE Western, leading a team from Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo, Walgett, Bourke, and Broken Hill. The team works with communities, businesses and individuals to deliver quality training for Aboriginal students and provide a wrap-around service that supports the 21St Century TAFE student in achieving their aspirations.

 

 

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Co-presenter - Leanne Small, Manager Business Community & Partnerships, TAFE NSW Riverina Institute

Biography
Leanne Small is the Manager Business, Community and Partnerships at TAFE NSW Riverina Institute and is based at Deniliquin. Leanne has worked in the Vocational Education sector for over 30 years as an administrator, teacher and currently has portfolio responsibility for Workforce and Community Development, Tender Response, School Engagement, International and Higher Education. As the Manager Business, Community and Partnerships Leanne leads a team of consultants, spread across southern NSW who have responsibility for engaging with community, industry and the schools sector. In line with the Riverina Institute Strategic Plan the Business, Community and Partnerships team facilitate development of partnerships with individuals and organisations to deliver outstanding workforce development and student outcomes for regional organisations.

 


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Amanda Spalding, Director Corporate Services, TAFE Western

Aboriginal Education and Employment Partnerships


Abstract
Changing Lives through Education and Employment Aboriginal Education and Employment Partnerships This presentation will demonstrate the partnership between TAFE Western and the Aboriginal Employment Strategy of Western NSW. TAFE Western covers more than half of NSW and delivers training to meet the needs of the NSW economy: by aligning training to regional industry needs; increasing the level of post school qualifications to meet industry needs for higher skills levels and ensuring meaningful outcomes and pathways for students. TAFE Western is responsible for delivering the Dubbo Opportunity Hub and is the largest provider of training to Aboriginal people in Australia. By working closely with Aboriginal communities, ensures enduring partnerships are forged with businesses, organisations, local government and government agencies, all of which focus on achieving education and employment outcomes for Aboriginal people. One of these partnerships is with the Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) of Western NSW. The Aboriginal Employment Strategy is a 100% indigenous managed, national, not-for-profit Recruitment Company that seeks to match Aboriginal participants to the right opportunities to achieve greater retention rates. AES offers expertise, commitment and value to recruitment, Traineeships and Business Development Service for Aboriginal peoples. The presentation will demonstrate how the Memorandum of Action is being developed to include actions, milestones and reporting to TAFE Western's Aboriginal Community Reference Group to build capacity in Aboriginal communities and achieve the shared aims of assisting Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples to gain the skills and knowledge, recognition and/or qualifications necessary to support their career aspirations and employment needs to promote social inclusion and sustainable communities in regional areas.

Biography
Amanda Spalding is the Director of Corporate Services at TAFE Western, which serves more than half of NSW, with some 1,700 staff. Amanda is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years Executive Management experience in England and Australia and has been a director of several companies including Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club. Her background is in economic development in regional economies in the north of England where she was in senior management in local government and ran a private public economic development partnership. She has also worked in senior management in local government in Sydney, been an Executive Director and Chief Information Officer in the NSW Government, and has been the CEO of two not for profit companies, as well as running her own management consultancy. In a voluntary capacity Amanda is the Vice President of Womensport NSW and is an Orange Health Councillor.

 


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Rod Towney, Manager, Aboriginal Education and Training Unit, TAFE Western

The Maliyan Experience: a journey into cultural excellence


Abstract
The Maliyan Experience - A journey into Cultural Excellence; offers agencies and individuals a chance to develop their knowledge and approach to working with Aboriginal peoples and contribute to bridging the gap across all indicators through 'Cultural Excellence'. Rod and Maxine propose to share their high level expertise in developing Cultural Competence and the critical role it plays in providing social benefits to regional Australia whilst supporting policy compliance. TAFE Western's Maliyan Experience is founded on the Australian National Best Practice Framework for Indigenous Cultural Competence in Australian Universities. The content has been developed using academic research, TAFE Western's own organisational learning and capability in developing training, the approval and support of NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Inc and input from Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples across various sectors. The Maliyan Experience learning experiences are based on the understanding that Aboriginal Cultural Competence is not achieved through words alone, but rather through knowledge, the application of that knowledge and firsthand experience with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Maliyan Experience is a six stage, three phased suit of options to advance knowledge and skills to journey from cultural self and/or organisational reflection to organisational implementation. We propose to reveal each of the six stages of the Maliyan Experience and their application in a range of contexts. Rod and Maxine will provide delegates with background to the initiative; interactive activity and, preview of materials as well as the opportunity for discussion to support analysis of the concept of Cultural Competence.

Biography
Rod Towney is a Wiradjuri man. He has in excess of 30 years working experience within various Federal and State Government Departments including the United Nations. He has held positions of trust at senior levels with a continued focus on improving outcomes for Aboriginal peoples. Rod has various University Degrees, including a Master of Indigenous Language Education and continues to research factors relating to Aboriginal participation. Rod has been awarded a Public Services Medal for his outstanding service in Indigenous Education and Training.

 


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Todd Williams, Chief Executive Officer, RDA Hunter

The ME Program: building a skilled workforce for the future

 

Abstract
The ME Program has become Australia's most innovative workforce development initiative since introducing Phase One of the project in 2010. Its initial goal to increase the workforce capacity of the Defence Industry remains as important today as it did then. Through five years of management RDA Hunter has worked with the Defence Materiel Organisation to ensure that the Program achieves its strategic goals and in doing so, has generated unprecedented support from local industry and education bodies. 

The driving objective of the ME Program is to increase the pool of students studying Mathematics, Science, Engineering Studies, and Physics. This outcome has been accomplished through the employment of the following outputs and related activities.

 

Biography
Todd is regarded as a proven collaborator and metrics driven executive with a track record supporting entrepreneurial growth. He is currently the CEO of Regional Development Australia Hunter. Todd's international executive career also includes sectors such as financial services, business services, education, health, leisure and recreation.

His strategic agenda is to maximise the value of emerging economic opportunities specifically for the Hunter, so that it is recognised as a leading region in Australia in which to invest and grow a business. This includes developing and implementing numerous successful initiatives to drive and promote the economy by securing public and private sector funding involving private, public sectors and all levels of government.

 


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Cr. Joan White, Councillor, Goondiwindi Regional Council

How Can We Change Things: leadership,entrepreneur, business development


Abstract
Joan became involved in Leadership and communities because her 18 month old first grandson became fatally ill with leukaemia. She enrolled in a Leadership Course at Charleville Western Qld looking for direction for my family but mostly myself. The results of this lead her to pursuing a path to change things to help her community of Texas who supported her family through our horrific crisis. From this Joan continued training and implemented her learning's to her farming enterprise and diversification. Community where still looking for direction during the mourning loss of this child. To repay them she took on local Government and was elected. This lead to becoming a Mayor of Inglewood Shire prior to amalgamation. Continuing a pathway of education, the more she learned, the more she could see the differences that could be made. It was obvious that one cannot make a difference as the bird on the outside of the biscuit tin she needed to get inside that biscuit tin. Communication a vision and lots of people that helped support and encourage I felt that I had to continue and represent rural and remote communities. Unchosen change is always going to be the elephant in the room. Rural families struggle with commodity prices, climatic conditions and opportunities to diversify. Wilga Vale Venison is a diversification within our own farming business that was mainly wool growing and some cattle. It now has goats, deer that once was Venison into Hunting and camping. Beef Cattle, but instead of wool we now turn off fat lambs. Our farming production is a story on its own which was stimulated by my passion to prove changes could happen providing you had net works prepared to take a risk and used all your learning's to be implemented in different fields. Life continues to be a challenge and will not be useful unless it is. No matter what is thrown up there is always a network of people that can help. Change has to be drawn from people's ideas, dreams and experiences for the individual is only as good as the network of people they have around them. New concepts are the future and who do we have to implement this new age of change in society, markets and all the unchosen exception circumstances that face communities and individuals. Sharing across a broad spectrum, communication and trust building strong communities will give ownership not to individuals but everyone plays a very important role in a contribution.

Biography
Joan runs a farming enterprise at Texas Qld in partnership with her husband. Sheep , cattle, goats and Deer with an intensive 80 sow piggery. She was Mayor Inglewood Shire Council pre amalgamation. Now a Councillor with Goondiwindi Regional Council. she had two years as the Vic President of Murray Darling Association. She has been appointed to the interim Board of the UN RCE MD. Joan has been a community member to many working groups related to environment with the most recent being a member of the working group of the Border Rivers Environmental Water Network. This group feeds information directly to the Federal Government appointed Northern Basin Authority's Consultative Committee working directly with the Murray Darling Basin Authority to implement the MDB Plan. Joan's passion now lies in the socio economic effects on rural communities.

 


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Challenge Leaders

 

Troy Haines, Start-Up & Innovation Coach, theSPACE Cairns

Biography
Troy Haines is a Startup and Innovation Coach who has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs across Australia to help them commercialise their ideas. Amongst many awards, he was named Innovation Champion in 2014 by the Minister of Innovation and Premier of QLD. He was also inducted into the QLD Government Innovation Wall of Fame for his work in building the NQ startup & innovation ecosystem. Troy and the team at theSPACE have developed startup & innovation programs which they deliver across a wide audience, from high school students, SME's to Government (and everyone in between). He has been referred to as a creative genius and consistently demonstrates how actions speak louder than words when getting results.

 


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Lara Wilde, Project Director, Northern Agriculture Development Scheme, Etheridge Shire Council

Provision of Secure and Safe Domestic Water: the Gulf-Savannah region

Abstract
Constitutionally, water resources management in Australia belongs to the states and territories. The exception is the Murray-Darling Basin which is managed pursuant to the Commonwealth Water Act 2007. Currently, there is no National Water Plan and the water resources plans for each jurisdiction are in different states of completion. Information on the sources and quality of water for domestic purposes is spread across a range of governmental reports and papers in the technical and scientific literature.

Australia wide it is difficult to develop and appreciation of the scope of issues confronting the provision of domestic water supplies in rural and remote regions. Recognition of the importance of 'secure and safe domestic water' as a key area of issue for sustainable regional development needs to be underpinned by sound qualitative and quantitative information. For Northern Australia this encompasses three jurisdictions each with their policy settings and management regimes. As well, Northern Australia is characterised by its geographically diverse biophysical and socio-economic regional conditions. Information on the provision of domestic water across Northern Australia needs to be collated at two scales: jurisdictional and regional.

The 2014 report of the Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia (JSCNA 2014) outlined and made recommendations with respect to a range of large water management projects for the irrigated agriculture sector. The need to jurisdictionally align water sector management policy and practices was highlighted. On the domestic water front, JSCNA 2014 noted that there were: ongoing water supply challenges in many areas and that the seasonality of water availability was considered a 'limitation specific to the region'. However, no specific recommendations were made for the provision of secure and safe potable water at either jurisdictional or regional scales.

To initiate the regional information process, this paper provides a 'reality check' on the current situation with respect to the provision of domestic water in the Gulf-Savanah Region of Queensland. The material collated and analysed has been gathered by a combination of a simple survey instrument and a case study of the Etheredge Shire Council. The story highlights conditions and that are replicated in other rural and remote regions in Northern Australia and lessons that can be applied irrespective of jurisdictional differences.

Biography
Lara Wilde has successfully worked in local Government, project management, recruitment and retention, economic development and her own private businesses in remote, rural and regional parts of Australia. Throughout her career Lara has honed her commercial project management skills in the areas of community resource projects, infrastructure and agriculture amongst others. Regional economic development has been a core issue prompting Lara's passion for community growth as a fundamental element supporting Australia's economic growth and prosperity.

 

 


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Challenge Champions

 

Michael Kitzelmann, Chief Executive Officer, Etheridge Shire Council

Biography
Michael is the Chief Executive Officer at Etheridge Shire Council in far north Queensland. With over 24 years' experience in Government, Michael is well versed in the challenges associated with negotiating the systems, policies and priorities of Government in order to achieve local objectives. Being a proactive leader, Michael is a strong believer in driving positive change rather than working within the norm and reacting to situational driven change. Michael is passionate about the delivery of services and value adding to the Community, his enthusiastic approach to leadership has resulted in the development of numerous strategies for the growth Etheridge Shire. Recent changes to the methods of service delivery have renewed the linkages between Council, Industry and the Local Community in driving future growth for the Shire.

 

Regional Best Practice Speakers

 

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Steven Bowman, Manager, Economic Development, Bathurst Regional Council

The Bathurst Economy & Council's Leadership in Economic Development


Abstract
Part 1 Bathurst is in the top 5 regional growth areas of NSW (NSW Department of Planning & Environment, 2013) and has a diverse, vibrant business base. The Bathurst economy grows at a rate of 2.3% per year (5 year average) and is experiencing an ever-increasing population boom. In part 1 of the presentation, I will present an overview of the Bathurst economy, including GRP, jobs growth & unemployment, housing & property, population and growth industries.

Part 2 The second half of the presentation will cover Council's involvement in economic growth and key projects that have established Bathurst as a leader in economic programs in the Central West. Bathurst Regional Council places great emphasis on its involvement in economic growth, with a vision for Bathurst to become the fastest growing regional centre in NSW. Council's Economic Development activities effectively grow, reinforce, support and 'safeguard' Bathurst's diverse economy in a challenging economic climate. While Council has limited control over macroeconomic factors, Council is able to directly influence microeconomic factors such as employment, local business success, investment attraction, innovation and new enterprise. A Council that strongly supports and fosters economic prosperity significantly improves consumer and business confidence at a local level. I will provide an overview of key projects including the Business Management Workshops, Jobs Expo, Bathurst Buy Local Gift Card, Business Hub Website & BizWeek. I will also cover key relationships/partnerships with Business Enterprise Centre, Regional Development Australia, NSW Trade & Investment, Office of the Small Business Commissioner and AusIndustry.

Biography
Steve Bowman is the Acting Manager, Economic Development at Bathurst Regional Council. His primary responsibility is to assist in the growth of local business, and to attract new businesses and residents to Bathurst through numerous growth and attraction programs. He assists in the development of Bathurst's industrial parks and the Airport precinct. Steve is the central point for those looking for Bathurst economic data including forecast economic and population growth, demographics, employment, industry and socioeconomic data. Prior to working at Council, Steve lived in Sydney and worked in the corporate training sector. He was Manager, Professional Development Pacific at LexisNexis overseeing 10 staff across the Pacific region in marketing, sales, conference development and event logistics. Steve also worked at CPA Australia overseeing their conferencing and training portfolio. Steve has lived in Bathurst for almost 3 years with his wife, and also went to CSU in Bathurst from 2001 - 2004.

 


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Dr. Lorne Butt, Sustainability Coordinator, TAFE Western

Mudgee Learning Resource Hub: innovation in education and infrastructure design in TAFE NSW


Abstract
Australian education institutions are facing the twin pressures of infrastructure renewal, and changing student demand increasingly, within a context of sustainable practice. Research indicates increasing demand by students for environmental education (Sack et al. 2014); the efficiency returns from sustainable infrastructure design (Newell et al. 2011); and sustainable practice as a key driver of organizational performance (Benn at al. 2011). The Mudgee Learning Resource Hub is the first building of its kind in TAFE NSW, achieving a 5 Star Green Star Education design v1 certified rating from the Green Building Council of Australia in January 2015 - demonstrating Australian Excellence in environmentally sustainable design. The Hub project will enable TAFE Western to enhance and expand educational delivery in Mudgee, with the Hub itself intended as a living laboratory to demonstrate excellence in sustainable infrastructure renewal and environmental performance to staff, students and other stakeholders. This case study demonstrates how the Hub was designed to respond to changing educational and employment patterns in the Mudgee region, demonstrate adaptation of TAFE Western's sustainability framework to local conditions to reduce environmental impact, and build relationships with local, regional and metropolitan stakeholders to deliver innovative, state-of-the-art infrastructure design.

Biography
Dr Lorne Butt is the Sustainability Coordinator at TAFE NSW Western Institute. Lorne trained as a biologist before joining the higher education sector. With a background in quality management, strategic planning and corporate governance, Lorne now specialises in sustainability practice, governance, education and research. Lorne is an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, and a member of the British and Australia/New Zealand academies of management, the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and the Australian Association of Environmental Educators. Lorne is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Institute for Land, Water and Society at Charles Sturt University.

 


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A/Prof. Ian Gray, Adjunct Associate Professor in Sociology, Charles Sturt University

Rail Freight for Regional Development


Abstract
The potential of rail freight to grow regional economies by boosting local primary and secondary industry is now well documented in research and commentary, as is the desirability of increasing rail freight's modal share. Branch line railways can contribute. North American experience, where small railways contribute 25 per cent of the freight moved on the main lines, and attempts at reviving branch line freight here, have revealed what could be done with the right model. The case of the Blayney-Demondrille (Cowra) line in the Central West of New South Wales shows the promise. However, its ongoing process of revival also shows the necessity for a simple and effective model of a way to make it happen. The overall economics of branch line operation is not what is getting in the way. People trying to develop rail freight are hampered by misconceptions among potential rail customers, governments and even parts of the rail industry. These misconceptions include ideas about distance breakeven points for road and rail, the capital and operating costs of railways, the potential for ˜first and last mile railways and relations among large and small rail operators. There also appears to be little appreciation of the benefits of railways which focus on local and regional development. The paper discusses these issues with an eye on potential developments in regional New South Wales and proposes some principles for a simple and reliable process of branch line development.

Biography
Ian Gray is Adjunct Associate Professor in the Institute for Land, Water and Society at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga. He has published on rural issues including transport in many academic journals and has written two books for Cambridge University Press. His most recent large-scale research work was on regionalism and federalism for the Australian Research Council. He is also Honorary Research Officer for the Lachlan Regional Transport Committee.

 


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Alexis Guillot, Deputy CEO, Pilbara Regional Council

Activating Tourism in Difficult Times


Abstract
The Pilbara is well-known for its contribution to the national economy through the extraction of minerals and resources. Less well known are its stunning regional attractions and iconic huge distances between them. Attracting tourists via flights filled with fluoro vests to stay in the most accommodation in the country has offered some unique challenges for regional tourism authorities. Join this session to discover how a resolute partnership between diverse public and private sector organisations has kept tourism alive (and flourishing) even under these difficult circumstances.

Biography
Alexis Guillot is an experienced not-for-profit company director, and currently serves as a Deputy CEO for the Pilbara Regional Council (PRC). He previously served as a governance and risk advisor to some of Western Australia's largest companies and statutory authorities with Blue Zoo, contributed to the development of Western Australia's public sector governance framework and assisted a number of leading energy and resources companies with their risk and continuity readiness. Alexis serves as a non-executive Director on a number of local and international Boards in the property investment, disability, aged care, mental health and youth services and contemporary theatre. He is also a keen dancer in his spare time, favouring the energy and traditional style of lindy hop swing.

 


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Dr. Jill Guthrie, Research Fellow, Australian National University

Justice Reinvestment


Abstract
An innovative policy idea that is gaining traction in Australia is Justice Reinvestment (JR). JR can be conceived of as both a philosophy for justice reform and a set of strategies that seek to examine incarceration spending, so that funds that might have been spent on incarceration are instead reinvested into health and social interventions that reduce offending in the socio-demographic groups and communities that disproportionately contribute to prison populations. The idea springs from an understanding that over-incarceration impacts communities in ways that perpetuate cycles of crime. As a systems-based approach, JR encompasses a comprehensive range of service provision areas such as health, housing, employment, justice, family support, mental health and alcohol and other drug use services. It impels policymakers to consider the implications of current punitive policies that result in higher levels of incarceration, particularly of Indigenous Australians, and how funding could instead be directed towards addressing the social determinants of incarceration. The burgeoning costs of incarceration in Australia are nonetheless a valid reason for tackling this serious public policy issue. While JR has not been adopted as policy by any jurisdiction in Australia, interesting preliminary work is occurring in several regional locations, including Cowra and Bourke (NSW), Ceduna (SA), and Katherine (NT), where local communities and service providers are working together to co-create stronger and safer communities.

 

Reducing Incarceration Using Justice Reinvestment: an exploratory case study


Abstract

Cowra, NSW, is the site of exploratory research that is testing how Justice Reinvestment (JR) could be adopted as a policy approach. JR is a framework for rethinking the criminal justice system so that taxpayer monies are not spent on imprisoning people for low level criminal activity. Australian National University researchers are working with the community to explore the theory and methodology of JR as a way of reducing incarceration. The research is guided by a Research Reference Group that includes representatives of the Cowra Shire Council, Cowra Aboriginal Land Council, the President of NSW Children's Court, and US-based JR academic.

Several community forums have been held over the past 2 years: the local police, PCYC, judiciary, education, health, mental health, community service and non-government sectors, worked together to develop a locally relevant questionnaire and recruitment process for inviting young people to self-refer to the research to explore issues of concern to them, and to build a case for obtaining services or resources that may help prevent young people from contact with the criminal justice system.

At a recent forum, co-facilitated by Professor Mick Dodson and Councillor Ruth Fagan, community members assessed that some $23 million had been spent on incarcerating their citizens over the past 10 years for crimes which participants judged as were amenable to a JR approach, if such a policy was in place.

More broadly, the research will potentially result in recommendations for addressing high levels of incarcerated young people, through developing a place-based JR informed model.


Biography
Dr. Jill Guthrie is a descendant of the Wiradjuri people of western NSW, and has lived in Canberra ACT for over twenty years. She joined the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at the ANU in 2012 as a Research Fellow. She is currently working on health-related research projects with a particular focus on the relationship between criminal justice and health. She is a member of the NHMRC-funded Indigenous Offender Health Research Capacity Building Group (IOHR-CBG). Jill is a graduate of the Master of Applied Epidemiology (MAE) Program at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (NCEPH) at ANU.

 


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Debra Howe, Manager Economic Development, Mackay Regional Council

Economic Development is Everyone's Business


Abstract
In an economy under pressure, never before has economic development been more important to the Mackay region. Economic development needs to be at the forefront of decision making and is everyone's responsibility. This extends to all areas across Council, not just the Economic Development Program, and includes state government agencies and organisations in the region, such as the Mackay Region Chamber of Commerce, Resource Industry Network and Diversify Mackay Leadership Alliance, all of who play a pivotal role in working with business and industry. While diversification is imperative, it is not something that can be achieved overnight and in isolation. Mackay Regional Council is committed to taking a leadership role in the development of a diversified, vibrant and sustainable economy. The recently launched Economic Development Strategy 2015 - 2020, the first of its kind for the Council, identifies the Economic Development Framework that lays the foundation to facilitate economic development within our region. Formed in 2014, the Diversify Mackay Leadership Alliance, a 12-member consortium, comprising leaders hailing from a diverse cross-section of industry, business and government, strives to collaboratively act sustainably to diversify and explore innovative business opportunities for our region. Although Mackay already has a somewhat diversified economy, it is heavily dependent on mining and agriculture, both of which experience very normal cyclical trends in line with global commodity markets. The vision for the Mackay economy is to increase the diversity and capacity of the local economy, business and industry so it is able to sustainably capture the benefits of upcycles and manage the normal market corrections as part of every-day business activities. Economic development is about improving the quality of life experienced in the local Mackay community. To achieve this it requires commitment, collaboration and consensus from community leaders and a detailed understanding of everyone's role in delivering and providing a local environment that is conducive to business investment and activity. The vision is a more diversified, vibrant and sustainable economy with a connected and engaged local business base and focused on regional leadership. And the key is...that economic development is everyone's business!

Biography
Debra Howe is an experienced practitioner who has worked in local government in Queensland and Victoria for over 18 years, primarily in regional and economic development, and in the private sector for just on 21 years within business and industry development, and retail and tourism sectors. Debra moved to Mackay in May 2014 to commence with Mackay Regional Council as Manager Economic Development responsible for economic development, place management and major projects and investment facilitation and attraction. Debra has worked in local government in Melbourne for three years, Toowoomba region for seven years and with Brisbane City Council for seven years. In September 2010, Debra won the Queensland Telstra Business Women's Award, Community and Government category and went on to compete in the 2010 Australian Telstra Business Women's Award.

 


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Dr. Valerie Ingham, Senior Lecturer of Emergency Management, Australian Graduate School of Policing & Security Services, Charles Sturt University

Exploring Community Resilience and Vulnerabilities in the Blue Mountains


Abstract
The research project 'Community Connections' seeks to identify the strengths and potential gaps in community resilience in the Blue Mountains through connecting with local community organisations and local groups representing vulnerable people, in addition to drawing on the disaster and community resilience literature. The central elements of community resilience identified in our research will be discussed drawing on the results of a survey, focus groups and interviews and a narrative of resilience as developed by Zautra and Hall (2008). Where much focus can be placed on the structural and system issues at a state, command and control level, at a community level vulnerable people and how to identify their needs and how they are provided for in times of emergency has been considered in the literature. In building a model of community resilience through mapping community resilience in the Blue Mountains it has become apparent that local community organisations are not necessarily included in disaster preparedness, planning or recovery even even though they are the most likely contact for vulnerable people in the community. In the Blue Mountains organisations such as local Neighbourhood Centres and the Mountains Community Resources Network have been instrumental in bringing community organisations to the disaster table. Establishing links to enable mobilisation of local resources of state government as well as community organisations such as facilities, transport and volunteers is important. We found that it is imperative for significant community organisations to be involved in emergency management at all levels - planning, preparedness and recovery.

Biography
Dr Valerie Ingham is Senior Lecturer of Emergency Management with the Australian Graduate School of Policing & Security, Charles Sturt University, Australia. As a practicing artist and a lecturer of emergency management she is constantly confronted by the aesthetic dimensions of emergency response, a hitherto highly scientificised discipline. Her research focus is the aesthetic awareness of incident commanders in time pressured decision making. She is a founding member of the Bangladesh Australia Disaster Research Group. Her research interests include visual methodologies, somatic and aesthetic perceptions of risk and decision making, community resilience, disaster recovery and the tertiary education of emergency managers and fire investigators. She has extensive experience in the design, development and delivery of programs in the disciplines of emergency management and fire services.

 


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Prof. Alan Lawton, Professor of Management, Federation University Australia

Developing a Regional Resilience Monitor


Abstract
Regional resilience, in terms of health and well-being, lifting productivity and economic growth, managing risk, and capturing opportunities for sustainable environments and human systems, has been identified as a key strategic priority for Australia. Regions, as much as individuals, can be vulnerable to changes in economic, social, health or environmental conditions. What is important is how regions respond to, and indeed, anticipate the impact of these changes. The capacity to respond will depend upon a number of factors including current economic health, the quality of the relationships between different stakeholders, the support networks that exist within a community, the human capabilities and competences that exist and the attitudes of groups and individuals to the challenge of change. However, the concept of resilience itself is contested. It has been identified as a response to key events such as floods, climate change or bushfires (Pooley et al. 2010); as the capacity of individuals and communities (Buckle et al., 2001); and elsewhere, as the quality of a nation (Conservative Party UK 2010). Notwithstanding such definitional problems, we offer our own definition: Resilience is the capacity of a community to respond to, and anticipate economic, social and environmental change and to adapt, plan and transform itself for the future. Our paper presents the development of a Regional Resilience Monitor (RRM) which provides a holistic framework consisting of six interlocking dimensions; Economic health; Human capital; Social well-being; Liveability; Social capital and social networks; Entrepreneurialism References Buckle, P., Marsh, G and Smale, S (2001) Assessment of Personal & Community Resilience & Vulnerability Emergency Management Australia Report 15/2000 Conservative Party (2010) A Resilient Nation: National Security Green Paper Pooley, JA, Cohen, L and O'Connor, M. (2010) Bushfire communities and resilience: What can they tell us? The Australian Journal of Emergency Management 26(2) 33-38.

Biography
Professor Alan Lawton is a professor of management in Federation Business School with a background in political philosophy. He has held professorial appointments at five different universities in three different countries. He has published extensively on public sector management and he has particular expertise in the field of public sector ethics. He has advised governments in Europe and Africa on developing ethical frameworks for government ministers, MPs, judges and civil servants. His most recent publications are on ethical leadership. He also led a small team on a project developing a tool to measure regional resilience and this paper reports on that research.

 


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Daniel Masters, Senior Manager, Investment Appraisal, Policy & Economics, Trade & Investment NSW

Comparative Analysis of the Benefits of Regional Development Projects: which generates the greatest return?


Abstract
The following paper provides a comparative economic analysis of regional development projects. The projects subjected to the comparative analysis have been chosen for their ability to reflect a 'typical' regional industry investment project or tourism based initiative. The projects are separately assessed using economic impact analysis and social welfare cost benefit analysis, with the results compared. Using both methodologies, it is shown that tourism related projects offer comparable, if not greater, economic benefits to regional economies than traditional industry based projects. However, it is also shown that the economic benefits associated with tourism projects are sensitive to the referent group selected for the analysis as well as the likelihood of specific purpose visitation to the region as a result of the initiative. In addition to providing a comparative analysis of industry investment and tourism projects, the paper also provides an overview of those elements that drive the quantified economic benefits in a cost benefit analysis and economic impact analysis. The cost benefit analysis methodology used to assess the projects is consistent with the NSW Treasury Guidelines for Economic Assessment (TPP07-5). To assess the economic impact of the projects, regional input output analysis based on the Generation of Regional Input Output Tables methodology is used.

Biography
Daniel Masters is the Senior Manager of the Investment Appraisal team in NSW Trade and Investment (T&I). In this role, Daniel leads a team of economists who undertake cost benefit analysis over a diverse portfolio of projects, ranging from arts precincts to public transport concessions. Prior to his current position, Daniel held the position of Manager Asset Management and Strategy at the State Water Corporation where he undertook economic assessments of water infrastructure. Daniel has also held positions in the Northern Territory Government regulating transport markets, and undertaking CBAs of transport related infrastructure. Daniel was awarded a bachelor of economics with distinction and the Dean's medal for academic excellence in 2003 from the University of Western Sydney. Daniel was also awarded a masters degree in economics from the University of New England in 2009.

 


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Co-presenter - Dr. Sarah Redshaw, Research Associate, Institute for Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University

Biography
Dr Sarah Redshaw is currently a Research Associate at Charles Sturt University working with Val Ingham on research related to emergency services as communities of practice and community connections and resilience. She has developed and conducted research projects for over 15 years including as an ARC Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Centre for Cultural Research at the University of Western Sydney and Senior Researcher at the Kid's Research Institute, The Children's Hospital at Westmead and recently as Research Fellow in Sociology at Macquarie University. She has published a number of papers and a book, In the Company of Cars: driving as a social and cultural practice (Ashgate 2008) from her studies on the social and cultural aspects of young people's engagement with cars, and on a number of health related projects including Bereavement Support in Community Nursing, Heartbeads and 'Measuring the Outcomes of Case Managed Community Care' with Michael Fine.

 


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Ken Varcoe, Technical Director, Water Engineers United Pty Ltd

Safe Water from Common Salt? A Sustainability Technology Reality for Regional Australia and Beyond


Abstract
Most urban dwelling Australians take secure and safe water supplies for granted. That is, they have an adequate quantity of water at a quality that can be used by people without harm from human and animal wastes, salinity and hardness or pollutants from agriculture and industry. However, this is not the situation across much of rural and remote regional Australia or in the developing world where availability and poor quality water can be a major threat to human health. The purpose of this presentation is to introduce a sustainability technology for water disinfection using common salt that ensures safe water for all purposes. Machines are now available for on-site generation of either Sodium Hypochlorite (liquid chlorine) or Chlorine Dioxide by the process of electrolysis. The technology allows the production of these powerful water disinfectants at the point of use, requiring only electric power (mains, portable or renewable) and common salt or Sodium Chlorite (low cost raw materials). This means low operating cost and high levels of safety, compared to the traditional methods of providing disinfection using liquid chlorine. The range of applications for Hypochlorite and Chlorine Dioxide are enormous, as virtually all water that is consumed domestically or used in industry, needs either (or both) of the these disinfectants. The latest patented technology allows generation of both disinfectants from a single machine and has the potential to revolutionise a vast range of water treatment applications. A new focus is on collaborative research, development and demonstration (RD&D) project work aimed at generating water disinfectants from seawater using robust mobile solar powered units. This application of sustainability technology is being designed for rural and remote regions in Australia; developing countries such as the Solomon Islands, PNG, and Vanuatu; and vulnerable regions in Sri Lanka and India.

Biography
Ken Varcoe is the Technical Director of Water Engineers United Pty Ltd, a global company focused on water treatment solutions for a range of applications. Ken is a member of the Institute of Engineers and gained his professional qualifications in Chemical Engineering, and Business (Administration) from Swinburne University of Technology. Additionally, he has undertaken courses in and Electrochemistry in Australia and Germany. He has been with Water Engineers for over 15 years working from their Head Office on the Gold Coat Queensland on projects in key Australian states and overseas (eg India, Dubai, Mexico, China, Iran, Singapore and the USA). Currently, Ken is involved in collaborative research, development and demonstration (RD&D) project work aimed at generating water disinfectants from seawater using robust mobile solar powered units.

 


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Co-presenter - Paula Walker, Manager Infrastructure Planning, Procurement and Maintenance, TAFE Western

Biography
Paula Walker is the TAFE Western Manager Infrastructure Planning, Procurement and Maintenance. Her roll over the last 2 years has primarily been managing TAFE Western Infrastructure projects from minor refurbishments to major capital projects, including the Mudgee Learning Resource Hub. A couple of recent highlights for Paula this year have included TAFE Western being awarded a Green Building Council of Australia 5 Star Green Star – Education Design v1 certified rating for the Mudgee project and the construction of a portable building for Wilcannia. Paula has 31 years working with TAFE NSW including Finance, Human Resources, IT Systems implementation and Campus Administration Management. Paula loves the project management aspects of her role particularly bringing together stakeholders and achieving outcomes that meet community and customer needs. Paula strongly believes in the TAFE Western mission of changing people's lives and respects the role TAFE Western plays in regional communities and economies.

 


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Ryan Wilson, Sustainability Officer, City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder

GVROC Regional LED Streetlight and Solar PV Project


Abstract
The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, acting on behalf of the Goldfields Voluntary Regional Organisation of Councils (GVROC), has secured $5.6M in funds from the WA Government's Royalties for Regions program and the federal Community Energy Efficiency Program to manage the installation of over 3,000 LED streetlights and 7 solar PV systems across the Goldfields-Esperance region. This project is expected to reduce electricity consumption due to street lighting by over 55% in the 6 towns participating. Shire owned facilities scheduled to have solar PV systems installed will realise on average a 51% reduction in electricity consumption and solar PV systems will range between 10kW to 150kW in size. GVROC shires will receive additional financial benefits in the form of export tariffs for excess electricity provided to local grids. Total expected financial benefit to GVROC shires resulting from this project is approximately $360,000/year, while total CO2 emission reductions are expected to be approximately 1,000 tonnes/year. The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder has played a central role in securing the funding, managing the project and dealing with the numerous stakeholders involved such as the local shires, Horizon Power, GVROC and the WA Department of Treasury. The project is currently in the installation phase with the first streetlights installed in May 2015 and the first tender for solar PV systems to be released in June 2015. Streetlight installations are expected to be completed by December 2015 and solar PV installations by December 2016.

Biography
Ryan Wilson has bachelors of science (hons) and economics from the University of Western Australia and a graduate certificate in project management from Curtin University. Ryan has worked for the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder for over two years and has managed numerous renewable energy and other sustainability related projects in this time including the construction of WA's largest council-owned solar PV system at the City's wastewater treatment plant.

 


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Anna Wyllie, Business and Economic Development Manager, Parkes Shire Council

Parkes' National Logistics Hub


Abstract

In terms of a national freight interchange, our Vision, as the name implies, is that Parkes will be a "National Logistics Hub". But we are not experts in Transport, logistics or manufacturing BUT we are experts in collaboration, advocacy and facilitation. We believe that Parkes presents a very exciting opportunity - we are the Cross roads of the Nation BUT we understand that we need to work with Industry and we need industries advice to make the most of the very exciting opportunity that is in front of us!! Getting a major development up sometimes takes a long time but we are here for the long-haul to help those that may share our vision. Parkes is strategically located at the intersection of the Newell Highway and the railway linking Melbourne/Brisbane/ Sydney/Perth as well as Adelaide and Darwin. Parkes Shire Council, has rezoned significant parcels of land for the development of the Parkes National Logistics Hub, designed to become a 24 hour, seven day per week multimodal transport facility in conjunction with inland rail. 16 million people or over 80% of the Australian population can be reached in less than 12 hours by road from Parkes. Parkes Shire Council knows and understands our community, economy and stakeholders. Council can see the opportunities that the Inland Rail will bring to regional Australia as well as the benefits it will bring to the transport and logistics industry. This presentation will showcase the unique position that the Parkes National Logistics Hub will play in the solution of the growing national freight task.

Biography
Anna has been living and working in Parkes for the past 9 years with her husband, who works for Northparkes Mine and their 3 girls. She has been the Economic and Business Development Manager with Parkes Shire Council for 2 year and it is a role she is passionate about having grown up in regional NSW. Anna has a Bachelor in Commerce and has previously worked in the finance industry for large multinational companies as a Business Development Manager and for a regional charity in Canada as their General Manager.

 


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Workshop Facilitators

 

Angus M. Robinson, Managing Partner, Leisure Solutions® and Chair, Geotourism Standing Committee, Geological Society of Australia

Geotourism: pathways for regional development in Australia


Abstract
The serious pursuit of ecotourism in Australia was 'kick started' nearly 25 years ago through the establishment of Ecotourism Australia Ltd which now represents some 500 operators in Australia. Whilst the potential for geotourism, a related field of 'nature based' tourism was first recognised in Australia in 1996, the concept was only conceptualised locally by the convening in Western Australia of a Global Geotourism Conference in 2008, with the subsequent establishment of geotourism constituency groupings firstly by the Geological Society of Australia in 2011 and by Ecotourism Australia through the creation of the Geotourism Forum in November 2013. In 2008, the then Kanawinka 'Global' Geopark (a key instrument of geotourism delivery) was established in Victoria and South Australia, but its status was not ratified by Australian Governments in 2009, and recently the geopark structure was dismantled with the 'geopark' now operating as a 'geotrail', with some logistic support being afforded by local government . For geotourism to reach its potential, new pathways for development such as geotrails need to be implemented, having regard to government interest in nurturing regional development and new job creation through celebrating geotourism, geological and mining heritage. The Australian Government's Australian National Landscapes Programme and the development of a range of existing and proposed geotrail projects which offer exciting new opportunities for geotourism growth, whilst not overlooking Australia's extensive protected areas as venues for enhancing geological and landscape interpretation and education as part of the overall 'nature-based' tourism mix.


Biography
Angus is an exploration geologist by profession and training. After 20 years recently in 'hi-tech' industry development roles, including as the inaugural general manager of the Australian Technology Park and Chief Executive of a manufacturing industry association, he is now developing new 'experiential' tourism packages in his business, Leisure Solutions®.

With a passion for industry development, Angus currently serves as both Chair of the Geotourism Standing Committee of the Geological Society of Australia and as a member of the Geotourism Forum of Ecotourism Australia Ltd.

He has previously served in an executive role with Sydney's Taronga Zoo, as the inaugural Director of Sydney's former redeveloped Geological and Mining Museum (The Earth Exchange), and has managed the Mt Hotham Alpine Resort in Victoria. He has also worked for coal and mineral resource development exploration roles working throughout Australia.

 


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Workshop Speakers


Peter William Bishop, Director, Kuro Kin Wagyu

Kuro Kin Wagyu in the Hunter Valley


Abstract
Kuro Kin Wagyu was founded in 1997 at Wootton, Scone, 2337 Since then we have sold Wagyu cattle to the Japanese, the Chinese, and feedlots in Australia where the ultimate destination is across Asia, Europe and the USA. We have sold wagyu genetics to most states of Australia.

Biography
Kuro Kin is a family operation run by Peter W. Bishop B.Sc.Ag.(Syd) and Peter H.Bishop A.D.F.M..(Syd). We entered Wagyu production after a long period of appraisal. We were well versed in stud beef cattle with 50 years of Wootton Poll Hereford Stud. Nevertheless you need a lot of luck, and Wagyu has been a lucky choice, getting luckier by the day.

 


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Co-presenter - Peter Hubert Bishop, Kuro Kin Wagyu

Biography
Kuro Kin is a family operation run by Peter W. Bishop B.Sc.Ag.(Syd) and Peter H.Bishop A.D.F.M..(Syd). We entered Wagyu production after a long period of appraisal. We were well versed in stud beef cattle with 50 years of Wootton Poll Hereford Stud. Nevertheless you need a lot of luck, and Wagyu has been a lucky choice, getting luckier by the day.

 


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Daniel Cove, Chair, Geotourism Forum, Ecotourism Australia Ltd

Geotrails: enhancing the visitor experience and encouraging extended stays in Australia


Abstract
Geotrails offer genuine potential for both adding new dimensions to a regional visitor experience and as a tool for encouraging extended travel time within the region. The Geotrail concept seeks to develop an extended journey that follows a logical sequence and which connects otherwise unrelated towns, districts and attraction through thematic interpretation based upon geological features. Geotourism, as tourism that focuses upon geology as the underpinning basis for the appeal of a natural attraction or area, is an increasingly important part of the international tourism spectrum. Geotrails are the most effective way of integrating the increasingly popular concept of geotourism on a regional scale. Both international and domestic perceptions of Australia's tourism advantage are largely directed toward Australia's 'natural advantage' and to nature based tourism. Geological heritage is a major component of this advantage as clearly demonstrated in Australia's 'National Landscapes' and World Heritage listed sites. Geotrails can utilise a major flagship site with broad brand recognition as a focal point for a more comprehensive experience. Such an approach is consistent with the ever-increasing demand for immersive and authentic visitor experiences and can be further enhanced by digital interpretation through interactive apps and such pursuits as geo-caching. Geotrails represent an opportunity for all regional areas to offer a compelling reason for travel and extended stay time whilst pursuing an authentic and memorable natural experience.

Biography
Dan has been involved in geotourism since starting work as a guide at the Wombeyan Caves at age 18. He has subsequently been involved in managing, developing and promoting show caves internationally and developed techniques and approaches to cave lighting, cleaning and restoration and thematic interpretation that have been widely adopted by the show cave community. As Operations Manager at the Jenolan Caves, NSW until December 2014, Dan oversaw a repositioning of the iconic site with a much broader product offering and the site winning over a dozen state and national Tourism Awards. He is the current President of the Australasian Cave and Karst Management Association, Vice-President of the International Show Cave Association, a Director of Ecotourism Australia and Chair of the Geotourism Forum of Ecotourism Australia.

 


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Ian Lewis, Director, Kanawinka Geopark/Geotrail

Developing the Potential of Geotourism Across Rural Australia: the Kanawinka Geopark/Geotrail experience


Abstract
Kanawinka Geopark/Geotrail promotes rural tourism and landscape care for the many volcanoes, famous caves and coastline features across the area of Western Victoria and South-Eastern South Australia. There are approximately 300 Geoparks around the world with a great variety of landscapes. These are usually of the order 10 x 10 kms in area. However, Kanawinka is 400kms x 150kms and is by far the world's largest Geopark. Due to the wide distribution of its natural attractions and features, Kanawinka has adopted the 'Geotrail' concept, encouraging visitors to select from a number of highway trails through the region via accommodation hubs, with a sub-theme of 'Stay another Day'. A full-color foldout map available at all tourism centres in the region indicates these trails and describes the features along them. The Geotrail concept is relatively new in Australia but particularly suited to our wide and diverse landscape. One example is the 'Dig the Tropic' Geotrail across central Queensland from the inland to the reef. Kanawinka has identified that the Geotrail concept is more applicable to develop than the small-scale distinct 'Geopark' model which originated in closely-settled Europe. This paper is about developing the potential of Geotrails across rural Australia.

Biography
Ian D Lewis grew up next to Mount Gambier's beautiful Blue Lake volcano surrounded by limestone caves and spectacular groundwater-filled sinkholes He has written several books on the volcanic/limestone marine coastline and caves, including shipwreck research. He works as a hydrogeologist for the South Australia Department for Environment and is completing his PhD on the Geology of the nearby World Heritage Naracoorte Fossil Caves. Ian is Director of the Kanawinka Geopark which focuses on blending related landscape themes such as geology, marine environments, local history, culture and wildlife into a framework of Geotrails for the benefit of tourism promotion of a fascinating region of rural Australia.

 


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Kenneth Moule, Chief Technical Officer, Global GBM

Exploring the World we Walk in Through Mobile Technology

 

Abstract
Sustainable economic growth is about encouraging commercial activity without destroying what makes our regions special. For tourism it means leveraging the pull of our natural environment to counter the excitement of theme parks and the hubble and bubble of the city We so commonly walk through our world unaware of layers of interesting detail about the ground we walk over. Flora, Fauna, Geology, Ecology, Agriculture and Heritage are but a few of the topics that pertain to almost every spot in our continent, but seldom are we accompanied by a guide who is across but a few of these. Our visitors depart without getting the full experience. This presentation looks at the contribution of technology to the tourism experience, opening the way for a new regional imitative around map enabled mobile apps to economically promote attractions and enhance the visitor experience. Based on a successful proof of concept developed for the Geological Society of Australia, the talk will present a model for engaging with a full diversity of interest groups to collated and present details of each region. This type of mobile app can contribute to sustainable tourism and also engage the public in collecting observations to support sound environmental management and agriculture. This is all about a framework for partnering with regional authorities, commercial groups and members of the public in each region to build a shared resource that will not only promote sustainable tourism but also engender interest and pride in what our regions have to offer.

Biography
Ken Moule B.Sc (University of Queensland), MSc (university of London) Ken Moule is a geologist who has made a transition into the technology sphere. After an exciting career engaged in mineral exploration across the globe, Ken practiced for many years as an ore resource and mine planning consultant before co-founding a technology company in 1992. Ken is Chief Technical Officer for Global GBM, a company that has made its mark through servicing Local Government Organisations with map enabled mobility solutions. Recently Ken worked with industrial minerals specialists under the banner of the Geological Society of Australia to deliver a mobile app that describes the source and nature of the geological materials used in each of the buildings in the Brisbane CBD and the history of those buildings. That app is a small piece of a national geotourism initiative that is evolving through collaboration between a number of professional societies and the community. Ken has a special interest in working with the full diversity of interest groups to collate information about our natural environment and heritage and to present that information in a way that is both accessible and relevant to the community.

 


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Michael Growder, Assistant Secretary, FTA Outreach Unit, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

Biography
Michael Growder is currently an Assistant Secretary in DFAT's Free Trade Agreement Division, where he is responsible for advocacy work on the recently-concluded north Asia FTAs. He has just returned from a posting as Public Affairs Counsellor in the Australian Embassy in Beijing (2012 to 2014), and was also formerly posted to the Australian Embassy in Hanoi as First Secretary responsible for economic and trade policy issues (2005-2007). Michael was previously part of the negotiating teams working on the China, Japan and Korea FTAs, and has also written published reports on Australian commercial opportunities in India and China. Prior to joining DFAT, Michael worked at the Reserve Bank of Australia for several years. He graduated from the University of Queensland with degrees in Economics and Mandarin Chinese.


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Prof. Neil Williams, Honorary Professorial Fellow, University of Wollongong

Unlocking Geological Information in Support of Geotourism Development


Abstract
There are many opportunities to enhance tourism experiences across Australia through the provision of quality geological information. Tourists with an interest in the natural environment and the nation's unique flora and fauna, will be similarly interested in the geological evolution of the areas they are visiting and the impact geology has had on the present landscape and its flora and fauna. In collaboration with relevant tourism organizations, the Australian geological community is becoming increasingly involved in the development of geo-trails that link sites of particular geological interest and enable visitors who follow the trails to gain an appreciation of not only the geology of the area but also of other attractions the areas have to offer. A world leader in the realisation of the potential of highlighting geological heritage is the USA, and Australia has much to learn from the ways the US government agencies and private operators have gone about highlighting America's geological heritage and encouraging geotourism. Critical to the successful development of geotourism across Australia is quality information on the nation's geology. Custodians of the publicly accessible and vast geological information base for Australia comprise the Australian Government agency Geoscience Australia and the State and Northern Territory Geological Surveys. While much of this information supports investment in mineral resource exploration, management of the environmental and the mitigation of geohazard risks, the information also has great potential to support geotourism. The challenge is how best to bring together geoscience and tourism expertise in support of geotourism development.

Biography
Neil has the distinction of being the longest-serving CEO of Australia's national geological survey and topographic mapping agency, Geoscience Australia, which he directed from 1995 to 2010. Before joining the Australian Public Service in 1991, he worked in the mineral exploration industry and at the Australian National University. In the 2006 Australia Day Honours Neil received the Australian Public Service Medal for his outstanding work in the provision of geoscientific advice to government, geoscience services, industry and the public. He was President of the highly successful 34th International Geological Congress held in Brisbane in August 2012, the largest geoscience conference ever held in Australia. Neil received his undergraduate training at the Australian National University and his PhD from Yale University. Since retiring from Geoscience Australia in 2010 Neil has been mentoring younger geoscientists as an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Wollongong.

 


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