Back to SEGRA

SEGRA Walks the Talk

June 2018 – Edition 31

SEGRA 2018 – Beyond the Boom: opportunities for growth and vitality

Mackay, QLD

22 - 25 October 2018

SEGRA 2018 Latest News

Five top issues facing Regional Australia to be discussed at SEGRA 2018

SEGRA provides a meeting place for people from across regional, rural and remote Australia to discuss the top issues facing regional Australia and what might be done to further drive sustainable regional economic development.

Delegates will have the opportunity to discuss five of the top issues facing regional Australia from 22-25 October, when the conference meets in Mackay  

“Major changes affecting regional Australia can be expected in the next 10 years  in areas of  employment and training, innovation and technology, geotourism, product value adding, and the growth in collaborative investment in localised catalyst infrastructure ,” said Kate Charters, Convenor of this year’s conference.

Regional Australia is a significant contributor to Australia’s economic wealth. Sixty percent of the value of Australia’s exports comes from regional, rural and remote Australia. The increasing application of biotechnology, the engineering of food from raw products to the consumers and the restructuring of the distribution system to and from the producers will all provide opportunities for greater value adding for commodity producers creating price makers rather than price takers.

This year’s program will include sessions on how regional Australia adds value and value adds to the national economy. For example, regional Australia plays a critical role in the Australian tourism industry, which makes a direct contribution to Australia’s GDB of $35 billion per year, around 45% of tourism expenditure occurs in areas outside of Australia’s capital cities, the emerging niche of geotourism provides substantial opportunities for regional Australia. 

We also know that by 2030 what we do in almost every job will change. This  will impact on rural, regional and remote businesses and we need to be creating strategies for education and employment to meet this change now. We are pleased to confirm that James Wright, Executive Officer of the Future Business Council, will speak at SEGRA this year. “Skillsets for the future include a greater focus on people, solving strategic problems and thinking creatively,” she said.

Other key issues being discussed at the conference include attracting private sector investment into regional, rural and remote economies; understanding and maximising the opportunities technology and innovation will provide for business growth and social inclusion, responding to the aging population and provision of NDIS services in regional, rural and remote Australia.

More about our exciting program can be found the SEGRA website.

Registration is now open, visit the link below to secure your spot to hear these speakers at SEGRA.

Back to top

Insights into SEGRA 2018

SEGRA Webinar Series

Our guest speaker for our webinar this month was Robert Prestipino from Vital Places Pty Ltd, who spoke about Design Thinking and Economic Development. The webinar provides a quick overview of Design Thinking 101, exploring it’s potential application to regional economic development as well as discussing how it can be used to attract funding for Catalyst Infrastructure.

If you missed out on our webinar, you can watch it below or watch it on youtube here.

Robert Prestipino

Design Thinking for Creativity and Business Innovation

There has been a plethora of interest recently on Design Thinking but is Design Thinking helpful or does it merely export the dogmas of design to business strategy? This is a timely article by Idris Mootee who spoke at SEGRA 2016 in Albany. Read the article here.

Place-Based Enterprise: The New Economy for Small Towns Podcast

Our webinar guest speaker Robert Prestipino has recently participated in a podcast on Place-Based Enterprise: The New Economy for Small Towns with the Profitability Institute in USA with Bruce Hurwitz. Listen to his podcast here

Robert Prestipino is internationally recognised for his expertise in new economy for small towns. He is a trusted authority & atrategic advisor for the development of rural and regional Catalyst Projects. He is also a qualified Urban Designer, Registered Landscape Architect, corporate member of the Planning Institute and a Certified Economic Developer. He has received national and international awards for his best practice approach to creating better places for people and business.

Robert has been responsible for the development of multi- million dollar projects ranging from mainstreet improvements to integrated town centre projects. His advice on catalyst project design resulted in his invitation to be a key note presenter on regional innovation at TEDxGympie.

Back to top

Around the Regions

Arnhem Land fish factory reels in training, job opportunities for remote Maningrida Indigenous community

Nestled along the Arnhem Land coastline, the Indigenous community of Maningrida has celebrated the opening of a fish processing facility, which could be Australia’s most remote fish factory.

Driven by traditional owners in Maningrida, the idea was developed as a way to get more training and job opportunities for locals.

Read the full article here.

Solar projects worth millions of dollars planned for Pirie area

The Port Pirie area is reflecting solar-power “glory” as seven projects are earmarked for local sites. Four new solar farms have been proposed for the area on top of three already on the drawing board.

The biggest project is the $600-plus million Neoen solar, wind and battery farm near Crystal Brook. It would be the world’s biggest solar and wind-powered hydrogen plant and involve 260 construction jobs and 40 ongoing positions.

Read the full article here.

Entrepreneurs: how to get ahead (and get funding)

Entrepreneurship in Australia is growing but we’re still afraid of taking risks, senior business leaders and panellists at Brisbane’s Myriad technology and innovation conference have said.

The start-up ecosystemhas improved in Australia but, according to Executive General Manager of Issuer Services & Investment Products at the ASX Max Cunningham, “there’s a long way to go compared to the US and Israel and particularly in the early-stage, venture capital funding space”.

Read the full article here.

SEGRA Visits Rich Glen Olive Estate

We were most  impressed when we visited the Rich Glen business on our recent trip to Moira Shire.

Twenty years ago a family-owned Olive Farm seem destined to be abandoned. Current owner Ros Vodusek has transformed this business into a thriving cafe and produce outlet. We bought home olive oil and marinated olives, however there is also an impressive beauty products range and multiple varieties of teas and cordials made from olive leaves and other local produce.

The business is now an important local employer and staff add to the experience by working in the laboratory and work room ensuring knowledge and pride in the products on sale.

Learn more about Rich Glen Olive Estate here.

Back to top

Regional Development Resources

New online platform maps Australia's renewable energy hotspots

A new online platform called AREMI identifies the location, availability and volume of biomass, and has been flagged as a pivotal tool to boost investment in Australia’s renewable energy sector. 

Businesses and investors now have access to a data-rich platform which maps out Australia’s biomass hotspots. Biomass is dead organic matter and can be found in rubbish tips, farms and forest waste, and can be used to generate bioenergy, including electricity, heat and transport fuels. 

“The platform is supporting businesses to get more value from organic material, often destined for landfill, by improving information, access and quality,” says Julie Bird, Project Manager, AgriFutures Australia ABBA.

Read the full article here.

Back to top

Why I love Regional Australia

Can you identify this location?

Although we received many qualified responses to the possible location of the photo in the previous edition of SEGRA Walks the Talk, no one guessed correctly. Let’s give it another  go!

This photo is from the same location. Can you identify this location?

The winner will receive a copy of the SEGRA book Innovation in Regional Australia (valued $84). If you have a photo you would like to submit for future editions, please send it to

Back to top