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SEGRA Walks the Talk

October 2018 – Edition 35

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

Mackay, QLD

22-25 October 2018

SEGRA 2018 Latest News

SEGRA 2018 Highlights

This month marked the 22nd annual SEGRA conference. Over 200 people gathered in Mackay to discuss the theme “Beyond the Boom: Opportunities for Growth and Vitality”. Highlights of the conference were the keynote opening speaker, Professor Sohail Inayatullah (Chair in Future Studies at UNESCO) challenging the delegates ability to see alternative futures. He spoke about “future thinking first” and avoiding being “kodakked”. Other keynote speakers’ topics included land-use planning, design thinking community engagement, investment attraction and economics.    The now well established SEGRA Challenge attracted 8 Big Ideas with the winner proposing a regional project to introduce diversified hydroponic agriculture in regional, rural and remote locations. The People’s Choice winner was about establishing stand-alone access in regional rural and remote Australia.   Charles Sturt University announced research support for the Education Challenge from 2017 to the value of $100 000. This is going to be an exciting project to identify skills gaps and training opportunities in three pilot areas.   Along with 8 Spotlight sessions which delivered a balance of speaker expertise and professional development SEGRA also included two study tours to see first-hand the diversification and innovation within Mackay’s Sugar Industry and best practice in resource industry. The pre-conference program included three forums addressing Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, Mackay Industry and Place Based Solutions for Stronger Regional Communities and Economies were also well attended.   SEGRA as always offered a full and engaging program bringing together both expertise and practical experience.   Congratulations to Mackay Regional Council, RDA Mackay Isaac and Whitsunday and CQUniversity, who were the major sponsor, and supporters. Credit must also go to the SEGRA team and the MRC team who pulled the successful event together.     What delegates said:

  •  “Again, thank you to you and the team for a thought provoking and successful conference.”
  •  “Congratulations on what seems to have been a very successful SEGRA conference. I really enjoyed the sessions I sat in on, and had some great conversations!”
  •  “Just wanted to touch base and thank you both for a fantastic first SEGRA! “
  •  “I met some really useful people, learnt a lot about the industry and just had a great time in general.”

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Business Insights

Creating Your Head Edge

How your mind can work for you…

The mind is our most powerful tool, but it is often the most underutilized. One key area it can create real benefits for you is in using the power of visualization and mental rehearsal.

The thing here is this – the brain cannot distinguish between what is real and what is imagined.  So, if you mentally go through something on a repeated basis you will get better at it than if you had not.

Creating Your Head Edge This has been demonstrated in dozens of research studies. If you take twenty athletes of equal ability and give ten mental training, they will outperform the ten who received no mental training every time. This is what we call the head edge.

Please click here to read the full article on Creating Your Head Edge.

Alternative Headshot1

Contribution by Andrew Cooke, Director, Blue Sky GPS

Phone: 0401 842 673 Email:

For a free 15-minute Growth Strategy Session with Andrew to identify 3 actions to grow your business please click here.

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Around the Regions

How living in regional Australia can do wonders for your career

If you don’t live in Sydney or Melbourne, your career options can feel limited.

The last census showed a growing skills gap between regional and city jobs, and regional areas often top the lists when it comes to youth unemployment.

So, what does that mean for those of us living and working outside the major capital cities?

We found three Australians from Wagga Wagga in NSW, Katherine in the NT, and Dodges Ferry in south-east Tasmania, who have found success in their work.

They say technology, regional grants and work-life balance play a part, and they share the career highs and lows that come with living in the country.

To view the full article, please click here.

Farm education investment in hope of future bumper crop of agricultural innovators

The Tasmanian agriculture sector is celebrating a resurgence in farm education as the Government moves to shore up its long-term vision for one of the island’s most valuable industries.

The Government has pledged to cement Tasmania’s reputation as an “agricultural powerhouse” worth $2 billion a year by 2050 and has announced funding for extra full and part-time farm teachers in all of the state’s 15 school farms.

There are an estimated more-than 2,200 working farms in Tasmania, and figures from the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (ABARES) show the gross value of the state’s agricultural production was worth $1.5 billion in 2016-17.

To read the full article, please click here.

Whyalla: The town that saved itself

Would you take a 10 per cent pay cut to save your town? These steelworkers did. Whyalla was on the brink of becoming a ghost town when its biggest employer went bust. By making tough choices, they caught the eye of a British billionaire and are now reaping the rewards.

For four generations, Larisa White’s family has donned hard hats and goggles and clocked-in for shifts at the Whyalla steelworks. It’s in her blood.

But two years ago, she thought she would be the last in her family to work there.

To read the full article, please click here.

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Regional Development Resources

The economic impact of improving regional, rural and remote education in Australia

The typical policy approach to improving economic growth, increasing employment opportunities and improving the standard of living in regional Australia is usually characterised by major investments from governments into regional infrastructure like roads, rail and hospitals. Whilst these investments are welcome, the huge economic effect of investment in education is often underestimated and undervalued.

There is an unacceptably large difference in education attainment between people who live in regional and remote Australia compared to those who live in metropolitan centres. Reducing this difference is widely acknowledged as an education and social imperative.

To read the full report, please click here.

Bright futures: spotlight on the wellbeing of young people living in rural and regional Victoria

VicHealth and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) published the Bright Futures report in 2015, which has attracted strong interest since its release (VicHealth & CSIRO 2015). The report highlighted five megatrends that are predicted to impact the health and wellbeing of young Victorians over the next 20 years.

As an extension of this work, VicHealth partnered with CSIRO’s Data61, Youth Affairs Council Victoria and the National Centre for Farmer Health to explore what the Bright Futures megatrends mean for young people living in rural and regional Victoria.

Informed by consultations with young people and representatives from key government and youth organisations, this report brings to life the voices of young people living in rural and regional Victoria.

Read the full report here.

The six signature traits of inclusive leadership

What will it take to be a great leader in the future? In five years, ten years, even fifteen years? 

Four global mega-trends are creating a business context that is far less homogenous and much more diverse than has historically been the case. These interrelated shifts are influencing business priorities, and reshaping the capabilities required of leaders to succeed in the future. 

Read the full report here.

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Why I love Regional Australia

Can you identify this location?

The prize for our ‘Why I love Regional Australia’-competition is still unclaimed. We have received many qualified responses to the possible location of the photo in the previous edition of SEGRA Walks the Talk, but no one guessed correctly.

Let’s give it another go! 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

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