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SEGRA Walks the Talk

December 2018 – Edition 37

SEGRA 2019 – Rivers of Opportunity: activating your potential

Barooga, NSW

19–22 August 2019

SEGRA 2018 Latest News

SEGRA 2019 Conference Theme and Call for Papers

Rivers of opportunity: activating your potential   Four of the key megatrends affecting regional Australia are the rapid rise of Asia as an economic power, rapid urbanisation and the agglomeration affect, an aging population and advances in digital technology. How do we make the most of these trends to deliver outcomes for the places in which we live work and play? Some of the answers will lie in our deep understanding of our own place and its region. Other answers will be found in adoption of new perspectives that learn from the past and look to the future. 

At SEGRA 2019 we will be asking some of the big questions around key issues facing regional Australia – what are the roles of government and business in regional development, where and how does regional Australia fit on the national agenda, how best to fund development in regional Australia, how can we enhance lifelong learning in the regions, what are the benchmarks or thresholds for service delivery and how to ensure dynamic, vibrant healthy economies and communities?     As always, SEGRA 2019 will profile some of the success stories of regional Australia and how these can work for you, to this end you are invited to submit a paper on one or more of the following action agendas.   Action agendas:

  • Forming dynamic and vibrant healthy communities.
  • Integrated lifelong learning and employment in the regions.
  • Delivering quality freight and logistics and distribution services and connectivity networks.
  • Implementing best practice landscape scale planning and management.
  • Delivering place-based regional development. 
  • Regional Australia and the national agenda.
  • Tourism and Geotourism in Regional Australia
  • Research into Regional Development

Click here to read the full document on submitting a paper. Click on the button below to submit a paper.

What delegates said about SEGRA 2018

  • It is a great conference, a great mix of delegates. SEGRA is a great forum to drive policy, programs and projects in rural, remote and regional Australia and not bogged down in political issues – SEGRA Delegate
  • Wonderful experience – I really enjoyed it – especially suitable for professionals who want to bring about improvements and change and have limited access to think tanks and ideas exchange opportunities – SEGRA Delegate
  • I found the opportunity to hear some detailed information on the one topic really helpful. I found my session really thought-provoking and highly informative. I found myself making lots of notes about ideas and thoughts to take back to my workplace – SEGRA Delegate
  • The conference was one of the best I have ever been to. Excellent speakers, highly relevant material and a great networking opportunity – SEGRA Delegate
  • This was my first SEGRA conference; I found it an excellent way to network with regional colleagues and great to have such a diversity of economic development people in one place. I thought the calibre of speakers was excellent - Not Disclosed
  • I find that there is not a comparable Conference on the National circuit and the content and networking opportunities presented are highly relevant to my work, therefore if a colleague was working in a similar field I would recommend it to them - Peak Body

Progress in Australian Regions Yearbook 2018

The Progress in Australian Regions—Yearbook is a statistical resource that measures progress in a region against social, economic, environmental and governance indicators. The Yearbook brings together information about Australia’s regions from a range of different sources and presents that data in a consistent format over time.

To read the full report, please click here.

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Business Insights

The Unreasonable Man

Creating the world around yourself

We often pride ourselves on how reasonable and logical we are.  We see it as a strength. Our ability to gather the data and information, to analyse it and make sense of it, and then to act on it are strengths. They are assets we can use to generate results and create wealth. But is being reasonable and logical really so?

George Bernard Shaw, one of the great literary figures of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, once said: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable’ one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man”.

Think of it.  

Please click here to read the full article on the Unreasonable Man.

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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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Innovation Tips

What is Design Thinking?

As an innovation training firm that specialises in Design Thinking, G2 Innovation is often asked what Design Thinking actually is. The short answer - it is a user-centric, creative and repeatable process for solving problems, but the short answer doesn’t do it justice. 

Problem solving is an inherent part of business, but while problems can be a source of frustration, whether small hurdles or colossal obstructions, they provide critical insight into your business and inform the innovation process.

In fact, businesses that prosper are those that use problems to uncover opportunities and arrive at agile, intelligent and creative solutions.   This is where Design Thinking emerges as a powerful framework.   To view the full article, please click here

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Contribution by Andrew Jones, Co-Founder, G2 Innovation

For more information, please visit

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Startups and Entrepreneurship

Could the next Uber (or Airbnb, or Amazon) come from your region?

We all know that tech startups are reshaping entire industries. As startups grow, they can have a profound positive impact on local economies by creating large numbers of skilled jobs, attracting new talent to the region and creating wealth as they grow from an idea to a global company.   In capital cities, we’re seeing an explosion in the number of startups being created, and a groundswell of interest in entrepreneurship among people from all walks of life.   Are we seeing the same growth in startup communities in regional Australia? Sadly, no.   There are a few reasons for this.   To view the full article, please click here.

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Contribution by Colin Kinner, Founder, Startup Onramp

For more information, please visit

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Around the Regions

Whatever next? The trends that could influence business in 2019

The pace of change is making the extraordinary seem ordinary. This year we’ve seen the first direct non-stop flight between Perth and London, the first cloned monkeys and the world’s first US$1 trillion business – achievements that would have sounded like science fiction just a short time ago. So, what of next year?

We know that, regardless of how they play out, world trade and Brexit will affect financial markets. Every new Volvo car will have an electric motor. And hundreds of robots will descend on Sydney to compete for RoboCup trophies in the world’s biggest annual robotic event.

This article takes a look at what else might be in store for Australian businesses large and small, as well as the health sector, agriculture and wealth.

To view the full article, please click here.

Council's big reveal

Whyalla is embarking on the most significant and exciting transformation in the history of the city.

Working with key partners - GFG Alliance, Beijing Enterprises Clean Energy (BECE), Pelligra Constructions, Peats Soil & Garden Supplies, the State and Federal governments and the Whyalla community - Council is aiming to create a city to live and work in that will be worthy of the global market leader status Sanjeev Gupta will be creating with his transformation of the GFG Alliance steelworks and associated mines.

The exciting list of projects for Whyalla include a $145m renewable energy intensive horticultural development (BCEC), $45m foreshore hotel (Pelligra) and a $6m green organic recycling project (Peats).

To read the full article, please click here.

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Regional Development Resources

TA technological insight into Australian Agriculture

New information and communications technology (ICT) could deliver the next wave of productivity growth in Australian agriculture. ICT includes all digital technologies that facilitate the electronic capture, processing, storage and exchange of information. To better understand the role of ICT in Australian agriculture and potential barriers to its use, ABARES surveyed over 2,200 farmers in 2016–17. Results from this survey are presented in this report for broadacre, dairy and vegetable farms. 

Read the full report here.

Keep it in the regions: mining and resources industry support for businesses in regional economies

The mining industry built a number of towns in regional Australia. From Bendigo to Broken Hill, Kalgoorlie to Mount Isa, and, in later years, South Australia’s Roxby Downs. These towns owe their very existence to the mining sector, which invested heavily in settling workers in the regions, building infrastructure and supporting communities to grow.

To make the most of opportunities offered by mining, regional communities need to have access to adequate training opportunities so existing businesses and the mining sector can better co-exist. As such, this report makes recommendations to address skills gaps in regional areas, provide better targeted and more accessible training, and promote innovation through the METS sector.

Read the full report here.

Accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia

One in five Australians will experience mental illness in any given year, no matter where in Australia they live. Over a lifetime, almost half of all Australians will experience a mental illness. However, Australians living in rural and remote communities are less likely to seek mental health treatment than their city dwelling counterparts. 

In 2016–17, people living in remote areas accessed Medicare-subsidised mental health services at a rate of three times less than people living in major cities. In very remote areas the rate of access decreased even further, with people accessing services at a rate of six times less than in major cities. 

The reduced access to mental health services is reflected in the high rate of suicide in rural and remote communities. In 2016, 47 per cent of all suicides occurred outside capital cities, even though these areas account for only 32 per cent of Australia’s total population.

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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