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Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia, 16–18 November 2021 2021

Tag us! #SEGRA2021 #SEGRAKB

Concurrent Speakers

2021 speakers information coming soon.

Last years Concurrent Speakers

Mark Asendorf

Managing Director, Marmel Enterprises


IGNITE – Integrated Geotrail Networks in the Top End. A conceptual framework for expanding Geotourism in the Northern Territory.

Can Geotourism assist in developing the Northern Territory, promoting its regions and communities and the capital Darwin? We believe it can. The search for collaborating partners and like-minded individuals has exposed several opportunities which have the potential to enrich regional development through expanding Geotourism initiatives in the Top End.

SEGRA covers multiple contemporary themes of regional development including trade, investment, infrastructure, business development, water security and innovation. Geotourism directly supports three of these themes – indigenous entrepreneurship and business, a diversified economy and research and innovation - and has the potential to influence the others. Geotourism is a well-stablished industry overseas, but is only starting to gain momentum in Australia, primarily through state-initiated projects, however, a National Geotourism Strategy was released on the 7th April 2021 by the Australian Geoscience Council with the potential to coordinate national geotourism initiatives under 7 strategic goals, all of which are relevant to Northern Australia and the Top End.

Our presentation focuses on 3 main elements.

  1. The learnings from producing the Darwin City Geotrail (DCG), a self-funded and resourced self-guided on-line tour of the Darwin Central Business District, designed to encourage exploration of the City and the region.

  2. An exploration of several projects currently being progressed or planned, and the search for social licence, capital, sponsorship and support from academic and professional organisations and government agencies to translate these concepts into realities.

  3. The much larger, complex and ambitious pursuit of the Integrated Geotrail Trail Network (IGNITE). The objective of which is to connect the DCG to a regional network of geotrails covering the Top End that highlights our geoscientific, scenic, social and cultural heritage.


Mark Asendorf has over 20 years experience in geospatial and information technology and the application of these specialised skills in government and the geosciences, mining, and utility industries.

Duties have ranged from the management and coordination of spatial teams to the design and implementation and day-to-day operation of spatial data management systems.

He maintains an active interest in geoheritage and geotourism activities, particularly in northern Australia and the potential of the industry to advance regional development and prosperity.

Bridgette Bellenger

General Manager, Territory Regional Growth. NT Government - Department of Chief Minister and Cabinet


The Barkly Regional Deal – Developing strong & effective community governance models

The Barkly Regional Deal is a 10 year, $78.4 million investment in the Barkly region of the Northern Territory by the Australian and Northern Territory governments and the Barkly Regional Council. The overarching objective of the Deal is to foster a prosperous, inclusive and resilient Barkly region, growing and developing its economic, social and supporting local Aboriginal leadership through 28 specific initiatives.

The Barkly Regional Deal has established a new community-based governance model to build local capacity and engagement. The Barkly Governance Table reflects the importance of local community involvement for the Deal’s long-term success and to ensure local priorities are addressed. It includes representation from Aboriginal leaders, local business leaders, Aboriginal organisations, non-government organisations, young people and all three levels of government. In addition, Working Groups provide a forum where any interested community members and stakeholders can provide feedback and recommendations about aspects of key Deal initiatives.

Co-design and collaboration with community stakeholders was central to the development of the Barkly Regional Deal. Community consultations across the Barkly region identified priorities and ensured that the Deal’s objectives reflected and addressed local needs. Since the establishment of the Deal, there has been ongoing engagement with communities and homelands across the Barkly region to ensure all Barkly residents have opportunity to participate in decision-making and benefit from the Deal.

This presentation will share the lessons learned, positive early outcomes and opportunities to adopt the Barkly governance model into other Australian regions.


Bridgette is General Manager for the Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet, having joined the Northern Territory Government in 2011 after 15 years’ service with the Australian Government.

Bridgette leads the Territory Regional Growth division and is responsible for the implementation of the NT Government’s Local Decision Making agenda and coordinating the NT Governments role in City and Regional Deals, which includes the Darwin City Deal and the Barkly Regional Deal.

Bridgette has previously held key roles across a number of NT Government and Commonwealth agencies, including responsibility for Regional Economic Development, Out-Station and Homeland Portfolios and the remote, rural and Indigenous programs for Centrelink managing the Northern Territory, Kimberley and the Anangu, Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands areas.

Bridgette was born in the Territory, has lived and worked in many of its regional towns and now resides in Darwin.

Dr Mingming Cheng

Senior Lecturer, Curtin University


Event visitors’ geo-dispersal at the host destination: A Sequential Pattern Mining approach

Tourist dispersal in a tourism destination has important economic and social implications for destination management. However, tracking and analyzing such movement can be a challenge both conceptually and methodologically. Using a novel Sequential Pattern Mining approach, this study investigates the tourist dispersal of international visitors during the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (GC2018) at a destination level by analyzing 377,960 tweets.

Results of this study show that sequential pattern mining is powerful in revealing the complex travel patterns and providing insights into the potential associated destinations of the visitors beyond the current point-to-point analysis. It makes an important contribution to the methodological literature on tourist dispersal. This approach can also assist destination management organizations and event organizers in identifying the event’s contribution to tourists’ local visitation.


Dr Mingming Cheng is a senior lecturer in digital marketing in the School of Marketing at Curtin University. Mingming is an award-winning researcher and educator with an international reputation in digital economy and tourism. His core research interests and expertise deal with tourist behaviour with a strong focus on Chinese young generations, the sharing economy (e.g., Airbnb), data science (big data) and social media marketing.

Mingming has won two prestigious awards the International Academy of the Study of Tourism Emerging Scholar of Distinction Award and CAUTHE Fellows Award for his significant contribution to ground breaking and innovative research in tourism

Dr James Earnest

Lecturer, Curtin University


Supply chain sustainability in the West Australian Mining Industry

There are various benefits and calls to move towards increased sustainability within both the mining and supply chain industry, however, there is limited research available in the field of supply chain sustainability in the WA Mining Industry.

The mining industry is responsible for generating profits, providing employment opportunities and facilitating economic growth in low-income countries. The industry is also responsible for the extraction of large amounts of non-renewable resources, which furthermore, presents a direct and significant impact on all three dimensions of the Triple bottom line (environment, social and economic) currently and in the future.

There is thus a responsibility upon the industry to produce with less waste, adopt sustainable practices/technologies, advocate towards the wellbeing of local communities, improve safety and take responsibility for environmental stewardship. Thus, in the interest of the current and future world environment, it is in the best interest of everyone to better understand how changes can be implemented to foster increased sustainability within the mining industry supply chain practices.

This study will present a better understanding of Sustainable Supply Chain Management practices in the West Australian mining industry using the Triple Bottom line framework. There are three focus areas. Firstly, this study aims to explore what sustainable practices are implemented and adhered to. Secondly, to gain an understanding of the motivational drivers towards the adoption of these practices. Lastly, the study aims to understand what challenges are faced during the transition to an increased level of sustainability.


Dr James Earnest is a senior global procurement, logistics and contract manager and project management consultant with experience directing procurement operations in the housing, education, healthcare, utility, Oil & Gas (downstream), mining and humanitarian sectors.

Dr Earnest work experience includes working with ethnic communities in many countries and having devised plans for improving sustainable strategies for development projects. Dr Earnest is currently doing a research study with a student on sustainable practices in the mining industry and will present the findings of the study to the community. Dr Earnest strongly feels that by collaborating with external partners and by engaging with real-world problems, we can anticipate the global issues of tomorrow while overcoming the challenges of today.

Kali Norman

Manager, Meshpoints - Regional Programs & Consultancy Lead


Regional Economic Development

Development of mature innovation ecosystems across Western Australia’s regions is essential if we are to fully realise the potential of regional economies and communities, for the benefit of all West Australians.

The regions are vital drivers of the State’s economy, contributing more than one third of Western Australia’s economic activity and 95 per cent of our exports.

Each region is different in its economic function, endowments and assets, community champions and its governance structures.

This talk shows what an innovation ecosystem means, how this impact can be assessed, asks the audience to reframe their thinking around innovation, and utilises local examples (where possible) to illustrate these principals.


Kali is a Senior Manager at Spacecubed, a coworking, collaboration and innovation community in Perth, Western Australia.

Spearheading Spacecubed’s growth to over 300% across the last 5 years, she and her team have worked to support the thriving WA business ecosystem and foster innovation and growth by building a robust and vibrant community in the middle of the Perth CBD, as well as key regional centres, by facilitating opportunity, skills development and support for local players.

Now overseeing the Meshpoints project that aims to support regional innovation communities and stakeholders, she works across regional WA to assist with establishing and expanding on existing entrepreneurial spirit and supporting community managers & hub managers to build local capability.

Janelle Price

Principal Local Content Adviser, WA Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development


Local Content and its emerging role in Economic Diversity

The introduction of the WA Jobs Act in 2017 established procurement related legislation for all State Government Agencies and all forms of procurement. The Local Content Adviser Network (LCAN) was established by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development with a focus on Local Content in Government Procurement in regional WA.

The WA Auditor General’s 2017 Report on Local Content, stated the WA Buy Local Policy “may not be helping WA companies as much as it could be”. And so began the LCAN’s journey into Local Content through a discovery led and evolving process.

The LCAN is a first in WA. There are few guiding lights in Local Content, and by International standards Australian Local Content is in its infancy. The task of being ‘first-on-ground’ to kick goals is compounded by WA’s geographically isolated and diverse regional economies; and quite unlike anywhere else globally, our regional economies are predominated by primary industry, raising questions and challenges regarding regional economic diversity, capability, and capacity.

This presentation from the LCAN will recount the journey and evolution of the Network as it navigates through and across Government Agencies, policy and relationships, and relates the hurdles encountered when operating in information voids. Understanding the impact of Government spending and the participation of regional business in the supply chain is now a regional development imperative. The Local Content Genie is out of the bottle and we need to develop in-field practice, to support reform, and to go bravely where others have feared to tread.


Janelle lives and works across Southern regional WA and has been engaged in Regional development projects since Graduating from UWA in 2012. Following work on regional development projects since 2012, in 2018 she was appointed as a Principal of the Local Content Adviser Network (the LCAN) with the WA Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development. She leads the LCAN’s reporting and analytics.

Prior to this role Janelle was Chief Executive Officer of one of Albany’s longest standing Not-for-Profits, and designed and delivered the ground breaking two year Young Harvest Empowering Youth Initiatives pilot program supporting at-risk youth in gaining and sustaining employment. She is passionate about regional communities and regional SMEs and regards human capital as intrinsic to any regional economic development pursuit. Through her work she endeavours to advocate for people living and working in the regions and to normalise living standards in the regions.

Kate Rampellini

PhD Candidate, Curtin University


Modelling for regional Australia: what can we learn to plan for booms and busts?

Australia has experienced significant growth in mining activity in the last two decades. Regional communities located in mining regions experience fluctuating populations, infrastructure and services demands in a cyclical pattern associated with the economic viability of local mining developments and changing global commodity prices. When market conditions are favourable, mining developments increase at various scales and rural communities are not prepared for the rapid increases in residential population, transient workforces, and precipitous demands on infrastructure. When downturns in mining occurs, communities experience significant decreases in their residential population, affecting services availability and community morale.

Regional communities are complex due to their remoteness, limited economic diversification and workforce specialisation. To-date, Australian mining region research has analysed specific social, economic or cultural impacts individually, using interviews, surveys, statistical analysis, or economic modelling. The reliability of these methods to analyse spatial and temporal variations is limited and is dependent upon analysing people or communities as collective groups, rather than individuals with their own beliefs, motivations and decisions.

This PhD research is using agent-based modelling to analyse mining communities in a spatially and temporally dynamic environment. We will introduce the use of agent-based modelling as a tool for regional planning for mining communities in regional Australia. We will discuss the results from data analyses and present the conceptual design of a simulation model using information about households, mines, and communities and mining scenarios. The results of such modelling will aid in developing policies and strategic plans to mitigate community vulnerability from global shocks and ensure long term plans for community resilience.


Kate Rampellini is a graduate from Curtin University of Technology in Western Australia, where she is currently undertaking her PhD in spatial analysis and modelling. She has worked in the Western Australian public service for over a decade, holding a variety of spatial roles in fields such as geological survey, statutory and regional planning, public transport, land administration, maritime safety and nautical charting. She has also been employed as a sessional academic and research assistant at Curtin University. As part of her PhD research, Kate is currently researching the application of agent based modelling, spatial analysis and scenario modelling as tools to analyse the impacts and processes that exist as a result of mining development in remote regions of Australia.

Angus M Robinson

Managing Director, Leisure Solutions Pty Ltd


Geotourism - Conserving Heritage and Generating Post-Mining Economies for Communities

Geotourism adds considerable holistic content value to traditional nature-based tourism as well as cultural attributes (embracing both Aboriginal and post European settlement) having regard to mining aspects and can be delivered through mechanisms such as geotrails and geoparks within defined ‘GeoRegions’. By raising awareness of the importance of the area’s geological heritage in society today, geotourism gives local people a sense of pride in their region and strengthens their identification with the area.

In recognition of these benefits, the National Geotourism Strategy, launched in April 2021 embraces seven strategic goals that includes (Goal 5) i.e., ‘to develop geotourism in regional mining communities with potential geoheritage and cultural heritage sites’. Goal 5 identifies opportunities for geotourism in rural and regional Australian post (or active) mining communities, and their recreational, educational, and cultural values can be realised. Goal 5 also aims to draw attention to the range of activities that could be conducted in these places. By way of example, a national mining park has also been proposed for the NSW Hunter Valley to celebrate the significant role mining has played in Australia’s development.

Several topics which could form the basis for incorporating this aspiration into Goal 5 have been identified. These include issues relating to the consequences of mine closure. The current emphasis is on environmental remediation (make safe, stable, and non-polluting). This needs to be broadened to preserve the mining heritage including geologically significant, mineralised outcrops, structures (e.g., buildings, workings, and equipment) and other artifacts (e.g., mining and personnel records).


An exploration geologist by profession, Angus established Leisure Solutions® in 1993 and joined Ecotourism Australia as a member. Since 2011, he has led geotourism development for the Geological Society of Australia, establishing the Geotourism Standing Committee, and now serving in a pro-bono capacity as the Coordinator, National Geotourism Strategy for the Australian Geoscience Council, that represents Australia’s eight main geoscience societies, which also includes The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy in which Angus has served in a range of leadership roles over the past 35 years.

Prior to 2008, Angus was engaged in leadership roles relating to various major tourism attractions, technology diffusion through The Warren Centre of Advanced Engineering, technology park development, and as Chief Executive of a major high-tech manufacturing industry association. His work has focused on national strategy development, particularly in developing industry linkages in the Greater China Region. In earlier years, he worked in coal mining industry development roles, and in base metal and gold exploration.

Bill Sankey

Executive Director, Territory Engagement and Delivery. Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade


Business Capability Mapping and Gap Analysis as a means to improving regional service delivery and enhancing local supply chain engagement

Optimising local content in the supply of materials, equipment and employment to major projects has, for some time, been a desired outcome for regional communities fortunate enough to have major project proponents interested in their region. Governments have supported this through the introduction of policies such as local content and employment strategies and indigenous participation plans as means of ensuring project proponents spend and employ local first.

Anecdotally, the success of these policies has been mixed. Some local businesses decide to invest in new equipment, employees and processes and then fail to win the quantity of work they were anticipating, sometimes leading to disastrous results for the firm. Others find things go well during construction, but drop off markedly once projects move to operations. Of course, many also find success, but report the experience as being much harder than they had originally planned.

This paper reports the findings of two studies that assessed the supply chain requirements and skill needs of five potential mining projects in Central Australia. It then explores the implications of this work for enhancing the delivery of services to support regional enterprises to make informed investment decisions and better manage the hurdles that will undoubtedly come their way.

It also explores how this can inform a service delivery model for government services to business, industry and workforce clients.


Bill is Executive Director, Territory Engagement and Delivery with the NT Government Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade. Based in Alice Springs, he manages offices throughout the Territory delivering industry, business and workforce services and programs.

He has previously worked in Sport and Recreation, Tourism and other economic development roles in Queensland and spent eight years working in business development and marketing roles in the oil and gas industry. He has an MBA, Graduate Diploma in Management, Diploma in Teaching and Graduate Certificate in Professional Sales.

Sabina Shugg

Director, Curtin Kalgoorlie Campus


The role of a regional campus in economic development - a case study

Curtin University believes that WA School of Mines and the Kalgoorlie campus can play an essential role in transforming the Goldfields-Esperance region into a self-sustaining economic zone through the creation of the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Regional Capability & Engagement Centre. Through sustained commitment, collaboration and funding, the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Regional Capability & Engagement Centre will support the economic growth and diversification of the region beyond the current dependence on export of raw materials. It will work to attract skills, technology, innovation, and research outcomes to the Goldfields and contribute to the development of a long term stable regional workforce, locally and for the State of Western Australia.

This centre will run a range of initiatives for the benefit of the community, the region and the state. The proposal focuses on three major pillars – Mining, Education, and Health - that align to the Goldfields-Esperance Regional Development Commission’s Regional Focus Areas and City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Strategic Plans to drive primary industry innovation, workforce development and job growth, and other community capacity and capability needs.

WA has the natural advantage of a strong mining and energy industry, stable government and a world class university focused on the resources sector. However, a reliance on export of raw goods is inherently linked to the prosperity of other nations to create demand for the primary industry, making it more susceptible to a boom-and-bust cycle. This affects mining student numbers as well which are currently low, and an area of focus.

There are many ‘live’ opportunities in the Goldfields-Esperance regions currently including the advent of the Curtin Regional Health Campus, new mining curricula with an increased digital and automation focus, Lynas Corporation’s investment in Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s Strategic Industrial Areas, global interest in critical minerals, and the Australian Aboriginal Mining Academy to name a few.

The Curtin Kalgoorlie Campus is well positioned to capitalise on these opportunities to enable an ongoing positive outcome for the City and the Region however there is a very real gap and that is in capacity. We are working to gather industry and Government support without which these opportunities will be missed – many are time critical, the most obvious example being the Lynas engagements which are couched around the next few years where the new plant must be complete due to hard time limits from the Malaysian Government with respect to their existing plant. There is a risk that not only will we miss out on all or many of the individual opportunities, but we will miss out on the big picture opportunity – where with a focus on regional development we can build a bridge to the future resulting in benefits in perpetuity for the greater community and region.


Sabina is the Director - Kalgoorlie Campus, Curtin University including the WA School of Mines. She is also a Non-Executive Director of Resolute Mining Ltd and the Chair of the Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission.

Sabina was born in Norseman and lived in Wiluna and Kalgoorlie as a child before returning to Kalgoorlie firstly as a young adult and then now for a third time as a slightly older adult. Sabina has a MBA from UWA and a degree in Mining Engineering from Curtin’s WA School of Mines. She is a member of the AusIMM and holds a WA First Class Mine Manager’s Certificate of Competency. She founded and runs the very active Women in Mining and Resources WA (WIMWA) group which has grown to 3000 members state-wide since its inception in 2003.

In March 2010, Sabina was named the inaugural Women in Resources Champion in the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA Women in Resources Awards, for being an outstanding role model to people in the resources industry and the broader community. In 2011 Sabina was included in the first 100 inducted to the WA Women’s Hall of Fame. In 2013 Sabina was named in the AFR Westpac 100 Women of Influence and included in the 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining.

In 2015 Sabina was named a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to the mining industry through executive roles in the resources sector, and as a role model and mentor to women.

She has extensive experience in senior roles with mining and consulting organisations in including operations management experience at senior site level covering both underground and open pit environments. Sabina’s work has a strong people focus together with a solid project management background.

Sabina has had a long involvement in a variety of not for profit organisations and up until recently was a long term board member of AMRRIC, a national charity that works to improve the health and welfare of companion animals in remote indigenous communities to improve the health and welfare of whole communities.

Assoc. Prof Andrew Taylor

Demographer, Northern Institute


Australia’s COVID-19 Population ‘Tree Change’: Myth, reality, opportunity or challenge?

During the COVID-19 pandemic there has been widespread media reporting of an ‘exodus’ from Australia’s largest cities and a surge of migration to regional areas.

The pandemic ‘tree change’ is purported to have driven rapid rises in population, house prices and rents in some regional areas during 2020-21. But how different is this to what transpired before the pandemic? Who is gaining most and who is missing out? In this presentation I examine detailed migration data to identify hotspots for population growth during the pandemic and provide some thoughts on what the national picture might mean for our regions in terms of longer-term opportunities and challenges.


Andrew is a demographer at Charles Darwin University’s Northern Institute. He researches the causes and consequences of population change in northern regions. Andrew sits on national demographic expert advisory groups with the Centre for Population and Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Ilena Young

Chair, Startup Shakeup


Building Sustainable Innovation in the Regions

Startup Shakeup is a catalyst for innovation and regional economic growth, leading a Regional Innovation Ecosystem that nurtures collaboration, purpose, confidence and connections for our Startups, our Shakeups, our Innovators and the region at large.

Startup Shakeup was created in 2018 around a shared vision of vibrant and resilient regions using innovation to create benefit from transformative opportunities, enabling us to face complex future challenges together. Today we are a partnership between 6 local Councils, 3 educational organisations and the Startups (new businesses) Shakeups (businesses rethinking what they do) and Innovators (visionaries) across the region.

In times marked by uncertainty, disruption and vulnerability, the aim of Startup Shakeup is to provide a sense of community and connectedness, with a seamless approach that assists new and existing businesses to flourish. Through building the regional Innovation community we nurture a sense of purpose and confidence, we build powerful connections, we enable people to take advantage of new opportunities by starting, renewing and expanding their innovative and aspirational enterprises that will strengthen our regional economies.

Since establishment, Startup Shakeup has focused on innovative leadership across the region, remaining agile and flexible, with diversity and creative responsiveness at our heart. We have supported Startups, Shakeups and Innovators with a suite of programs designed to meet people at the point they need advice, support and encouragement to grow into what they can be. Looking ahead we are now building out, as a startup ourselves, to become sustainable by 2024.


Ilena is a pragmatic, creative thinker, passionate about the role of innovation in Regional Australia. Chair of Startup Shakeup since inception in 2018, she works in regional management for Charles Sturt University. Ilena started her career in tourism, In pre-AirBnB days, selling authentic holidays in local accommodation in Corsica. She has a Masters in Travel and Tourism and won a Startup award at 24, in Livewire.

Since moving to Australia Ilena has worked in academia, consulting and local government, always focused on building the communities of regional Australia. Whether regional development, business development, or course development, her knowledge, experience and passion are for collaboration that generates opportunities, engagement, choice and growth.

Ilena is practiced at bringing focus, strategic planning and creativity to her work, taking pleasure in building collaborative partnerships of sometimes disparate players, with a core interest in sustainable outcomes built around planning, facilitation, engagement, research and evaluation.

Marie Cameron

Immediate Past Chair, Crossroad Arts Inc


Transformation of Crossroad Arts

Crossroad Arts is an internationally and nationally awarded community development arts organisation in Central Queensland. This is the story of how the organisation has transformed and recreated its story after the retirement of its founding CEO/Artistic Director after 20 years of leading the organisation’s pathway.


Marie Cameron is the immediate past Chair of the Management Committee of Crossroad Arts, serving in this role for over 3 years. Employed as a Social Performance Specialist with Origin Energy in the Western Downs, Queensland, Marie has a particular interest in community development and she has served in various positions on many Committees and Boards within the not-for-profit sector and community organisations at regional, state and international levels.

Marie holds a Bachelor of Business (Distinction), along with an Associate Diploma (Accounting) and Diploma of Business (HR). She has completed post graduate studies in sustainable development and is currently working towards completing her Masters.

Prof Samar Aoun

Professor of Palliative Care Research, La Trobe University


The Compassionate Communities Connectors Model of Care: A Community and Health Service Partnership in the South West of Western Australia

There is an international drive towards increasing provision of community-led models of social and practical support for people living with advanced illness. This feasibility project aims to develop, implement and evaluate a model of community volunteers, identified as Compassionate Communities Connectors, to support people living with advanced illnesses/palliative care needs.

The approach maps and mobilises people’s personal networks of care through the Connectors enlisting Caring Helpers (community volunteers). The primary outcome is the effect of the intervention on social connectedness. Secondary outcomes are the intervention’s effect on unplanned hospital utilisation, caregiver support needs, advance care plans and satisfaction with intervention for patients/carers, volunteers and service providers.

A community directory and a two-day training program were developed with positive feedback from the Connectors. So far 19 patients and 11 carers enrolled in the program. Connectors have spent 80hours on Social Network Enhancement for these families in personal care, shopping, transport, preparing meals, social outings, preparation for end of life. The on-going evaluation shows appreciation for mutual benefits for the three target groups.

Through this public health approach to palliative care, we expect the community and palliative care service will have a sustainable pool of trained and experienced people who can attend to the social and practical needs of ill people, improve their social connectedness and reduce the need for unplanned hospital usage. This pioneer project demonstrates our experience accessing and undertaking research on vulnerable and hard to research populations, and will set an example that can be replicated in other rural settings.


Professor of Palliative Care Research, Perron Institute and La Trobe University. She adopts a public health approach to models of care and advocates for a person-centred health and social care. Her research programs on supporting family caregivers at end of life and the public health approach to bereavement care have informed policy and practice at the national and international levels.

Her recent work on social models in bereavement support has provided empirical evidence to strengthen the Compassionate Communities movement in bereavement support. She co-founded the South West Compassionate Communities Network in 2018 in WA. She recently undertook for WA Health a state-wide palliative care review from the consumer perspective.

Samar has established and chaired the West Australian Country Health Services Research Ethics Committee for 23 years. She has served on two principal National Health and Medical Research Council committees (2012-15) and has chaired NHMRC grant review panels (2014-18).

Anita John

Director Research and Innovation, WA Country Health Service


WA Country Health Service and Curtin University Strategic Alliance: working in partnership to improve workforce sustainability that supports healthy communities

The WA Country Health Services and Curtin University Alliance is a new and innovative government partnership focused on sustainable health systems in regional, rural and remote WA. The Alliance includes co-investment from WA Government Country Health Service (WACHS) and Curtin University.

The Alliance supports capacity building in research and education with a focus on workforce recruitment, retention and development across WACHS. The collaboration translates the latest research and education innovations to improve health care in rural, regional and remote communities.

The Alliance will utilise its own and externally leveraged funding to translate research into practice. The Alliance mission is to extend the collaboration to include other community, research and innovation organisations that have similar values and focus around healthy communities.

This paper will present the Alliance vision and mission alongside some early success stories, including investment in digital technology across research and education. It will also present information on how businesses and communities can engage with the Alliance and its commitment to improving the lives of Western Australian country communities.


Anita John is the Director of the Research and Innovation area for the WA Country Health Service. This new team have a focus on supporting WACHS clinicians to engage in research and innovation and have brought in over $10 million in external funding for research in WACHS. Anita is an Economist by training with a First Class Honours degree in Economic and Social Sciences from the University of Sydney and a Masters of Social Research from the Australian National University.

Her career has taken her from Commonwealth agencies in Canberra and Christmas and Cocos Island to State Government and service delivery in Perth. Anita enjoys leading reform in public sector agencies particularly in the social policy areas, doing this in Justice, education, health and regional development portfolios. Anita has worked with stakeholders from prisoners and community groups to commercial contractors, universities, research institutes and all levels of Government.

Professor Suzanne Robinson

Lead for the Health Economics and Data Analytics Discipline at Curtin University

Co-presenter with Anita John


Professor Suzanne Robinson is lead for the Health Economics and Data Analytics Discipline at Curtin University. She has a track record in collaborative research activity and extensive experience of working with policy makers and clinicians in using research to inform practice. Suzanne leads international research on decision making in health, this work involves a number of aspects, in particular the use of health data sets to produce an evidence base to inform resource allocation decisions. She is also involved in undertaking economic evaluations alongside clinical trials. She is currently the Rural and Remote Flagship Research and Education Director for the Digital Health Co-operative Research Centre.

Dr Keith McNaught

Rural Academic Lead and Associate Professor, Curtin Medical School, Curtin University


Sustainable rural and regional development will only be secure when accompanied by the development of a strong rural medical and health workforce.

In 2020, the rapid uptake of technologies enabling people to work from home resulted in a phase of internal migration, from urban to rural, unlike anything seen in recent times. Sustainable community growth must be accompanied by the development of a strong rural medical and health workforce, potentially adding pressure to an already-strained rural medical workforce.

This is of particular concern in ‘hard to staff’ locations, such as the Goldfields region in Western Australia. In these communities, local regional governments have been increasingly assuming at least some financial responsibility for the local health workforce and businesses are paying the price of poor employee and family access to health services. What does the current internal migration pattern mean for these stakeholders? How will it affect different communities around Australia?

Using the Kalgoorlie/Goldfields region as a case study, this paper explores the implications of changing demographics on the medical and health workforce needs on regional, rural and remote Australia. In common with many regions throughout Australia, there are locations within the Goldfields that will never have a resident medical and health workforce, where solutions will be essential for the continued growth of the region.

This paper explores one such solution. The paper will be of interest to rural community and business leaders from around Australia with interest in building a strong medical and health workforce for their community and region.


Keith is currently Associate Professor at the Curtin Medical School and Rural Academic Lead at the Kalgoorlie Rural Health Campus, specialising in Rural and Regional programs.

Keith has served in a number of senior leadership and executive director roles in the education and healthcare sectors. He has developed expertise in the leadership of major change projects, including the implementation of a total restructure of a regional university campus. He has extensive experience in budgetary controls and data analytics in organisations with annual revenue exceeding $1.6 billion, and a national reputation for leading organisational development within the context of mission-led, values- based, ethical leadership principles.

Keith has been active in a range of programs and projects across Western Australia including Broome, Kalgoorlie, Mullewa, Geraldton and Bunbury. Keith is also Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Ethics & Society, Notre Dame, Sydney campus.

Matt Pfahlert

Co-founder & CEO, ACRE (Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship)


Driving community-led rejuvenation through entrepreneurial action

The issues behind the decline of rural and regional Australia are complex and require multi-pronged solutions.

In 2013 the Co-founder of ACRE undertook a Churchill Fellowship study to uncover how rural communities can journey from being ‘on their knees’ to thriving again. Drawing on the experience of more than 100 rural locations worldwide, Matt Pfahlert identified essential ingredients:


Matt is one of Australia’s pioneering social entrepreneurs.

He started his first social enterprise in 1993 at the age of 23, working with ‘at risk’ young people in wilderness settings. For this work, in 1996 he received the Young Australian of the Year Award.

Matt is co-founder and CEO of ACRE (Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship), a social enterprise that exists to build the renewal of Australia’s rural communities so that future generations may thrive.

In 2016, ACRE led a $2.7M community buy-back of the Old Beechworth Gaol, a neglected Australian heritage icon famed for its connection to Ned Kelly located in Matt’s hometown. The site is being repurposed as an exemplar of social enterprise, impact investment and rural rejuvenation through community owned assets.

Other awards/positions include: 2003 Leadership Victoria - Community leader of the Year 2004 Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow 2013 Churchill Fellow 2018 International Specialised Skills Fellow 2003-2012 Telstra Foundation Board

Professor David Goldney

Adjunct Professor, Charles Sturt university


Cox’s Road Dreaming - an innovative thematic tourism experience interpreting Australia’s first inland European Road (1814/15) from the Nepean River to the Bathurst plains - ‘History with one’s boot on’.

Greening Bathurst’s contribution to the City’s bicentennial celebrations in 2015 (Australia’s oldest inland European settlement), was the production of a Thematic Tourism Guide, Cox’s Road Dreaming – A Natural History of Cox’s 1814/15 Road – Australia’s First Inland European Road.

The Guide consists of a 100-page A4 coloured booklet and eight accompanying maps. 116 sites are described along the line of Cox’s Road, between the Flag Staff at Bathurst on the banks of the Macquarie River and Emu Crossing on the Nepean River – a distance of 160 km. Over 2000 packages have been sold with minimal advertising between Bathurst and the lower Blue Mountains.

The objectives of the project were to:

1) Enable contemporary Australians and visitors to better understand the iconic nature of William Cox’s Road that opened up inland Australia to European exploration and occupation 2) Understand the road’s adverse outcomes for First Nation people 3) Facilitate experiencing ‘History with one’s boots on’ by visiting 116 carefully chosen sites to:

• Experience colonial and First Nation histories through the telling of interesting and confronting stories: • Immerse tourists in the natural history of the road through skilled integrated interpretation of its ecology, geology, geomorphology, hydrology and human histories and conflicts.

This prize-winning initiative provides a working template for organisations and individuals, including SEGRA, to better focus their efforts to develop thematic touring opportunities across Australia. The author will also identify how this initiative has helped facilitate other exciting initiatives such as ‘The Great Western Walk’ and local thematic based tours around Bathurst.


BSc, Dip Ed, PhD, DSc (honoris causa CSU); 1986 NSW Environmental Educator of the year; 2001 DSc CSU for progressing the integration of ecology & production agriculture; 2005 Jo Ross Environmental Award, Greening Bathurst 2015 Bathurst Living Legend for local ecology initiatives 2017 Inaugural winner Chifley Heritage Award as author of Cox’s Road Dreaming 2018 Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to ecology

Daisy Goodwin

Development Officer, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development


Collaborating across government to support the divestment of Aboriginal lands back to communities

The Aboriginal Lands Trust (ALT) estate covers 23 million hectares of land in Western Australia. The ALT has set a goal of divesting of many of their Aboriginal reserves back to Aboriginal people.

The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage has been facilitating this process but have faced challenges due to a lack of resources, relationships and number of organisations that are ready to receive such land assets.

The Aboriginal Economic Development program within the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has been working to support them in this process. The AED program has been operating in some shape or form for over 20 years and has deep relationships with Aboriginal communities throughout Western Australia. So far the program has supported the ALT to divest one station covering 137,973 hectares and another is almost ready to be divested.

The divestment of these lands to Aboriginal people to manage and determine their own future will lead to long-lasting benefits for communities. Land ownership is critical to economic development and will open up multiple opportunities for Aboriginal people from economic to environmental and social benefits. AED has evaluated the impacts of this divestment process to date and analysed their process used to support the ALT in the divestment of lands. This presentation will explore this process and the impacts had for Aboriginal people.


Daisy Goodwin has a background in sustainable agriculture and environmental science and is currently completing a master in applied anthropology and participatory development.

She has been working for almost 5 years as a development officer in the Aboriginal Economic Development unit within the Department of Primary Industries in Regional Development. Her work surrounds supporting client businesses, advocating in policy and programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and driving opportunities for Aboriginal businesses in various industries such as carbon farming and sandalwood.

In 2019 she was recognised for her work with Aboriginal producers in the north-west of the state and awarded the WA Young Achiever of the year award in Agriculture.

Carol Redford

Founder of Astrotourism WA


Astrotourism Towns: using WA’s pristine dark night sky to generate a new future for regional tourism

A private and government sector partnership, including 15+ Local Governments across the Mid West and Wheatbelt, is harnessing WA’s world-class dark night sky as an asset for economic, social and environmental outcomes.

The Astrotourism Towns Project is creating a stargazing trail through WA’s regional communities with the aim to increase overnight visitation, grow jobs, businesses and the local tourism economy. In a world where the night sky is disappearing from view for more than 80% of the planet’s population, the partnership is facilitating the protection of the dark night sky from light pollution in order to protect the highly sought-after tourism asset and how we can look at tourism from a new angle.

At the same time an Aboriginal Astronomy Trail is developing new cultural experiences and enterprises through STEM engagement, art workshops, tour guide training and campfire stargazing/astronomy activities. The development of Aboriginal Astronomy storytellers and tourism resources contribute to the growth of Aboriginal Astrotourism enterprises, increasing employment opportunities within Aboriginal communities and across regional WA.

It’s all leading to an international event, in April 2023, when WA will be the best place in the world to see a rare Total Solar Eclipse visible from the Ningaloo coastline. This event will attract tens of thousands of extra visitors to WA and will bring world-wide media attention. Regional towns will capitalise on the global media spotlight generated by eclipse and Western Australia will consolidate itself as the world’s premier destination for stargazing and astronomy.


Carol Redford is the Founder of Astrotourism WA. She is collaborating with Local Government to develop the Astrotourism sector of WA’s Tourism Industry and increase overnight visitors to the regions. Together, the communities are striving to protect WA’s world-class dark night sky from artificial light pollution and brand WA the stargazing capital of the world.

Carol’s qualifications in marketing, experience in regional economic development and ownership of a public astronomical observatory have aligned to bring the right skill-set at a time when people around the globe seek connection with the environment. The sky is literally the limit!

Blessings Masuku

Migrant Employment Officer, Goldfields Community Legal Centre


Investing in Social Capital and Building Human Capability

Regional Australia is increasingly challenged by labour and skills shortages in driving economic growth, and often demand from the mining industry exacerbates these issues for communities.

The Goldfields Migrant Employment Project (GMEP) is a secondary migration initiative which aims to attract Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) people from metropolitan Perth into jobs in the West Australian Goldfields. The GMEP assists migrants already living in metropolitan WA, relocate 600 kilometres east to the Goldfields area where the mining industry is dominant.

Since the commencement of the GMEP, sixty-seven (67) people, from over twenty-seven (27) different countries, have found both employment and a new home in the region. Participants have also relocated with over forty (40) other family members who access local schooling, community groups and social services.

The program has seen both economic and social benefits with participants assisting in alleviating demand for labour across many sectors including Residential Care & Social Assistance Services, Mining Support Services, Computer Systems Design & Related Services and other roles. New Goldfielders have also contributed to the social fabric of the community, with some GMEP participants being core members of the new Goldfields African Community Association.

The Goldfields Migrant Employment Project (GMEP) case study is a look at a singular program that connects migrants who are marginalized and facing barriers to employment, to a regional community crying out for people to fill vacancies and grow the region.


Blessings Masuku is currently the Migrant Employment Officer at the Goldfields Community Legal Centre, and the driving force behind the GMEP.

Facing challenges with securing employment as a new immigrant 10 years ago, motivated Blessings to want to help other community members who face social and economic barriers. While working in a local coffee shop, Blessings enrolled in Behavioural Studies with Swinburne University. Her aim was to understand the Australian culture, systems, people behaviours and the motivations behind those different behaviours. The opportunity to work with the GMEP came as a missing link between her qualification and her attribute of being a ‘people person’.

Blessings is also a committee member of the Parents Advisory Council for John Paul College and an advisor for the newly formed Goldfields African Community Association.

Prof Max Finlayson

Adjunct Researcher, Institute for Land, Water & Society, Charles Sturt University


Securing adequate safe water in rural and remote regional Australia: science and technology verses attitude and behaviour

The provision of sufficient water to meet critical human needs is recognised by United Nations Charter as a basic human right. Primary industry based economic activity and people in regional areas can be imperilled by extreme weather, changing climatic conditions and the adequacy and quality of accessible water supplies from surface flows, shallow and deep aquifers, and rainfall capture from roofs.

Australia wide, little assistance is provided by any level of government to reduce potential health risks from non-scheme water in rural and remote regions. In all Australian jurisdictions, Local Governments have statutory responsibility for the quantity and quality of scheme water in cities and towns only. People on farming and pastoral properties or industrial or tourism sites outside of scheme water are left to their own devices to secure adequate and safe domestic water supplies. This moral inequity is a serious gap in policy and practice.

The 2015 ‘SEGRA Challenge’ responded to this inequity and initiated the Secure Safe Domestic Water project. In collaboration with the Institute for Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, water resource and social science research has been undertaken in Etheridge Shire in Far North Queensland and in the Central and Lower Darling and Balranald Shire Council in NSW. This initiative found that science and technology cannot provide the answer to the dilemma. Fundamental changes in attitude and behaviour are required to reduce health risks from inadequate and poor-quality water supplies in rural and remote regions.


Max Finlayson is a wetland ecologist with extensive experience nationally and internationally in the science and management responses to water pollution, mining and agricultural impacts, invasive species, climate change, and human well-being and wetlands.

He has participated in global assessments such as those conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the Global Environment Outlook, and Water Management in Agriculture, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Since the early 1990s he has been a technical adviser to the Ramsar Convention. He has been actively involved in environmental NGOs and science organisations and has worked with government, community-based organisations and industry to investigate the causes of ecosystem change and management responses, including restoration and the participation of local communities.

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