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SEGRA Foundation

Why SEGRA, why now?


By Caroline Robinson, SEGRA Foundation and 150Square Director

SEGRA celebrates 27 years in 2023 and, like many not for profit organisations, it is navigating a multitude of technological, economic, political, cultural, and social changes. Throughout our strong history, SEGRA has evolved to ensure it remains relevant and to continually advance the long-term interests of regional Australia.

Today the four Foundation Directors, who are living and working across the country are refining the SEGRA value proposition. We are building upon our strengths and positioning ourselves to continue to serve rural, remote and regional Australia in a positive and meaningful way.

Our values of being inclusive, evidence based, bi-partisan and solutions focused continue to be at our core. The reason we exist – our purpose – is to voice, connect, advocate for and advance the long-term interests of regional Australia.

This year the SEGRA Foundation presents the National Regional and Economic Development Summit in Toowoomba, QLD. We transition our annual Conference to a national Summit with a greater focus and allocation of time towards attendees actively solving challenges and problem statements across rural, remote and regional Australia through professionally facilitated sessions.

The Foundation Directors would like attendees to the Summit to think deeply about regional Australia. We will formulate a pre-Summit survey seeking attendees input to help guide the program and we believe it will be an opportunity to listen to different perspectives and work collaboratively across geographical boundaries.

A benefit of attending any SEGRA event is the prospect of learning new concepts and how other communities have approached regional and economic development. The main reason I said yes to joining the Foundation was to learn from others so I could translate their work to my rural community in Western Australia.

A strength of the Foundation and where we see our unique position is that we connect and work with the ‘doers’ of rural, remote and regional Australia. We call them the ‘SEGRA Family’. We believe they hold the solutions to regional growth inhibitors.

The economic development and community development practitioners, local government and not for profit leaders, researchers and students as well as emerging and established industry leaders who are working at the grass roots level is our family. We want them to attend the Summit to actively contribute to conversations that will help inform the work of the SEGRA Foundation as well as our key partners for the next 12 months.

Simon Boughey, Foundation Director has observed a change in rural communities since his involvement back in 2009.  “I’ve seen a change in communities across Australia and what they believe they can achieve as compared to what they were told they could achieve in the past. The grass roots and bottom up approach is important to regional Australia’s success”.

The SEGRA Foundation invites the ‘doers’ in rural local government, not for profit organisations, universities and consultancies, to present, attend and represent their region at this years Summit. The Summit provides a platform to share your work and connect with individuals and organisations across multiple disciplines and communities who share an interest and passion in sustainable economic development in regional Australia.

“Part of having eight billion people on the planet is that there’s a lot of great thinkers. There’s no excuse for poor decision making and there’s no excuse for inaction. We know what needs to be done and, in many cases, how to do it. Getting together as a group of people has to now result in outcomes and change in our communities. That’s what the National Regional and Economic Development Summit in 2023 is about” says Ashley Bland, Foundation Director.

Registrations for the National Regional and Economic Development Summit are now open.