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Albany and Great Southern Region SEGRA 20 year anniversary

26 - 28 October 2016, Albany, WA


Concurrent Speakers

Lauren Andrews Show + Hide -

Rural & Regional Affairs Strategist, Bendigo Bank


Lauren Andrews is the Regional and Rural Affairs Strategist for Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. She was appointed to the newly created role earlier this year after the Bank recognised it could do even more to ensure the opportunities and challenges facing regional Australians were better represented in public discussions and policy debates. Prior to her current role Lauren led Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Media and Communications team for eight years, working closely with the Bank’s staff, customers, community partners, shareholders and various other stakeholders including the media and government. Lauren started her career as a journalist and worked as a television reporter in regional Australia with WIN News, and in Melbourne at the Seven and ABC newsrooms. Lauren recently finished her MBA with La Trobe University in Bendigo, and is involved with an exciting new initiative to introduce the Bank’s unique Community Bank model to universities across Australia. Lauren lives in Bendigo and enjoys road cycling in her spare time.

Kim Antonio Show + Hide -

Manager Food Industry Innovation, Department of Agriculture and Food WA


Mapping the Food Production and Processing Landscape in the Great Southern Region of Western Australia

The Mapping food production and processing project is an initiative developed by the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (DAFWA) in conjunction with Regional Development Australia Great Southern (RDAGS).

The project will map the diversity and intensity of food production and processing across the Great Southern Region of Western Australia

Enhancing the viability and growth of the agrifood sector in our region, through the identification of value-adding opportunities, required a detailed understanding of the current and future capacity of regional food production and processing.

Through consultation with a number of Great Southern stakeholders, this extensive collaborative regional food mapping project was undertaken for the region.

Detailed regional food production and processing information will guide future decisions about investment and support for market driven food projects in the region, particularly those being supported by the regionally based Specialised Food Centre.

The project outputs are an up-to-date database of all stakeholders in the value-chain which can inform the development of a regional food strategy and a live map and database that can be used to promote and support local foods for local consumption and agritourism.

The Mapping food production and processing project is a pilot project, with the project structure, project roll-out and project learnings offered to other regions within Western Australia allowing the customisable replication of the project to different regional areas.

This project case study will be of value to SEGRA delegates as it highlights four key areas of the theme naturally stronger regions realising the potential; diversity, specialisation and creativity building resilience, sustainability of land, water and community - a sense of place, regional hubs and nodes improving connectivity and sustainable industries the regional advantage.


Kim is the manager of the $5 million dollar Royalties for Regions project Food Industry Innovation, following his role as manager of the Manjimup Supertowns agriculture expansion project.

Kim joined the Department of Agriculture and Food in Western Australia in 2003 as the Manger of Economic Development following a push for the department to take on a greater economic development focus.

He brought experience from the public and private sector having previously worked as director of a regional development commission, been a partner in a company providing management services to the mining industry and worked in disaster recovery both in Australia and overseas.

He developed the Growing the North Initiative that grew to encompass the Ord expansion, Gascoyne Food bowl, West Kimberley La Grange project and the Pilbara mine dewatering.

He managed the Mining engagement portfolio and oversaw the first major government and mining company joint mine dewatering for agriculture initiative. The Marandoo mine dewatering project with Rio Tinto is now the international benchmark for agricultural mine dewatering.

He has a strong background working with indigenous groups on successful projects in Northern Australia.

In 2000 Kim was selected as one of Western Australia’s most promising young rural leaders and joined colleagues on a development program including international study tour. He had recently overseen the successful post flood recovery program in Moora that was recognized in the Prime Ministers awards.

Kim educational background includes a Bachelor of Science, Graduate Diploma Psychology and Diploma of Project Management.

Dr. Catherine Allan Show + Hide -

Associate Professor Environmental Sociology and Planning, Charles Sturt University


Systems Thinking for Regional Development

If we want to transform regions and rural areas, we must reframe the way we think about them, and their issues. This paper reflects on the need for, and ways to achieve, systems thinking in regional development. The Enlightenment casts a long shadow over modern Australia, encouraging reductionist governance and management. There are indeed short term efficiencies from, say, framing water separately from land, or people separately from the natural environment, and in doing so spawning numerous institutions. It is becoming clear, however, that such arbitrary division of social ecological systems is inadequate for the wicked issues challenging regional and rural Australia. Wicked issues arise in complex social ecological systems where actions to address one issue may have unknown or unintended consequences. Systems thinking is an encompassing framing that seeks opportunities to channel efforts into overall good, rather than into constant contestation and competition. I present brief examples of systems approaches from my long experience as a practitioner, academic and stakeholder in natural resource management in regional south eastern Australia. Vignettes from landcare, practitioner networks and biosphere reserves that have involved practices such as participatory rural appraisal, adaptive management and systemic inquiry, will exemplify how systems thinking can empower regional individuals and organisations.


Catherine Allan is Associate Professor in Environmental Sociology and Planning at the Albury campus of Charles Sturt University in NSW. Between 1986 and 2000 she was employed in various landcare liaison roles with Victorian and South Australian natural resource management agencies. Catherine’s research focuses on regional scale adaptive management of resources such as water, soil, flora and fauna, and human interactions with these. As an experienced community facilitator she has particular interests in social learning and systems thinking to support sustainable human and environmental interrelationships.

Justin Bellanger Show + Hide -

CEO, South Coast NRM


Dirt and Trees are as Important as Roads and Phone Towers Priorities for Investment in the Great Southern

Primary production and tourism are responsible for more than half of the $4B generated annually by industry in the Great Southern. These sectors are intrinsically dependent on the health and productivity of our natural resources. The value of actively managing and restoring natural resources has been shown to generate a return on investment exceeding 100:1. Despite this, public investment has dramatically declined over the past decade, threatening the resource base that underpins the majority of our regional economy. This presentation will demonstrate the link between healthy and productive environments and regional economic growth, and will investigate the rationale for investing in them.


Justin Bellanger has worked in the natural resource management field for the past 8 years in executive roles including as CEO of South Coast NRM. Justin has overseen a community-led approach to protecting our natural resources that ensures that appropriate planning and investment exists, despite challenging changes to priorities and funding from State and Federal sources.

A/Prof. Rosemary Black Show + Hide -

AssocIate Professor


Grassroots Conservation Actions among Residents on Private Land in a Regional Rural-Urban Interface Landscape in New South Wales

This research highlights the issues of landscape fragmentation and loss of biodiversity on the rural-urban interface in a regional city in NSW. This research addresses issues of sustainability of land, water and community in regional areas. The role of private land is critical in biodiversity conservation, however its role has received limited attention in the literature and many challenges exist in terms of planning, implementation and outcomes of private land conservation. Increasing urban development on the rural-urban interface of regional cities in Australia is creating a fragmented landscape. Residents in these interface zones can play an important role in biodiversity conservation through personal conservation actions on their private land. This case study collected baseline social data on residentâs conservation behaviours and attitudes to biodiversity conservation with the aim of using this data in three ways: to monitor changes in resident’s attitudes and behaviours over time; to help inform and target biodiversity conservation strategies, and to assist in predicting resident’s future attitudes and behaviours. A mail survey questionnaire was delivered to all the residents of a suburb in New South Wales, with three hundred returned and ten follow-up semi-structured in-depth interviews. Analysis of the survey and interviews revealed many residents currently participate in a range of conservation behaviours on their private land and are supportive of biodiversity conservation. However, the results suggest that residents are less likely to participate in broader community-based actions with some considering these actions the responsibility of local councils and conservation organisations, and actions they cannot personally influence.


Associate Professor Rosemary Black’s areas of expertise are in the fields of ecotourism, sustainability, sustainable behaviours, tour guiding and environmental communication. This expertise has been developed over the past 40 years through both industry experience and research. Her current research interests and work are in tour guiding, community-based tourism and sustainable behaviours. She has published over 50 refereed publications including 25 refereed journal articles and conference papers, 16 refereed book chapters and 6 books. Her publications have been in a wide range of international refereed journals. She has been the Senior Editor for three books. Her most recent co-authored book is titled “Tour Guiding Research: Insights, Issues and Implications” by Channel View Publications. She has been successful in gaining over $500,000 in research and consultancy funding. Rosemary holds a Ministerial appointment with the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service Southern Ranges Advisory Committee and is an invited member of Parks Victoria Science and Management Effectiveness Committee. She is a member of two international tourism editorial boards.

Jacqui Bramwell Show + Hide -

Manager, Sectoral Partnerships, Deakin University


Jacqui is Stakeholder Partnerships Manager with Deakin University; a position she has held since early 2015. Jacqui has been the lead facilitator of the ‘Grow Our Own’ pilot.

She previously was CEO of a partnership broker organisation; Gippsland East LLEN, funded by government to broker strategic partnerships ‘in place’ to address issues faced by young people when transitioning beyond school to further education or employment. Gippsland East LLEN jointly received the 2014 Victorian State Training Awards - Industry Collaboration section, for the rotational Agrifoods traineeship partnership.

Jacqui has a background in education and natural resource management. She was the inaugural regional tourism and community partnerships manager for Gippsland with the Department of Sustainability & Environment, now DELWP. Jacqui is a Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, and has a Graduate Certificate in Australian Rural Leadership from James Cook University.

Alan Briggs Show + Hide -

PhD Candidate, Murdoch University


Porongorup: a tourism case study

Located 50 kilometres north of Albany in the south west of Western Australia, the Porongorup district is a picturesque lifestyle location with significant potential for sustainable tourism development. But what type of tourism? The Porongorup National Park, at the centre of the district and with more than 90,000 annual visitors, is a major nature-based natural attraction featuring a 670 metre granite monadnock and with modern tourism facilities. The Porongorup community asked the question of how to integrate opportunities for ecotourism and yet maintain the existing lifestyles of the community. Opinions were divided and a community forum was held to discuss the way forward. While attending the forum, research data was collected on the community’s views of establishing a Geopark in the district and to gauge community perception of doing so. Geoparks are areas using their significant geological interest to support natural and cultural awareness, education, protection and support sustainable development, and are supported by local communities. This paper will present the background to Geoparks, their potential for development of rural communities and preliminary outcomes from the Porongorup research in terms of tourism potential.


After 40 years in Western Australian government working in areas of forest and land conservation and management; recreation and tourism, Ministerial office for Forests and the National Trust. Alan retired from the government way of life. After achieving his MBA, Alan lectured in tourism at Edith Cowan University from 1997, becoming an Adjunct Lecture in 2009.

Alan established Natural Heritage and Culture (NHC) taking on consultancy tasks. Alan was a long term committee member of the Forum Advocating Cultural and Eco-Tourism (FACET) and has strong interests in Eco-tourism, Geo-tourism and Geoparks and Indigenous engagement in land management, tourism and geoparks.

In 2010 Alan was offered the opportunity to lecture full time in tourism on campus at Murdoch during 2011 and since has lectured part time in Sustainable Tourism. Alan commenced study towards a PhD in March 2012 at Murdoch University. The research will focus on stakeholder perceptions of establishing a Geopark in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia.

Dr. Henry Brockman Show + Hide -

Director - Farming Operations, EnergyEne Australia


Producing Natural Rubber in the Wheatbelt: a potential for innovative and sustainable regional development

Gauyule (P.argentatum) is one of only two plant species in the world that produce commercial quantities of rubber. It is a desert plant and very suited to the Australian climate and cultivated as a perennial crop with 12-18 month harvests of the above ground portion of the plant and allowed to coppice for the next harvest. EnergyEne Australia, in conjunction with the Fitzgerald Biosphere group obtained funding from Royalties-for-Regions for a three year project to investigate the establishment of Guayule in WA.

All parts of the plant will be used, with products including termite resistant hard-wood, aviation fuel, resin, rubber and hypo-allergenic latex.

A mature Guayule industry in Australia could be the ultimate sustainable system; supporting thousands of hectares using significantly less water than most conventional crops, creating many downstream industrial jobs, zero wastage as every part of the plant can be used and reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions.


Dr. Henry Brockman is the Director of Farming operations: EnergyEne Australia. After graduating from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, he started my working career in Namibia as a development officer with the Department of Agriculture and continued in the Northern Province of South Africa. He then worked as land use planning officer for the National Department of Agriculture in the Western Cape Province and after completing my PhD started my own consultancy doing land use planning assessments, applications for changes in land use and new industry development. Brockman immigrated to Australia in 2001 working as project manager in NRM, bio-fuels and carbon farming with the Department of Agriculture & Food WA; as well as doing research on perennial oilseed trees as feedstock for bio-diesel, new products and bio-chemicals.

Neville Byrne Show + Hide -

Former Executive Officer, Australian Alps National Landscape


Perceptions of a Geo-tourist

Thank you for the opportunity to show you some of the great geological features we have experienced during our travels around Australia. We started travelling around Australia over three years ago. Our plan was to travel slowly and spend considerable time in the iconic regions of Australia.

I had previously been heavily involved in Tourism Australia’s National Landscapes program, as Executive Officer of the Australian Alps National Landscape, so our goal was to slowly visit all 16 of the National Landscapes. Many people who travel around Australia carry a ‘business card’ to pass on to interesting people they meet. The back of our ‘business card’ spells out the 16 regions we plan to spend time in -all of them National Landscapes. While I understand Tourism Australia no longer uses the National Landscapes program as a basis for its promotion, I still think the concept helps to encourage travelers to better appreciate a region, rather than merely ticking off bucket list highlights.

It is no surprise that each national landscape is primarily based on the scenic qualities of the nature conservation areas that dominate that landscape. Scenic quality in turn, is linked to the geology of the area and the variation in that geology. So far we have spent quite a few weeks in six or seven of these landscapes. The geology of the Flinders Ranges, Red Centre, Tasmania and Ningaloo-Shark Bay are literally in your face and difficult to avoid. In other landscapes such as the Australia Alps, Wilderness Coast and your own Great South west Edge, the geology is more cryptic and shrouded in the ridges and valleys of these landscapes.


After 35 years working in tourism research and tourist management in national parks Agencies in Victoria and South Australia, Neville took on the part-time role as Executive Officer of the newly declared Australian Alps National Landscape and established the 20+ Management Committee for that landscape.

After five years of working with the Landscape stakeholders across three States and nine Local Government Agencies, and promoting the Australian Alps experiences through a dedicated web page, Neville and his partner decided it was time to get to know all of the National Landscapes better.

They embarked on a multi-year tour of all 16 National Landscapes and thus far have spent a couple of months in each of four landscapes and initial week-long visits to another three. This is a work in progress, with several years yet to go, and no desire to rush the experience.

Cr. Amanda Camm Show + Hide -

Deputy Mayor, Mackay Regional Council


Invest Mackay: diversified - sustainable - vibrant

Mackay Regional Council is striving to change the face of our economy and, step by step, that’s exactly what we’re doing. Our presentation will reflect the actions we have taken and the outcomes achieved to date. These successful initiatives have put us on a clear trajectory of collaboration with a view to future-proofing our region.

The recently adopted Economic Development Strategy 2015-2020 (EDS), sets Council’s agenda of taking a leadership and facilitation role in the diversification and sustainable future of the region’s economy. An overview of the key EDS initiatives being delivered will provide key learnings and insights.

The implementation of Council’s Facilitating Development Policy which in less than six months has supported six applications and provided over $1.386 million in incentives, with a proposed return to the Mackay region of over $104.115 million in increased output and equating to 228 jobs.

Council’s stimulus strategy of Invest Mackay Events Attraction and Conference Attraction Programs has also achieved great success, attracting over 40 events and conferences since July 2015. The current return on investment is a tick over $30M.

Council maintains a strong focus on forging partnerships with our business community and has co-facilitated the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday Food and Agri-tourism Project and Start-up Mackay. Council also recently formed a partnership with CQUniversity which resulted in the purchase of two Pepper humanoid robots, the first of their kind in Australia.

Mackay region has an exciting future, provided we embrace the challenges and work collaboratively to achieve game-changing outcomes.


Deputy Mayor Amanda Camm is a passionate advocate of the Mackay Region, with a strong background in economic development, as the former Deputy CEO of the region’s Economic Development body. Cr. Camm has held positions at both an Executive and Board level across local government and not-for-profit organisations.

Cr. Camm has progressed through her career working for a diverse range of organisations; from managing Central Qld philanthropic corporate partnerships supporting Mater Health Services & Medical Research, through to Business Development workforce solutions for the mining and engineering sector for Chandler McLeod. With expertise in community development and stakeholder engagement and her recent experience as an Executive within Local Government (including the Queensland peak body LGAQ), confirmed her passion for representation. Cr. Camm holds a Graduate Certificate in Executive Leadership from the University of Queensland.

Cr. Camm believes local government plays a critical facilitation role in Regional Development.

Cr. Camm is the Chair of Planning & Economic Development Committee and holds Director Positions on the boards of Regional Development Australia- Mackay Isaac Whitsunday, Connect Housing Group and Mackay Tourism Ltd.

Dr. Bobby Cerini Show + Hide -

National Manager, Inspiring Australia, Questacon - the National Science and Technology Centre


Inspiring Australia: how regional stem networks are transforming national science engagement

How can local, state and federal bodies work together to build public engagement with science and innovation? This is the challenge set out for Inspiring Australia, the Australian government’s strategy for building national STEM engagement. Managed by Questacon as part of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, the programme uses a ‘national framework - local action’ model to share resources, build partnerships, create momentum and strengthen the impact of activities nationwide.

Developed in 2010 as a partnership between federal, state and territory governments and local delivery organisations, Inspiring Australia now supports a growing network of state and territory managers and regional science and innovation hubs, helping to provide resources and expertise within local communities.

This talk will reveal the vision for Inspiring Australia, share case studies and key lessons from across the country and highlight the challenges and opportunities of working across a federated system to deliver a diverse national programme of science engagement.


Bobby Cerini is an accomplished public speaker and the national manager of the Inspiring Australia programme, with responsibility for a broad portfolio of science engagement activities including National Science Week, the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science and the national science engagement framework. Based at Questacon in Canberra, Bobby has a degree in science and a PhD in science communication, and works in close consultation with a large and growing national network of science and innovation partners. She has been a British Council Chevening Scholar, an award winning filmmaker, and previously set a world record for jumping as part of the UK’s Science Year campaign.

Michael Chappell Show + Hide -

Managing Director, Culture Counts & Pracsys Economics


Realising Potential through Cultural Value Measurement

Cultural activities play an important role within regional communities. Culture Counts recognises that arts and culture can improve community vibrancy, connectedness and resilience, and is supporting regional organisations to build capacity and communicate the value of their cultural activities.

Leading cultural organisations globally are using Culture Counts to generate the evidence needed to realise potential, clearly communicate impact, attract investment, and grow audiences. This presentation will draw from experiences to provide practical case studies in realising potential through cultural value measurement.

Culture Counts is currently in discussion with RDA Peel to provide an economic and intrinsic impact measurement framework to help their 55 regional committees achieve and measure success across a broad range of outcome areas.

This presentation will be of great value to SEGRA delegates as they see how evaluative tools are contributing to the quality, growth and sustainability of regional communities. Addressing themes: Regional leadership getting things done, as well as, Attracting investment to regions finding funding partners.


Michael is the MD and founder of Pracsys Economics, a national firm of urban economists. He has 20 years of economic policy and strategy consulting experience and an extensive association with the arts sector, particularly in Western Australia.

Dave Clare Show + Hide -

Author, Speaker, Coach and Facilitator,


Leadership is Simple

Regional Australia needs innovation, technology and entrepreneurship to thrive. Accessing world class development opportunities and leading edge thinking in organisational success is needed. We need leaders who can create invincible cultures and drive engagement of employees for higher productivity. Enter, Leadership Simplified.

You lead people. If you don’t understand human behaviour then how can you lead people? Learn how to use this same process to shift your culture. Learn how to release innovation in your organisation. Shift away from archaic hierarchies to a circle of organisational leadership.

If you want to have an innovative business, you need an organisational model that creates and allows innovation to occur. That requires a new paradigm of leadership to release the latent talent and abilities and stoke the fires of creativity. The old model of organization and business no longer serves the new world and the new generation of learners and employees.

Today and tomorrow’s problems will not be solved with yesterdays thinking.

Nearly 70% of employees are disengaged in the work they are doing (Gallup & Deloitte). While leaders are already struggling to engage the current workforce, they have their work cut out for them when you consider that over 50% of the incoming workforce is going to be millennials in the next 5 years. What they want is work/life integration with meaningful work! People’s needs haven’t changed, it’s the need for the same three things. Something to believe in, someone to believe in and someone to believe in them. They want to make a difference and make money.


An international award winning Coach, Facilitator and Sales Leader. Dave is the self-proclaimed Prophet for Purpose who is a tremendous supporter of local and major causes, leads a Not for Profit organisation, and is a coach, author and speaker. After more than a decade of dedicating his life to inspiring business leaders to profit from their purpose, he is sharing his fundamental principles on leadership in this book due for release in mid 2016.

Russ Clark Show + Hide -

CEO, Albany Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI)


Russ Clark is co-presenting with Chris Thompson

Mar 2013 – Present Albany Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer

Dec 2008 – Mar 2013 Peel Thunder Football Club (WAFL) Chief Executive Officer

Feb 2000 – Dec 2008 WA Greyhound Racing Association Manager, Mandurah Greyhounds

May 1997 – Feb 2000 Peel Thunder Football Club Nov 1999 – Feb 2000 General Manager May 1997 – Nov 1999 Football Manager

Nov 1993 – May 1997 Perth Football Club Football Manager

Evelyn Collin Show + Hide -

Community Food Events


Food for Thought: strengthening community spirit and resilience from the inside out

In the Great Southern of WA, Community Food Events is a volunteer project management group delivering quality educational workshops and awareness raising programs to:

  • Promote understanding of food sovereignty and food security
  • Celebrate local food initiatives - the people, products and possibilities, and
  • Co-ordinate multi stakeholder collaborations to assist the development of healthy, fair and sustainable local food systems for the region.

Community Food Events evolved from community desire to have strategic input into local food policies. By inviting world renowned researchers to join community members in conversation, community bonds have been broadened and strengthened, and understandings deepened of our current food systems impact on:

  • Community and individual health
  • Environmental health
  • Regional vitality of our communities and also
  • the link between agricultural practises and food integrity.

Community Food Events is in a merger process with another organisation. The vision, mission and objectives of the new organisation are currently being developed.


Evelyn Collin is a connector of passionate people and organisations. A qualified Feminine Presence facilitator and grassroots co-ordinator, she plays a consumer advocate role for regenerative farming practises and localised food systems. She is the director of Community Food Events and the creator of the Food for Thought Festival. Evelyn clearly identifies the imperative need to translate leading research and best practise models into realised local community action. Identifying and mobilising community assets are one of her many strengths (seeing the bright side of life is also one). She has four young children, can’t live without the ocean and loves silence. Motto: Be Fearless.

Anita Crisp Show + Hide -

CEO, Upper Spencer Gulf Common Purpose Group


Upper Spencer Gulf: a tri-city alliance

The Upper Spencer Gulf in South Australia is a region of diversity and convergence, focused around the tri-city alliance of Port Augusta, Whyalla and Port Pirie.

The three cities each have their own identity and role as a service centre to their rural and remote hinterland, but share a strong connection and common interest based on their industrial heritage and capabilities.

The region has suffered its share of economic shocks over several decades, impacting substantially on the regions shipbuilding, steel, lead smelting, rail and power industries.

Most recently, the closure of Alinta Energy’s coal-fired power station in Port Augusta and the nearby Whyalla steelworks entering into voluntary administration has resulted in over 2000 direct jobs lost from the region.

Despite the challenges, the broader region is home to some of the most significant mineral and renewable energy resources, natural biodiversity and landscapes in the world.

The Upper Spencer Gulf has opportunity to build on these strengths and utilise its existing capabilities to support transition and growth in renewable energy, modern minerals processing, arid agriculture and innovation.

Some inroads have already been made, with the $500 million redevelopment of Nyrstar’s Port Pirie lead smelter to a modern, multi-metals recovery and e-waste processing facility and the construction of Sundrop Farms $150 million arid horticulture operation near Port Augusta. These examples pave the way for a cleaner, more sustainable and innovative future for the Upper Spencer Gulf.

Supporting this effort at a regional level is the Upper Spencer Gulf Common Purpose Group - an enduring alliance of local government, regional development and education sector representatives from across the three cities.


After a short and dismal teaching career, Anita has instead spent most of her time working in the local government and natural resource management sectors and is a strong advocate for regional communities, having lived and worked in rural South Australia all her life.

She has tertiary qualifications in applied science, education and business management, spent about five years in the Australian Army Reserves and has also been involved with a number of Government boards and committees over the past decade.

At age 40 she completed an MBA and took up gymnastics and ballet, proving you can have a fruitful and constructive mid-life crisis.

Catherine Crowden Show + Hide -

Project Officer, Collaborative Area Management Phase 1, South West Natural Resource Management


Who Fenced The Dogs Out? Collaborative Area Management in South West Queensland

The Collaborative Area Management (CAM) Project is a Queensland State Government funded initiative, managed by South West NRM. This innovative concept involves land managers working collaboratively to build and maintain an exclusion fence around a group of properties. Economies of scale dictate that fencing collaboratively is more beneficial than fencing individually. Once a fence is complete, land managers work collectively to reduce the number of invasive animals inside the fence in an effort to reduce predation on livestock by wild dogs. There are seven clusters established in SW Queensland and funding has been secured to develop a further eight or more clusters. This concept is relevant to other regions both across Australia and on a global scale.

Expected outcomes from the CAM project include a decrease in predation, allowing land managers the choice to return to the sheep industry if desired, and a decrease in total grazing pressure, enabling land managers to implement pasture management practices resulting in improved pasture health.


Catherine Crowden is the Project Officer for the Collaborative Area Management Project through South West NRM where she has worked for the past two years. Catherine completed a Bachelor of Science in 2013 with Majors in Conservation and Wildlife Biology and Environmental Management through Murdoch University in Western Australia where she lived for seven years. Catherine is responsible for the on-ground monitoring and evaluation of the project and reporting back to the QLD State Government. Catherine has presented the Collaborative Area Management Project at the Australian Rangelands Conference and has been accepted to present a poster at the International Rangelands Conference in Canada later this year.

Anna Dixon Show + Hide -

Principal Consultant, CreativeIQ


Anna started her career as a high school English teacher in regional and remote Queensland and Western Australia, becoming interested in how local communities can grow and flourish despite their distance from major centres.

This interest saw Anna move to roles with the Department of Regional Development and the WA Regional Development Trust, focused on community and regional development projects, particularly the WA Community Resource Network. These roles saw Anna working closely with regional not-for-profits to develop strong outcomes for their communities while building the sustainability of the organisations themselves.

Anna now heads up CreativeIQ, a consultancy that is all about creating action and delivering results for regional communities, often partnering with both government and regional not-for-profits. Anna’s current passion project sees her partnering with her local government in Northam in the development of a coworking space with a view to supporting entrepreneurialism and innovation in the Avon Valley.

Christine Doan Show + Hide -

Owner, Malanda North



From the physicality of training horses to the ethereal treatments of homeopathy, from the glamour of the Olympics to the mud-splattered and home spun requirements of economic development in rural Australia, from the triumphs of winning environmental court cases to the despair of countering the apathy that often confronts those with revolutionary zeal, Christine has made a career of following her own radar. She followed her radar to Far North Queensland in 1970 and never looked back.

Christine is one of those devoted amateurs who throw every resource at a cause. Multiple bottom line and Integral development and helping birth the new paradigm of business have been her all-consuming causes for the last decade and more.

She is determined to become an increasingly effective change agent in her own business, Malanda North, and in her advocacy and activism for holistic/Integral development for regions as well as for individuals.

Prof. Ross Dowling Show + Hide -

Foundation Professor of Tourism, Edith Cowan University


Geoparks: a powerful new development vehicle for regional Australia

The Geoparks initiative was established in 1998 and today there are four levels of geoparks (Aspiring, National, Regional and Global). They exist in a series of networks - National, Regional (eg. European and Asia-Pacific), and Global. Today there are hundreds of national level geoparks and over 130 Global Geoparks in 35 countries. They are on all continents except for Australia. A geopark is a clearly defined area with geological heritage of significance which fosters environmentally appropriate, socio-economic sustainable development. Geoparks use their heritage to promote awareness of key issues facing society in the context of the dynamic planet we live on. Geoparks promote awareness of geological features (through conservation, information and education) and geological resources (through geotourism and sustainable development). Geoparks offer a unique vehicle to foster community-based, sustainable, regional development in Australia. An added benefit is they are allied to the powerful UNESCO global network and brand.


The Benefits of the Cruise Ship Industry to Regional Australia

Cruise ships are now visiting many ports in regional Australia generating approximately $1.162 billion in 2015. They made 40 maiden ports of call in a range of regional towns including Burnie, Gladstone, Lizard Island and Port Douglas. This is set to continue as the cruise industry in Australia is in a period of unprecedented boom. We are now the world’s fastest growing source of cruise passengers, with numbers increasing 20.4% in 2014 to reach 1,003,256 cruisers. This achievement has been driven by a 19% annual average growth for the past 12 years. The country has also retained its position as the world leader for market penetration, with an equivalent of 4.5% of Australians taking a cruise last year. Regional communities have much to benefit from cruise ship visits and can be engaged with the industry even where no port exists as many smaller and expedition ships can tender their own passengers ashore.


Dr Ross Dowling is Foundation Professor of Tourism, School of Business & Law, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia. He consults globally on tourism development and has special expertise in sustainable, regional tourism development. He has a deep interest in the development of Geoparks and Geotourism and he is a passionate advocate for the establishment of UNESCO’s Global Geoparks in Australia. He fosters regional development through Geotourism around the world and he convened the world’s first three conferences on Geotourism in Australia (2008), Malaysia (2010) and the Sultanate of Oman (2011). In Western Australia he is Chair of the Great South West Edge National Landscape and he is a Council Member of the Royal Automobile Club and a Member of the Conservation & Parks Commission. In 2011 he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his contributions to hospitality & tourism, education and the development of ecotourism.

Dr. Louise Duxbury Show + Hide -

Senior Projects Manager, Green Skills Inc


Dr. Louise Duxbury is co-presenting with Nicole Hodgson

Louise is a leading sustainability practitioner and facilitator with thirty years experience in leadership development and implementation of regional sustainability and environmental initiatives that have contributed to major behavioural changes and regional outcomes. Louise established Green Skills in 1989 to deliver training, project management and employment services in the emerging environmental industries across WA. She has worked on collaborative projects including the development of the farm forestry industry, interpretive and regenerative tourism, sustainable food production, housing, buildings and transport, and sustainable water and energy provision in the Great Southern.

Rebecca Eggleston Show + Hide -

General Manager, FORM


Creativity: the ultimate renewable

Creativity and creative communities are an exciting and powerful means of developing resilience, enhancing, and transforming places. This presentation explores Diversity, Specialisation and Creativity for Building Resilience, and how and why creativity can play a role in the wellbeing of communities. It explores creativity as an ultimate renewable resource if we nurture it.

It examines how the distinctive identity and unique characteristics of a place can be developed and expressed through the creative lens, and what this means for cultural tourism, diplomacy, exchange and retention of talent.

It also examines how creativity can be leveraged to build the capacity and esteem of individuals and communities, grow opportunities available, and the sense of wellbeing critical for communities to deal with change.

Economies today are driven by the strength of connections, ideas and knowledge, and the ability to bring these to fruition. Stronger, vibrant communities are critical for the survival of many regions, and to retaining talent required to drive industry and economy.

Creative communities are one approach worth investigating as a means to shore up the future of our regions.


Currently FORM’s General Manger of Operations, Rebecca also leads the organisation’s urban and place strategy work, combining her background in creative cities, city strategy, creative industries and community development.

FORM is an independent non-profit organization that develops and leverages creativity as a catalyst for community transformation and cultural development in Western Australia. We aim to use our programming as a lever for positive change, and we believe that the best, most vibrant places to live are the ones that nurture creativity, showcase cultural diversity, insist on quality, and are shaped with people in mind.

Rebecca was previously a Program Director at CEOs for Cities, a U.S. based national network of urban leaders, where she developed the organisation’s creative cities work and consulting, as well as designing and delivering new programs and national events to advance thinking on a range of key city concerns. Prior to this, she managed creative industry and creative city development initiatives in Western Australia.

Rebecca has been regularly interview and invited to speak on community, cultural, and development issues, with presentations including at CEDA State of the Regions dialogue, Planning Institute of Australia State Conference, Peel Harvey Dry Sheep Equivalent Forum, Tourism WA’s Global PR Managers Forum, Community Foundations of Australia forum, National Australian Institute of Energy Conference Dinner, Pilbara Dialogue 2035, International Creative Entrepreneurs Lab, Edinburgh, SmartWorks conference, Sydney and more, as well as providing guest lectures at ECU, Central TAFE, and Chicago’s Art Institute.

Rebecca was recipient of the Gladys Wade and the Katherine Moss Prizes at University of Western Australia for her Honours and dissertation work.

Peter Elford Show + Hide -

Director, Government Relations and eResearch, AARNet


Universities as Anchors for Digital Regional Development

The universities that serve and support regional Australia play prominent roles in their communities, as educational institutions, major employers, centres for support services and as a community hubs. These digitally well-connected regional universities also play a role as an anchor tenant for ultra-high quality network infrastructure (from AARNet), which enables schools, TAFE’s, hospitals, galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs) and other education and research institutions to overcome some of the traditional issues of isolation and disadvantage common to many regional organisations. In the 21st century, digital connectivity is just as important for regional development as bricks and mortar infrastructure, and critical to ensuring regional communities remain attractive compared to urban communities, not only regarding the quality of home or residential and mobile telecommunications services, but also regarding the quality of services that are available regionally. This is particularly true for schools, as will be illustrated in this presentation.


Peter Elford manages AARN’s relationships across a broad range of Federal and state government agencies, and AARNet’s engagement with the Australian research community. He is a strong and passionate advocate for the role Information and Communications Technology (ICT) plays in enabling globally collaborative and competitive research through ultra-high speed broadband connectivity. Peter is an ICT professional with over 30 years’ experience within the government, education, research and industry sectors having worked at the Australian National University, AARNet (twice) and Cisco. In his first stint at AARNet (in 1990) he engineered much of the original Internet in Australia.

Prof. Max Finlayson Show + Hide -

Director, Institute for Land, Water & Society, Charles Sturt University


Supporting Dynamic and Sustainable Socio-Environmental Systems: Realities, Challenges and Opportunities with the Murray-Darling Basin Water Plan

Australia’s management of the Murray Darling Basin (MDB) is unique, demonstrating an extraordinary collaboration across jurisdictions and regions for the wise allocation of limited water resources. The statutory Murray Darling Basin Plan (the Basin Plan) promises to equitably meet the needs of multiple and diverse stakeholders. The risk facing the governments and communities of the Basin is that the plan will falter at the implementation stage due to the absence of a mechanism to garner buy-in from the bottom-up.


How Do We Sustain Production Landscapes?

Management of the Murray Darling Basin is an extraordinary effort to collaborate across jurisdictions for the use of a limited resource. A plan now exists, and it’s backed by legislation. It promises to equitably meet the needs of diverse stakeholders. This raises a critical question: Could similar transboundary integrated water resources management (IWRM) plans be proactively developed to sustain production landscapes across Australia? Such plans could be informed by the experiences and learnings of the Murray-Darling and be framed around an IWRM approach, embedding integrated catchment management. This proposition needs to be considered in the light of whether or not the Basin Plan will falter. In particular, are there secure mechanisms to garner buy-in from the bottom-up? Are the correct indicators of success in place; can progress be measured; can it be supported with timely knowledge from community and research networks; and does a sense of wellbeing and equity prevail?


Renown wetland ecologist with extensive experience internationally in 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, and the Global Environment Outlook (UNEP). Since the early 1990s he has been a technical adviser to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and has written extensively on wetland ecology and management. He has also been actively involved in environmental NGOs and science organisations.

Kate Forrest Show + Hide -

Rangeland NRM Alliance Coordinator, Desert Channels Queensland


The Rangeland NRM Alliance: action through collaboration

The Rangeland NRM Alliance (the Alliance) works to obtain traction for issues important to the people and environment of the Australian rangelands. The combined resources of the 14 regional NRM organisations provide investors, policy makers and partners with services beyond the scope of the individual organisations. This includes strategic planning and partnerships to tackle issues which individual groups may find overwhelming.

The Alliance is based on the idea that working together will allow the members greater recognition and resources to achieve improved natural resource management in the Rangelands. This idea has proven to be true over the almost 10 years that the Alliance has existed. Its scope of work has moved from developing cross-regional projects, to promoting national responses on specific issues, to developing an investment blueprint for rangeland NRM, and moving to work with partners in other sectors to investigate how to use the interconnectedness of the rangelands communities to influence policy development that is appropriate for the environment in which we live and work.

The operating environment is somewhat unique. The Australian rangelands cover 6.2 million km2, over 80% of Australia’s landmass, and is home to less than 3% of the population. The rangeland communities of Australia are characterised by low population, distance from central government, variability of climate, boom and bust cycles, inconsistent and insufficient funding and low political power. (Stafford Smith 2008, Chaney 2015). This distance contributes to incompatible policy design, perverse outcomes from government programs, little influence on government funding, and duplication of work.


Kate Forrest works as the coordinator for the Rangeland NRM Alliance. She works with the Alliance Chair, Andrew Drysdale, the fourteen regional NRM bodies and a number of other partners to improve the profile and programs to support Natural Resource Management in the rangelands.

Kate Forrest has worked for the past 15 years in rural development, capacity building and program coordination in the rangelands of South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia. She has applied her skills to sustainable livelihood development and training capacity improvement with roles in Sri Lanka and Cambodia. She is motivated by the interaction between people and land and works towards improving the circumstances of both.

Cathryn Geiger Show + Hide -

General Manager, Regional Economic Policy Branch, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development


Trends in Regional Labour Markets

Labour market outcomes vary considerably from region to region. Some areas of regional Australia have low levels of unemployment, whilst others are consistently higher than the national average. Labour market disparities, on average, reduce overall economic and social outcomes in regional Australia and are expected to continue into the future. Policy makers need to be aware of the unique challenges and opportunities that each region is facing to ensure that policies and programmes are designed to meet the needs of individual regions.

Unemployment rates in regional Australia have historically been higher than in capital cities. This regional variation in unemployment is associated with lower levels of education and an ongoing restructure of regional employment markets driven by long-term trends towards greater centralisation of regional populations. Employment projections indicate that regional jobs markets will achieve slower growth rates when compared to capital cities. The growth in the industries in regional Australia require employees with higher levels of skills and experience than the industries in decline. At the same time, automation is projected to have a higher impact on regional Australia than on capital cities, reducing numbers of low-skilled entry level roles may have a higher impact on young people in regional Australia.

Identifying regional communities that are highly vulnerable to one or more of these trends enables policy makers to target interventions. Identifying, for example, regions that have a combination of high youth unemployment and high automation potential will be particularly important in our efforts to develop policies that ensure the next generation is prepared to benefit from automation and avoid being locked out of lucrative high skilled professions. The possible effects of automation could be both negative and positive outcomes. Automation has traditionally been associated with a decline in low skilled employment and an increase in high-skilled employment. The challenge will be in identifying and taking advantage of the opportunities presented by automation.


Cathryn Geiger is the General Manager of the Regional Economic Policy branch in the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. Ms Geiger’s branch provides evidence-based policy advice and information on regional economic development, including the annual publication State of Australian Regions Yearbook and State of Regional Australia.

Ms Geiger has pursued an interest in regional development, whole-of-government issues, and strategic policy through policy and program roles across the Australian Government. She started her public sector career in 2001 at the Department of Agriculture working on agricultural industry policy, environmental program delivery, and corporate policy. She then moved to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet working on both domestic and international policy issues. Ms Geiger has been with the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development since 2013, working on regional development policy.

Jon Grant Show + Hide -

Project Manager, Collaborative Area Management Phase 2, South West Natural Resource Management


Jon Grant is co-presenting with Catherine Crowden

Jon is an economist with over 10 years of experience providing analysis in the fields of business, industry and the environment. He is highly proficient in undertaking and leading micro-economic modelling, economic analysis and cost-benefit analysis. Jon’s formal qualifications are a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Queensland, as well as a Masters of Commerce from the University of New England.

Jon is currently the project manager for South West NRM’s Collaborative Area Management Phase 2 project – an Australian and Queensland Government feral pest investment designed to improve the productivity, profitability, and long-term sustainability of primary producers in south west Queensland

Michael Growder Show + Hide -

Assistant Secretary, FTA Outreach Unit, DFAT


Michael Growder is currently Assistant Secretary in DFAT’s Free Trade Agreement Division, where he is responsible for advocacy work on the recently-concluded north Asia FTAs. He has been in this position since early 2015, after returning from a posting as Public Affairs Counsellor in the Australian Embassy in Beijing (2011 to 2014).

Michael was formerly posted to the Australian Embassy in Hanoi as First Secretary responsible for economic and trade policy issues (2005-2007). Michael was previously part of the negotiating teams working on the China, Japan and Korea FTAs, and has also written published reports on Australian commercial opportunities in India and China. Prior to joining DFAT, Michael worked at the Reserve Bank of Australia for several years. He graduated from the University of Queensland with degrees in Economics and Mandarin Chinese, and Michael also speaks Vietnamese.

Troy Haines Show + Hide -

Start-Up & Innovation Coach, theSPACE Cairns


Troy Haines is a Startup and Innovation Coach who has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs across Australia to help them commercialise their ideas. Amongst many awards, he was named Innovation Champion in 2014 by the Minister of Innovation and Premier of QLD. He was also inducted into the QLD Government Innovation Wall of Fame for his work in building the NQ startup & innovation ecosystem. Troy and the team at theSPACE have developed startup & innovation programs which they deliver across a wide audience, from high school students, SME’s to Government (and everyone in between). He has been referred to as a creative genius and consistently demonstrates how actions speak louder than words when getting results.

Patrick Hill Show + Hide -

Chairman, Outback Highway Development Council Inc


Outback Way Regional Policy linking the nation

The Outback Way- Australia’s Longest Shortcut, has been in the making since 1997, it is one of the largest cross border projects envisaged for our nation. The Outback Way has triggered high levels of collaboration with 3 tiers of government, regional bodies, tourism organisation and communities. This critical trans national link- has highlighted where cross border policy can be improved and by the projects nature is widens viewpoints and perspectives from community development in rural and remote Australia, indigenous economic development, development of local towns to the way we do business in Australia.


Patrick Hill is the President of the Laverton Shire WA, and was the initiator of the Outback Way in 1997, which led to the formation of the Outback Highway Development Council of which he has been chairman since its inception. Patrick is a community and regional champion, also on the board of Australia’s Golden Outback and the Goldfields Esperance RDA, Goldfields Esperance Development Council. Patrick is passionate about policy that captures the needs of regional Australia.

Nicole Hodgson Show + Hide -

Lecturer, Murdoch University


Resilient and Sustainable Economic Futures for the Great Southern Region

This paper is based on a collaborative research project between Murdoch University and Green Skills Inc which has explored potential sustainable business futures for the Great Southern Region. The project was based on an assumption that Australia and its regions will move to decarbonise the economy and develop liveability through sustainability focused economic development.

While there are many sustainability challenges to address (a changing climate, limited water supplies and increasing energy demands) the Great Southern is well placed to create a Sustainable and Resilient Economy for the 21st Century. It is a world renowned biodiversity hotspot, a regional leader in renewable energy, and features many community-based innovations in sustainability.

The paper will present best practice from around the world on regional transitions towards a resilient and sustainable economy, as well as present on the results of interviews and engagement with local businesses and other key organisations from the region.


Nicole is a part-time Lecturer in Sustainability at Murdoch University. She combines this with regionally focused research and practical projects at Green Skills Inc, in Denmark. Nicole has First Class Honours in Social Ecology and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Ecologically Sustainable Development from Murdoch University. Nicole is a sustainability practitioner with eighteen years of experience working in a variety of sectors (Local Government, State Government, NGO Sector) to implement sustainability initiatives. She has lived in Denmark, in the Great Southern, for 5 years and is passionate about creating a resilient and sustainable future in the region.

Sarah Houston Show + Hide -

Project Officer, Grower Group Alliance


Grower Groups in WA: from agricultural r&d to social and regional development

Grower groups, also known as farming systems groups, aim to increase the production and profitability of farmers through adoption of new production technologies and delivery of Research, Development and Extension (RD&E). Furthermore, these groups are continuing to develop to become providers not only of education and information services, but also providing a social hub supporting peer-to-peer learning and community development activities.

Grower groups proactively focus on issues affecting their regions, not only in agricultural production, but also regarding social and regional development, playing a role in attracting investment and people to the regions and providing a connection to other regions through collaboration and partnerships. Grower groups are filling a gap left by the declining public sector support agencies in the regions.

Grower groups provide very clear economic and environmental benefits, but the social and personal development of people in the regions is equally important.

The Grower Group Alliance (GGA) is an example of a model that offers support to groups in regional locations including facilitation of networks and linkages with government, industry and the not-for-profit sector. It provides opportunities for collaboration and capacity building, and gives regional groups a sense of belonging within the community.

Grower groups are well established in the grains industry through Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria, and are seen as a model of choice for other industry sectors wanting to improve regional connectedness, particularly around the dissemination of RD&E.

The GGA is a project supported by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA through the Seizing the Opportunity Royalties for Regions Initiative. The GGA has been in operation since 2002, where group numbers in the network have grown from five founding members, to 45 groups across multiple agricultural sectors.


Sarah joined the Grower Group Alliance in January 2016 and is focused on creating a well-connected agricultural industry in WA.

Originally from Tasmania, Sarah has a passion for sustainable food production and supporting regional communities. Her family run a vegetable growing operation near Hobart where they grow fresh vegetables to supply the domestic market. After completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with First Class Honours from the University of Tasmania, Sarah started her career in agribusiness banking, working throughout NSW and QLD and gaining exposure to many agricultural sectors.

Sarah moved to Western Australia in 2012 where she has worked in the horticulture and seafood industries gaining extensive experience in the areas of project management, extension, communications and supply chain development.

She believes strongly in developing effective communication channels and broad networks to improve capacity and productivity within the agricultural sector and regional communities.

Debra Howe Show + Hide -

Former Economic Development Manager, Mackay Regional Council


Creating a Farm to Plate Value Chain in MIW’ (Mackay Isaac Whitsunday)

This presentation focuses on the MIW Food and Agritourism Project that we developed which included developing a Food and Agritourism Strategy and Strategic Action Plan, forming the Greater Whitsunday Food Network, delivering a producers and growers development program and establishing the weekly Greater Whitsunday Farmers Market in Mackay.


Debra Howe has worked in local government in Queensland (Brisbane, Toowoomba, Mackay and now Livingstone) for over 19 years in total, and in Victoria (Cities of Port Phillip and Moreland) for 3 years, primarily in tourism and economic development, and event and investment attraction. Debra has also worked in the private sector for just over 21 years. Debra moved to Mackay in May 2014 and commenced with Mackay Region Council as Manager Economic Development responsible for economic development, place management and major project and investment facilitation and event attraction. In September 2016, Debra moved to Yeppoon to take up the role of Director Strategic Growth and Development with Livingstone Shire Council. Debra won the 2010 Queensland Telstra Business Women’s White Pages Community and Government Award and went on to compete in the 2010 Australian Telstra Business Women’s Award. Debra played a key role in the $18M Mackay City Centre Revitalisation Project and along with the Project Manager was invited to accept an award in the 2016 National Awards for Local Government for the category Innovation to Create More Liveable Australian Cities on behalf of Mackay Regional Council.

Brett Hughes Show + Hide -

Director, North Asia - Trade & Market Access Division, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources


Brett has worked for the Department of Agriculture for over 20 years, much of which has been focussed on agricultural trade, including bilateral trading relationships with Australia’s key agricultural markets, and Australia’s agricultural policy engagement with multilateral and plurilateral organisations such as the OECD, APEC and UN FAO. He has served overseas as an Agriculture Counsellor in the Australian Embassy in Rome (as Australia’s representative to the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organisation) and more recently as Australia’s Agriculture Counsellor to Japan in the Australian Embassy Tokyo (where he was responsible for the bilateral agricultural trade and market access relationship with Japan). He has previously been involved in a range of bilateral FTA negotiations and implementation as well the regional ASEAN-Australian & NZ (AANZFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. More recently he was involved in the finals stages of the agriculture goods negotiations of the Japan (JAEPA) and China (ChAFTA) Free Trade Agreements, and implementation arrangements for the three North Asian Free Trade Agreements. He holds a Bachelor Degree from the Australian National University in Political Science (International Relations), Economics/Economic History.

Cassandra Hughes Show + Hide -

Chair, Hidden Treasures and SEGRA National Steering Committee


The Value of Collaboration: a tourism experience

For 12 years, eight local governments in the Great Southern Region in WA have worked collaboratively to promote tourism for their 16 small rural and remote towns. This collaboration works powerfully because of the commitment of the delegates, each committed to the others success and the success of the region as a whole. Knowing that individually Tourism is not possible, but together they can achieve, the group undertake a range of activities on behalf of their member Councils, and provide more than 20,000 copies of marketing materials each year, a Website, Facebook and other social media, as well as a month long festival that promotes what Blooms in Spring in this fabulous region.

The groups’ success is a attributable to a genuine passion and commitment to the big picture. Not without its challenges, such as not being incorporated, lack of professional profile and an entirely volunteer committee, the group very successfully leverages its funding and delivers outcomes. Participants will learn from the mistakes and successes of the group, what worked and what didn’t.


For 12 years, eight local governments in the Great Southern Region in WA have worked collaboratively to promote tourism for their 16 small rural and remote towns. This collaboration works powerfully because of the commitment of the delegates, each committed to the others success and the success of the region as a whole. Knowing that individually Tourism is not possible, but together they can achieve, the group undertake a range of activities on behalf of their member Councils, and provide more than 20,000 copies of marketing materials each year, a Website, Facebook and other social media, as well as a month long festival that promotes what Blooms in Spring in this fabulous region.

The groups’ success is a attributable to a genuine passion and commitment to the big picture. Not without its challenges, such as not being incorporated, lack of professional profile and an entirely volunteer committee, the group very successfully leverages its funding and delivers outcomes. Participants will learn from the mistakes and successes of the group, what worked and what didn’t.

Randall Jasper Show + Hide -

Treasurer, Creative Albany Inc.


The Creative Economy: revealing your untapped resources

Creative Albany (CA) undertook to obtain a more accurate picture of the creative sector in the Great Southern region. We believe this project was one of the first attempts to quantify this ‘hidden’ element of the creative sector.

We conducted a bespoke online survey targeting creative workers, interrogated the ABS Census figures, and reviewed research undertaken by other consultants and economists.

The research revealed that there are twice as many creative workers in the Great Southern as are reported in the Census, that the creative workforce is growing at three times the Region’s average, and that structure of our creative workforce is very different from the national average. The Create Southern Great Southern report proposed several recommendations to address some of the impediments to growth of the creative sector and supporting creative workers.

We now have a clear picture of the structure of our creative sector, what our creative workers are doing and what their needs are. The data should help policy makers and funding organisations understand the size and importance of the creative sector.

Other regions could benefit from gaining a more accurate picture of their creative sectors, to discover their own unique characteristics, and to find ways to use these as a lever to support their more traditional industries.


Randall Jasper was the Business Manager at the UWA Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management, Albany WA, and is skilled in collating and interpreting research and data, in analysing use and benefit of building facilities and in strategic planning. He has qualifications in education, economics and science & technology policy.

Stuart Kidd Show + Hide -

Founder, Everythere


The Digital Outback

Since 1996 I have been a pioneer in digital mediums and at the beginning of last year I started developing a mobile application that targets tourists and offers them interpretation depending on their location. The project is already working with city walks, museums, aquariums and soon with the Bibulumen Track.


Stuart started the first ASX-listed mobile app development company and has recently been invited to partake in the accelerator, Vocus Startup with his tourism application.

Dr. Branka Krivokapic-Skoko Show + Hide -

Associate Professor, Charles Sturt University


Small Scale Farming and Settlement of Humanitarian Immigrants in Australian Agriculture

The paper outlines and discusses preliminary empirical findings from four sites in rural Australia focusing on involvement of humanitarian immigrants working in community farms/small scale farming and the use of cultural ingrained practices in farming. Those models of engagements of humanitarian immigrants is seen as a vehicle stimulating healing, holistic reintegration between people and place, and promoting a sense of belonging to a community and also further strengthening a sense of citizenship.

This presentation builds on earlier work examining the role of community spaces in cross-cultural exchange. It will explore the notion of habitus as it relates to the experience of multicultural spaces and will examine the relevance of various theoretical approaches to understanding intercultural interaction. These include concepts of dialogue, social capital and prosaic negotiations in micro-cultures of space. The research will examine the potential for community farms and gardens in creating a multiculturalism of inhabitance and reflect on the ways in which public policy can support the effective management of difference in multicultural space.


Branka’s research interests are particularly around the revitalisation of regional and rural Australia. For instance, Branka worked on research project funded by RIRDC on Attracting and Retaining Immigrants in Non-metropolitan Australia which produces a tool box of ideas for rural and regional communities which are trying to attract new, highly skilled immigrants and resolve a labour shortage in some professions. She just finalised (together with a colleague form UTS) a three year, large scale project on New Immigrants Improving Productivity in Australian Agriculture, which can contribute to the increasing vitality of Australian agriculture in coming decades. That research also assessed contribution of temporary migration scheme such as Working Holiday Makers and Pacific Island Seasonal workers to Australian agriculture.

Joel Levin Show + Hide -

Managing Director, Aha! Consulting


Ask the Cat! Why Engagement Counts in Building Regional Sustainability

IAP2 Australasia is the leading association in Australia and New Zealand advancing the practice of community and stakeholder engagement.

Community and stakeholder engagement recognises that those impacted by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision making process.

We believe a strong community is an engaged community where the views of the people are actively sought after and considered - leading to better outcomes.

This presentation will discuss strategies for engaging with stakeholders, as well as outline how to design and implement an engagement plan.

IAP2 resources such as The IAP2 Public Participation Spectrum will be utilised in this presentation.


Joel Levin is the Managing Director of Aha! Consulting. He has been a member of IAP2 Australasia for the past decade and is the founding Regional Coordinator for WA.

Joel has 10 years’ experience in the design, delivery and evaluation of engagement across multiple sectors and contexts. He is highly committed to the practice of community and stakeholder engagement and has delivered a series of successful national forums.

Bruce Lorimer Show + Hide -

Managing Director, Core Business Australia


Economic Development Thought Bubbles: what’s required to deliver the dream (part a & part b)

Whilst there are a number of funding opportunities for infrastructure project development, what is really needed to support the business case to secure funding and show that the project is sustainable, can be delivered and achieved the objectives of the proposal. This paper will set out what funding providers are looking for to provide confidence in the delivery of infrastructure projects.

Co-presenter - Mark Weller, Executive Manager Business Advisory, Core Business Australia


Bruce Lorimer is Managing Director of Core Business Australia which provides business planning and advisory services to local governments across Australia. Bruce is an experienced civil engineer with qualification in surveying and GIS. Bruce has worked as a consultant to local government for the past 11 years. Prior to that, Bruce had a 29 year career in local government holding several senior positions at metropolitan and regional local governments in WA including CEO and Director Engineering.

Moragh Mackay Show + Hide -

PhD Candidate, Charles Sturt University


Transforming Governance Together

In the emergent public purpose sector, comprising government, business and civil society, how might we change governance to acknowledge and work within wicked and uncertain contexts? How might we embrace the idea that what is being governed are social-ecological systems, and that the levers of change lie with practices of governing and institutional arrangements? Better governance depends on what individuals do, and what they can negotiate with others. But how can people within NRM governance transform the institutional relationships, practices and arrangements in which they are embedded?

From these questions emerged two Systemic Inquiries into regionally-based NRM in Victoria that supported over 70 stakeholders from local, regional and state levels of governance to improve the way they work together. Participants developed proposals for improving governance that will be trialled during 2016-17. They built individual and group capacities in systems thinking and practice and confidence in reframing governance. The role of design, facilitation and utility of systems methods that resulted in constructive and continuous collective engagement were also explored.

Innovators in governance need continued access to expertise and coaching, a space to test and develop new relationships and operational arrangements and to reflect on their emerging practices. The strength of old practices means it can take years for new policies and programs to get traction. New practices and relationships need to be invented, tested and embedded, through facilitated inquiry and action, not left to chance. Systemic Inquiry is a methodology that enables this and can be adapted to any governance situation.


As a researcher/practitioner Moragh is interested in facilitating meaningful engagement with diverse stakeholders who seek to improve the way they work together. She has developed her facilitation practice to enable personal and group inquiry/learning to better understand and then transform shared situations. She applies systems thinking and methods in social learning forums, sometimes called Communities of Practice, empowering participants to steer their own systemic action research and co-design of purposeful and agreed action. Moragh chose to develop personally in this way to address the gap between the rhetoric and practice of social and environmental governance that she has experienced over 25 years of involvement in natural resource management. The experience of deep collaboration during episodes of innovative governance fed her enthusiasm and confidence that we, human society, can co-operate for public good and for the world we share.

Sally Malone Show + Hide -

Deputy Chair, Creative Albany Inc


Sally Malone is co-presenting with Randall Jasper

Sally Malone is a designer specialising in townscape and landscape design and has worked for many years with regional communities on public place enhancement and streetscaping projects. She became interested in finding ways to enliven towns beyond improving the physical environment, and was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to research the Creative Economy and Urban Design. She has been an advocate for creative workers in Albany for the past decade.

Fiona Martin Show + Hide -

Vice President, Nyabing Progress Association


Nyabing Community Hub

Nyabing Progress Association Inc (NPA) can provide an understanding to the inside workings of the small town community who are taking control of their own future; building a resilient community and improving connectivity by reducing rural disadvantages and creating positive changes. The Nyabing Progress Association Inc is a volunteer driven organisation, whose members are dedicated to establishing a Community Hub.

The Nyabing Community Hub project offers a vibrant business centre and meeting place in the main street that will revitalise the town. The freehold land and Nyabing Inn business was purchased in 2015 in preparation for the transformation to a Community Hub. The overall plan is to construct a new building to integrate the licence premises and the Hub under a shared roof, to incorporate commercial kitchen and dining facilities as well as conference rooms, meeting rooms and office spaces with the latest media accessories.


Fiona Martin is the Vice President of Nyabing Progress Association and has been a dedicated committee member for over 6 years. Fiona was has worked in agriculture finance and research industry and is now actively engaged in a family farm business and part time field research, while raising her 3 young boys. Fiona acknowledges the challenges in small rural communities but keen to see them overcome by using opportunities through technology, changes in service delivery and new approaches in order to sustain rural populations. The recent completion of the short term accommodation has been immensely satisfying to see all the work the community has invested into the project that has now come to fruition. Pure excitement awaits for the main hub building construction in 2018.

Dr. Breda McCarthy Show + Hide -

Senior Lecturer in Marketing, James Cook University


Barriers to the Diffusion of Renewable Energy in Queensland

Renewable energy (RE) is needed for the low-carbon future envisioned in the 2015 Paris climate agreement. The Queensland Government has set an ambitious target of 50 per cent of Queensland’s electricity needs being met by renewable energy sources by 2030. This article highlights the assumptions, narratives and tensions that underlie a RE transition. A comparative case study of Queensland and South Australia is used, as the latter has a high penetration level of renewable energy, and the key factors inhibiting a transition to renewable energy are explored. The analysis is based on a review of the literature, policy documents and submissions to the Queensland Renewable Energy Expert Panel.


Dr Breda McCarthy holds a PhD from Dublin City University, Ireland. She is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at James Cook University (JCU) with research interests in renewable energy, sustainable food systems, ethical consumption and Chinese demand for red wine. She has published conference papers, journal articles, e-books, book chapters and case studies on marketing. She is currently part of a multi-disciplinary team from the College of Business, Law and Governance that secured an internal grant to conduct research on renewable energy. The project deals with energy transitions and environmental futures in the tropics; the forces driving, resisting and shaping energy transitions and policy solutions aimed at sound and enduring energy-environmental futures.

Jason McFarlane Show + Hide -

Managing Director, Far Lane


Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems: lessons from pollinators

In an ideal region, economic development would be driven by locals, innovative enough to attract export dollars and investment, ecologically and socially sustainable, and thrive beyond the boom and bust cycle. Pollinators Inc was founded to realise that ideal, has faced significant hurdles, and has succeeded in becoming a benchmark for innovation, coworking and collaboration in regional Australia.

Jason will use his strategic, economic perspective, and cross-regional experience to dissect Pollinators as a case study, revealing lessons relevant to other regions and ventures. Andrew, as co-founder of Pollinators, will give the practitioner view, sharing:

Lessons: What has worked, what didn’t;

Theory vs practice: assumptions, metrics and business models;

Roles: stakeholders, supporters and challengers impact; and

Future: What this means for innovation and entrepreneurship in regional Australia.

The presentation will reference Narasimhalu’s innovation cube and globally-validated innovation frameworks as a lens to examine the drivers, triggers and enablers of transformational change. Theses frameworks will be presented as practical tool for practitioners to utilise when considering innovation within their own economies, with Jason and Andrew explaining how they are being applied in the development of an innovation ecosystem for the Mid-West.

The audience will be invited to actively engage with the presentation by contributing their own questions and insights. The conversation will therefore be fluid, responding to where the audience wishes to focus its attention.


That Thing from the Future - playing with regional scenarios

We as humans are innately poor at predicting the future, yet as practitioners we constantly are asked to do just that. This session will explore the limitations and consequences of the assumptions that we all bring when considering the future scenarios for our regional communities and economies.

Utilising’s engaging facilitated game That Thing from the Future, participants will contribute to the imagination of a range of future regional disruptors, and consider implications for their own communities and economies. The session will be delivered in a fast paced, fun atmosphere where all can participate, heckle and debate. It will conclude with a debrief discussion as to how such tools can be utilised by practitioners to challenge communities and stakeholders to think outside of the box when considering and planning their own future scenarios.


Jason McFarlane launched Far Lane in January 2016 with a mission to help build the relationships, systems and resources required by enterprises to create and sustain positive change.

His diverse experience includes consulting, economic development, business development, operations management and team facilitation throughout Australia and Hong Kong. Jason has as Masters of Business Administration (California State University East Bay) and a Bachelor of Science (UWA) and a Certificate in Strategic Foresight (University of Houston).

Prof. Michael McGrath Show + Hide -

Professor of Information Systems, Victoria University


Big Data: analytics for tourism destination management

Big data generated across social media sites has created numerous opportunities for decision makers. This study aims to design and evaluate a ‘big data analytics method to support strategic decision making in tourism destination management. Using geotagged photos uploaded by travellers to the photo sharing social site, Flickr, the applicability of the method in assisting destination management organisations to analyse and predict tourist behavioural patterns at specific destinations is shown, using Melbourne, Australia as a representative case. The case study demonstrated the ability of the method to identify and predict significant differences between domestic and international tourist patterns, detailed seasonal variations, and visitation patterns relevant to localised demand forecasting. Utility was confirmed using both another destination and directly with stakeholder audiences. Other domains the technology could support include route planning, visitor traffic management and post-visit experience analysis marketing applications. The proposed method is generic, and its applicability to other big data streams is discussed.


Professor Michael McGrath gained his PhD from Macquarie University, Sydney in 1993. He is currently a Professor of Information Systems at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. He has over 20 years experience in the IT industry - mostly at Telstra, Australia, where he worked in a variety of positions. These included an executive-level position, as Manager Information Architecture within the organisation’s Corporate Strategy Directorate. His current research is focused mainly on the development of applications of IT within the tourism industry and, in particular, on knowledge-based and decision support systems within that domain. In recent years he has conducted research and consultancy work for Telstra, IBM, Centrelink, DIST (Department of Industry Science and Tourism) and NOIE (National Office for the Information Economy). He has authored over 150 refereed journal, book chapter and conference papers.

Dr. Devaki Monani Show + Hide -

Lecturer in Social Policy, Australian Catholic University


Exploring Pathways of Social Cohesion: experience of ethnic communities in regional areas

The proposed presentation will demonstrate the importance of well-being and its linkages with economic productivity. As per the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, every individual has the right to feel safe in their local environment. Anecdotal evidence emerging from urban areas has revealed the extent to which religious intolerance is on the rise. Against this background, the proposed presentation will respond to key questions such as how can we build capacity to increase levels of tolerance and respect in regional areas to respond to growing diversity? What are the resources required to fulfill this goal? What are the current best practice approaches in place in regional areas in Australia? Who are the leaders? Where are the gaps? The presentation will highlight the importance of tolerance and respect towards the growing diverse settlement of ethnic communities in regional areas.


Dr Devaki Monani is a Lecturer in Social Policy and the coordinator of the Master of Social Work program at Australian Catholic University. She completed her PhD in (2008) from the School of Social Work, University of Melbourne. Devaki also holds a qualification in Social Impact Investment from the University of Oxford (2013). She is a fluent speaker of Hindi, Gujarati and Urdu. Devaki is interested in research partnerships on the topics of community capacity building, social impact and promotion of well-being of ethnic communities in regional areas in Australia.

Anne Moroney Show + Hide -

CEO, RDA Barossa


Getting to Now: The use of personal stories in economic development strategy

Much is written about the value of stories in marketing and branding. Stories are known to connect us with experience and engage our emotions. However stories can deliver messages on many levels and meet many economic development objectives: career and jobs, motivation for investment, entrepreneurship and applied innovation, introduction to clusters and place value. RDA Barossa has recently compiled a series of personal stories across the region as a way of connecting new interest in regional economic development opportunity. When we began collecting the stories we were unaware, but open to where the stories would lead in terms of value and messaging. This presentation will introduce some of these stories and explain the RDA Barossa journey to understanding how they could be used to connect investment, export and workforce interest in our regional advantage.


Good Governance as Economic Development Strategy

In essence, governance is about how things are organised and how decisions are made. Good governance - in product, process and place - promotes effective organisation and organisations and good decisions. Integrated design as a governance framework is a strategy for user centred effective economic development outcomes. Integrated design as good governance takes governance beyond compliance and rules to a way of thinking, a culture for sustainable outcomes. This presentation will examine a number of case studies from Europe, North America and Australia to understand how a good governance framework delivers economic outcomes across boundaries and borders, allows us to focus on functional geography, systems and purpose.


A background in commercial law and small business, with relevant qualifications in law, business, economic development, mediation & governance. Key achievements in regional economic development are shared achievements - the facilitator achieves little without invested business and community. Some key achievements during her watch include establishment and growth of local industry peak bodies, design centred thinking on development and precincts, activation of game changer projects, a local innovation policy which places the creative arts at its core, strategic industry growth, public/private support for business services, business and industry networks, export programs and comprehensive investor information and support framework.

Prof. Mark Morrison Show + Hide -

Associate Dean Research, Faculty of Business, Justice and Behavioural Sciences, Charles Sturt University


Benchmarking Regional Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Regional economic development initiatives in Australia leverage a variety of technology business incubation (TBI) platforms - from real-estate based incubators to university linked innovation parks and everything in between. While TBIs are a major component of regional entrepreneurial ecosystems, there is a lack of understanding about the presence and activities of TBIs in Regional Australia, and their general effectiveness in generating jobs and income in regional areas. The purpose of this study is to benchmark existing TBIs in regional Australian communities using items from the OECD’s Local Economic and Employment Development Programme. These include:

  1. context - objectives, target market, geographic scope;
  2. clients - sectoral, demographic, market, and technology focus;
  3. services - services to assist clients- funding, management assistance, and educational programs;
  4. delivery - who delivers the services;
  5. TBI evaluation processes; and
  6. TBI metrics net jobs created, sales growth, profitability, and exports.


Professor Mark Morrison researches in the area of environmental economics and environmental marketing. In environmental economics he has published widely on non-market valuation, and has worked on several high profile decisions including assisting the Murray-Darling Basin Authority with benefit estimation for the Basin Plan, and two Copyright Tribunal hearings on the value of music. Mark is interested in the use of incentive programs and has conducted several projects with a number of catchment management authorities and regional bodies investigating how to encourage landholder participation, particularly among difficult to reach landholder segments. His work in environmental marketing includes research on climate change communication, and household demand management of electricity. He has also conducted research in the area of marketing education.

Ken Moule Show + Hide -

CEO, Global GBM


How Technology Has Changed Our World and the Way We Behave

Innovation is not new. As a species we have been adapting for millennia with many dramatic events changing the way mankind operates.

In this talk I will examine how we are affected by a series of innovations that build on common themes. I have chosen four main areas – communications, transportation, publishing and education. All are affected by today’s digital disruption, but that is just the latest chapter in a story that spans many centuries.

While technologies keep changing, there are undeniable trends and it is those that change our expectations and our communities. While we cannot always predict what new technology will arrive tomorrow, we can bank on the fact that it will build on these historical trends.

I will look at how industry, government and importantly our community groups can innovate to ride these trends and remain relevant in a changing world. I will illustrate this by examining several sectors that are of special interest to regional Australia, including digital tourism.


The World We Walk In: multifaceted tourism experiences

The resource that our regions have in greatest abundance is their wide open spaces. That resource can be harnessed to deliver significant and sustainable revenue in the expanding market for visitors who are looking for a special type of experience.

Visitors commonly travel between our larger commercial sites, unaware that the regions they pass thorough hold locations of immense interest that warrant an extended stay.

There are countless undocumented sites of geological, environmental, cultural heritage, historical and agritourism interest that are known by our local communities but are not currently leveraged to drive sustainable tourism experiences in our regions.

It is proposed to harness the power of local community organisations to build a national register of all these sites and present those to visitors through a map and GPS enabled mobile App.

The project will build connections between common interest groups across regions, to collate a unified network of visitor information in each domain of special interest.

This presentation will explore developments of the new digital age and how that has changed the way our citizens access information. This opens an opportunity to review how we present tourism and lifestyle information as we address an increasingly time-poor audience.

This presentation builds on experience in delivering a Geotourism App for the Geological Society of Australia and learnings from the geotourism workshop at the SEGRA conference in Bathurst.


Ken is CEO and co-founder of Global GBM, an Australian company with 23 years of experience in delivering mapping and mobility services to the international community. Global GBM provides mobile workforce solutions to organisations with personnel that need to navigate to and carry out works at remote sites.

Ken worked with the Geological Society of Australia to develop the successful Geotourism Brisbane mobile App that presents information on the interesting geological materials used in construction of Brisbane’s historical buildings.

As a geologist who has spent many years in remote locations, Ken has a special interest in the geological processes that gave rise to our landscapes and the way those impact the development of our natural flora that in turn support the local fauna. Ken in fascinated with the interplay of all these processes and the richness of hidden information about our natural and build environments.

Ken is continuing to support the Geotourism indicative of the Geological Society of Australia and is keen to extend the appeal of a future geotourism App by including complementary information on ecotourism and experiential travel.

Kado Muir Show + Hide -


Kado Muir is co-presenting with Stephen Birkbeck

Kado is a statesman anthropologist/archaeologist/editor and environmental activist. This intellectual tribal desert man is in the prime of his life; transcending from statesman to elder and has invaluable experience in Aboriginal Heritage. Kado Muir has been fighting for Indigenous Land Rights in the Central Deserts for over 20 years. Kado grew up from an early age living in the bush and his passion is to “look after country” which led him to become an approved FPC dead wood harvester to compliment his Ranger programs with troubled youth in the Central Deserts. A large part of his time is spent with troubled youth fighting suicide, incarceration and substance abuse.

Stuart Nahajski Show + Hide -

General Manager Regional, LandCorp


Naturally Stronger Regions: realising the potential

Albany’s Middleton Beach has long been a favourite holiday destination, with the first hotel licence granted in 1899 to Mr JH Moody. At the time, Albany residents were vocal about getting the development right, given the location’s aspect and beauty.

After a fire destroyed the wooden hotel in 1908, Isaac Morton built a 100-room brick hotel that stood until 1991. That year, entrepreneur Paul Terry built a third iteration that lasted until 2007. But since then, the site has remained empty much to community frustration. The $7m purchase of the site by the State Government in 2014 has been the catalyst for a new vision to emerge for Middleton Beach, with LandCorp acting as lead agency.

Just as in 1899, the importance of working with the community to ensure the best possible outcome is paramount. LandCorp has liaised with the government, business and community stakeholders on plans for a new activity centre and visitor destination, with construction due to start late 2016. This has included an intensive three-month community engagement program, online surveys, public displays of plans, and a Community Information Session attended by more than 200 people. The redevelopment will be a vibrant mixed-use hub combining retail, commercial, short stay and permanent residential accommodation, with private investment used to deliver amenities that meet community needs while reflecting the growing demands of the tourist destination.

This presentation will share insights into the future of Middleton Beach and highlight the benefits of working with the community to deliver better development outcomes.


Stuart is responsible for leading and directing LandCorp’s Regional Program of infrastructure developments, in addition to strategic planning, corporate management and policy determination.

He leads a team of land and property development professionals who focus on working with stakeholders and communities to facilitate government priorities and to attract private investment across regional Western Australia.

LandCorp’s regional priorities include supporting economic diversification under Regional Blueprints, realising the value of land and property through transformational and sustainable developments, the ongoing realisation of the Pilbara Cities vision, and industrial and tourism expansion in the State’s south.

With a degree in civil engineering and a Masters in Project Management, Stuart has held senior development, project management and engineering roles with Stockland, Urban Pacific and SKM, and has previously worked in both the private and public sectors in the United States.

Nigel Oakey Show + Hide -

CEO, Dome Group


The Piesse Mill Restoration: a catalyst for Katanning

Smaller regional centres are in need of creative solutions to help kick-start new paths to economic development particularly when focused on a backbone of retail and tourism. The restoration of a humble flour mill in Katanning, in the Great Southern region of WA is a landmark project. It is anticipated to be a catalyst not just in terms of giving the town a new place to eat, meet and stay but to create a number of positive multiplier effects for the economic and social well-being not just of Katanning itself but for the region as a whole. The project is innovative in a number of aspects which when combined are expected to be a game-changer for the way people think about tourism in smaller regional centres.


Smaller regional centres are in need of creative solutions to help kick-start new paths to economic development particularly when focused on a backbone of retail and tourism. The restoration of a humble flour mill in Katanning, in the Great Southern region of WA is a landmark project. It is anticipated to be a catalyst not just in terms of giving the town a new place to eat, meet and stay but to create a number of positive multiplier effects for the economic and social well-being not just of Katanning itself but for the region as a whole. The project is innovative in a number of aspects which when combined are expected to be a game-changer for the way people think about tourism in smaller regional centres.

Andrew Outhwaite Show + Hide -

Learning Lead, Pollinators Inc


Diverse Drivers, Leaders and Ventures: innovation across regions, outside institutions

Australia is geographically and economically diverse, and the form regional innovation takes, is also appropriately different in each location. This session will focus on what projects, ventures and networks share in-common, but also how they are different.

This presentation will feature practitioners from OUTSIDE institutions, mostly operating social ventures doing things government or traditional commercial business models couldn’t or haven’t. Examples include:

  • Youth-driven innovation e.g. Peel,
  • Creative industries development e.g. Kalgoorlie, Margaret River and Albany,
  • Growing communities through infrastructure e.g. Pilbara,
  • Social innovation e.g. Mid-West,
  • Indigenous ventures e.g. Rangelands

In each case locally-driven initiatives have had a sustained impact, sharing common challenges, but diverse solutions, funding, business models and aspirations. The insights will be into the people, ventures and mindsets, but also about collaboration across regions.


Andrew Outhwaite is co-founder and current Learning Lead at Pollinators Inc. Pollinators Inc a social enterprise founded in Geraldton in 2010 to nurture people and innovations that enable healthy resilient communities.

Pollinators member Community, Spaces (CityHive, CreativeHub & Laneways) and Learning programs (Flock, Catalyst, Goodness etc.) have been enabled the growth of the strongest innovation ecosystem in regional WA. Community-led activities and outcomes: urban regeneration of abandoned buildings, investment and support for hundreds of new ventures, a shift in the culture of collaboration amongst key influencers in the region, and growth in digital, creative, technology, environmental and social innovations.

Prior to founding Pollinators Andrew’s experience included growing social enterprise solutions to homelessness in the UK, advising European corporates on sustainability solutions, and working with WA communities on coastal, water and biodiversity strategies. He is also a voluntary Director of StartupWA, Geraldton Bendigo Bank and Geraldton Airlines.

Luisa Perez Mujica Show + Hide -

Adjunct Researcher, Charles Sturt University


Assessing Sustainability of Planning: systems simulation and social-ecological systems

Sustainability has become a benchmark concept for planning. In recent years focus has been given to analysing and evaluating sustainability of planning through the complex network of interactions among the social, ecological and economic elements of the system in which planning activities are undertaken. However, assessing sustainability has been hampered due to the unique and changing nature of SES’s and because approaches to assessing sustainability have been designed for specific purposes and from different disciplines. As a result, there is a lack of a consistent and repeatable process for decision makers to inquire into the elements and interactions that define a SES in order to undertake sustainability assessments of planning processes. In this paper, different frameworks for regional sustainable planning will be analysed in terms of how the SES is conceptualized, whether the interactions among the elements are addressed and whether changes in the elements and interactions in the SES are included. This presentation will later propose the use of systems simulation, in particular participatory simulation, using Agent-Based Modelling (ABM) as an approach to assess sustainability of plans and initiatives. It is proposed that participatory simulation allows to visualize plausible effects of the plan in its SES at different time scales and provides potential indicators of sustainability that better represent the aspects of sustainability that the plan is trying to meet. At the end of this paper, an example is provided for the application of this methodology in a restoration and tourism project in North East Victoria, Australia.


Originally from Mexico City, Luisa recently finished her PhD project in sustainability sciences in which she developed a sustainability assessment tool for nature-based tourism in the context of social-ecological systems. Although primarily a researcher, her academic interests include approaching complex situations through transdisciplinary action research, particularly in regional Australia. Luisa is currently working in a project with Victorian natural resource management organisations to include community participation in integrative planning.

Prof. Paul Plummer Show + Hide -

Co-Director, Cente for Regional Development, University of Western Australia


The Evolution of Regional Capitals in Western Australia: empirical modelling and policy analysis, 1980-2015

The contemporary Western Australian economy has been characterised by more than a decade of strong and consistent growth. While this has slowed recently, the State nevertheless continues to perform well relative to other Australian states and territories. However, at finer spatial scales the economic performance of regions and localities has been highly uneven. This paper reports of ongoing research that provides the first detailed assessment of uneven development in Western Australia, focusing on the key issues of competitiveness, resilience and spatial integration. Importantly, the study builds on recent collaborative research between the Centre for Regional Development and the Western Australian Department for Regional Development which is intended to provide a more thorough evidence base for policy across regional Western Australia, indicating specific area of policy-making that may require revision.


Professor and Co-Director, Centre for Regional Development, University of Western Australia.

Paul is primarily a researcher who has experience in regional development and policy in Australia, Canada, US, UK, and Japan.

Paul Rosair Show + Hide -

Principal NAJA Business Consulting Service


Paul was the inaugural Director General of the Department of Regional Development and Lands formed in July 2009, now the Principal of NAJA Consulting. Paul was responsible for the establishment and administration of the Royalties for Regions program, commencing 2008. He managed initiatives such as the Ord Expansion, Supertowns, and Pilbara Cities.

The R4R program was recently described by the Premier of Western Australia as: “The Royalties for Regions program has had the biggest effect on regional Western Australia in our history, and I don’t think there is anything equivalent to it elsewhere in Australia – maybe the Snowy Mountains Scheme in the 50s.”

Paul has worked across government in environment, water, land management, Aboriginal affairs, infrastructure, planning, corporate service and NRM portfolios. He has a broad perspective on policy and strategic issues confronting regional Australia. He works across all layers of government, federal, state, regional and local.

Dr. Nick Rose Show + Hide -

Executive Director, Sustain: The Australian Food Network and Lecturer, William Angliss Institute


Community Food Hubs: benefits and opportunities for regional Australia

Community Food Hubs connect local producers with local markets and communities, enhance producer viability and capacity, create jobs, strengthen local and regional economies, build resilience, increase access to healthy food, and support the necessary transition to sustainable agriculture. From a base of less than a dozen 15 years ago, there are now more than 350 food hubs across the US, part of a booming local food sector now worth in excess of $US12 bn annually.

To support the emergence of these enterprises in Australia, Sustain is coordinating from August 8-17 an inaugural Community Food Hubs conference in Bendigo and national speaking tour that will encompass WA, Qld, Vic, Tasmania and NSW with two international speakers. We have recently conducted food hub feasibility studies for Bendigo, Wangaratta and Wyndham (ongoing), and will be able to share with delegates a host of relevant, widely applicable lessons and opportunities from this research and work.


Dr Nick Rose is a specialist in healthy and sustainable food systems. He is the Executive Director of Sustain: The Australian Food Network, where he supports food system policy and programme work with local government, with research studies into Food Hubs, local food economies and urban agriculture. He is also a Lecturer at William Angliss Institute, which launched Australia’s first Bachelor of Food Studies in February 2016. He was awarded his PhD (RMIT, 2013) for investigating the transformative potential of the global food sovereignty movement; and he co-founded and co-ordinated the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance (2010-2015), working on action research and public education projects such as the People’s Food Plan and Fair Food Week. Nick’s book, Fair Food: Stories from a Movement Changing the World (UQP, 2015) has sold over 2000 copies. As a Churchill Fellow (2013), he investigated innovative models of urban agriculture in the US, Canada and Argentina.

Glenys Schuntner Show + Hide -

RDA CEO/IQ-RAP Secretariat, RDA Townsville and North West QLD

Inland Queensland Roads Action Plan


The goal to improve economic outcomes in regional Queensland brought together an alliance of 47 funding partners including 33 councils, RDA committees and RACQ to develop a road network plan the Inland Queensland Roads Action Plan (IQ-RAP). The plan is the first of its type in Australia, which identifies and prioritises upgrades on a network of around 16,000 kilometres.

The IQ-RAP is a major initiative to drive economic growth and jobs in regional Queensland. The plan aims to improve productivity for existing industries and attract further investment into the regions.

The IQ-RAP is designed to assist governments and stakeholders in prioritising road investment across the inland road network to achieve broad economic outcomes. The plan supports Australian Government strategies to develop Northern Australia.

The plan has identified 3,000 kilometres of road and 300 bridges require upgrading to meet fit for purpose standards.


Glenys joined Regional Development Australia Townsville and North West Queensland Inc. (RDA) as Chief Executive Officer in April 2010. RDA focuses on facilitation and advocacy for sustainable regional economic development.

Glenys is also the Chair of the Tourism Reef Advisory Committee at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Deputy Chair of the JCU Townsville Fire WNBL team and Immediate Past President of the North Queensland Club.

Glenys previous positions include five years as the Chief Executive Officer of Townsville Enterprise, the peak economic development, tourism and business events marketing organisation for North Queensland and prior to that senior management roles at the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) over 11 years including National Manager Major Events, Senior Trade Commissioner and Minister-Counsellor Malaysia and Trade Commissioner and Consul Sendai. Glenys has also worked in management, marketing and sales roles in the airline and travel industries in Japan and Australia.

Glenys is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Master of Arts (Tourism) from Rikkyo University, Tokyo and a Bachelor of Arts (Economics, Japanese and German languages) from the University of Queensland, Brisbane.

Georgia Sharman Show + Hide -

Executive Support Officer, Regional Development Australia Peel


The Economy of Arts

Strong creative industries create vibrant, innovative, connected and collaborative regional hubs. These hubs capitalise on natural beauty, increase tourism, and join local artists, businesses, and organisations to bring economic, social and environmental outcomes to communities. The Peel Region Arts and Culture Strategy 2015-2020 recognises these opportunities and works to improve and enhance local arts and cultural communities in order to generate the best outcomes for the Peel Region. The Strategy was developed by RDA Peel as a result of the many under-utilized possibilities of a sector which was fragmented, vision-less, lacking communication, and invisible. Artists felt isolated, under-valued and disadvantaged. RDA connected with the sector through various media outlets and events. After two years of frustration the strategy was launched in November 2015 with the sector finally connected and moving forward. Projects have now been implemented. Activity from artists has increasedm with new projects emerging. The process is not complete. The industry has come a long way in three years, and continues to expand its economic and social effect, however, the ongoing project must be driven by leaders from within the sector, continued sector developments can only come about when the sector is committed and connected.


As the Executive Support Officer at RDA Peel, Georgia was actively involved in the development and now the implementation of Peel Region Arts and Culture Strategy. In this role, she maintains and builds relationships with key stakeholders and community members, connecting them to funding, upcoming trends and collaboration opportunities. In 2015, Georgia established the Peel Young Creatives Collective as a way to connect young creatives to opportunities and peers; the Collective now meets once a fortnight under her guidance. In addition to her work, Georgia studies Community Development at Murdoch University, voluntarily facilitates the Youth on Leadership program, and is on the board of The Makers.

David Singe Show + Hide -

Director, David Singe Pty Ltd


Frontiers and Boundaries

One of the classical concepts of political and economic geography is the relationship of and differences between frontiers and boundaries. In a period of increased environmental recognition in policy and practice, a discussion on sustaining production landscapes is a perfect forum to briefly think about this classical concept. The often-discussed pressures of development on the lands adjoining any urban area are known, routine and the subject of significant financial transactions. They are also the suite of decisions which have physically shaped our regional and capital cities, yet their impact seems rarely the prime focus of policies or strategies. There is an increasing recognition of the economic importance of the productive lands adjoining our cities and a commensurate recognition that the costs of losing that land, through increased transport costs, industry adjustment and employment impacts is not well understood or documented. Regardless of the analysis which may exist, it certainly has failed to filter through to the local governments in Perth’s metropolitan fringe, nor to the councils in the adjoining regions. The issues of landscape, food and fibre production, energy and coastal systems are some of the inter-related, central pieces of a dynamic jigsaw. Peri-urban places - frontiers or boundaries?


David is a Geographer by intuition and a Strategic and Regional Planner by training. His strengths are in understanding people and places, bridging analysis and practicality and building partnerships and teams. He is also a generalist in a world of continuing speciality. David had many years of CEO experience running a statutory authority. He has a robust professional knowledge of economic and regional development throughout Australia and long-standing, professional links in California. He also has a very strong sense of cities and communities, their functions, aspirations and characteristics.

Christie Smith Show + Hide -

Secretary, Nyabing Progress Association


Christie Smith is Co-presenting with Fiona Martin

Coming Soon

Joanna Steel Show + Hide -

Population Health Coordinator, WA Country Health Service- Great Southern


Building Mental Health in the Great Southern Regional of WA

This presentation will feature how the Act-Belong-Commit positive mental health message has been adopted to build mental health across the Great Southern region of WA.

Run state-wide in WA, Act-Belong-Commit is a community-based mental health promotion campaign that encourages people to take action to improve their mental health.

Ms Steel will explore the different strategies that the organisation has used to develop meaningful and sustainable partnerships with a variety of organisations throughout the Great Southern region of WA (local governments, arts groups, men’s sheds, football clubs, community resource centres etc.) highlighting the role that non-traditional settings can play in promoting mental health.

As the levels of mental ill health continue to rise in Australia, this presentation will highlight the ability of communities to take action to protect and promote mental health and features advice on how other organisations can adopt a similar approach to build mental health in their communities.


Jo Steel is Population Health Coordinator in the Central Great Southern for WA Country Health Service- Great Southern Population Health. Having graduated from the University of Sussex (UK) in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, Jo has worked as a health promotion practitioner in Katanning for the past five and a half years. With experience across the areas of injury prevention, nutrition and physical activity, social and emotional wellbeing, and alcohol and other drugs, Jo’s current work focuses on the latter two. As regional lead for social and emotional wellbeing in the Great Southern, Jo coordinates the Act-Belong-Commit campaign across the region, and is assisted by Health Promotion Officers to support campaign partners and sponsorship recipients in promoting Act-Belong-Commit concepts and messages to the whole of the Great Southern community. Additional work in this portfolio focuses on the prevention of anxiety depression, intentional self-harm and suicide.

Neil Smithson Show + Hide -

Managing Director, Smithson Planning


Rainbow 2000 - a regional planning strategy for Albany & the Great Southern

Is planning the antithesis of politics - Smithson Planning has presented the subject matter twice previously to SEGRA in Maroochydore (1999) and then at Wollongong (2007).

In essence, the Government ignored our regional planning work for the best part of 13 years because it didn’t suit the narrative of a major investment taking place in the hinterland and the port of Albany related to the plantation timber industry.

Moreover, now that the community has ‘enjoyed’ and tasted the success of an event like Albany Anzac 2014 (which was also part of our plan), they aspire to greater things.

The regional tourism drawcard associated with the National Anzac Centre and the Albany Entertainment Centre both warrant 5-star accommodation, and yet the State struggles to achieve that outcome on the waterfront at either Albany Marina and Middleton Beach.

Hanging in the winds is the $2bn Grange Resources Southdown Magnetite project, which achieved definitive feasibility, but was shelved when the Government finally reviewed the cumulative impact of development.

So here we are now at this time - I was the unsuccessful mayoral candidate for the City of Albany in 2015 (3000 real numbers on the tally sheet), with a plan for seaport relocation, international airport expansion, and a PPP Albany Port Corporation to fund the process - all of which was written in the plan twenty years ago … but Albany doesn’t want to change, Albany doesn’t want to grow … jobs for our youth, energy for our industry, an import / export solution for the future.

Preference will be given to contributions that highlight applications of regional economic development drawing out:

Key considerations for application in other regions

Significant elements that enhanced the success of the initiatives

Barriers encountered and adaptive learning from these - Rainbow 2000 is all of these … and it would be a revelation to many, both from Albany and elsewhere, to understand and appreciate the barriers that have been put in front of the development of this city and region.

Can you handle that - this subject has significant implications in an election year for both State and Federal Government … Prime Ministers, Premiers and cabinet ministers all played a direct role, and it’s all documented on Facebook, and elsewhere.

What happens when a government seemingly digs an insurmountable hole for itself and the community - we are talking about millions in investment, and the loss of billions in superannuation.

Accountability is an astonishing word in context of this project - but progression from here - in my opinion, this project is the spear tip for the future of regional development in Australia.


Neil Smithson is the Managing Director of Smithson Planning based in Perth, having previously worked in :

  • Local government as Manager Business Development (Mildura Rural CC, VIC)

  • Local government as City Development Planner (Melville CC, Perth WA)

  • Private consultancy as a Project Manager (GHD and Kinhill, Perth WA)

  • State government as a Town Planner (Dept. Environment and Planning, Sydney NSW).

He holds a Master of Arts in Urban Studies (Planning) from Curtin University (WA), and thirty years experience in the fields of corporate & strategic planning and environmental assessment.

He is a past Senior Vice-President of the Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and two-time Past-President of the Rotary Club of Albany.

Neil’s main interest for the last nineteen and next twenty years is called Rainbow 2000 - a Regional Planning Strategy for Albany & the Great Southern, and he has also been involved with other National Investment Growth Paths like Ravensthorpe Esperance & Jerramungup - A Blueprint for the Future.

Dr. Peter Spooner Show + Hide -

Senior Lecturer, Charles Sturt University


Rural Stories: how embracing cultural and natural heritage can enhance tourism and sustain regional communities

Peter will address the SEGRA conference theme of sustainability of land, water and community: a sense of place. Tourism is the world’s largest industry, leading to flow on benefits to local economies, where the arts, environment and cultural activities are often targeted in the strategy process. However a vital missing component is the stories, and sense of place, which provide a human connection between these elements. A key to this approach is the recognition and embracement of indigenous culture and knowledge. I will discuss a new project underway at Charles Sturt University, where the classic historic narrative of explorers such as John Oxley will be re-imaged, and used as a key thread to highlight the connections between the regions people, culture and environmental features in central NSW. It is envisaged that by sharing the regions stories in this way, will foster greater rural tourism opportunities, and ultimately more sustainable regional communities.


Peter Spooner is a landscape ecologist and environmental historian working at the Institute for Land Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, Albury. He works as a senior lecturer teaching in the field of ecology, and conducts research which focuses on biodiversity conservation issues in rural landscapes. His research interests include the management of remnant vegetation, human impacts on ecosystems, and broader environmental history of New South Wales. Peter has a specific research interest in roadside vegetation management in Australia, where he has conducted extensive research on the history of Travelling Stock Routes. Peter has published over 40 refereed scientific papers and 3 book chapters.

Chris Thompson, Show + Hide -

Manager, Great Southern, Department of Sport and Recreation


Riding the Crest of the Wave: exploring collaborative partnerships in establishing the great southern centre for outdoor recreation excellence (gs-core)

The Great Southern Centre for Outdoor Recreation Excellence (GS-CORE) is a collaborative project between the Albany Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI), Great Southern Development Commission (GSDC), the Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR) and associated agencies to establish a Centre for Outdoor Recreation Excellence in the Great Southern. Such a Centre would assist with development and support of new and existing nature-based and adventure tourism and outdoor recreation operations within the region, provide opportunity for development of major events and programs, and promote specialist tertiary education and training.


Chris Thompson is Great Southern Regional Manager at the WA Department of Sport & Recreation. Chris has academic qualifications in recreation and leisure studies and has worked across both local and state government in his thirty one years in the sport and recreation industry. A keen outdoor enthusiast he is passionate about outdoor recreation and the potential of the Great Southern region of WA to capitalise on the myriad of adventure based outdoor recreation pursuits that can be harnessed through its natural environment.

Cr. Bronwyn Voyce Show + Hide -

Councillor, Tablelands Regional Council


Millennial Brain Drain: bright ideas needed to retain young talent in regions

Regional Australia makes a formidable contribution to the nation’s economy producing one-third of our national output and 8.8 million Australians call the towns that lie beyond our major capital cities, home.

It is undeniable that regional Australia might present challenges and perhaps be an inhibitor for young people seeking to make their mark on the world.

However, it is a remarkable place to be a big fish in a small pond, raise a family or enjoy an excellent lifestyle.

Ideally regions of future, will not be a place where our youth count down the days until they’ll be old enough to leave; or conversely where retirees hope they’ll find a sleepy hollow, but rather unique places of diversity and vibrancy offering a strong sense of hope for the future.

It is incumbent upon leaders to inspire, empower and harness the passion that lies within millennials in our regions and enable them to be active participants in the new economy and a vibrant community. By investing in the livability of our towns we can begin to build regions that attract a rich diversity of demographics, economic opportunities, cultural and social experiences.

In return a region that attracts, retains or brings back millennials will continue to be a productive place and a contributor to growing our great state and nation.


Bronwyn is a standout leader in her field with solid business acumen, corporate governance oversight and entrepreneurial tendencies. Her experience ranges from banking and financial services sector, local government, business development, strategic communications and engagement, regional policy and research, economic development, innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. Bronwyn has a Graduate Certificate in Economic Development, a Masters in International and Community Development and a Diploma in Business Management and Administration. She currently holds the following positions: Co-Deputy Chair, Regional Development Australia Far North Queensland & TorresStrait Inc; Co-Deputy Chair, Taste Paradise - Tropical North Queensland Regional Food Network; Co-Founder, yRepublic - Cairns Millennial Taskforce; and Alumni Member, Australian American Young Leaders Dialogue.

Mark Weller Show + Hide -

Executive Manager Business Advisory, Core Business Australia


Mark Weller is co-presenting with Bruce Lorimer

Mark is responsible for community engagement, project design, preparation of business cases; and preparation of funding applications and associated documents for a diverse range of community projects in metropolitan, regional and remote regions. Prior to CORE, Mark held roles in community development, service provision while working for organisations such as Department of Sport and Recreation, City of Albany, Silver Chain Group and Great Southern Institute of Technology.

Anthony Wilkes Show + Hide -

Managing Director & CEO, Ferngrove Wine Group & TBG Agri Holdings


Why the Great Southern Can Supply Asian Consumers

Attracting investment to Frankland River and the wine industry is a challenge, however in 2012, Ferngrove attracted a wealthy Chinese businessman to invest and open up 60+ retail wine shops in China supported with over 100 sales people to singularly focus on selling Ferngrove wines in China.

A second winery acquisition in South Australia, plus 4 cattle stations in Northern Australia with over 70,000 cattle, Anthony is managing a diverse agribusiness today that connects Australian food & beverages with the largest consumer market in the world.

Supported by recent Free Trade Agreements, Ferngrove/TBG Agri have Australian management to produce the finest, safest, tastiest products that can then tap into distribution networks into the growing, Chinese market place.

Supporting your product, demonstrating it’s safe and premium quality are all factors to grow the opportunity. We need capital and route to market but we need to ensure the regional community is supported. The market is there for more to participate in.


Anthony Wilkes was schooled in Rocky Gully/Mt Barker and completed a B.Business (Ag) -Curtin with dux of the course and 1st class honours. Adding a Diploma of Company Directors Course he has spent the past 17+ years managing agribusinesses in wine and beef from Heytesbury Pastoral Company, Palandri Wines and since 2004, Anthony has been Managing Director of Ferngrove Wines & TBG Agri Holdings Pty Ltd which owns Balfour Downs Station in the Pilbara and Wollogorang Station in the NT/QLD.

Ferngrove is the single largest vineyard in Western Australia and has held for 12 years James Halliday’s highly regarded 5/5 star rating. Expanding into China, Europe, North America has transitioned Ferngrove to be a highly regarded premium, cool climate wine producer with international reach. Ferngrove won WA Agribusiness Exporter of the Year in 2012.

Anthony is currently a board member of the Winemakers Federation of Australia, Deputy President Wines of WA, a past 40 under 40 business leader in Western Australia & a past leader of the National Wine Industry’s Future Leaders Program in 2008.

Cameron Woods Show + Hide -

Executive Director Commercial Services, City of Albany


Cameron Woods is co-presenting with Chris Thompson

Cameron has a Bachelor of Applied Science – Recreation and has successfully managed major recreational and tourism facilities in Regional Western Australia winning multiple industry awards at both the state and national level between 1993 and 2007.

Joining the City of Albany in 2011 as the Manager of Recreation Services, Cameron quickly moved into the role of Executive Director Community Services in 2012 where he was responsible for major recreation and tourism infrastructure and events and an operating budget exceeding $16 million annually across multiple business units.

Following a restructure in 2015, Cameron moved into his current role as Executive Director Commercial Services where his focus is on regional economic development outcomes for the City of Albany and the Lower Great Southern.

He is the project manager for both the Destination Marketing Strategy and The Tourism Development Strategy for the Lower Great Southern Alliance group of councils as well as being responsible for the management of the following business units for the City of Albany, the National Anzac Centre, Albany Visitor Centre, Albany Airport, Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre and Albany Regional Day Care Centre.