It's official - RAI's National Campaign is underway
Liz Ritchie CEO, Regional Australia Institute (RAI)
The work of the RAI continues to be at the centre of what we hope is fast becoming a regional renaissance and recovery. While the impact of COVID has been diverse, we said from the outset the economic slowdown will be shorter and sharper in the regions. This week’s latest job vacancy data confirms signs of an economic uplift with a new record of 50,000 advertised jobs across Regional Australia. This is a 5% increase on pre-COVID in September 2019, and you can read more from our Chief Economist, Dr Kim Houghton here.
Creating a new National Awareness Campaign was a key recommendation from our Regional Population Growth – Are we ready? report. We recognise the need for an intervention in our existing population trajectory, so this creates a major impact project that will ultimately see more people live, work and invest in our regions. Our research has confirmed that people are already voting with their feet but equally, COVID has triggered a new mindset that will transform our workplaces and our lives forever. So I am delighted to share that the RAI was successful in our bid for Federal Government funding for the Campaign over the next two years.
The regionalisation strategy has been a core focus over the last 18 months and this week we were able to launch another vital building block called the Regional Activators Alliance (RAA). Once again, we thank our Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Michael McCormack for his generous time and energy for this work. The RAA is made up of 37 representative organisations around the country who will actively co-create and shape the Campaign. Their local knowledge and regional leadership will be well placed in providing valuable insights, as well as connecting the “brand regional” to their own localised initiatives, so watch this space.
The RAA sits alongside the already established Regional Australia Council 2031 (RAC2031) where we welcomed Nutrien Ag Solutions to the table last month. The Council came together on 13 October for our third meeting with a primary focus on population, where we hosted The Hon. Alan Tudge, Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure. You can read the Communique from the meeting here. We look forward to welcoming more members to RAC2031 to prioritise Regional Australia.
Acknowledging the celebration of the International Day for Rural Women provided me with a chance to reflect on my on rural upbringing. So, I wrote this reflective piece about growing up in Deniliquinand why it has driven my passion for being an advocate for Regional Australia.
The RAI is always looking for opportunities to support innovative regional businesses that can help boost regional economies. We are proud to partner with NBN Co for the new Innovate with nbn Grants Program that’s designed to support regional tech-businesses. With a share of $95,000 up for grabs, we encourage regional businesses to apply! Find out more and apply online. Applications close 30 November 2020.
Also, we value our important relationships with the Regional Development Australia network and I’m pleased to inform you that positions are opening up for new Chairs across the country, with the exception of Victoria. Watch this space – applications are open 6 to 23 November. Diversity is strongly encouraged and we can vouch for the exceptional leadership opportunity that this presents.