Liz Ritchie CEO Regional Australia Institute (RAI)
Over the last two months, the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) has been shining an even brighter light on the opportunities that exist in regional Australia and the critical role that the Institute plays in being the nexus between communities, government and industry. As Australia’s only think tank dedicated to regional issues, our strategy to use our research to build activation and impact is certainly coming to life.
Last week, we released our myth-busting report, The Big Movers, which informs us that we are indeed a restless nation and that the perception that people are leaving the regions in droves is unfounded. Over 65,000 more people chose to move to the regions from our mega-cities than the other way. While the large numbers of people flocked to bigger regional centres, the interesting findings emerge in the growth as a proportion of a town’s population. You can read all the details of the research in the report, or get a bite-sized overview from the Factsheet. ABC also published a great story focussing on the flow of millennials that our report outlines.
In early May, we also launched the much anticipated Regional Australia Council 2031 (RAC2031), where we saw ten founding corporate member organisations commit to make regions a priority. The Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Michael McCormack, launched the RAC2031 and we are actively working with the Council and other interested regional activators to help us co-create the National Awareness Campaign which will be rolled out over the next three years. Our July RAC2031 meeting will have a more in-depth focus on issues surrounding jobs and employment.
Our National Events Series is also now underway, in a virtual form. We’ve had two webinar sessions with over 1500 people registering from all over the country. Thank you for your support and for our National Partner Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and their charitable arm, the Community Enterprise Foundation, for underpinning this important work! You can watch the recording of the insightful discussions (for free) online.
We’ve heard from hundreds of individuals and organisations from across Australia over the past two months, which has been truly gratifying. We strive to make our work highly accessible and to advocate for the amazing opportunities that regional Australia has to offer – for the benefit of the whole country. We think our message is getting out there so thank you for your continued support and interest.
Until next month, you can stay up to date on all things regional via our socials, @RegionalAus