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April 2014 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Welcome From The Chair

Dear Northern Inlanders,

The release this month of the ABS Regional Growth statistics for the Northern Inland show that over the period 2003 to 2013 our population grew by 4% from 178,000 to 185,000 residents with around two-thirds of this growth coming from the Tamworth Local Government Area. This is compared to a 12% growth rate for NSW over the same ten year period. Tamworth, Uralla and Inverell are the standouts with 10.6%, 7.7% and 6.4% respectively. However, other communities in the Gwydir, Moree Plains and Walcha Shire areas have been less fortunate, with declines of between 5-8% over the past 10 years.

To drive population growth we need employment opportunities across a range of sectors, and innovative small and medium size businesses will be the drivers of this growth. So how do we capture and engender this entrepreneurial spirit amongst us and why is it so critical? The below paper by Professor Tony Sorensen explains the need for a change in mindset and why growth will come from within our communities rather than from the outside.

May I take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Easter and safe travels if you are going away.

All the best,

Mal Peters, Chair

Antifragility – The New Buzzword For Regional Economic Development?

We’re lucky in our region to have one of Australia’s best minds in the fields of geography and regional development as well as being a futurist to boot. Adjunct Professor Tony Sorensen from the University of New England recently authored a paper entitled “Antifragility, Stable Adaptation, and Future-proofing:  redefining the spirit and purpose of regional development strategy in Australia’s peripheral regions” which is a must-read for anyone who takes an interest in regional economic development and the future of our communities. You can read the abstract of Tony’s paper below and download the full version on our website at: www.rdani.org.au/our-region/current-regional-issues.php

Australia’s rural regions typically have fragile and narrow economic bases specialising in agriculture, mining, or leisure and recreation. We canvass the major sources of economic fragility, which is growing fast through global competition, massive technological progress, and many other pressures for change. These severely diminish the capacity of governments to deliver effective top-down and one-size-fits-all regional development strategies. The antidote to fragility resides instead in local self-help strategies designed to increase communities’ entrepreneurial, technological, future-oriented, and innovative capacities. Knowledge about optimal delivery of such outcomes in Australia’s sparsely settled regions is, however, limited. This suggests an agenda of action research to promote and document local experiences – both successes and failures – in promoting the cultural change necessary to deliver stable adaptation.

Region Takes Advantage Of Immigration Deptartment Visit

Regional Development Australia Northern Inland was pleased to see strong attendance at recent Immigration Department information sessions. Employers who may benefit from or are already engaged in skilled migration came along to free seminars conducted by Regional Outreach Officers, which took place in Armidale and Tamworth on Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 March, 2014, respectively.

The two Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) Outreach Officers who travelled to the region were pleased with the number of locals they were able to explain skilled migration programs to.

“These visits are about facilitating face-to-face contact with the Immigration Department, here in the Northern Inland region. It gives us the kind of access to immigration information and staff that people in our metropolitan cities have. So, it is about regional equity,” RDA Northern Inland Project Officer, Gary Fry, said.

“Obviously, when the region supports free or sponsored information sessions like this, then there is justification for staging them again. The number of employers who turned up certainly made the Regional Outreach Officers’ trip worthwhile. The next opportunity to speak with Immigration representatives in the region is likely to be at AgQuip in August.”

The areas covered included: Employer-sponsored skilled work visa options; SkillSelect (online service for finding skilled overseas workers); Hiring legal workers and answers to general visa questions.

RDA Northern Inland’s role as a Regional Certifying Body is important. Employers who need but cannot find a skilled worker locally can nominate a worker from overseas for a visa, through the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme. This can allow for expansion or even mean the continued functionality of a workplace. As the region’s certifying body for employer nominated 187 visas, RDA Northern Inland’s role assesses the employer and provides advice to the Immigration Department, which is backed up by supplied supporting documents. This contributes significantly to the Department’s decision on the visa application.

RDA Northern Inland also support visa applications for the Regional State Nominated Visa. This brings skilled labour to the region, targeting in-demand occupations and skill-sets. Employers should know that this 489 subclass visa is a pathway to permanent residency.

Hearts Of Gold In Them There Hills

The united community spirit of Nundle has again contributed to top accolades. Nundle has come home with two awards, deservedly won at the Keep Australia Beautiful, Australian Tidy Towns Awards 2014 held in Victor Harbor, South Australia in early April, 2014. The overall 2014 Tidy Towns title went to Sheffield, Tasmania.

The Community Action and Partnerships award was picked up by community members including Mrs Joanna Claire Lennon, Chairperson of the Nundle Tidy Towns Committee; and Tamworth Regional Council Mayor, Cr. Col Murray on behalf of the town.

Peter McLean, National Chief Executive Officer of Keep Australia Beautiful said “this beautiful town thrives on volunteering and partnerships with their stakeholders. The Go for Gold festival is a notable achievement for such a small town.”

Nundle was also highly commended for Heritage and Culture.

National Tidy Towns judge Dick Olesinski said “Maintaining Nundle’s proud heritage is important to residents and in particular the more than active Nundle History & Heritage Research Committee – with their work on digitising records, transcribing interviews, as well as collecting newspaper articles, and photographs of historical interest.”

The Australian Tidy Towns Program recognises the hard work undertaken by rural and regional community groups, schools, businesses, individuals and councils, and showcases innovative ideas and initiatives that improve sustainability in our regional areas.

Restoring Faith in Solar Sector

An aim of the Clean Energy Council's accreditation scheme is to give the consumer confidence in the safety, performance and reliability of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems installed in Australia. With the number of retailers and products available, it is important that solar PV purchasing decisions are informed.

To be eligible for government rebates, both the designer and installer of a solar PV system must be Clean Energy Council - accredited.

Accredited designers and installers must have undergone the necessary professional training, adhere to Australian Standards and follow industry best practice.

Accreditation is given to the individual tradesperson who comes to your home to install your solar system – not the solar PV retailer. Consumers are advised to check with the retailer, whether the designer and installer they are using are accredited.

An accredited installer can easily be identified by their use of the Clean Energy Council accreditation logo. Ask to see the installer's accreditation ID card when you meet them.

Free Driving Lessons

Keys2Drive is an Australian Government-funded program. It is providing learner drivers and their parents/supervisors a free driving lesson with akeys2drive accredited professional driving instructor.

Operating since 2008, keys2drive is an Australian Government funded program that was developed by the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), with support from the driver training industry.

An additional $10mil. in funding was made available by the Australian Government, following an election promise by the Federal Coalition last year to keep the program up and running. This has extended access to free lessons to novice drivers across Australia for another two or three years.

Last year the University of New South Wales completed a research program that found P plate drivers who had not completed a keys2drive lesson had a self-reported crash rate of 9.9% in NSW and 9.6% in Queensland. Those who have completed a keys2drive lesson have a self-reported crash rate of 4.5%. Close to 250,000 lessons have been delivered through the program to date.

Register to Get your free lesson now!

Governance Know-How For Women

There is compelling evidence that organisations perform better when women are well represented at senior levels and in the boardroom. This is referred to as the business case for gender diversity.

Women perform better academically and graduate from tertiary institutions at higher rates than men. This has created a pool of well-educated, talented and ambitious women who are a valuable resource for businesses and organisations. Despite this, women continue to be underrepresented in the boardrooms and in local government – Northern Inland NSW is no exception.

Many women have never considered board membership or don’t know how to get started. Some women have limited experience on boards and might benefit from assessing and developing their skills to allow them to take the next step.

RDA Northern Inland is encouraging women in the region to think about having a go, whether it be on the executive of a community organisation, a corporate or club board or even local, State or Federal Government.

Being Board Ready: A Guide for Women can help you to prepare for a position on a board, whether or not you have any previous experience.

The guide can be found here.

Online Resource Material

Resources to teach kids about respectful relationships
Teachers, community organisations, are you looking for resources to teach your kids about respectful relationships? Check out The Line website, which has comics, videos, lesson plans and plays that you can download for free. ‪#‎SchoolEveryDay  ‬‬ ‪#‎BullyingNoWay‬‬

Free Guide for employers about hiring new employees
Are you looking for straight-forward advice about employing staff for your business? Fairwork.gov.au have launched a FREE guide and online course to help you with hiring new employees!  Visit www.fairwork.gov.au/hiring to check it out today!

Tips for business owners interested in using social media
Article on promoting your business through blogging: www.socialmediaexaminer.com/getting-started-with-blogging/

Tax Incentives for Research and Development
Is your business undertaking R&D or looking to invest in R&D? Check out the first edition of R&D Tax Incentive Bulletin for 2014 to find out how the R&D Tax Incentive could help your business.

Guide from business.gov.au on running a home-based business
If you're thinking of starting a home-based business or are currently running one, you can maximise your chance of success by ensuring that you understand the risks and government requirements that apply to you. These include taxation, employment, council approval and licensing requirements.  This free guide may be helpful.

What's On In The Northern Inland

Boggabri Art & Craft Exhibition
Saturday 19th to Sunday 27th of April
Boggabri, NSW

An exhibition showcasing a range of media including watercolour, oil and acrylic paintings, photography, pottery, woodworks, metal works & other mediums. The exhibition draws artists from across the Northwest area and also from outside the region. Well known local artist Shirley Urquart will officially open the exhibition at the cocktail opening night on Saturday 19th April. One of her artworks will also be raffled during the exhibition.

The exhibition helps to promote the many talented local and regional artists from emerging through to established artists. The exhibition will also host a section for the display of artworks created at the Painting Workshops being held with artist Andrea Bruno.

Find out further details on their Facebook page.

Australian Celtic Festival
Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th of May
Glen Innes

The Australian Celtic Festival in Glen Innes is unique for its colour, spectacle and range of entertainment and history. An opportunity to meet with friends and experience our country hospitality. The 2014 Australian Celtic Festival will honour the Celtic Nation of Cornwall. The festival’s main venue is the Australian Standing Stones, an array of spectacular granite monoliths like those around which the ancient Celts danced.

The four day festival provides non-stop entertainment including the street parade, spectacular ceremonial roles performed by re-enactment groups, kirking of the Tartan, massed bands, children’s entertainment, dancing, flag raising ceremonies, poets’ breakfast, yard dog trials, market stalls, fun run and Celtic foods.

The festival in 2014 will again draw clans, national groups, dancers and artists from across Australia and overseas. You can partake in Celtic music and dance at one of the four stages at the Standing Stones or in one of the many concert venues in the town.

For the full program, visit the Australian Celtic Festival website: www.australiancelticfestival.com

Moree on a Plate – A Festival of Flavour
Saturday 3rd May

Producers from around the New England North West Region will turn Moree into a food & wine lover’s delight when they gather in the most productive agricultural shire in Australia, Moree.

Highlights include:

  • Celebrity ChefAlastair McLeod
  • Bubble Muffin
  • Blokes on the BBQ
  • Live Entertainment
  • Kids Korner

Enjoy the tasty delights of the region during a relaxed,social day out the whole family can enjoy. For further information, go to: www.moreeonaplate.com.au

Quirindi Rural Heritage Village Machinery and Miniature Railway Rally
Saturday 3rd to Sunday 4th of May
Quirindi, NSW

This annual event features tractors, engines, steam engines, cars, motor bikes, operating blacksmiths, competitions and rally.  For further information, go to: www.visitquirindi.com.au/events/

The Great Nundle Dog Race
Sunday 4th May

The Great Nundle Dog Race is held every year on the Nundle Recreation Ground, Oakenville Street, Nundle. It is the major fundraiser of the Nundle Public School (P&C) and attracts families and their dogs from the local region as well as the Hunter, Sydney and North Coast.

A gold coin donation will gain entry to the ground and the first race is at 10.30am.  There are many races to enter and there are great prizes to be won.

Other entertainment on the ground and in the school grounds includes a jumping castle, face painting, balloons, show bags and lucky dips to keep them amused all day.

If you would like more information please go to: nundle.com.au/events/the-great-nundle-dog-race/

Sustainable Namoi Living Expo 2014
Friday 9th to Saturday 10th of May

The Sustainable Namoi Living Expo is on again and bigger and better than ever in its 6th year. Exhibits include:

  • landscaping
  • building
  • design
  • solar
  • handmade jewellery and accessories
  • gardening
  • eco-friendly cars and much more

With live music, kids entertainment and fresh local food.

Partake in ‘Yoga in the Park’ on Saturday morning from 9:00am, do a workshop with Cartoon Dave, or drop by for a leisurely coffee and listen to the musical stylings of acoustic/alternative duo ‘Jjiraf’.

Entry is FREE and you can go into the draw to win a hamper of sustainable/eco-friendly products just by being there. For further information, go to the Sustainable Namoi Living Website: www.sustainablenamoiliving.com.au.

New England Bach Festival
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th of May
Armidale, NSW

A festival devoted to the music of the great Johann Sebastian Bach. 9 events over three days:

  1. David Drury organ - Uniting Church 9 May, 12:30pm.
  2. Sydney Consort- Uniting Church 9 May 7:30pm.
  3. Coffee Cantata, Hanna's Arcade 10 May 10:30am
  4. Cello and Guitar, Eleanor Streatfeild and EphenSephen - NERAM 10 May, 12:30pm.
  5. Armidale Organ Crawl - David Drury and Warwick Dunham - starts Uniting Church 10 May, 2:30pm.
  6. Concertos and Reinventions - Sydney Consort, Alana Blackburn, Sofia Debus, Ruth Strutt, Warwick Dunham and others- Uniting Church, 10 May, 7:30pm.
  7. Art of Fugue - a new arrangement - NERAM 11 May, 12:30pm.
  8. Bach Jazz - Warwick Dunham and friends Uniting Church 11 May, 2:30pm.
  9. Festival Evensong St Peters Cathedral 11 May 5pm

For further information, please go to: www.ne-bach-festival.com

Annual Outdoor Quilt Airing, Cottage on the Hill
Saturday 10th of May

Each year we hold our Annual Outdoor Quilt Airing where we hang over 100 handmade quilts in the paddock surrounding the Store, located at 417 Crawney Rd, Nundle. Come and wonder through the quilts hanging in the paddock, sit for a while and enjoy scones, jam and cream whilst taking in the amazing country side of Nundle.

Entry is by gold coin donation with proceeds going to the Cancer Council's Biggest Morning Tea. If you would like more information please go to: nundle.com.au/events/annual-outdoor-quilt-airing-cottage-on-the-hill/

Mother’s Day in Nundle
Sunday 11th May 2014

On Mother’s Day, the focus turns to Nundle village where The Peel Inn’s Rebecca Schofield is going with a local produce theme, starring Hanging Rock Arc-en-ciel Rainbow Trout and Nundle Blackberries in a two-course $25 lunch, with complimentary champagne.

Park the car and stroll the village hunting for bric-a-brac and antique treasures at Ratter’s Flat Antiques, Jenkins Street Antiques and Fine China, Nundle Country Traders, and the Old Church Boutique, and homebaked, homegrown and homemade goodness at Nundle Craft Co-operative.

At this time of year, with Nundle in its autumn glory, why not make a weekend of it? Visit the Annual Outdoor Quilt Airing on the Saturday and stay for the Mother’s Day event on Sunday!

If you would like more information please go to: http://nundle.com.au/events/mothers-day/

Drought Relief Fundraiser Deepwater Style!
Saturday 10th of May

Tickets: $15 for Dinner & Show - Full Bar Available

Sing and dance the hard times away! With entertainment by DJ Dance Academy the Wannabees - LITTLE*PHOENIX

For further information, contact Glen Innes Visitor Information Centre Ph: (02) 67 30 2400 - tourism@gisc.nsw.gov.au

Featured Grants and Funding Opportunities

Do you know what Federal funding opportunities you might be eligible for?

The Australian Government has numerous grant programs across its diverse departments. RDA Northern Inland encourages its 13 local councils, as well as business, education and not-for-profit organisations to keep abreast of what funding they can bring to the region.

It could be worth regularly looking for grants and assistance for your business or organisation.

Check out the Free Grants & Assistance Finder today: www.business.gov.au/GrantFinder/GrantFinder.aspx

Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR)
2014 Round 4 Applications Close: 25th of August 2014

The REAPing Rewards small grant program is a national program targeting education. It supports locally-driven projects and programs that directly benefit children and youth (0-18 years) and their educators in rural and remote communities. Grants are up to $10,000.

Find out more on the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal website here.

NSW – Grants - NSW Club Grant

Employment programs fit under Category 1 of the NSW Club Grants scheme and a funding round is expected shortly. Last year, registered clubs allocated more than $92 million to deserving causes through the ClubGRANTS program.

  • Category 1: Supports community welfare and social services; community development; employment assistance activities; community health services; and projects aimed at improving the living standards of low income and disadvantaged people.
  • Category 2: Provides funding for general community development and support activities, such as junior sport.
  • Category 3: Is a state-wide fund that supports large-scale community infrastructure projects, such as hospitals and sporting facilities.

Details are available on the Clubs NSW website here.

Further informaiton on grants and funding opportunities are available in the Grants and Funding Opportunities area of the RDA-NI website.

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Armidale NSW 2350
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