In This Issue
Welcome From The Chair
Dear Fellow Northern Inland Residents,
Spring has nearly sprung and with a bit of rain around the region the agricultural sector has a positive outlook which is welcome in these times of constant bad news on the economic front from both the EU and US. The two speed economy leaves the mining industry forging ahead while the other export sectors are languishing waiting for both interest rates and the Australian dollar to go down. Our region has been fortunate to have many decision makers from Canberra and Sydney visit our patch and we can only hope it means dollars to follow.
The committee and staff of RDANI work hard to get the issues of the Northern Inland heard and we are pleased that both state and federal levels of government are listening to our regions concerns.
We always welcome feedback and suggestions that will help northern Inland NSW remain the best region in Australia to grow our economic opportunities while achieving equivalent services to our city cousins.
Mal Peters, Chair
Regional Development Australia Fund Update
Due to the larger than expected number of applications received under Round One of the Regional Development Australia Fund (RDAF), the assessment process is taking longer than expected.
The RDAF Advisory Panel is busily working through the applications and will prepare advice for the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, the Hon Simon Crean MP, shortly.
RDANI will continue to receive updates from the Department of Regional Australia and we look forward to receiving an announcement date. If you have any queries or for further updates, please go to www.regional.gov.au
Country and Regional Living Expo 2011
RDANI recently attended the 8th Annual Country and Regional Living Expo at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney. It was the first time RDANI had a presence at the Expo and we will definitely be attending in the future!
The Expo is a unique opportunity for people based in Sydney to experience the whole of New South Wales in a day. It was evident from talking to many attendees that moving out of Sydney is becoming more and more attractive and many attendees were very interested in moving to the Northern Inland.
Over 10,000 people attended the Expo over three days and the majority were genuine in their desire to leave the ‘rat race’. It was a rewarding experience to share our region with thousands of Sydney-siders and I look forward to welcoming some of them to our region soon.
RDANI Project wins Landcare Award!
The ‘Engineered Woodlands’ project that was undertaken by RDANI as part of the Northern Inland Forestry Investment Group, has recently been awarded the Landcare award for Innovation in Sustainable Farm Practices.
Engineered woodlands for pasture, shelter, timber and carbon are wide spaced tree plantings engineered to integrate traditional agriculture with income producing trees.
This system of engineered woodlands provides livestock and pasture shelter, better habitats for biodiversity, improved soil nutrient cycling and water use efficiency and income from timber and carbon credits.
RDANI congratulates everyone involved in the project on winning this prestigious accolade.
Friendly Faces Helping Hands Foundation
Seeking medical treatment in the city or even in large regional centres can be quite daunting for those from the bush, but a new organisation based in Narrabri is committed to making hospital and specialist visits much easier for those travelling afar for such appointments. The Friendly Faces Helping Hands Foundation, led by Maules Creek mother-of-two Kelly Foran, was formally established in 2010 to provide information to people visiting hospitals, specialists and other medical facilities in cities and major regional centres in NSW, Queensland, ACT, Victoria and eventually Australia-wide.
Kelly has established a user-friendly website that offers information about specific hospitals, such as visiting hours, access points and much more, and nearby amenities. The site details everything from accommodation, restaurants/cafes and parking to grocery stores, transport, churches, support and social workers, pharmacies, ATMs, internet access, giftware, laundries, dry cleaners, banks, and post offices. It lists all the services you could need while away from home, and even mentions opening hours, distances from the specific hospitals and contact details.
The site and foundation aim to reduce the burden on families and individuals who must make planned and unexpected trips to medical facilities outside their hometown. They offer support in an often terrifying and life-threatening time, with the intention to alleviate feelings of isolation, fear and uncertainty. All too often people struggle to find essential services when they visit the big smoke, and end up getting lost, over-charged or giving up altogether. The website aims to familiarise people with their surroundings, giving them the power of knowledge and the confidence to overcome challenges.
Kelly was inspired to create the foundation after enduring the difficulties of undergoing medical treatment in unfamiliar cities. She has received great support from her local community and is working with others who share her vision to spread the word of this new information portal to families around Australia.
For more information about the Friendly Faces Helping Hands Foundation, please go to www.friendlyfaces.info
New England North West Tourism wins Gold at the Inland Tourism Awards
Announced in Balranald on the 30th July, New England North West Tourism's Drive Campaign won best marketing program for the Inland NSW region in 2011. The Inland Tourism Awards is open to businesses within the tourism industry from the New England North West region, Central NSW, Riverina and Outback NSW.
"We are very excited to win this award because it shows the industry that our tourism strategy for the region is about producing results for the operators", said Les Parsons, Chairman of New England North West Tourism Organisation. "In the absence of an Executive Officer this last year I would like to thank our dedicated board consisting of our regions tourism managers, and industry professionals, particularly Les Moulds, Wendy Fahey and Neil McGarry. Thank you to Paul Mercurio for his participation as the New England North West Ambassador, as his passion for regional food and culinary experiences is perfect for the region."
In addition to the New England North West Drive Campaign, congratulations also go to Boggabri Drovers Campfire who won Silver in the Inland Champion Award and to the other finalist, Annual Porchetta Day, Gunnedah.
To follow on from the success of this campaign, New England North West are planning the next phase of their strategic marketing which will be in market later in 2011.
As a winner the New England North West Drive Campaign will be an automatic finalist in the NSW Tourism Awards which will be announced in November 2011.
Town Success Story
This month’s Town Success Story is about an exceptional program designed to help the most vulnerable in our society. BackTrack, the brainchild of Armidale man Bernie Shakeshaft, is a unique entity that comprises a set of philosophies that seek to improve the wellbeing of young people, especially young people who are having a hard time.
BackTrack, through its programs, incorporate particular principles and methodologies that are utilised within specific projects that improve the lives of young people who are the most marginalised in our community. The BackTrack principles and methodologies have particular relevance to rural communities where skills shortage, unemployment and disadvantage can be the greatest.
The vision is to create awareness in the community that recognises those young people who are not falling through the cracks in the education system and understands the need to provide elements in those people’s lives that are not automatically there. BackTrack acts to support different approaches to maximise these young people’s experiences, productivity and wellbeing.
In communities there are always young people who have greater disadvantage than the mainstream. This may be due to drug and alcohol issues, race, homelessness or socioeconomic circumstance. The BackTrack belief is that through alternative engagement and education techniques, many of these young people can achieve full employment, training or education outcomes and thus improve the overall quality of community life.
BackTrack has had enormous success with the youth of Armidale and continues to grow in leaps and bounds. For more information about BackTrack and their wonderful programs, please go to www.backtrack.org.au
Health and Wellbeing
Each year, more than 22,000 Australian men die of cancer. Common types of cancers causing death in men are lung, prostate, bowel, melanoma and testicular.
In many cases, male cancer deaths can be prevented through healthy lifestyle decisions and early detection.
Blue September is a campaign created to get the message out about cancer in men. It aims to raise awareness among all Australians about cancers affecting men and urges men to take preventative action by improving lifestyle choices. It is also about encouraging people to make a donation for cancer research, to help find a cure for the disease that affects so many Australian men.
For more information about Blue September and how you can get involved, please go to www.blueseptember.org
Northern Inland Innovation Awards 2011
Businesses and not-for-profit organisations are being reminded to keep nominating for the 2011 Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Innovation Awards as the closing date of Wednesday 21 September is fast approaching.
The annual awards are an initiative of Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI), in recognition of the innovation of many regional businesses and groups. A distinguished list of sponsors illustrates the widespread support of innovation and the role these awards play in stimulating it. The sponsors for this year's awards are: New England Community Mutual, AgriFood Skills Australia, Austsafe Super, and Eastern Star Gas with continued support being sought from Federal and State Government Departments.
The Northern Inland Innovation Award Categories are:
Agriculture, Horticulture and associated services
Tourism, Leisure and Services
Professional and Retail services
Manufacturing and Engineering
Research and Education
The RDANI Innovation Awards Committee will select finalists for each category, who will be invited to attend the gala awards night in Gunnedah on Friday, 28th October with the general public also encouraged to attend. The 2011 Innovation of the Year Award will be presented to the leading innovator across all categories.
Tickets are now available for $60 per person and must be purchased by Friday 14 October 2011.
For further information and to purchase tickets please contact the Regional Development Australia Northern Inland office on: 02 6771 2790 or go to the Award’s website: www.niia.com.au
Grants, Funding Opportunities and Tenders
As RDANI has access to a plethora of grants and funding opportunities, as of this month, there will be a new Grants Portal on our website which can be found here www.rdani.org.au/our-region/grants-and-funding-opportunities.php
This page will highlight a selection of the funding opportunities available as well as provide further resources on how to find the appropriate grant. The new portal will inform communities, businesses and industries within the region of the many government, business and philanthropic grants available.
Tendering is becoming a vital part of how many businesses in the Northern Inland operate on a day to day basis. RDANI would like to highlight the many sources of Tender information available.
Both state and federal governments often have projects open for tender. For more information on NSW State Government Tenders please go to tenders.nsw.gov.au for further information on Federal Government Tenders please go to www.tenders.gov.au
Commercial tenders are also becoming more popular. For more information on the commercial tendering process please go to www.tenderlink.com or www.tenders.com.au