Inspiring Our Youth
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August 2019 Newsletter

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In this Issue:

Welcome from the Chair

Russell Stewart - Chair

Dear Northern Inlanders,

Welcome to a jam-packed edition of our newsletter.

Although the recent cold fronts have brought some welcomed rain and even snow to parts of our region, as the drought persists it will continue to have an effect on our farmers, businesses, communities and our young people for quite some time yet. I am a strong believer that we need to listen to our youth to be able to understand their perspective and find the best way to support them, and it is great to hear that UNICEF Australia are bringing our youth together to have their say at the first NSW Youth Summit on Living with Drought. This summit will explore the ways decision-makers can best support children and young people to build resilience and become better prepared for ongoing and future drought. If you are, or know someone, who is aged 14-24, check out the details below on how to get involved in this initiative.

I was pleased to hear the announcement that the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development will be opening a new Inland Rail office in Moree. This office will allow our communities and businesses to talk to the department’s staff face-to-face to identify and connect to the benefits that the Inland Rail will bring to our region.


Russell Stewart

Inland Rail Office to be Opened in Moree

A new regional Inland Rail office for the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development will open soon in Moree to support communities and local businesses from Narrabri to the New South Wales/Queensland border to identify and connect to the benefits of Inland Rail. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack said the presence of departmental staff along the Inland Rail corridor would allow local people to talk to the Australian Government face-to-face about the opportunities and potential benefits on hand.

“It’s vital that our public service understands and serves the public and what better way to do this than employ local people to work with and among local communities. Regional officers play a vital role in guiding and connecting local communities and industry to information, support networks, local procurement and employment opportunities.” Mr McCormack said.

“In addition to supporting local communities and businesses, the Moree office will play an integral part in supporting the Government’s $44 million 2019-20 Budget initiative to develop strategic business cases for the Inland Rail Interface Improvement Program. This program will maximise connections to the national freight rail network – integrating regional lines and connecting local communities to the long-term benefits that flow from Inland Rail.”

The Moree office will complement the regional engagement activities of other offices already established by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development in Toowoomba, Dubbo and Wodonga. The new office will enable regular and direct engagement with communities and stakeholders through Inland Rail’s construction.

Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government and Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said that the additional office in Moree reflected the Australian Government’s commitment to unlock the potential of our regions and that Moree is uniquely positioned to drive better freight productivity through road and rail connections to Inland Rail.

“The Australian Government remains committed to decentralisation, which creates strong regional communities and economies by creating local jobs and economic diversity. This is a great example of how a department can bring those working on government initiatives into the communities they are working to benefit. Further, local governments in the area have indicated their support and desire to develop long-term benefits through this significant infrastructure project.”

Skilled Migration Update

We are currently accepting applications for Skilled Regional State Nomination (visa sub-class 489) for our region in selected occupations in Agriculture, Health (excluding nurses), Education and Metal, Building and Automotive Trades. These are detailed in our occupation list which is available on the Skilled Regional NSW Sponsorship page of our website.

Applications will only be open for a limited time period and may be closed without notice. While haste is understandable and, in some respects, appropriate, applicants and agents are cautioned that incomplete applications may result in an unsuccessful outcome.

Due to the commencement of the new Skilled Regional State Nominated visa sub-class 491 on the 16th of November, the last day that nominations for the 489 visa will be processed and invitations from the Department of Home Affairs will be issued will be 10th September.

We are processing applications as quickly as possible and they will all be completed before 3rd September. We understand that awaiting the outcome of an assessment can be stressful, however applicants are asked to not contact our office about the progress of their application before 26 August, so that we can focus on assessing applications.

Applications for certification assessment under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) for employers seeking to nominate a skilled worker can be submitted until 11th November. This deadline will allow time for applications to be assessed for certification before this visa program is replaced on the 16th of November. Details on how to apply are available on the RSMS Employer Nomination page of our website. Information on the new Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa, while limited at this stage, are available on the Department of Home Affairs website.

If you have any queries about certifications for either of these visas after reading our website, our office staff are available to communicate with skilled migrants and employers on 6771 0700 or migration@rdani.org.au.

Do You Have a Story to Tell?


ABC’s Heywire competition has been run each year in partnership with the Australian Government since 1998. It provides people aged 16-22 living in regional or rural Australia with the chance to share their experiences of life in regional Australia and over 11,000 young Australians have taken part. Applications for Heywire are now open and entrants have the chance to win a lifechanging trip to Canberra for the Heywire Regional Youth Summit in February 2020.

Anyone with a story to tell about life outside of the big cities is encouraged to enter, with entries of any medium accepted, including text, video, audio and photo. Forty winners will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Heywire Regional Youth Summit and will take part in workshops. The Summit gives winners an opportunity to inspire each other, develop ideas and share stories to help make life in regional Australia even better.

Past winners have used Heywire as a springboard to make positive change in their communities by exploring issues around agriculture, mental health, youth employment, disability and strengthening culture, just to name a few.  At the summit, winners ideas will be developed and have a chance to become reality through the Heywire grant program run by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.

Minister for Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie encourages young people to get involved and share their stories. “We’re proud to celebrate the stories of a new generation of Australian storytellers. I am always inspired by the depth of capacity of young people from rural and regional Australia. Heywire helps to showcase the next generation of young leaders. There is a positive future for the regions with young leaders so passionate and proud of where they come from.”

Former Heywire winner, Bethany Evans, says “It’s an enormous privilege to be a Heywire alumni and to see how the program has continued to grow and give young rural Australians a platform for discussion and change. For me, my experience as a Heywire winner reaffirmed how lucky I am to call rural Australia home despite the unique challenges we face. The opportunity to meet and form lasting friendships with other rural youth from across Australia has been priceless. The sense of empowerment and conviction that rural voices matter and deserve to be heard at all levels of Australian society is something that has stayed with me always.”

Further information and application details are available on the Heywire website and entries close on the 16th of September.

Are You a Young Person Impacted by the Drought?

UNICEF Australia with the support of the NSW government is seeking applications from 14-24 year olds to attend the first NSW Youth Summit on Living with Drought. They are looking for applicants from diverse backgrounds, who bring personal experiences to the conversation, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, young people living with disability and young people from newly arrived or migrant backgrounds.

At the Summit, children and young people will come together with decision-makers and one another to discuss the challenges they face living with drought in NSW and how responses can be improved. The Summit will explore the ways decision-makers can best support children and young people to build resilience and become better prepared for ongoing and future drought.

The Summit also presents an opportunity for young people living with drought to have a break from the land, work with their peers who are going through similar struggles, and have an opportunity to connect, engage and reflect, surrounded by beautiful Lake Macquarie. All venue and meal costs will be covered, and UNICEF Australia will arrange transportation from several towns throughout regional NSW to the summit.

The Summit will provide an opportunity for children and young people living with drought to identify actions that are needed to more effectively support you, your families and communities. It will:

  • Connect young people from across NSW with their peers to create a support network based on shared experiences of the challenges of living with drought.
  • Develop a shared understanding of the impact of drought on young people, the current support available (what works, what hasn’t worked), and the key gaps that need to be addressed.
  • Provide a forum for meaningful, action-oriented discussion between young people, policy-makers and service providers about how to more effectively support young people and children experiencing drought.
  • Strengthen confidence in advocacy, analysis, collaboration and leadership among young people attending the Summit.
  • Result in a concluding, public report from UNICEF Australia, which will work with the NSW Government to implement policy recommendations.

Visit Unicef Australia’s website for more details. Applications close Friday 30th August 2019.

Crowdfunding Campaign Launched for Rail Trail Business Plan

Rail Trail

A crowdfunding campaign to develop a business plan for a rail trail on the disused section of the Great Northern Railway line between Armidale and Glen Innes has been launched by New England Rail Trail Incorporated and supported by Armidale Regional Council and Glen Innes Severn Council.

Both Councils resolved to support a rail trail which is anticipated to be a key tourism driver for the New England High Country region. Each year the rail trail is expected to attract 15,000 new day trippers and 14,000 overnight stays to the region, who will spend $5.7 million per year in local businesses.

A key process of the plan will be to identify engagement opportunities with the broader community to ensure that everyone is well informed and understands what a rail trail is particularly for those residents that have property adjacent to the disused section of the Great Northern Railway line.

A crowdfunding page has been established at chuffed.org along with a promotional video and important facts about the project.

Upgrade to Tamworth Airport Complete

Tamworth Airport Upgrade

Another significant infrastructure upgrade project has been completed at Tamworth Regional Airport with the commissioning of the new Instrument Landing System last week. The project was funded through a $2 Million grant from the Australian Government and took nine months to install. The system replaces the installation from 1992 and includes a hut and antenna array that provides pilots with guidance during an approach to land. It allows airlines and the airport to continue to operate in low visibility conditions, improving the reliability of landing.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said that Tamworth Airport is one of regional Australia’s busiest airports, with 81,000 annual aircraft movements. “This project will strengthen local aircraft maintenance business and improve the uptake of aviation technology and education, making flights in and out of Tamworth safer and more efficient,” Mr McCormack said. “It means keeping a large number of local jobs that would have been jeopardised, following the Australian Defence Force’s departure from the airport, which is supporting the local economy.”

Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the Instrument Landing System upgrade would improve Tamworth's capacity to train and educate pilots. "This upgrade will help attract more regular commercial and freight flights to the New England region, expanding job opportunities in aviation and supporting industries," he said. “Replacing the old ILS installed back in 1992, this new system will benefit people and industries reliant on flight training services, including military personnel and commercial operators, as well as civilian flying enthusiasts.”

Tamworth Region Mayor Col Murray said the airport enhancements were essential to the region's future economic growth. “The upgraded Instrument Landing System supports the future of flight training here and it means we have an even stronger case to establish international freight operations,” he said. "Our airport is a community asset which delivers major economic benefits to the region through business and tourism travel and as a hub for the local aviation industry."

"Airports are expensive to operate, maintain and develop," Cr Murray said. "That’s why support of the Australian and NSW governments is essential to grow aviation business in regional areas like Tamworth."

A New Online Sales Opportunity for Local Businesses


Businesses in our region now have another way of selling their products online to customers all over Australia. Local resident of Bonshaw, Chris Chalmers, has developed a digital marketplace called Tootta.

Tootta allows sellers to create and maintain listings for their products like other online marketplaces, such as ebay, but it is unique as only sellers in the Northern Inland and Northern Rivers regions can sell on the platform, making it easier to stand out. It also makes it easier for Northern Inlanders to buy locally while shopping online.

Chris is looking for 12 people to work with so he can help you set up your Tootta site, upload your products, make it look attractive to buyers and help you get sales. As part of being the first people on board, you'll be helping test out the site and giving your feedback as an online business user. It won't cost you any money, just your time.

Tootta is now online, and you can take a look, create a free account and try it out. If you are interested in working with Chris, you can contact him by email on chris@tootta.com.au.

Featured Grants and Funding Opportunities

Below are some featured grants and funding opportunities from the multitude of open grants listed in the Grants and Funding Opportunities area of our website. Our website is updated weekly with new listings and updates and all are applicable to our region, so it is a great resource if you are looking for funding for a specific project.

You can also sign up to our Business and Infrastructure Funding Opportunities and the Community Grants and Award Programs newsletters through the simple form located on the left-hand side of our website: www.rdani.org.au, to receive monthly summaries of currently open grants.

Local Schools Community Fund
Closes: 30th of September 2019 5pm AEST
Value: $1,000 to $20,000
Run By: Australian Government Department of Education

The Australian Government is providing $30.2 million in 2019–20 for the Local Schools Community Fund (the Fund), with up to $200,000 available for each federal electorate. The Fund will benefit students and assist schools to meet their priorities through the contribution of funding for small scale projects and their associated costs.

The Fund is open to all schools—government, Catholic and independent.

Schools can apply for funding for one project between $1,000 and $20,000. Where a school is composed of multiple campuses, the school or campus may submit an application for each campus to fund a project between $1,000 and $20,000.

Funding requested can be for the total cost of the project, or part of the cost where the school contributes an amount.


Celebrating Our Cultural Diversity Grants
Current Events Round Closes: 20th of September 2019
Next Events Round Opens: 3rd of February
Next Projects Round Opens: 28th of October
Value: Up to $40,000 for projects and up to $10,00 for events
Run By: NSW Government - Multicultural NSW

The Multicultural NSW Celebrating Diversity Grants Program invests in community projects, events and activities that foster community harmony and celebrate cultural diversity as a precious part of our identity and way of life.

There are two categories of grants under the Celebrating Diversity Grants Program:

1. Celebrating Diversity: Events
Two rounds are run each year:

  • 12 August - 20 September 2019 for events in 1 January 2020 to 30 June 2020
  • 3 February - 13 March 2020 for events in 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020

Each year the NSW calendar is filled with events that celebrate our cultural diversity.  Festivals and events bring communities together, showcase the benefits of cultural diversity and promote social cohesion and community harmony.

Grants of up to $10,000 are available for Celebrating Diversity: Events. Applicants are eligible to receive grant funding to cover up to 20% of the total event budget up to the amount of $10,000 annually.

2. Celebrating Diversity: Projects
One round each year that opens 28th of October and closes 6th of December 2019

Community harmony happens when communities from diverse cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds work together on projects that make a difference.

Grants of up to $40,000 are available for 12-month projects than can make a lasting positive impact on social cohesion at the grassroots level. Celebrating Diversity Project Grants support collaborative relationships with Government and partnerships between community, non-government, educational organisations and the private sector.


Regional Employment Trials Program
Closing date: 30th of June 2020
Value: $7,500 to $200,000
Run By: Australian Government Department of Jobs and Small Business

The Northern Inland is one of only ten regions across Australia to be selected for the Regional Employment Trials Program. The Regional Employment Trials program provides local stakeholders in selected regions, including businesses, not-for-profits and local government agencies, with grants to trial local approaches to delivering employment related projects.

The objectives of the program are to deliver:

  • strong connections between regional stakeholders, including employment services providers
  • employment initiatives that meet local needs
  • improved awareness of local labour markets
  • the potential for improved regional employment outcomes

Grants are for between $7,500 and $200,000, for up to 75% of eligible project costs. Projects must be completed by 30 June 2020.

What's On in the Northern Inland

SMARTSessions: Start Up Tech Support
Wednesday 14th of August

Cultural Arts Plan – Drop in Sessions
Wednesday 14th to Friday 16th of August
Inverell and Yetman

Entrepreneurs Hour: Going Global From Day One
Friday 16th of August

Pally Pub Pig Races
Saturday 17th of August

Kentucky Old Time Dance
Saturday 17th of August

Family Movie Night
Saturday 17th of August

Tuesday 20th of August

SMARTSessions: Introduction to Raising Capital
Tuesday 20th of August

Tuesday 20th to Thursday 22nd of August

Aboriginal Heritage Study Workshop
Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st of August
Wee Waa and Narrabri

Illuminate:nextgen Challenge 2019
Thursday 22nd to Friday 23rd of August

See It Scale It
Thursday 29th of August

Sapphire Rock ‘n’ Roll Festival
Friday 30th of August to Sunday 1st of September

Nosh Narrabri
Saturday 31st of August to Sunday 1st of September

Moree Motortrade Expo Show and Shine
Sunday 1st of September

Lift off… The Festival of Wind
Sunday 1st of September
Glen Innes

High Country Handmade Showcase
Sunday 1st of September
Glen Innes

Sound Walk Sunday
Sunday 1st of September

Kootingal Country Fair
Sunday 1st of September

Wiser Families and Carers Seminar
Tuesday 3rd of September

Peter Allen Festival
Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th of September

Community BBQ and Entertainment
Saturday 7th of September

Pilliga Forrest Ride
Saturday 7th of September

Womens Health Week Afternoon Tea Party
Saturday 7th of September

Family Fun Day
Sunday 8th of September

Glenrock Gardens Open Gardens
Sunday 8th of September

Dementia and Our Mob
Tuesday 10th of September
Wee Waa

Quirindi Spring Show
Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th of September

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