Inspiring Our Youth
To Realise Their Potential
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July 2019 Newsletter

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In this Issue:

Welcome from the Chair

Dear Northern Inlanders,

Welcome to the latest edition of our newsletter.

It was great to see the both the Deputy Premier of New South Wales, the Hon. John Barilaro, and the NSW Agricuture Minister, the Hon. Adam Marshall not only attend our recent Wool Works Shearing School in Glen Innes this month, but also roll up their sleeves and have a go at the shearing along with the kids. This unique program has massive potential to help our kids feel like they are valued and provide them with hands-on skills. With three more schools planned for this year, I encourage any interested high school teachers and students to get in contact with our office.

There are significant changes coming up for the regional skilled visas, and details about these are below. The skilled migrants that come to our region under these programs provide our employers with valuable skills that they are unable to source locally and in turn help their businesses grow. It also provides a pathway for these skilled workers to permanent residency, and we see many migrants that come to our region make a positive contribution to our communities.

If you are looking for a good read during these winter months, Back On Track was released this week. It tells the story of Bernie Shakeshaft who has done amazing work with at-risk youth in our region through the BackTrack program, and is well worth a read. All proceeds from the book will go to BackTrack to support their brilliant work, and you can find out how to order your copy below.


Russell Stewart

Shear Delight - Shearing School Politically Impressive

Our Wool Works Shearing School that is held at the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI),  Glen Innes Agricultural Research and Advisory Station, introduces high school students to the skills of shearing and wool handling. It provides an avenue for the young people in our region to be shown that they are and will be valued, by helping them to get the relevant skills that enhance career paths and address our regional skills needs.

When Deputy Premier of New South Wales, the Hon. John Barilaro and Agriculture Minister, the Hon. Adam Marshall visited the Wool Works Shearing School last month, their reaction was one of shear delight, and they recognised it as a measure of inspiration that the industry needs.

“This is fantastic! This school is about introducing young people to the skill of shearing and a possible future in agriculture,” Mr. Barilaro said. “I saw kids here who were smiling, they were engaged and they wanted to be there. I think this particular program, with all the stakeholders coming together, has touched on something that gives us hope for the future of agriculture and our kids in the bush.”

Mr. Barilaro commended the approach of inspiring young students by giving them practical rural skills early on. “If you plant a seed early, you can nurture their interest and see it grow. This is really hands-on; they can see, hear, smell, feel, experience and respect the shearing and wool handling skills in the shearing shed. We know skills like these are being lost in agriculture across regional NSW but this a great way to inspire the next generation and we might just see some of these teenagers catch the bug and stick with it,” he said.

As Agriculture Minister and Member for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall also praised the Wool Works Shearing School, after both politicians had rolled up their sleeves and had a go. “Look, it is tremendous. I came for the first time in 2018 and thought that this is such a wonderful initiative and I wanted the Deputy Premier to see it. I don’t think this is being done anywhere else. Even if only one or two of these high school students go on to work in the sheep industry, shearing, then it’s been successful.”

“It was great to see the number of girls turn up. That is reflective of the trend in agriculture, generally. Women are playing an increasingly important role in our agricultural industries and I think that is brilliant,” Mr. Marshall said.

The visit followed their announcement of $1.25M. in funding for a revamp of the Glen Innes Livestock Selling facility, the first grant from the $170M State Government Instructure Projects fund, designed to stimulate regional economies impacted by the drought.

The June 2019 Wool works Shearing School was attended by three students from Glen Innes, three from O’Connor Catholic College in Armidale and 18 from Inverell’s Macintyre High School. Thanks to Australian Wool Innovation, experienced shearers Ross Thompson and Leo Fittler instructed and supervised. Experienced TAFE Trainers, Pauline Smith and Kim Jenkins showed what working the shearing shed floor entails. When the Deputy Premier was aware of the fundraising efforts of the students from Macintyre High, who have been selling raffle tickets so they can travel to Bendigo, Victoria to compete in the National Sheep Show, he opened his cheque-book and announced a donation of $5,000.

Three more Shearing Schools are planned for 2019, with one locked in for October. Interested high school teachers or students from year 9 to 11 can contact our office on 67710700 or rdani@rdani.org.au.

The Wool Works Shearing School is possible through collaboration between RDANI, NSW DPI, Northern Tablelands Local Land Services, Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), TAFE New England, Glen Innes Severn Council, GLENRAC, Prime Super and Heiniger. Sheep were supplied by John Newsome of Elders Glen Innes.

Skilled Migration Update

Due to the ongoing support from the NSW Government, our office will continue to play an active role in attracting Skilled Migrants to settle in our region. This skilled labour can be critical for employers who need a position filled and cannot do so with local labour and it also provides skilled workers a pathway to permanent residency and an opportunity for a quality lifestyle in our region.

As we are optimistic that the NSW Government will re-commence nominating supported applicants by Monday the 22nd of July, we will be accepting applications for Skilled Regional State Nomination (sc489) for our region from Midday (12:00 pm AEST) today (Thursday 18 July, 2019). Our revised Occupation List will go online at the same time on the Skilled Regional NSW Sponsorship page of our website. The application process will remain the same as last financial year, and full details can also be found on the Skilled Regional NSW Sponsorship page of our website. The occupation list will be updated regularly to reflect the applications that we receive. We generally provide close to one week of notice prior to occupation list changes, however tight timeframes and considerable demand over the next month and a half will make that impossible. Therefore skilled migrants are encouraged to check our Occupation List before applying as it may change without notice.

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 the 10th of September. To allow time for processing before this cut-off time, our office will not accept any 489 applications after the 3rd of September, and we will be unable to make any exceptions to this deadline.

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) for employers seeking to nominate a skilled worker will also be replaced on the 16th of November this year. Therefore, to allow time for assessment, we will be unable to accept applications for assessment under this program after the 11th of November. Applications for certification for the RSMS are currently open, and 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, is 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.

Vote for Your Favourite Community Project

The My Community Project funding program, run by the NSW Government, will be providing each state electorate with up to $260,000 of funding for community projects that help improve the wellbeing of people and communities. The application process has resulted in a wide range of projects being submitted for funding by members of our communities.

Which projects will receive funding will be determined by the residents of each electorate through a voting process. Anyone who is over 16 years of age and holds a valid Medicare card can now vote for the project that they would like to see funded. The project with the most points will be funded first, the project with the second-most points will be funded second, and so on until no more projects can be fully funded from the total funding available in that electorate. This is a great chance for you to have a say in what projects should receive funding.

Information on the eligible projects is available on the My Community Project Website and voting is now available online on the Service NSW website and closes on the 15th of August.

Back On Track - Sharing the Story of BackTrack

Many people around the region are familiar with the achievements of Bernie Shakeshaft, CEO of BackTrack or have seen the teens and their high-jumping dogs at festivals and events around the region. Since its inception in 2006, the BackTrack program has worked with more than 1,000 at-risk teens who have been kicked out of the education system, or are on the path to prison, or generally both.

The BackTrack program takes in troubled teens on a day-to-day basis, helping them not only address their educational problems, but also housing, financial, legal and social issues, as well as anything else in the road of them reaching their potential. The boys, and now girls, are put through an individually tailored school curriculum, but are also taught a variety of trade skills, being put to work on local projects to teach self-worth, and the value of a hard day's work, and always with the program's signature tool - a sheepdog - by their side. The program boasts an 87 per cent success rate of participants gaining either full-time employment or training and education.

This week, Bernie’s book Back On Track was released. It tells his story and the stories of those whose lives he has saved, and is being quoted as being a powerful reminder that we should never give up on our kids. Special signed edition and plain copies of the book and DVDs of the 2018 documentary Backtrack Boys are available directly from BackTrack on their website or through retailers. The book will be officially launched at a public event in Armidale tonight and further details are available on through the Hachette Australia website. Every sale of the book contributes to BackTrack and will go back into the program to support kids.

Free Legal Advice for Northern Inlanders

The North and Northwest Community Legal Service is a not-for-profit community organisation that provides free legal advice, assistance and support to people in the Northern Inland Region who are having difficulties accessing or is unsure how to access the legal system. Their service is open to anyone in the community and is not means tested. Through their regular outreach service, their solicitors are available for face-to-face meetings in townships throughout the Northern Inland at least once a month and they also run regular workshops on specific topics.

Some of the matters they can assist with are:

  • Family Law issues (excluding property settlement and child support matters)
  • Power of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship
  • Wills (without real property e.g a house)
  • Consumer complaints
  • Credit and debt issues
  • Discrimination
  • Employment and workplace issues
  • Criminal law
  • Traffic offences
  • Victims Support
  • Neighbourhood disputes
  • Apprehended Violence Orders
  • Youth issues

Appointments are available either by telephone or face-to-face. Further details are available on the North and Northwest Community Legal Service website or by phone on 1800 687 687.

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.

Manufacturing Efficiency Funding
Closes: 31st of July 2019 5pm AEST (Extended)
Value: Up to $120,000 of matched funding per site
Run By: NSW and Office of Environment and Heritage

The NSW Government is offering over $16 million in funding to help manufacturing businesses save energy and money.

The funding will help you:

  •     upgrade energy monitoring systems
  •     replace or retrofit old, inefficient equipment
  •     install new energy efficient equipment
  •     improve manufacturing processes.

Stronger Country Communities Fund
Closes: 27th of September 2019 5pm
Value: Above $50,000 and up to a cap dependant on Local Government Area
Run By: NSW Government

The Stronger Country Communities Fund was established in 2017 by the NSW Government to help deliver local projects to regional communities. The objective of the fund is to provide projects that improve the lives of people who live in regional areas.Round Three of the Fund will see another $100 million made available for projects that improve the lives and wellbeing of regional NSW communities. This includes a dedicated $50 million for projects for young people.

Youth-related projects must be for:

  • development of new or upgrades to existing infrastructure for young people; or
  • delivering programs for young people.

Youth-related projects must be aligned to the areas of community, wellbeing, connectivity and work readiness.

General community amenity projects must be for:

  • construction of new, or upgrades to existing, local community infrastructure
  • construction of new, or upgrades to existing, local sporting infrastructure
  • capital works related to street beautification and other public places that promote the health, happiness and wellbeing of the community
  • delivering programs that benefit the local community• infrastructure to assist the delivery of general community programs.

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

Back to Moonbi Day
Sunday 21st of July

Managing Your Exports - NSW Export Capability Program
Wednesday 24th of July

UNE RuralFocus
Wednesday 24th to Thursday 25th of July

SMARTSessions: Scaleups & Growth Investment
Friday 26th of July

Friday 26th and Saturday 27th of July

Boarding Schools Expo
Friday 26th and Saturday 27th of July

Ashford Skate Park Opening
Saturday 27th of July

National Tree Day
Saturday 27th of July

Maules Creek Campdraft Club Cattle Dog Trials
Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th of July
Maules Creek

GROW – Generating Regionally Outstanding Women
Tuesday 30th to Wednesday 31st of July

Entrepreneurs Hour: Professor Veena Sahajwalla – Waste as a Resource
Thursday 1st of August

Tuff – Tune Up For Fellas
Thursday 1st to Friday 2nd of August

International Film Festival
Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th of August

Cotton Country Creativity
Saturday 3rd to Sunday 4th of August

Vintage Machinery Day
Sunday 4th of August
Eulah Creek

SMARTSessions: See it, Scale it
Thursday 8th of August

Sunnyfield Sports Day
Thursday 15th of August

Dealing with the Drought Wellness Workshop
Friday 16th of August

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Phone02 6771 0700
Opening Hours 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday
(Except Public Holidays)
Address 143 Marsh Street
Armidale NSW 2350
Postal Address PO Box 72
Armidale NSW 2350
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