In This Issue
Welcome From The Chair
Dear fellow Northern Inland residents,
The start of winter has heralded another busy month for RDANI. One of the highlights of the month was our first RDANI Chair’s Forum for Innovative Thinkers which was held in Tamworth. It was a rousing success and we gathered some brilliant ideas on how to further our region and make it better than ever. We look forward to holding more forums in the future.
Remember that our website competition for students in years 9-12 in our region’s high schools closes soon. This is a brilliant opportunity for the young people of our region so if you know a young person who might be interested please direct them to our website www.rdani.org.au We look forward to seeing some great entries.
Our region has made the headlines this month with the recent announcement by the federal government that Moree has been selected to have a solar power station built under the Government’s Solar Flagships Scheme. This venture will be a huge boost in the renewable energy sector and will create many jobs in and around Moree.
With wild weather affecting many parts of Australia and many areas, including our own Armidale-Dumaresq, Glen Innes Severn, Guyra, and Walcha Shire Councils being named natural disaster zones, I wish you all the best in
he recovery and re building period and hope you all stay safe.
Mal Peters, Chair
Skilled Migration Advice Comes to the Region
RDANI recognises that there is a skills shortage facing the Northern Inland and to overcome that, many employers in the region look overseas to find suitably qualified employees. As the regions’ only employer sponsored visa certifying body, RDANI is a vital source of information for employers regarding the ever changing immigration laws.
With funding assistance from the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services, leading immigration law expert Michael Jeremy and RDANI Senior Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings hosted and addressed a series of free seminars in Tamworth, Armidale, Inverell and Moree. Stakeholder groups represented at these seminars included employers, employment service providers, law firms and migrant support services and all parties said that they were very timely due to recent changes in the law.
For more information regarding skilled migration and the new changes in legislation, please contact Senior Project Officer Kim-Trieste Hastings on (02) 6771 2790
Town Success Story - Gwydir Learning Region
This month’s town success story should really be called a Shire Success Story. In 2000 Gwydir Shire Council recognised a need to build educational partnerships so as to retain youth in the region and to get people into jobs. The Gwydir Learning Region (GLR) focuses on improving educational, social and economic outcomes for the residents of the local communities. The GLR is a cooperative venture, involving Gwydir Shire Council, New England Institute of TAFE, Bingara Central School, Warialda High School, Adult Learning and the University of New England, and has the primary goal of promoting lifelong learning.
Impediments to further education in rural areas, such as distance and costs, demand a local, affordable and flexible solution. GLR certainly meets all of these. Vocational education can be the catalyst for building new confidence and vitality. Reskilling the community, bringing community projects to fruition and developing opportunities for new business ventures is building a sustainable and more prosperous future for residents of the Gwydir Shire.
The GLR truly is a success story in not only bringing back a sense of community amongst residents but as an innovative way of aligning skills development with local employment needs.
The University of New England (UNE) and Penn State University (USA) in conjunction with the Cotton Catchment Communities CRC, Tamworth Regional Development Corporation and the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services are holding a series of free innovation workshops across the region.
The aim of the workshops is to see if a supporting mechanism for innovation in this region through UNE (and other partners) can be established to hopefully see new ideas, new goods and services, processes and new industry come to the region. Researchers from both UNE and Penn State will present at the workshops.
The workshops will be presented during July and August in Armidale, Tamworth, Moree and Narrabri and each location will have an initial session and a follow up session. For more information on these workshops please contact Kate Schwager from the Cotton Catchment Communities CRC on (02) 6799 2477 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Health and Wellbeing Programs
This month’s health and wellbeing program focuses on the dangers associated with underage drinking. DrinkWise Australia has enlisted the support of many Australian sporting heroes to discuss the pitfalls of underage in a new campaign called ‘Under Your Influence’.
Underage drinking is a huge issue amongst all Australian communities and this campaign hopes to cut down on drinking by those who are under 18. The campaign is headed by TV doctor Dr Andrew Rochford and enlists the help of sports stars such as Liz Ellis, Robert de Castella and Kieran Perkins.
For more information on the Under Your Influence campaign please visit www.underyourinfluence.org.au
Heritage Grants Named
NSW Heritage grants have just been named and three projects from the Northern Inland were successful. The Uralla Historical Society received $19,000 for its 1881 Chaff Shed Restoration project, the Armidale Uniting Church was granted $10,000 for the restoration of its 1879 Willis Pipe Organ and the Bingara Roxy Café was granted $30,000 to conserve the 1930s etched glass façade.
These grants will boost the morale of each of the communities involved and the projects that they will enable will be enjoyed by generations to come.
Available Grants, Funding Opportunities and Tenders
RDANI has access to information concerning all manner of community grants and funding opportunities. A comprehensive list of these grants can be found at www.grantslink.gov.au
Information on how to write funding applications as well as how to run your project can be found at www.communitybuilders.nsw.gov.au
This month we will also begin to include information relating to available tenders. There are numerous opportunities available for businesses in the Northern Inland and RDANI hope to provide you access to them.
For NSW State Government Tenders please go to tenders.nsw.gov.au and for Australian Government Tenders please go to www.tenders.gov.au
Commercial tenders and tender writing tips can be found at www.tenderlink.com and www.tenders.com.au
Community Action Grants
Community groups can now apply for small grants to help fund local environmental and sustainable agriculture projects. Grants of between $5000 and $20,000 are available to help local community groups undertake activities such as removing weeds, controlling pests, improving sustainable land management practices and revegetating landscapes.
Applications close on Monday 1 August 2011 and more information can be found at www.nrm.gov.au or by calling 1800 552 008