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June 2017 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Welcome from the Chair

Dear Northern Inlanders,

Welcome to another edition of our newsletter. This month we’re pleased to announce the opening of nominations for our 10th annual Northern Inland Innovation Awards. If you’re a business or organisation doing something innovative in the name of increasing revenue or delivering better services, make sure you get in touch with us to get your name up in lights.

The recent announcement of the NSW State budget has heralded some good results for the region. There is some great funding available for major community projects and RDANI are happy to work with proponents on developing their business cases. You can read more about the available funding below.
Here’s hoping for some more winter rain across the region and we’ll see you next month.


Russell Stewart

Seeking Region's Innovators

RDANI Chair Russell Stewart with 2016 Innovation of the Year Winners, Renee and Craig Neale and Mathew Jensen of Wholegrain Milling Company, Gunnedah.
RDANI Chair Russell Stewart with 2016 Innovation of the Year Winners, Renee and Craig Neale and Mathew Jensen of Wholegrain Milling Company, Gunnedah.

he Northern Inland Innovation Awards have been highlighting local stories of innovative products and approaches for ten years now, right across the region. Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) has announced that entries or nominations are now open for the 2017 awards program.
Businesses, public and not-for-profit organisations, together with the 12 Local Councils in the Northern Inland region, are being urged to submit entries for the 10th Regional Development Australia Northern Inland Innovation Awards.

Entries close on Monday 9th October 2017. Entry/nomination forms can be downloaded from the www.niia.com.au website.

“If you have a product, service, approach or initiative that can be described as innovative, the Northern Inland Innovation Awards is the ultimate platform for promoting your story – it doesn’t cost anything to enter; just a little bit of time, said RDANI Executive Officer Nathan Axelsson. “Plus, this year for the first time, if you know a quietly achieving innovator and think their story should be shared with the region, you can nominate them.”

Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) Chair, Russell Stewart said that for a regional awards program, the Northern Inland Innovation Awards have a uniquely narrow and vital focus. “Why not have a go? It is important to share our positive stories. Enter or nominate and celebrate that point of distinction,” he said.

“For the recipient, a regional innovation awards gong is a fantastic marketing tool that reinforces credibility. For the region, innovation is a key catalyst for growth. Every awardee is an inspiration to others and helps to show how progressive our region is. The Northern Inland Innovation Awards are truly special and that is why we have the support of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Prime Super, White Rock Wind Farm, the University of New England and Armidale Regional Council,” Mr. Stewart said.

“We are proud of the great stories of innovation that this region-wide awards program has produced and promoted,” said Mr. Stewart. “I encourage everyone to get onto the awards website (www.niia.com.au) and check out the videos of past category winners and finalists. A top example was the 2016 Innovation of the Year Award recipient, Gunnedah’s Wholegrain Milling Company for their 100% sustainable label.”

Each year, the gala Northern Inland Innovation Awards dinner and presentation evening is held in a different Local Government Area in the region. This year, the region’s innovation showcase will be staged at the Armidale City Bowling Club on Friday, 24 November.

The award categories are:

  • Agriculture / Horticulture and Associated Services
  • Health, Aged Care and Disability Services
  • Retail, Tourism & Leisure
  • Professional and Government Services
  • Manufacturing and Engineering; and Research and Education

The RDANI Innovation Awards judging panel will vote on the RDANI Innovation of the Year Award from the winners of each category. Finalists for each category will be invited to attend the gala awards night, with the general public also encouraged to come along.

Northern Inland Digitally Upskilled

RDANI Project Officer Tiffany Gilleland reviewing one of her live training sessions
RDANI Project Officer Tiffany Gilleland reviewing one of her live training sessions

Thanks to RDANI’s Go Digital program, over 150 businesses throughout Northern Inland NSW have benefited from either online or face-to-face training to build their businesses online, with many giving it rave reviews.

The project has been running since January 2017 and has allowed businesses in the region to access free training on everything from websites, to social media, and even Etsy.

Funded by the Murray-Darling Basin Regional Economic Diversification Programme, Go Digital was facilitated by RDANI Project Officer Tiffany Gilleland, who delivered workshops around the region and developed the course material.

“The feedback from businesses has been fantastic” said RDANI Executive Officer Nathan Axelsson. “Many businesses have commented on how useful the free training has been for them.”

“With Tiffany’s help, businesses in the region who had nothing online are now creating Facebook pages, Instagram profiles and even websites to promote their products and services. This is a practical project that is really making a difference,” Mr Axelsson said.

“I now have more ideas of what is possible and the information about creating an easy website was an eye-opener,” said one workshop participant.

“Tiffany did a great job breaking down the information and making it easy to understand with the educational videos,” said another participant.

“These businesses are growing their potential customer bases and, as a result, it looks like future sales are set to grow as well” said Tiffany.

Even though the project is due to close on 17th July, all the free content will remain online until March 2018. Tiffany will be around for questions until October.

“New people are signing up every day” she said. “Some people have been worried that it’s all closing down, but when they hear that all the content will be available afterwards, they are even more excited to get started.”

To find out more about the program: www.gdni.com.au or contact Tiffany at tgilleland@rdani.org.au

Spotlight on Great Small Cities of Australia

The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) has embarked on a new campaign aimed at highlighting the economic performance and potential of Australia’s regional centres (with populations of over 50,000).
“Australia has a ‘hidden metropolis’. Home to 4.5 million Australians, we have the opportunity to grow a network of great small cities alongside our great big cities,” RAI CEO Jack Archer said.

The Regional Australia Institute will work with city leaders, governments and the Australian community to take action on the regional city opportunity.

“If we get small city policy right - there’s $378 billion on the table, but the nation’s capacity to harness it will depend on two key things: Shifting the entrenched view that the smart money only invests in our big five metro cities; and Regions being investment ready,” Mr. Archer said.

“Our latest work busts myths that regional cities are a second rate investment. Regional cities are as well-positioned to create investment returns as their big five metro cousins. And, in partnership with the UK Centre for Cities, we build on learnings from the UK to provide all regional cities in Australia with a blueprint for action to get investment ready.”

“For big cities, it’s all about big licks of cash to try to reduce congestion; in small cities it’s all about smart investment to enable new business and population growth. Using the strategies outlined in this work we can get an enormous return on investment from our policy effort in small cities,” said Mr. Archer.

The Regional Australia Institute is collaborating with LinkedIn, using the social media platform as an analysis tool to identify networking patterns and professional skills trends in regional cities.

Funding Available for Major Community Projects

A new Regional Growth Fund, announced as part of the recently unveiled 2017-18 NSW Budget, will fund projects that communities deem to be priorities. RDA Northern Inland Chair Russell Stewart is encouraging Northern Inlanders to work with their State MPs to refine submissions and help to make a difference.

“The NSW State Government has put $1 billion on the table for transport, energy and water projects, $300 mil. for community and cultural facilities, together with $300 million for environmental or tourism plans. This is a welcome undertaking by the NSW Coalition Government and it is up to us to make the most of it,” Mr. Stewart said.

“I commend the NSW Government’s plan to kick-start social projects and enliven local communities. Smaller regional communities and their councils cannot afford the revitalisation of their public infrastructure or the investment required for new projects. We might see the funding of wide range of major projects that will boost our communities but we must get on the front foot and take the first steps,” Mr Stewart said.

“Take your ideas to the electorate offices of Kevin Humphries, Kevin Anderson and Adam Marshall. It is time to collaborate and put plans into action,” he said. “The first round of funding starts on July 7, 2017 and contacting your local State electorate office is a vital step.”

Member for Northern Tablelands, the Hon. Adam Marshall said he particularly wants to see projects which stimulate local-level economic growth. “Whether it’s a water pipeline, a major playground, a new sporting ground or a mobile phone tower – I’m on the lookout for projects that could help revolutionise your town and promote it’s economy.”

“I will work with proponents and councils to help deliver a business plan for the best projects, assess their benefits to the community, and guide them through the application process to ensure these projects have the best chance of success.”

“Money will be specifically allocated per region in country NSW – so we’re not competing against the cities, but also so our smaller towns won’t miss out against the bigger regional centres,” he said.

Further information and program guidelines are available at www.nsw.gov.au/regionalgrowth

We’re a Growth Region!

"It’s so easy to be negative but despite the hiccups, the 2016 census has delivered good news for the Northern Inland region of New South Wales,” Chair of RDA Northern Inland Russell Stewart said.

“Let’s focus on the positives for a moment! A vast majority of the Northern Inland achieved population growth. Where there were small pockets of decline, they were insignificant numbers,” he said.

“The average growth rate in the Northern Inland from 2011 to 2016 has justifiably been cause for delight among our civic leaders and politicians.”

“This data helps to promote the positive picture we must portray, of vibrant regional communities with genuine opportunities – not the negative views of regional decline that generally portray your average country CBD as subsisting on struggle street.”

“Most of our populations are growing and our economies are strong. We are innovative and progressive. We’re pro-active and responsive when it comes to addressing economic and social issues. We are moving forward, as regional communities we are the future,” Mr Stewart said.

“Thumbs up to every household that did the right thing and completed the census. You helped show the Government that we are worth counting.”

Grants and Funding Opportunities

Closing in July

Commonwealth Bank Not-For-Profit Treasurers Awards
Closes 28 July 2017 11AM (AEST)
Up to $5,000
Total Pool $15,000
Available to Treasurers of Not-for-Profits. Treasurers can be nominated by others (Category A) or nominate themselves (Category B).

ANZ Staff Foundation Grants
Closes 15 July 2017
Up to $5,000
Total Pool: Unknown
Available to Not-For-Profits in support of charitable projects.

ACCAN Grants Scheme
Closes 25 July 2017
Total Pool: $500,000
The ACCAN Grants Program funds projects which either undertake research on telecommunications issues, represent consumers or create educational tools which empower consumers to make decisions in their own interests and to understand telecommunications products and services. All eligible projects address systemic issues for telecommunications consumers.

Mentoring Scholarships for Female Entrepreneurs (Rare Birds)
Closes 30 July 2017
Available to Female Entrepreneurs who meet certain criteria to receive mentorship from high calibre Australian business mentors.

Closing in August

Community Building Partnership Program
Closes 9 August 2017
Minimum: $2,500 with an average of $20,000 per grant awarded
Total Pool: $27.9 Million
Available to Not-For-Profits and local councils for infrastructure or capital equipment related to projects promoting community inclusion and participation.

Honda Foundation Grants
Closes 11 August 2017
Funding Amounts Undisclosed
Available to Incorporated charitable organisations to assist with projects in social and environmental space. They support:

  1. Supporting the disadvantaged, disabled or those suffering from illness
  2. 2. Relief for victims of natural disasters
  3. Promotion of innovation and new technologies
  4. The promotion, development and preservation of Australian culture

Closing in September

Flying Start Programme
Multiple Rounds closing 30 Sep 2017, 31 Mar 2018
Up to $30,000
Available for Not-for-profit community groups and organisations for projects building or enhancing their local community.

Cadbury Fundraiser Community Grants
Multiple Rounds closing 15 Sep, 30 Nov
Up to $500
Total Pool: Unknown
Available to Not-for-profits and schools for community projects in the realm of social inclusion and community engagement.

Harcourts Foundation Grants
Multiple Rounds closing 30 Sep, 31 Dec 2017
Funding amounts undisclosed
Available to Not-for-Profits who hold a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Status for a specific project, item or initiative. Check out the longer list of guidelines and eligibility here.

What's On in the Northern Inland

Toyota Hats Off to Country
Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th of July 2017

Hats Off to Country (at the Dag Sheep Station)
Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th of July 2017

Manilla Rugby League 100 years Gala Reunion Dinner
Saturday 8th July, 2017
Manilla Town Hall

Spring Ridge Fireworks Display and Bonfire Night
Saturday 15th of July
Spring Ridge

Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium
Friday 21st & Saturday 22nd July 2017

Chill N Glen
Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd July 2017
Glen Innes

2017 Pony Club Assoc of NSW State Combined
1 – 8 July.
2017 NNWSJC.
13 – 16 July.
2017 Tamworth Dressage Club Christmas in
July Competition.
22 – 23 July.
AQHA World Youth Cup Selection Camp.
27 – 30 July.
NNWSJC Height Competition.
5 – 6 August.
Cloverleaf Cruisers Barrel Racing.
12 – 13 August.
2017 Tamworth International Eventing – CIC.
19 – 20 August.
Tamworth Reining Horse Association Country Championships.
26 – 27 August.

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