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March 2012 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Welcome From The Chair
NBN Smart Home Under Construction
NSW Business Chamber
Farmers Direct at the Country and Regional Living Expo
Getting Involved in Digital Business
ZooWhiz.com Launched!
Grants, Funding Opportunities and Tenders

Welcome From The Chair

Mal Peters, Chair

Dear Fellow Northern Inland Residents,

As always, a lot has been happening in the regional development sphere. The Regional Australia Institute has just been launched and I am pleased and proud to have been appointed Chair of such a fantastic initiative that will really drive results for those of us who choose to live in regional Australia.

In other news, the Senate passed the Mineral Resources Rent Tax which should ensure the future of the Regional Development Australia Fund which is a vital source of funding for many worthwhile projects in Regional Australia.

Mal Peters, Chair

NBN Smart Home Under Construction

A project to build a regional NBN Experience Centre in Armidale is now underway after 18 months of behind-the-scenes work by government, education and private industry partners. Led by Regional Development Australia Northern Inland, the Broadband Smart Home, located in Queen Elizabeth Drive, Armidale will demonstrate many of the real-world applications of the NBN, including home automation, remote health monitoring, video-conferencing, rehabilitation, education, remote business, sensor monitoring and environmental sustainability.

In the coming months, the facility will be open to members of the public to see and learn about the NBN, including workshops and live-demonstrations. The house will provide hands-on, functioning displays of NBN relevant installations in a home suitable for a typical family of four. The home will demonstrate how the NBN will improve the way people live, work and play.

The Broadband Smart Home has the potential to be a real asset to the Northern Inland region and will attract local, tourist and virtual visitors to this unique regional experience. There is a vacuum of information in relation to what the NBN will mean to businesses and residents in regional Australia, and this practical project is a brilliant way of addressing this void.

As well as the general public, the house will also be used by local TAFE and University students to trial and demonstrate various cutting-edge projects across a range of areas. The house is already being used by NBN Co and Retail Service Providers to trial and deploy NBN-related equipment and services.

The Armidale Broadband Smart Home has already attracted in excess of $50,000 in funding and significant interest from a wide range of groups who are committed to ensuring the success of the project.

Participating partners in the project are Regional Development Australia Northern Inland, NSW Trade & Investment, ISU Solutions, CSIRO, The Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation, TAFE New England Institute, The University of New England, Armidale Dumaresq Council, Internode, Essential Energy and NBN Co.

It is expected that the house will be open to the public by June 2012.

NSW Business Chamber

NSW Business Chamber Logo

NSW Business Chamber is an independent, non-government business support organisation working with over 22,000 businesses across the state each year.

NSW Business Chamber is working to strengthen the voice of business at a local, state and federal level, by entering into alliances with chambers across NSW and Australia.

NSW Business Chamber supports the great work done by the local chamber movement through partnerships with local and regional chambers that give their members access to a wide and varied range of membership entitlements offered by NSW Business Chamber.

Businesses in the Northern Inland can benefit from membership as NSW Business Chamber provides vital links for local and regional chambers with other state chambers across Australia as well as with chambers from all over the world. The chamber movement is quickly moving away from geographical boundaries as it forms a unified voice for businesses and their needs, however NSW Business Chamber is committed to preserving the important role that regional chambers play within their communities.

For more information about the NSW Business Chamber please visit www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au

Farmers Direct at the Country and Regional Living Expo

Farmers Direct Markets Logo

In this, the Australian Year of the Farmer, it is important to recognise where our food and fibre comes from and more importantly, to recognise the great people behind the products that we take for granted every day.

The organisers of the annual Country and Regional Living Expo have recognised the importance of our farmers and are holding an event – Farmers Direct - alongside the Expo to showcase the wares of farmers, growers, producers and manufacturers of food, fibre and wine from across NSW.

This event will provide farmers and producers access to over 9000 residents of Sydney and will help to bridge the gap to improve the knowledge and understanding of regional NSW. With three quarters of children in their final year of primary school believing that a pair of cotton socks came from an animal, now is the perfect time to help educate everyone about everyday products and Farmers Direct is the perfect place to do so.

Farmers Direct will be a fabulous event to sell, promote and showcase the wonderful products of regional NSW to Sydneysiders. For more information on how to get involved in Farmers Direct, please contact the Foundation for Regional Development on (02) 6771 5633 or visit their website www.frdl.org.au

Getting Involved in Digital Business

Do you want to get your business or community organisation online but are unsure of where to start? Are you thinking of starting an online store? Or do you just need some practical, easy to understand advice about the internet and what it means for your organisation? The Australian Government has developed a service to help businesses with these questions and many more.

www.digitalbusiness.gov.au is targeted at all current or potential business owners regardless of whether they are currently online or not. The site offers advice on a range of topics such as how to start a digital business, how to get involved in e-commerce, increasing productivity using online tools and many more.

The website is an easy to use one stop shop for any and all questions regarding digital business. With many consumers now preferring to shop and conduct business online, now is the perfect time to take your business digital. For more information and helpful hints, please visit www.digitalbusiness.gov.au

ZooWhiz.com Launched!

ZooWhiz Logo

ZooWhiz.com is a revolutionary new, free online learning system for teachers, parents and children and has been developed and launched right here in the Northern Inland.

ZooWhiz.com gives teachers and parents the tools to identify and respond to each child’s learning needs. It draws its educational content from a bank of over 17,000 carefully crafted learning activities covering vocabulary, spelling, grammar, reading, phonics and maths for all children aged 5 to 15.

Children today expect to have everything easily accessible to them via the internet and ZooWhiz.com takes advantage of that. With ZooWhiz.com the work they do at home is all consolidated into the same set of results that are instantly accessible to them, their teachers and their parents regardless of where they are in the world.

ZooWhiz.com uses high quality artwork, animations and games to create a highly motivational environment that recognises that each child’s learning needs are different. The multi-faceted range of educational activities and rewards in ZooWhiz.com ensures its educational and motivational appeal.

There are currently over 25,000 students in 25 countries using ZooWhiz.com and it’s all free! For more information on this fabulous initiative please visit www.zoowhiz.com

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 http://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 https://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

The Industry Capability Network (ICN) creates opportunity for New South Wales and Australian industry.

If you are developing a supply chain and need a competitive local source of supply, ICN can help.

ICN bridges the information gap between buyers and sellers by advising on:

  • supply chain development
  • import replacement
  • local industry capability and capacity

For more information please go to www.icn.org.au

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