In This Issue
Welcome From The Chair
Dear fellow Northern Inland residents,
As always, it has been yet another big month for regional Australia. Round one applications for the Regional Development Australia Fund closed on the 13th of May and RDA Northern Inland (RDANI) received many requests for endorsement from some excellent applicants. RDANI endorsed over 15 projects and we wish all applicants the best during the selection process. Round two will open later in the year.
Along with the RDA Fund, regional Australia also had a big month as a result of the Federal Budget. This budget was very favourable to regional communities with $1.8 billion committed to regional hospitals and health services, $500 million dedicated to building regional higher education and vocational education and training centres and $109.9 million set aside for regional universities amongst other initiatives that totalled over $8 billion. It’s wonderful to see regional communities being recognised by the government and even better to receive funding that is so rightly deserved.
Our region also made the headlines this month with Prime Minister Julia Gillard coming to both Tamworth and Armidale to open major pieces of regional infrastructure and it was a pleasure to attend the launch of the mainland NBN in Armidale.
Mal Peters, Chair
Opening of the NBN in Armidale
After months of construction, media interest and community enthusiasm, the first mainland Australian site for the NBN rollout was launched in Armidale on 18th May by Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Broadband Stephen Conroy at PLC Armidale. It was an exciting and historic day and by turning on the NBN in Armidale, the tyranny of distance that has been so often faced by our region will be no more. The NBN has amazing potential in the fields of education, health and e-commerce. RDANI was proud to be in attendance at this event and even prouder that the first mainland site is in the Northern Inland. We look forward to working with other communities in the region to ensure they are front and centre to get the NBN.
You can follow our news and updates by following RDANI on Facebook and Twitter! This is a great way for us to keep you up to date and provide news and information as it happens. It’s also a great way to get in touch with us if you have a question or comment.
Social media outlets are a vital part of communications in the 21st Century and we are excited to be using them as part of our communication strategy. Another part of our communication strategy is the website competition that we are currently running for high school students in the Northern Inland.
Young people are by far the most prolific users of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs. We are looking for a student in years 9-12 to come up with a vision of what they want in the region. They will, in conjunction with a leading web designer, develop a website that is specifically for the regions youth. They will be able to share views and ideas, tell us what they like and don’t like about the region and most importantly, what they want from the region. Entries close on 17th June 2011 and more information can be found at www.rdani.org.au
Professional Migration Advice Coming to the Region
Beginning on Monday 23rd May, RDANI will be staging a week of free immigration law seminars, hosted by migration expert Michael Jeremy, around the region from 6pm - 8pm at the following venues:
Best Western Sanctuary Inn, Tamworth, Monday 23rd;
Country Comfort Armidale, Tuesday 24th;
Riverside Function Centre, Inverell, Wednesday 25th ; and
Moree Services Club, Thursday 26th
There is a great deal of misunderstanding nationally, especially in the regions about the options and new rules that exist for skilled migrants and this initiative is just one way that RDA Northern Inland is working to support economic development by providing the region with free access to legal migration advice.
Michael Jeremy has worked in various immigration capacities since the mid-1990s, including the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Sydney Airport and the Migration Institute of Australia.
For more information please go to www.rdani.org.au or call (02) 6771 2790.
Town Success Story - Guyra and Blush Tomatoes
This month’s town success story will focus on Guyra and the new lease of life the town has experienced since Blush Tomatoes came to town in 2004.
While it may seem odd that one of the coldest places in our region can grow gourmet tomatoes all year round, the world class glasshouse technology that has been implemented ensures that tomatoes are now a year round crop in Guyra.
The arrival of Blush Tomatoes has done more than just provide tomatoes to the region. Blush Tomatoes are now one of the largest employers in Guyra and employ over 200 people with more to be employed as the new glasshouses are constructed. Guyra was devastated by the closure of their meatworks in 1994 and many thought they would not recover. The arrival of Blush Tomatoes was a turning point for the Guyra community and the town has prospered once again.
Health and Wellbeing Programs
Each month, we will be bringing you a brief overview of one of the many national and state health and wellbeing programs that are available at no cost.
The first program we will be sharing is the national ‘Swap it, Don’t Stop it’ campaign. This campaign is addressing the alarming rates of obesity and inactivity across our population and offers simple lifestyle ‘swaps’ to aid in not only losing weight but gaining energy.
For more information on the ‘Swap it, Don’t Stop it’ campaign, please go to www.swapit.gov.au
Available Grants and Funding Opportunities
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
Youth Development and Support Program
The Australian Government established the Youth Development and Support Program to provide funding for development opportunities for young people in Australia aged between 12 and 25 years.
Through the Program, the Government will provide funding to eligible non-government, not-for-profit organisations to deliver a range of community-based, and National Youth Organisations, small-scale projects that will involve productive participation and encourage social inclusion of young people.
Community organisations and National Youth Organisations may seek funding support to:
inspire young people in Australia to recognise and achieve their full potential and to be active citizens;
support the development of young people and their transitions to independence and adulthood;
support opportunities for young people and local youth organisations to engage with the Australian Government’s youth initiatives such as the National Strategy for Young Australians and the Australian Youth Forum; and
promote positive perceptions of young people as respected young citizens in their communities
More information can be found at www.government-grant.com.au