Merry Christmas & Season’s Greetings

from RDA Central West

It has been a big year for RDA Central West and our region with the ongoing challenges of the drought central to the actions and efforts of most communities.

RDA Central West is a small but passionate team and we have continued to work hard to deliver on the objectives and outcomes of the RDA Charter and the expectations of the local community. We continue to focus on our strategic priorities of: Regional Competitiveness, Human Capital, Sustainable Communities, Connectivity and Partnerships.

It has been a year of achievement, and the STEM Industry School Partnerships Program continues to deliver amazing outcomes across our region. We have delivered over 35 activities and engaged over 1,100 students from 17 schools over the last 12 months.

Image: Charles Sturt University’s Senior Engineer in Residence, Peter Thew, demonstrating to Orange East Public School students the engineering design process for bridge building.

The drought impacts continue to have a profound effect on our region and that is why the ongoing delivery of the ‘Agribusiness Today Forum’ this year in Cowra was so vital. This year’s forum provided market insights, trends and on-farm examples of maximising red meat yields.

Over 100 delegates attended this year’s event. We look forward to delivering an even bigger event in 2020 in Forbes on Wednesday, 5 August. Make sure this date is locked in the diary!

Thanks must go to Local Land Services and Charles Sturt University for their leadership and drive in pulling this important event together.

RDA Central West Chair, Christine Weston, and Committee members (L-R) Peter Bishop and Ian Sanders attending ‘Agribusiness Today Forum 2019’ held in Cowra.

We all know our region is one of the most beautiful in Australia, and this was showcased successfully in the inaugural ‘Central West is Best’ photography competition. The number and quality of entries was top-shelf and underlined what creative talent the Central West holds.

The competition highlighted the fantastic agriculture and tourism offerings across our region. These sectors are two major drivers of our local economy and now more than ever we need to remind visitors, investors and locals alike that our region is a great place to stay, shop and explore.

Image credits: ‘Central West is Best’ photography competition winning and runners-up works. Clockwise from L to R: Junior Category Winner Ella Gibson’s ‘Sunrise at Riverside’; Open Category Winner Helen Carpenter’s ‘Grenfell Silos’; Junior Category Runner-Up Emily Murphy’s ‘Oh, what’s that?’; Open Category Runner-Up Doug Goninan’s ‘Family Adventure’.

We continue to advocate for improved connectivity in our region and have made submissions to the Regional Digital Connectivity Program Discussion Paper, the House Standing Committee on Regional Development and others to ensure that the issues and concerns of the Central West are focused on by our key government decision makers.

Capacity building within the region is a priority for RDA Central West and more recently we have been heavily involved with helping to deliver two important events in Condobolin and Parkes.

‘The Western Business Forum’ in early November received funding through a previous round of the Building Better Regions Fund. Under the leadership of Shane Philips and the Growing Lachlan team, they delivered an impressive one day forum highlighting how collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship will maintain, strengthen and grow the Lachlan Shire and the Central West.

Thanks to all supporters and speakers who made such meaningful contributions to the event.

Diana Fear from Central West Farming Systems, who is also an RDA Central West committee member, MCs the ‘Western Business Forum’ held in Condobolin, shown here with the panel of speakers.

Later in November, RDA Central West was proud to partner with the National Association for Loss and Grief (NALAG) to deliver the ‘Family Matters Succession Planning Workshop’ day in Parkes.

Over 100 delegates heard from succession planning experts James Hamilton and Clare Booth who provided valuable tips and tools for navigating the path through family communication to create a ‘family-owned’ business plan, showcasing a clear vision to banks and other stakeholders.

The feedback from participants was outstanding and thanks must go to NALAG’s Brenda Baker and her dedicated team.

It was a full house at ‘Family Matters Succession Planning Workshop’ held at Parkes Services Club.

As we head into Christmas we are looking forward to 2020 and have an eye on delivering more events and forums which will help build the capacity and resilience of our region.

There was success achieved on many fronts this year, particularly made possible thanks to our great partners and supporters, but there is always much more to do.

Finally, I would like to thank our RDA Central West Committee members, staff and partners for all their hard work this year and wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, and a prosperous, safe and exciting 2020.

Please note that the RDA Central West office will be closed from Monday 23 December, reopening on Monday 6 January 2020.

2019 RDA Survey

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development (the Department) is conducting a short survey to obtain feedback about the effectiveness of the Regional Development Australia Committees’ (RDA) program in supporting economic development.

As an RDA program stakeholder, your feedback would be greatly appreciated and will be used to drive improvements in the program.  Click here to go through to the survey.

Happy Holidays!