A message from CEO Sam Harma – September 2019

RDACW’s CEO Sam Harma with RDACW’s Chair Christine Weston. Photo Credit: Central Western Daily

Spring is here and it’s  an exciting time in the Central West. There are a number of NSW Government grants which close at the end of the month, this includes the popular Stronger Country Communities Fund. I encourage all community groups to take up these opportunities when they arise. RDA Central West is happy to support applicants by providing general advice on grant applications, and the process for submission.

All budding photographers in our region should also make the most of the recently launched ‘Central West is Best’ photography competition. This provides an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the people, the produce and passionate communities which make our region so great.

Lastly, I must congratulate all involved with the STEM Industry School Partnerships Program across the Central West which was recently recognised through the 2019 NSW Minister’s and Secretary’s Awards for Excellence.

The STEM Industry School Partnerships (SISP) Program, partners schools with local industry, inspiring students to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, preparing them to meet the job needs of regional workforce.

Through this innovative program three learning communities (Cessnock, Canobolas and Crookwell) were provided with an embedded STEM Project Officer who worked closely alongside Regional Development Australia to facilitate contextualised, job-specific STEM learning activities for students and teacher professional development to improve their expert STEM knowledge.

The reach of the 2018 pilot included three high schools, 17 primary schools, approximately 2,200 students and 18 industry and community partners.

As part of the SISP program, the Central West has been at the forefront of this program with Canobolas Academy of STEM Excellence (CASE) being established to support the teachers and students of the Canobolas Rural Technology High School learning community, in partnership with Regional Development Australia Central West.

STEM is a vital area of study, and will be the cornerstone of education in the future across the Central West. RDA is proud to partner with the Department of Education and our generous industry partners to deliver this great program.