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Media Release

Get SNAPPING! ‘Central West Is Best’ Photo Comp

Call-out for the Central West to get snappy this spring!

 Are you a budding, professional or social media photographer who loves to take shots of people, places and farm life that portray the heart and soul of the Central West region? Well, Regional Development Australia Central West (RDA CW) would like to hear from you!

RDA Central West is launching their inaugural ‘Central West Is Best’ photography competition. With $1,000 in prizes on offer, now is the time to focus that lens.

The theme for the photo comp is ‘Agriculture and Tourism: Let’s Showcase Our Region’.

RDA Central West CEO Sam Harma, said the competition was an opportunity to highlight the region’s agriculture and tourism offerings which make the Central West so special.

“Our region is so diverse from Condobolin to Cowra and Oberon to Orange each community has a special reason to stop, shop, or stay.

“When you think about the Central West you also think about our world class farmers. The drought is making things tough, but we can still shine a spotlight on our produce, our people and our passion for the land. Tourism and agriculture remain key pillars of our local economy, driving jobs and opportunities,” Mr Harma said.

This mix is also a core ingredient of the Central West’s tourism appeal. The attraction of agricultural tourism in our distinctive region means visitors can enjoy such diverse activities such as wine appreciation and picking seasonal fruit to attending one of our many regional farmers’ markets or packing a picnic for the races with locally grown produce.

“What better way to support these sectors than to showcase them in this way. There will be both Junior (under 18yo) and Open sections of the competition. So all school-age children are encouraged to get snapping too,” said Mr Harma.

Applications must be submitted via email to: admin@rdacentralwest.org.au by 5pm on Monday, 30 September 2019. Winners will be announced early October via social media. Hashtag any of your images shared on social media with #centralwestisbestphotocomp and #rdacentralwest

Please include a sentence or two about your image and why you think the ‘Central West Is Best’. Complete details and conditions regarding the competition can be found here.

FOLLOW US: Facebook: @RegionalDevelopmentAustralia and Instagram: @rdacentralwest for updates and to see if your image is featured or if it’s WON! Contact RDA Central West’s office with any queries: admin@rdacentralwest.org.au or t. (02) 6369 1600.

READ TERMS & CONDITIONS here. Make sure you read this document in full before submitting your entries, via email. 

DOWNLOAD competition flyer/poster here.

Media contact: Sam Harma, CEO, RDA CW, e. director@rdacentralwest.org.au m. 0448 288 698.

NSW Farmer of the Year and the NSW Young Farmer of the Year

2019 Nominations are NOW OPEN!

These awards are designed to recognise excellence in the state’s agricultural sector. Who do you know in the Central West who works as a farmer or in any other primary industry enterprise who deserves a nomination? Both younger and older!

NSW Farmer of the Year Award is open to all farmers 36 years + in NSW and the NSW Young Farmer Award is open to NSW farmers aged between 18 and 35 yo. The winner of each category will receive $4k prize money while runners up receive $2k.

The awards are a joint initiative between NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and NSW Farmers’, with support from Safe Work NSW and The Land.

NOW OPEN, don’t miss out on getting your nominations in before the CLOSING date: 23 September, 2019. For more info visit: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/about-us/events/nsw-foty

First ever NSW Youth Summit on ‘Living with Drought’ Apply NOW!

Are you a young person (14-24yo) living in the Central West and impacted by the drought?

UNICEF Australia, with support from the NSW Government, is hosting the first ever NSW Youth Summit on ‘Living with Drought’.  What a great opportunity to speak up on behalf of your friends, family and community and have YOUR say.

The Summit will be held in Lake Macquarie on 9-11 October, 2019

BUT applications CLOSE on Friday 30 August. Make sure you don’t miss out!

Visit: https://www.unicef.org.au/droughtsummit for more info or to apply.

Image credit: Forbes City Council/Forbes Advocate taken of Sally Downie, a young Forbes resident who is encouraging other Central West youth working in agriculture to apply.

Read more at:  https://www.forbesadvocate.com.au/story/6302996/youth-urged-to-speak-on-drought/

Supporting the Central West’s growing region of entrepreneurs and innovators

Sam Harma from RDA Central West (R) and Gerarda Mader from Upstairs in Bathurst (L) discuss the newly launched Entrepreneurial Ecosystem map.

Regional Development Australia Central West (RDACW) has launched the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem map to provide a visual road map for up-and-coming local businesses to help better understand, integrate and collaborate in the start-up/entrepreneurial professional landscape.

The map is about identifying and bringing together the organisations across the Central West that support aspiring entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses; from networking and start-up events, education, co-working spaces, advisory services, ideas incubators and accelerators through to commercialisation and investment opportunities.

To download a copy of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem map, visit: https://rdacentralwest.org.au/initiatives/entrepreneurial-ecosystem/

If you have a hub or business in the Central West that you think should be included on the map, contact Rebecca Taylor e. rebecca@rdacentralwest.org.au or t. 02 6369 1600.


Agribusiness Today Forum 2019 – Beefed up and ready to go in Cowra, 8-9th August. Register here!

Cowra is set to host a major forum for local beef, mutton and lamb producers and industry representatives with the annual Agribusiness Today Forum to be held on Thursday 8th and Friday 9th August at the Cowra Services Club.

The theme for the 2019 forum focuses on how to maximise red meat yields and business opportunities. The forum is expected to attract well over 100 delegates to town.

The two-day event will be addressed by a number of high calibre speakers including representatives from Meat and Livestock Australia, JBS and NAB. Delegates also have the opportunity to attend one of three field trips.

Registrations have NOW been EXTENDED! Book here: www.agribusinesstodayforum.com


The Farm to Organisation, Central West NSW project is the first of its kind in Australia

Regional Development Australia Central West (RDACW) NSW is continuing to drive ‘Farm to Organisation’* – a first of its kind project in Australia – part of an ambitious movement in the region supporting, not just regional economic development, but also social and environmental development.

Farm to Organisation (Farm to Org.) is about creating new and direct pathways for regional producers and farmers, within the Central West, to market directly to local organisations and institutions.

The ultimate goal of this project will be for local organisations and institutions, such as schools, hospitals, universities, aged care homes, disability providers as well as local supermarkets, clubs, restaurants and cafes to buy more of their food and food products from within the Central West NSW region. The key objective is to grow our regional food economy to become more sustainable whilst simultaneously growing the health and resilience of the region.

RDA Central West appreciates the ongoing support of Cadia Valley Operations, a valued funding partner for this project. Charles Sturt University (CSU) is the research partner, providing strong research support and also exploring ways to increase their purchasing of local produce.

If you are an interested organisation or one of our fantastic local farmers, food producers or growers keen to be partnered with a local organisation through this exciting project, please contact Lindy Thompson at RDA Central West on (02) 6369 1600 or lindy@rdacentralwest.org.au  A dedicated Farm to Org. website will be launching soon.

*’Farm to Organisation’ was previously referred to as ‘Farm to Institution’.

With thanks to our partners:

A message from new CEO, Sam Harma

RDACW’s Chair Christine Weston welcomes new CEO Sam Harma. (Photo Credit: Central Western Daily)

RDA Central West has a welcomed a new voice with the appointment of Mr Sam Harma as the new CEO at RDA Central West.

“The Central West is a vibrant and diverse region. The opportunities are immense and the communities who call the Central West home are resilient.

“I am honoured to be the new CEO/Director of Regional Development at RDA Central West. RDA’s have a long history of delivery, and have built trust with the community over many years. I look forward to continuing to strengthen this role.

“I invite new ideas, and encourage all interested parties to contact our passionate team any time if we can support your idea, project, event or community in any way.

“RDA Central West has the unique role of advocating on behalf of and working together with community organisations, all levels of government and the private sector. This positions RDA to have a key role in economic development and as a leader of regional development outcomes across our region.

“I look forward to my family growing in the Central West and capitalising on the fantastic lifestyle, and unmatched opportunities which exist to all those who live, work and invest in the Central West.”


Media Release: AgriTECH goes west – AgriTECH Education Innovation workshops Lake Cargelligo

More than 120 primary and high school students from Lake Cargelligo Central School, Condobolin Public School and Euabalong West Public School participated in the AgriTECH Education Innovation Workshops held at Lake Cargelligo Central School earlier this month.

The STEM Industry School Partnership Program partnered with CQ University to deliver the workshop. Researchers and Industry experts led students through a range of exciting technology, science and design thinking activities around agriculture. (more…)

Media Release: Central West arts groups don’t miss out!

Photo credit: Unsplash

RDA Central West is calling on all arts practitioners, groups and communities across the region to not miss out on their opportunity to apply for support through the Regional Arts Fund.

The Regional Arts Fund’s community grants aim to support sustainable cultural development in regional and remote Australia and meet the strategic priorities of supporting participation in, and access to, the arts and encouraging greater private sector support for the arts. RDA Central West CEO Sam Harma, said the Central West has a distinctive and vibrant arts scene which drives local jobs and tourism across the region.


Media Release: Robots inspire STEM teachers in Industry Partnership pilot program

Regional Development Australia Central West recently held its first workshop for the Pilot STEM Industry School Partnership (SISP) Program at Canobolas Rural Technology High in Orange.

The Sphero Robotics workshop was attended by 10 teachers from Orange East, Bletchington, Clergate, Spring Hill, Calare, Bowen, Glenroi Heights and Mullion Creek public schools.