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SEGRA Walks the Talk

September 2017 – Edition 26

SEGRA 2017 – Disruption: a catalyst for change

Upper Spencer Gulf, South Australia

24-27 October 2017

SEGRA 2017 Latest News

Workshop Session Profiles

Workshop 1. Developing Future Ready Skills for your region

There is a lot of speculation about what jobs will look like with advancements in technology and environmental changes in the world. Anticipating the future of service industries and embracing new technologies will be critical to future business success. Businesses will be looking at how to achieve technological and process breakthroughs that generate growth and retain a lean constantly learning and upskilling workforce.

Key issues to be discussed in this workshop include:

  • Strategies for engaging people in lifelong learning.
  • What are the best institutional arrangements are available for providing appropriate in place knowledge and skills. development access e.g. research, technical support, industry and consulting.
  • Creating opportunities that lead to interconnected and globalised economy.

Chair: Anna Dixon, Principal Consultant, CreativeIQ

Workshop 2. Sustaining Coastal Regions

South Australia's marine and coastal environments are internationally recognised for their biological diversity. Because of the physical setting of the coastal and marine systems and the care shown in managing the environmental values, many of the marine plants, fish and other animals in our waters are more abundant here than anywhere else.

This session will examine the sustaining of coastal regions through the lens of three interconnected topics:

  • Dynamic Coastal Systems addressing at the national and jurisdictional scales how current models can be applied to coastal planning and resources management.
  • Vulnerable Coastal Systems will focus on how Local Government, regional communities and economic enterprises can prepare for and accommodate changing climatic conditions in the coastal zone.
  • Viable Coastal Infrastructure and Habitation Systems will be considered through an integrated overview of the socio-economic setting and dynamics for sustaining coastal regions.

Chair: Prof. Max Finlayson, Director, Institute for Land, Water & Society, Charles Sturt University.

Workshop 3. Future of Food Supply Regions

In Australia we see the push for twelve months’ supply in several horticultural crops for example:

  • Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries
  • Avocados, bananas
  • Tomatoes, capsicum, chillies.

Also there is currently a huge surge in exports and continued export opportunities to tap into global markets and demand for fresh and value added products across the agricultural and horticultural sectors.

The Agricultural and horticultural industries are driving an AgTech revolution.

The use of a suite of technologies has ensured that Sundrop can provide guaranteed supply of product to suppliers, in this case Coles. Could there be replication of this across Australia for other crops and what would this mean for regional economies. What will further advances in technology mean for this area and new opportunities to insulate crops from seasonal fluctuations could the same be done for seasonal fruits by artificial manipulation of the season – cherries, stonefruits, apples and pears. What job opportunities will be generated? What technological research is going to mean into the future? What does his hold for the role of local, state and federal government and private investment?

Chair: Simon Boughey, Consultant, Boughey and Associates and SEGRA National Steering Committee.

Workshop 4 - Tourism of Tomorrow

For many regional centres, the core foundation for attraction promotion, interpretive information and co-ordination is the visitor information centre (VIC) which usually operates under the direction of a Local Tourism Organisation (LTO), often with linkages to Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs). It is therefore critical to provide a model to assist RTOs (where appropriate), LTOs, VIC managers and stakeholders (including local communities) to understand their respective roles and maximise outcomes.

This session will look at a number of key issues relating to attraction promotions, interpretive information for visitors, and the opportunities that might arise of industry co- ordination and collaboration particularly as they relate particularly to LTOs and VICs, but also more broadly to marketing, digital technology and the visitor experience.

Chair: Angus M. Robinson, Managing Partner, Leisure Solutions®

Anna Dixon
Prof. Max Finlayson
Simon Boughey
Angus M. Robinson

SEGRA 2017 Survey

Thank you to all who participated in the SEGRA 2017 Survey and congratulations to Neil McCarthy who has been selected through a random number process as the winner of the free registration to SEGRA 2017. We look forward to seeing you there.

There was a 58% completion rate and the material will be tabulated and distributed in due course.

The Real Story behind Digital Transformation - Kate Charters

As a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, emails regularly cross my screen about company readiness for the future.

Two articles have recently come to my attention.

One was in McKinsey Quarterly which reported that the main barrier to business success in the digital age is shortcomings in organisational cultures., The real story behind digital transformation and wider business transformation aimed a new growth markets, is that organisations need to get their organisation culture right before they can effect change. This relates to a significant range of issues within organisations: HR (recruitment, position descriptions, performance measures) Organisational structures (size of units, delegations, work distribution) ) and Management ( reporting arrangements, performance management) and so on.

The second was an article entitled: Four questions Director’s must ask? I was struck at how closely these questions aligned with the keynote speakers in this years SEGRA program.

How do you define and measure change that is happening as a result of technology change in your organisation?

What are you or your organisation doing to fuel transformation and aggressively take on the challenge for continual change – dealing with current responsibilities and latent organisational structures to set up new ones?

What are you or your organisation doing to shift leadership mindsets – leadership and decision making in shorter time frames with changing expertise.

Is it possible to predict what the next changes will be?

I am looking forward to meeting many of you at SEGRA from 24 -27 October at Port Augusta, Upper Spencer Gulf and discussing these questions at our World Café.

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Around the Regions

Skillset Green Army

Skillset is delighted to be one of the service providers delivering the Green Army programme for the Australian Government. Together with our partners Campbell Page and TAFE Western we are running projects across New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory.

The Green Army is a hands-on, practical, grassroots environmental action programme that supports local environmental and heritage conservation projects across Australia.

This is an initiative for young Australians aged 17-24 years interested in protecting their local environment. Participants will receive an allowance and gain hands-on, practical skills, training and experience in environmental and conservation fields.

Expert Support for Regional Australia

Online education company providing educational support for students in rural and remote locations.

Ensuring quality educational support in regional and remote communities has always been a difficult task. This has largely been the result of population size, funding and the lack of incentives to attract and retain qualified teachers. One company, however, believes they have found the solution. ClassCoach is an online education company looking to provide high quality and affordable Maths tutoring to students across Australia.

There are approximately 3.8 million students enrolled in schools across Australia with 10-15% (approximately 400,000) located in rural and remote areas. According to a recent study conducted by the Mitchell Institute, rural and remote students are more likely to fall behind and less likely to catch up once they are off track due to lack of quality educational support services and access to qualified staff. The study also found that regional students are also less likely to reach the various educational milestones with the gap between regional and metro students anywhere from 19-48%.

The company that will change the statistics is ClassCoach. Philip Dooley, ClassCoach CEO and Founder, was working as an Oil and Gas Engineer managing projects across Australia when he noticed a lack of quality education services in rural and remote areas. In 2016 Phil joined forces with school friend and Head of Technology, Greg Lancaster. In the months since Philip and Greg have developed an online platform designed to bring tutoring into all Australian homes. As an Australian online start up, ClassCoach, is focused on delivering high quality education support to all Australians with a strong emphasis on regional Australia. With the use of data analytics, quizzes and online tutoring ClassCoach is looking to provide the complete online learning solution.

Online education services have always been tricky with technology being the key to success. To provide the best possible learning solution it must feel like a tutor is in the room with you helping you through the answers. ClassCoach provides this through their two-way interactive whiteboard and live audio technology available in every session. ClassCoach also provides 1000s of free online quizzes and pre-tests aligned to the national curriculum for students to practice their skills. Tutors are available Sunday to Thursday 3pm – Midnight with students able to book a session with as little as 15 minutes notice. All student tutorial sessions are recorded and made available on the student’s dashboard to be re-watched at any time.

"At first I was a bit sceptical about the idea of learning maths from an online tutor as usually we need to write down the questions in front of us. However, as I found ClassCoach convenient I decided to give it a go to help my son in Year 8 Maths. To my surprise he felt like he had a private teacher seating next to him! He loved how the tutor supported him and went through his difficulties in the topic he was studying. All sessions are recorded which is amazing!"

- NSW Parent

Simon Free – Head of Customer Engagement spent seven years working in schools across Queensland as a teacher and education leader and believes ClassCoach’s approach to tutoring and online learning will be the way of the future. "ClassCoach uses both qualitative and quantitative data to support student learning and deliver improved results. By making our solution online and available to both schools and individuals we are looking to level the playing field so all Australians have access to quality online learning support.

ClassCoach is working with Schools, Universities, companies and youth services across Australia to provide quality maths tutoring to all Australians regardless of their location.

If you are a school, company or individual interested in working with ClassCoach to provide math tutoring and online analytics to regional Australia please contact Simon Free – Head of Customer Engagement on the details provide below.

Phil Dooley, CEO and Co-Founder, ClassCoach
Simon Free, Head of Customer Engagement, ClassCoach

Whyalla’s not a ghost town, it’s the centre of a green industrial revolution

So, it turns out that Whyalla will not become a ghost town after all. The carbon price didn’t kill it, and neither did the renewable energy target that Tony Abbott wants to finish off. And neither did the closure of the nearby coal generator that was supposed to destroy industry in the state.

What almost did kill it was an unflinching refusal to move with the times and embrace new technology. Now, however, Whyalla may come to haunt the likes of Abbott and the renewable energy nay-sayers.

Find out more via the link below.

Rural and Regional Photo Competition

Do you love the natural beauty of regional and rural Australia? Have you taken a great landscape shot recently and wanted to share it? At Progress Printing, to celebrate the incredible natural beauty of rural and regional Australia, they are giving you the opportunity to win a prize pack stuffed full of techno work gear. In addition your winning photo will feature with 11 others in their 2018 desk calendars.

12 lucky winners will be able to impress workmates and customers when they walk away with one of Progress Printing's customised, brand new corporate packs, worth over $175! This gift pack includes lots of gear including a Bluetooth speaker, a state-of-the-art laptop backpack, an umbrella and a customised journal with a bonus stylus pen plus more! As specialist suppliers of printed marketing collateral to many large corporate and government organisations, Progress Printing supply a wide of custom calendars and diaries across Australia. Calendars are making a great comeback as a promotional gift that lasts a whole year. As per last year, the winning photos will be showcased in our 2018 desk calendars which are distributed to over 500 businesses across the country.

To find out more and enter, visit the link below.

Port Pirie Transformation

Port Pirie Regional Council is seeking to transform Port Pirie into a the premier regional centre in South Australia with a view of attracting further investment to the city. In order to achieve this, Council has set about improving the city’s appearance, community facilities, people’s perspective of Port Pirie and the city’s economic base.

Port Pirie’s major employer Nyrstar is investing more than $600 million to transform its business model and smelting processes to ensure that it remains in Port Pirie for many years to come and provides many benefits and opportunities for the region. Nyrstar’s transformation will also provide significantly improved environmental technologies to further reduce lead emissions from the site and provide an opportunity to expand the City’s residential and business base with an improved image.

Our aim is to provide an attractive and inviting entrance from National Highway One to our main street. Measures to achieve this include construction and installation of bold entrance statements, opening up the beach area to make it a more inviting space and improving the greening of the city.

Further planned projects include:
 Community Greening Program
 Signage Strategy
 Development of our City Wetlands
 Marine Facility and Foreshore Improvements
 Roll-out of a Public Art Strategy
 Provision of free public Wi-Fi access
 Renewal and activation of the CBD
 Construction of the Port Pirie Regional Sports Precinct

Port Pirie Regional Council is proud to partner with key local stakeholders and organisations to capitalise on this transformation.

Come See Change was officially launched in February 2017 as a partnership approach between Council, Nyrstar, TLAP (the Targeted Lead Abatement Program), the Port Pirie Chamber of Commerce and Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North. Come See Change is about changing the reputation and perceptions surrounding Port Pirie through a series of coordinated marketing activities. We are inviting people to Port Pirie to witness the exciting changes happening throughout the region. The campaign will be conducted across a local, state and national level.

Port Pirie, South Australia

George the Farmer co-creator national runner-up for 2017 national Rural Women’s Award

Simone Kain has been named national runner-up of the 2017 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award (formerly the RIRDC Rural Women’s Award).

Ms Kain – the co-creator of children’s character George the Farmer – was recognised at the national awards ceremony in Canberra on Wednesday night.

George is a children’s character who teaches young people about farming and food through apps, books and songs.

As the South Australian state winner of the 2017 Rural Women’s Award, announced in February, Simone received a $10,000 bursary to make Ruby the Farmer, George’s talented agronomist wife, the spokesperson and heroine of two new curriculum-aligned teachers’ resources.

The materials aim to teach young people about the role women play in Australian agriculture and showcase the range of careers available in primary industries.

As national runner-up, Simone will receive an additional $5,000 to further develop her project.

Ms Kain, based in Penola in South Australia’s Limestone Coast region, hails from a farming background and is dedicated to raising the profiles of Australian farmers, particularly through children’s education.


The AgriFutures Rural Woman’s Award recognises emerging women leaders who have the desire, commitment and leadership potential to make a greater contribution to primary industries and rural communities.

The award is open to all women involved in primary industries and/or rural Australia.

AgriFutures is the new trading name for the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation.

Quotes attributable to Jo Collins, Executive Director, Agriculture Food and Wine, Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA)

Simone’s national recognition this week is a great example of the wonderful work being achieved by South Australia’s rural women.

South Australia leads the nation in so many areas, particularly in agriculture and regional development, and PIRSA is very proud to see a leader like Simone continue to put our state on the map.

PIRSA’s own Women in Agribusiness and Regions (WIAR) Strategy encompasses our support of the Rural Women’s Award.

WIAR is a partnership between industry, government and the community which aims to promote opportunities and grow the capacity of women in the agribusiness sector across the state.

Simone Kain

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New Publications

The Role of Government in Local and Regional Economic Development

New Report Highlights Importance of Local Government Involvement in Local and Regional Economic Development

A new report from the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Local Government (UTS CLG) explores the role of local government involvement in local and regional economic development strategies. The report highlights the varying roles and levels of engagement that councils play in regards to leadership, organisation and delivery of local and regional economic development in Australia.

“The principle that economic development is a co-responsibility tends to be accepted by all tiers of governments and social and economic actors. However, how this translates into practice remains ambiguous and contested” Professor Lee Pugalis, co-author of the report says.

The promotion of economic development is a relatively recent feature of the activity of local government in Australia.

“There is huge diversity of economic development roles across the landscape of local government. For the majority of councils it remains an ‘additional’ rather than ‘general’ function, although this can often downplay their positive role in local and regional economic development” says Professor Roberta Ryan, Director of UTS CLG. “This research has brought to the forefront the importance of internal and external perceptions and how these shape the role of councils in economic development.”

Each tier of government is involved in promoting economic development, although in distinct ways that do not necessarily complement one another. The report’s findings support a strong case for advocating the involvement of all tiers of government in the pursuit of local and regional economic development.

“The local government sector has an important role to play in promoting economic development, but one that evades a singular model. This poses a distinct challenge to higher tiers of government in terms of how they interface with specific councils as well as how councils interface with their stakeholders” says Professor Pugalis.

The report provides local governments and their stakeholders with research and evidence to help them to better understand regional and local economic development in Australia, and how it can be improved.

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SEGRA 2017 Accommodation Providers

Majestic Oasis Apartments

Address: Marryatt St, Port Augusta, SA 5700
Phone: (08) 8648 9000
Distance to conference venue: 4min drive / 17min walk

The Majestic Oasis Apartments are located three hours north of Adelaide in Port Augusta, SA, gateway to the Flinders Ranges and Outback. This 4-star property features 75 modern studio, one and two bedroom self-contained apartments overlooking the stunning foreshore development and water of the Upper Spencer Gulf.

Standpipe Golf Motor Inn

Address: 3-2 Daw St, Port Augusta West, SA 5700
Phone: (08) 8642 4033
Distance to conference venue: 5min drive / 37min walk

The Standpipe, a well-known Port Augusta Hotel, offers quality motel accommodation surrounded by landscape gardens, an 18-hole golf course, grand dining homestead, with an emphasis on fine food & wine, complimented by discerning personal service.

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Celebrating 20 Year's of SEGRA

​Hear what people say about SEGRA

SEGRA Turns 20

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