[In]Sight recognised in Women of Influence Awards
Last night, our CEO Su McCluskey was named the Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s 2013 Woman of Influence in the Regional/Local category, reflecting her tireless efforts toward an environment in which Australians can live, work and play anywhere in our country. The development of [In]Sight was recognised by the Awards as a major contribution toward the empowerment of regional Australia.
Here, Su talks about the development of [In]Sight and what it means for regional Australia.
“In my role as the Chief Executive Officer of the Regional Australia Institute, I work to improve the quality of and access to knowledge on how we can ensure the prosperity and sustainability of Australia’s regions and our nation as a whole.
One of our biggest achievements since our work began in 2012 has been the development of [In]Sight: the nation’s first regional competitiveness index. [In]Sight was developed to recognise and demonstrate that Australia’s economy is incredibly diverse and identify where the potential for economic development exists.
While a wealth of information on our economy is available at a State level, there has been no consistent, accessible information on the performance and development prospects of regional Australia. If we are to make the most of our nation’s economic opportunities, and enable sound policy decisions to be made to secure them, then understanding the unique potential of Australia’s regions for growth and change is critical.
In June 2013, the Regional Australia Institute launched the nation’s first online index and interactive map tracking the competitiveness of Australia’s 560 Local Government Areas and 55 Regional Development Australia regions. It consists of 59 measurable indicators specifically tailored to reflect issues that matter to regional Australia.
[In]Sight provides regional areas with a depth of information never before available, specifically developed to bridge the gaps between the potential and future pathways of our nation. It empowers regions to understand how they compare to other areas around them, or on the other side of the country.
This approach to regional development is innovative in two ways: firstly, it breaks the trend of national and State averages that do not account for regional variation and secondly, it presents this information in an accessible, engaging and interesting platform, through an interactive, online map. This has the ability to empower regional communities and businesses to take control of their future.
Using this information, I and my team are working with communities, businesses, local, state and Federal Governments to create regionally-tailored solutions that best capture the unique potentials of regional Australia and bring this research to life.
My goal is for all segments of society to understand, use and grow with the information from [In]Sight, to advocate for better outcomes for their regions, and Australia as a whole. It is in this role that I am able to bring together my skills and expertise from the wide variety of roles I have held over the years to deliver real solutions for local business and communities.
My breadth of experience across business, including transport and primary production, taxation and regulatory reform, my volunteer experience with non-profit groups, as well as my vast and well-developed networks across all levels of government, small and big businesses, community and special interest groups, provide a perfect marriage for the influence I have on the lives and futures for those that live and work in regional Australia.
I now recognise that influence is not a tangible asset or measure, and it’s not about self-interest. It’s about sowing the seed for an idea and connecting people, purposes and outcomes so that the idea becomes a reality.
The little changes you influence today can become nation changing tomorrow. The more that we can all become part of this process, the stronger we will be as a nation, all of us working together to deliver outcomes”.