Migration Director Update: March 2020
This is my first update for 2020 and what a start it has been to the decade! At the Regional Australia Institute, we know so many people and businesses who were affected by the bushfires and who are still struggling to recover. We have been uplifted by seeing the resilience and comaradie of our regional communities and hope that our work will support building the prosperity of regional Australia.
On my side, my travel slowed down at the beginning of this year and now with Covid-19 I am rethinking the roadshow delivery. I did; however, manage a few interesting trips in February. First was a quick visit to the beautiful Cradle Coast in Tasmania. The Cradle Coast Authority have a forward-looking growth plan and are proactively wanting to understand some of the opportunities and challenges for migration to their region. Their model of collaboratively working across different Local Government Areas and taking a more regional approach makes absolutely sense and it might be an interesting model for other regions to emulate.
I also held a workshop at the Advancing Community Cohesion Conference in Sydney. The workshop was on inclusion of migrants in regional Australia and drew on the Toolkit “Steps to Settlement Success”. That publication is on the RAI website. It’s aimed at communities who are developing a locally-led migration strategy and gives step-by-step guidance on ensuring that migration to regional Australia is successful and sustainable for both migrants and the existing community members.
Then up to Darwin for RAI’s “Regions Rising” event on Regions in Transition in NT. It was a huge success, thanks to the fantastic array of interesting speakers. Darwin is a very unique place and migration and diversity is part of its essence. While there, I also had the opportunity to hold a workshop on migration for a number of government and non-government staff who work on this issue.
While travel has now stopped for the moment, and most gatherings and meetings cancelled, our work for regional Australia continues. We are looking at innovative ways to continue our mission and my plan is to hold some webinars on issues relating to migration and regional Australia. If you have some ideas of particular topics you would like to see, please get in touch!
Until the next time, stay safe.