Lightbulb Moments: Winner announced

Following months of mentoring and project development, we are proud to announce Cultivate Farms from Albury in New South Wales as the overall Lightbulb Moments winner.

Sam Marwood and the team from Cultivate Farms match aspiring farmers, farmers stepping back and investors, to own and operate a farm together. Their idea addresses the current gap in the farm succession planning crisis, by helping the next generation of farmers make a start in the industry.

For their Lightbulb Moment, Cultivate Farms will receive an Airtime Support Package from Prime7, including a 30 second promotional commercial.

We would also like to congratulate the other finalists on their achievements to date. Each and every one of them has managed to progress their idea in leaps and bounds. We encourage you to keep an eye out for them in the future, and to check out how far they have come in the profiles below.


Lightbulb Moments aims to help get the best ideas and projects off the ground, because we know that it is often the ‘bright ideas’ of local people that create the greatest impact for communities in regional Australia.

In 2017, we received 150 outstanding entries from across the country. The selected 10 finalists received a dedicated Project Development Support Package from the Regional Australia Institute and a heap of publicity. Additionally, the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) has provided finalists with assistance to identify fundraising strategies to support their project goals.

Do you have bright idea that could help your community? Keep an eye out to submit yours to Lightbulb Moments 2018!


Meet the winner and finalists

finalists images2

2017  WINNER
Cultivate Farms
Albury, NSW

finalists images5

Rhythm & Ride
Yawuru country, WA

Meet the judges

Futureofwork_blogtiles65Senator the Hon.
Fiona Nash

Minister for Regional Development
Minister for Local Government & Territories
Minister for Regional Communications

Fiona Nash was elected as a Nationals Senator for New South Wales in the 2004 federal election and her term began on 1 July 2005.

Minister Nash and her husband David live on a farming property at Crowther (located near Young) in the south-west of NSW and together they have two sons, Will and Henry.

Currently she is the Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories and Regional Communications in the Coalition Government.


judges_photos_lightbulb moments2Natalie Egleton
CEO of the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR)

Natalie is passionate about facilitating effective responses to issues facing rural communities. She was appointed CEO of FRRR in November 2015, after joining FRRR in 2012.

Before joining FRRR, Natalie consulted with Matrix on Board, working with numerous not-for-profit organisations in program evaluation, undertaking research analysis and developing business plans. Natalie has also held in-house roles at Evolve (Typo Station) and at ANZ Banking Group, implementing projects that made a tangible difference to the lives of people living in rural, regional and remote Australia.

She lives in the small rural town of Maldon in central Victoria.

judges_photos_lightbulb moments3Kerry Anderson
Author, Businesswoman and Community Advocate

Author of Entrepreneurship: It’s Everybody’s Business, Kerry is passionate about rural and regional Australia and is committed to changing the conversation from job seeking to job creation.

Her journey commenced as a 2011 Victorian Rural Woman of the Year finalist when she launched an extensive research project that took her to the United States meeting with successful communities and educators. Over a three year period Kerry led the highly innovative Operation Next Gen and Be Your Own Boss pilot projects. 

Kerry is based in Central Victoria, and as a thought leader, she frequently represents the region at national and international forums.

judges_photos_lightbulb momentsTony Hogarth
General Manager, Prime Television

Tony was appointed General Manager, Prime Television in 2015 having held several executive positions, most recently as General Manager, Network Sales.  He is responsible for running television operations and for the advertising revenue and marketing performance of local market operations throughout regional NSW, Victoria and Western Australia. Tony has 27 years of television experience.

Prior to his current position, he previously held the roles of Western Australian Manager for Seven Affiliate Sales from 1999 – 2002 and spent the previous 11 years at GWN and Super League (News Limited) both in sales and marketing management positions based in Perth.

judges_photos_lightbulb moments4Jack Archer
CEO of the Regional Australia Institute (RAI)

Jack has been with the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) since its inception in 2012, and developed the RAI’s policy and research program. He took up the role as Chief Executive Officer on 1 July 2015.

In previous roles as a consultant and public servant, Jack contributed to major regional reforms in water, climate change, indigenous issues and industry. He holds a Bachelor of Natural Resource Management (Hons 1) from the University of New England and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Originally from Paterson in the lower Hunter Valley of NSW, he now lives in the hills west of Canberra.

Successful Lightbulb Moments

We have found some excellent examples of individuals and community groups already implementing their own ideas, and positively impacting their region. Check them out!


It’s not the size that  counts, it’s how you use it!


2014 Vic RIRDC Award Parliament HouseBudding high schoolers to be the next crop of farmers


Saleyards Tour Leader Jim Scott show visitors around the complexAg-tourism is no hard sell for Roma