RAC2031 welcomes NAB and Australia Post to the table
Regional Australia Council 2031 (RAC2031) Chair, Liz Ritchie, has announced two new members – Australia Post and National Australia Bank (NAB) – ahead of its second meeting to be held today.
The pair will join a group of some of the most influential corporate organisations in the country to help support the future of regional Australia.
“Since launching RAC2031 earlier this year, we have been inundated with enquires and offers of support from every corner of Australia. The future of regional Australia has struck a chord with many sectors, and we are so thrilled to have both Australia Post and NAB join our Council,” Liz Ritchie said.
Australia Post General Manager of Payments and Financial Services, Deanne Keetelaar says it plays a critical role in communities’ right across the country by facilitating business activity, creating employment, providing core services and enabling connectivity.
“Economically, we contribute around $806 million in Gross Regional Product, and we are supporting both consumers and businesses in rural and remote Australia to stay connected with their banking providers. We look forward to sharing this experience and continuing to advocate on behalf of regional Australians through our membership of the Council,” Deanne Keetelaar said.
NAB Executive Regional and Agribusiness, Julie Rynski, said NAB also welcomes the opportunity to work with RAC2031, government, and other corporate organisations on additional measures that can be taken to support regional Australian communities and local economies.
“Being a part of this Council builds on our existing support of regional and rural Australia, and we will continue to advocate for reform to help businesses recover and grow once the worst of the COVID-19 crisis is over,” Julie Rynski said.
RAC2031 was launched by the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) in May this year. Today, Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education, the Hon. Andrew Gee will address the forum.
“Our meeting today will focus on jobs and regionalisation of employment. Our members have been working with their employees to understand the impacts of the pandemic, and a consistent finding was a desire to retain the flexibility – this is good news for regional Australia,” Ms Ritchie said.
One of the first commitments of the Council was to undertake a survey of employees to better understand what is important to them when thinking about a move to regional Australia.
“We are conducting research to assess flexible working arrangements and working from regional Australia by asking staff about their experiences and perspectives,” Liz Ritchie said.
“We know that regional Australia is a fantastic place to live, work and invest, and we hope this research will help us craft the narrative for a national awareness campaign to see a significant population shift to the regions,” Ms Ritchie said.
Alongside RAC2031, the RAI is also establishing the Regional Activator Alliance, which will be made up of local councils, regional organisations and service providers to help co-create the campaign and support the work of the RAI.
The Council will also discuss the concept of a new initiative; an Employer of Choice for Regional Australia (ECRA), which is a citation designed to encourage business both big and small to focus on regional opportunities through the engagement of staff, clients and investment.
The RAC2031 members now include:
- Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA)
- Australia Post
- Bendigo and Adelaide Bank
- Commonwealth Bank
- Expedia Group
- NBN Co.
- Prime Super
RAC2031 will meet four times a year, with the next meeting scheduled for October.
“We thank the members of RAC2031 for their commitment to regional Australia and know that their insights and contribution will continue to drive the overall direction of the Council,” Ms Ritchie concluded.
For further information about RAC2031, please go to regionalaustralia.org.au/home/regional-australia-council-2031
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