An Australian Government Initiative

Regional Development Australia

Forum asks "what's holding regional Victoria back?"

04 June 2019

More than 80 business leaders, peak bodies, Government representatives, and members of the wider Wimmera Mallee community attended the sell-out forum.

Important local issues such as farm exodus, young people’s mobility in and out of small towns, and collaboration between regional leaders, were in the spotlight earlier this week at a forum in the rural township of Horsham, Victoria, to address what is holding regional Victoria back.

The forum heard from five researchers from the Regional Incubator for Social and Economic Research (RISER).The RISER researchers – who live, work and research out in regional Victoria – presented their latest research findings centred on the current economic and social state of play of the Wimmera Mallee, and regional and rural Victoria at large.

The RISER initiative is supported by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Grampians, Federation University and the Wimmera Development Association.

“Through this initiative we are supporting local people in regional Victoria to undertake this research,” explains Stuart Benjamin, Chair of Regional Development Australia Grampians who adds that as each researcher is local, “all that knowledge then stays in our community forever.”

He adds that the five areas of study are different, but complimentary, with all focusing on parts of the regional economy “where we think we can do a little bit better.” The forum, he says, was an opportunity to report back to the community and stakeholders who had been involved in the research.

The final research reports will be released in 2020.

For more information on the research papers, contact RDA Grampians by email at: rda.grampians@rdv.vic.gov.au.

Left to right: Amy Isham (RISER Researcher), Amity Dunstan (RISER Researcher), Stuart Benjamin (RDA Grampians), Carmel Goulding (RISER Researcher), Mark Fletcher (Wimmera Development Association), Cathy Tischler (RISER Researcher), Keir Reeves (Federation University), Ember Parkin (RISER Researcher)