Image gallery
What was Inland Growth Summit - 2022?

Session 1 - Collaboration for Success

Paul Giess from ARTC, gave an introduction to their role within the Inland Rail project and its scale, connecting three states and 36 Local Governement Areas (LGAs), where each part of the process is a major project in its own right and will work to shift to a 70% road and 30% rail/freight ratio. There are enormous employment opportunities and multiple contractual arrangements required to make this happen. Paul presented on how collaboration has always been the key in engagement activities and the development of reference design in Inland Rail and now this collaboration has extended to their approach to procurement and their relationship with contractors and industry more broadly. He spoke about early involvement through collaborative refocus procurement to provide the confidence for regional companies so that they can gear up for major projects and realise the benefits. Paul highlighted that collaboration with local government will also mean the infrastructure and economic benefits for communities will be for years to come beyond the project itself. He also pointed out opportunities in the region in terms of supply chain efficiencies and value chain growth and challenged us on what transport might look like in 200 yrs. What do you think?


David Bardos from the Port of Melbourne, which is an integral part of the Inland Rail infrastructure project, is one of the largest container and general cargo ports in Australia with a 22% trade growth last year alone in containerised freight that pairs with strong growth in regional agriculture production and unprecedented infrastructure investment. David highlighted the high global demand for goods, leading to container traders rapid and continual growth, which in turn is leading to demand outstripping supply. That pressure on the entire system means that collaboration is critical to maximising the value for regional economies. One answer is international trade networking groups to develop a better understanding of the paddock to plate process, that process not only happens between Regional Australia and the capital cities, but it is also international. David pointed out how important it is for us to see ourselves in that space. Regional communities have something to offer on a substantial scale.


Marnie Ogg from the Australian Dark Sky Alliance talked to us about a completely different and unique opportunity, the Warrumbungle Dark Sky Park, the first in Australia and with it the realisation of the potential for an asset of this kind and the need to preserve it. This is internationally remarkable; we have the darkest skies in the world and that creates enormous tourism potential - Astro-Tourism. It is a new term for many of us, it can be a once in a lifetime event for travellers and can also be a driver for regional economic activity. The UK and the US experiences show us that hundreds and thousands of tourists visit observatories and telescopes especially during phenomenon such as an eclipse. Excitingly, there is one coming that Dubbo may be well placed to observe. There are major opportunities from this to media, services, business, and entrepreneurs. But like the major infrastructure projects, it requires getting whole communities onboard and involved in the planning and the realisation about things like avoiding blue light and other factors, minimising how light goes into the sky so we can all experience and enjoy the wonder fo the night sky.


Ben Hughes from Hughes et al, spoke to us about working with major clients on local content and observing that strong internal networks create the strongest outcomes for all. From community and stakeholder management to media, indigenous participation and in the end these together greatly assists resourcing projects for the best outcomes. Ben talked about informed collaboration, not merely the idea of everybody getting together and having a talkfest but identifying what is the targeted outcome, what is the targeted process when we talk about bringing communities together to collaborate. Ben explained that it is a process that should include advocates from all sectors that connect with the project, where everyone is clear about the intentions and holds a shared responsibility framework. He said this requires data, strategy, shared understanding of the lessons from the past and what that means for future success, and Ben also suggested that we learn from corporate practices by centralising systems and efforts for functional collaboration with a shared goal and implementing holistic employment policies.

Session 2 - Industry & Innovation

Cindy Cassidy from the Southern NSW Drought Innovation Resilience and Adoption Hub looked at developing resilient, strong and diverse industrial bases for inland Australia and she presented about new systems being created in the region, for the region and for the people that require them. The Drought Resilience Hubs created around the country are intended to support the national agricultural innovation agenda as well as create resilience in those communities. She said that can be a matter of getting the right people in place to make a change and in the end, attract investment. The end game for Cindy’s region is a vision for sustainable and profitable outcomes for Southern NSW, well beyond our lifetimes and they have engaged four universities, two state departments, many farming systems, groups, rural aid and First Nations for governance. The Hub space will help in identifying the gaps and points of strength, funding research, and building resilience programs. This is so the region has a greater capability overall. Career paths in agriculture look much more secure in the future, if are not as strongly affected by natural disasters, then we can adapt successfully. The people are always the focus; engaging them, meeting their needs and focusing on values is a key drivers.


Murray Feddersen from Feddersen Consulting talked to us about risk in the bush, something we need to be prepared for and be conscious of but also not to underestimate the role of luck. His own business, now with a broad international focus, while based in Dubbo and in Narromine. That puzzles people and how he manages it. But it is Murrays decision to base his international business here and he stands by that even as demographics are changing in the bush as are our services. What about the perception that perhaps the people in the bush aren’t smart enough to do the job and suddenly there has been a reduction in the empowerment of decision-making taking place in our communities? Murray commented on the challenges that create winning jobs even when the business capacity is in fact highly skilled. But Murray reiterates, have a go and see what you know can lead you to opportunities. Don’t see yourself as limited by geography. His own business is a testament to that, working in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo because that creates diversity. Murray suggests keeping skills and education current, grasping opportunities, being focused on your customers and relationships and don’t burn them for short term benefit. We also have to make our case that inland Australia has the capacity, energy, potential and in turn, a strong future.


Dan Winson from Zetifi presented the importance of managing the digital divide between the city and the bush. He is particularly optimistic about what 5G opportunities will provide for tech-driven industry solutions across agriculture, mining and other regional and rural industries. This could mean that wireless equipment, but also expanded conversation and connection. Although it is important to note that in the middle of this excellent presentation Telstra’s data network went down in central Dubbo. In a sense, that exemplifies the challenges we have. We can talk, connect, and work with each other as never before if the supporting mechanisms work and if they are funded and sustained by the public and private sectors. 

Session 3 - Workforce of the Future

Bronwyn Pearson from the Local Jobs Program talked to us about the work that is going on to manage and grow local jobs and to combat a very big problem for many of us, the extremely difficult skills and labour shortage that we are experiencing across inland Australia. She said the best solutions are place-based, they rely on a network of knowledge that cuts across local economies so again, that theme of collaboration across the community is the best way to draw our strengths and to build our relationships with local and regional. Priorities include infrastructure, indigenous job seekers, healthcare, social assistance, agriculture, and youth. Bronwyn also chaired the Workforce of the Future session.


Mandi Randell from the Central West Leadership Academy, delivered a very well-received presentation about the growing trend to develop your own solutions to workforce problems when it can be such a struggle to turn on the human resources tap. She said that schools are fundamental to augment the infrastructure including the nexus between businesses and schools. Where will the capacity for STEM begin, if not in our schools? Where do digital skills grow from, if not in our schools? If we miss these kids, if they go somewhere else, then we miss a major workforce opportunity for the future, when school partnerships in our community can yield very direct results. Partnering with schools supports the region as it attracts skilled workers, partners and families, retains existing workers, improves community reputation and a sense of interconnectedness and grows talent pipelines and diversity. We can manage the challenge of urban drift by providing competitive education here in the bush and that can also be the key to attracting skilled employees here as highly skilled staff will not risk their children's future if they think that the local educational opportunities are lacking.


Danielle Neville from Tafe NSW talked about establishing partnerships with businesses across Western NSW and educating around 35,000 students per year in this region, and putting training in place for real labour market needs which is key. This all comes on a journey. The connections are already in place, including whether a job is really the right job for students. TAFE NSW is pivotal in our local communities to provide training services to support towns and their employment growth. An example given was TAFE NSW’s partnership with AWCON which services mining, to develop two pre-employment programs, one for indigenous students, the other for young women, preparing them for employment in civil construction and mining. The program focused on civil courses in the mining industry which led to most participants being hired by different organisations. What tangible outcomes!


Jessica Brown from Marathon Health spoke about health and wellbeing and its impact on helping communities to thrive. If you do not have the workforce to make that happen, then there is no growth, no income, and no opportunity to take advantage of what is on offer. So supply, demand and distribution are critical. Theoretically, there is growth across the health sector in training, but their availability when and where they are needed is not such a simple equation and even more so when it is a specialised need. For example, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander care. The pandemic has not helped of course, and Jessica described the workforce issue as a wicked problem. She also expressed that every part of the sector is clamouring for the same in-demand workforce, with Royal Commissions and the global pandemic all exposing the poor outcomes that come from the chronic shortage of allied health professionals. She agreed that we have to grow our own and we have to develop long term relationships across the community and find homegrown solutions to this bind. Marathon Health are lateral thinking about what brings community needs and workforce solutions together. 

Session 4 - Infrastructure for Development

Ken Gillespie from The Stable Group talked to us about huge anxiety around resources like water and energy and the need for transport access and the material things that regions need to build on to create success. Issues as simple as, is the water safe to drink and will the lights stay on? Yes, we are grappling with that in 2022 and in a first world nation like Australia. He identified some low progress in recent years, some quick wins, and cultural change, but also, frustratingly little progress in other areas. Ken also stated that the issue in local government is the one size fits all strategy or activity. Funding for the joint organisations that are yet to deliver a bigger economic vision, guaranteed roots to market and obvious benefits for large projects like Inland Rail were examples. But where are we really getting to with those ideas? And if Local Government relies on grant-funded infrastructure projects, where does that really end? When do we pay the piper in terms of genuine local economic outcomes? Do we start spinning our wheels if all we are doing is relying on grants from the government when we cannot solve the connection of workforce problems? Ken suggested that if we are to solve problems as dense as energy and water, we need an implementation plan that is funded, doable, collaborative and meets actual needs. Even when perhaps that need might not be politically popular, like supporting the diesel transition in a way that makes sense for the industry. A key way forward may well be delivery partner models just focused on getting those things done and perhaps Ken thinks it is time to shift paradigms and not to rely on the old models. 


Tom O'Dea from nbn™ Local was confident that connectivity needs are being met and the pandemic certainly put a cracker underneath the organisation in terms of guaranteed access when people want and need to work from home. Most of us in inland Australia are still on fixed lines and we talked about the multi-technology mix that is on its way and that the network is quickly evolving along with substantial investment plans, including co-investment in regional Australia, greater access to business services, and a level playing field for wholesale access. nbn™ Local is focused on lifting the digital capacity at the local level to create shared economic and social benefits. Tom assures us that it is coming. 


Dominic Letts from Fleetwood Australia also touched on one of the major issues in the problem we have in regional economies. Housing! Dominic spoke about how modular buildings can be thought of as a solution to the sometimes intense housing pressure. It is part of the struggle to find labour and resources to grow our economy when and if the right partners can be found. Fleetwood Australia has been in operation for over 55 years and covers a range of modular solutions including multi-residential, commercial, education, health and defence.


Tobin Gorey from Commonwealth Bank of Australia finished our last session and the day off with the kind of picture we are facing in terms of food production as a number of nations grow their economies and the supply and demand issues on high-quality food become both an opportunity and an enormous challenge for skilled Regional Australia. Currently, around 1 Billion people are classed as ‘high income’ globally and that is set to increase to between 2-4 Billion by 2040. This new reign of high-income earners will demand to eat the way we see those in rich countries do now. How will this be managed with the need for more, and better food?



As our amazing Master of Ceremonies, Genevieve Jacobs said, collaboration is absolutely essential in Inland Australia. Silos are only useful for storing wheat, not for building communities and not for growing our regional economy.


Many speakers said, major projects work best and bring the greatest value if we engage all the stakeholders at a broad-based and genuine level so that people understand the value of the project and bring their skills and they actively participate in the outcomes both in the near and in the long-term. The risk otherwise, is that major projects and ideas can flounder if the communities do not understand what they are for and do not see how they can get involved or how they will benefit. 


Resourcing is always going to be a problem. 

Connectivity: How do we get people to communicate effectively? 

Working towards a common goal; what the appropriate infrastructure is? 

Where will the human resources come from? 

How will we train, house, and educate the workforce for inland regional growth?


According to today’s speakers, the answers are in our own hands. There is no alternative resource tap to turn on, whether it is an external workforce or endless government funding. That will not work in the end. Perhaps the solution might be external through partnerships, perhaps it is through local community innovation, perhaps it is rethinking what our community expects and needs and how to meet it. But, it is clear in the bush we expect to be strongly connected to local needs and ideally supplied by local people with all their skills and expertise. That is a fundamental principle in doing business in inland Australia. Make it local, use the skills, use the capacity that we have already got, even if it is an international project. That can all be broadly summed up by the need to build resilience and innovation here in Inland Australia. We have what we need. Let us challenge the paradigms and use those resources to build our future together.


Who Spoke at the event!

handshake (4)


Connect with your peers virtually and learn how organisations just like yours are helping to solve the issues

analysis (1)

Government Strategy

Choose from a host of different sessions to understand the outlook and issues and how they can impact your business.


Regional Projects

We've put together a great list of speakers who will also present solutions. Find out how you can contribute to the change.


Paul Geiss

Paul joined ARTC as Inland Rail Delivery Director - South in July 2021, after almost 5 years as Construction Director – Central Station for the Sydney Metro City & Southwest project. Paul has also held senior management roles with London Underground and Metronet Rail in the UK following a 21+ year career with Queensland Transport. Over his career Paul has developed broad commercial and technical project skills with a background in operational management, and is a Certified Practicing Project Director through the Australian Institute of Project Management with over 20 years’ experience in setting up and leading high profile multi-disciplinary rail infrastructure projects. Other key projects Paul has managed include the Southwest Stations and Corridor Works (SSC) rail infrastructure contract for Sydney Metro, the Paddington and South Kensington Station Modernisation Projects for London Underground, and the Coomera to Helensvale Duplication for Queensland Rail.


IGS - Speaker (17)

Danielle Neville

Danielle Neville is the Business Sales Manager for the TAFE NSW Business Development team located in the West region. Danielle and her team of six Business Development Managers, account manage local businesses, working with them and providing solutions to their current and future training needs.



Genevieve Jacobs

Genevieve Jacobs is the Group Editor for Region Media, Australia's fastest-growing digital news platform. Genevieve chairs the ACT arts minister's Creative Advisory Council and co-chairs the ACT Reconciliation Council. She sits on the boards of the Cultural Facilities Corporation, the National Folk Festival, and is deputy chair of the Canberra International Music Festival. She is also a director of the Conflict Resolution Service and the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture. She was made an AM in the Australia Day honours list for her service to public broadcasting and the community. Genevieve has an enduring interest in building community engagement and is a partner in the family farming enterprise.



Copy of IGS - Speaker (2)

Mathew Dickerson

 Mathew was first elected to Council in 2004 and served as the Dubbo City Council Mayor from 2011 through to the amalgamation in 2016. After a break from public life, Mathew once again stood for election in 2021 and was elected to Dubbo Regional Council where he currently serves as Mayor. During Mathew’s time as Mayor of Dubbo City Council, he oversaw an unprecedented period of prosperity with innovative initiatives and an attitude of communication. He created the unique Community Leaders’ Breakfasts the Mayoral Developers’ Forums and the ASX200 CEO Series as a joint project with the Chamber of Commerce. He raised over half a million dollars with the creation of Tour de OROC and as Chairman of Evocities, organised the Evocities MTB Series, the richest in the nation. Outside of Council, Mathew has six successful business start-ups that have racked up 24 major business awards. He has written four books, he writes a weekly technology column in 142 newspapers. has technology segments on nine different radio stations and a weekly technology podcast. Mathew also finds time to spend with his wife and four children. He is an active member of Mensa races Mountain bikes and thinks he is a poet.

Jessica Brown

Jess Brown is a regionally based strategist, who has worked in many of our key industries employment, training, agriculture, and now health. She excels at bringing people together to innovate and solve problems. Currently, with Marathon Health, Jess is working on strategies to address health workforce shortages, so that regional and remote communities have access to the services they need to enjoy the same health and wellbeing outcomes as their city counterparts. Her efforts to date have contributed to Marathon Health being recognised as the largest not-for-profit employer of allied health staff in regional NSW. Jess is committed to breaking down the barriers for public, not-for-profit, and private health providers to work together – and in partnership – to build on strengths that will ultimately benefit regional people.

Murray Feddersen

Murray Feddersen graduated as a mechanical engineer from the University of Melbourne in 1972. In 1992, Murray and his wife Linda, elected to relocate their principal office to Dubbo and employed local consulting, administrative staff, and Accountancy and Legal advisors. In 1998, Murray won a consultancy with a plantation operator in PNG, his first export job, to develop and implement an environmental management program to the ISO 14001 Environmental Standard. That was successful and followed by a Quality management system to the ISO 9001 Standard and then extended to other operations of the client organisation in Indonesia and Malaysia. It even extended to work in Africa. Export income continues to be a significant supplement to our Australian revenue base. Murray continues to oversee the ongoing development and diversification of the business with the establishment of a Gold Coast Office. His son Andrew who attended school in Dubbo is working with Murray to continue to move the consultancy business forward

IGS - Speaker (10)

Marnie Ogg

With a 30 year history in all aspects of tourism, Marnie returned from an astrotourism event she was hosting in Europe, when she realised how truly special the Australian dark night sky was and that it is a natural asset that needs to be preserved. Seeing the designation of Australia’s first Dark Sky Place, managing Sydney Observatory, and Founding the Australian Dark Sky Alliance, has seen her receive two International Dark Sky Defender awards for her personal and board efforts, and strengthens her commitment to creating inspirational places and experiences for human connection in the world, both day and night.

Ben Hughes

Ben Hughes

Ben Hughes, local content specialist and founder of Hughes et al, sees the beneficial impact of strategic local content every day. His 14 years of experience designing, implementing, and managing local content strategy for major projects and regional economies, has created a deep passion within him. Ben has worked with some of Australia’s biggest developers such as Shell, Clough, Downer, Bravus, and CPB Contractors. Along with various projects including Project Energy Connect, Snowy 2.0, Shoalwater Bay, and QCLNG Upstream Compression and Operations. Ben digs deep and helps clients solve their toughest problems by implementing astute business processes to make a difference through people, technology, and culture. His vast experience and deep-set passion enable him to deliver results. He is also an advocate for teaching ‘why local content matters’ and how everyone involved in projects, from investors, project directors, to the local population, can develop win-win scenarios that result in commercial, economic, and social benefits. Ben is also determined to educate project stakeholders such as the government, industry groups, investors, and the local community, on how to increase Australian industrial participation for major projects. Regional communities should receive the most benefit, by optimising the way investors can have maximum economic impact through sustainable and smarter market engagement. As part of his advocacy, Ben authored the ‘Project Directors Local Content Guidance Note’ and speaks at various industry functions. He is also a member of the Queensland Local Content Leaders Network and a Board Director of Infrastructure Australia Queensland. Ben is a proud father of two independent young women and spends much of his spare time gardening, beekeeping, or watching documentaries about living off the grid in Alaska.

Dominic Letts

Dominic Letts

Dominic Letts was appointed as Chief Operating Officer of Accommodation Solutions in January 2018 and has previously held senior appointments at Fleetwood since joining in 2008. He has been responsible for the significant commercial transactions and operational performance of Accommodation Solutions and has deep insight into accommodation drivers for construction and residential workforces. He has been a consistent advocate for the role of modular housing in supporting rapid solutions to address shortages, particularly in regional areas. He also is passionate about the design and operation of developments to generate community wellness. Prior to joining Fleetwood, Dominic served as a Special Forces Army Officer and led operations and training in the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Dominic holds a Master of Human Resources Management and Industrial Relations, a Bachelor of Arts (History/Politics), and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dan Winson

Dan Winson

Dan Winson is the founder and CEO of Zetifi, a wireless networking company that builds devices to provide connectivity solutions in rural and remote areas.


Copy of IGS - Speaker

Mandi Randell

Mandi first came to Dubbo in high school on Rotary youth exchange and attended Dubbo High School where she met her husband Fred Randell. Mandi returned to the US and completed her BA in Theatre and English. Mandi became a teacher through Teach for America and taught in inner city NYC schools for four years while completing her two Master’s degrees (Master of Science in Secondary Education and Master of Arts in English).
In 2005 Mandi emigrated to Australia and worked for Links to Learning, a DET program for at risk high schoolers and The American International School before gaining a position at Newington College. Mandi worked at Newington for 8 years as Assistant Head of English, Coordinator of Teacher Accreditation and Head of Sustainability. She then secured the position of Director of Teaching at Learning at MAGS in Dubbo in 2014 and completed 2 years in the role before leaving to found the Academy. Mandi is dedicated to regionally equity and developing regional communities through school-community partnerships.

Tom O'Dea

Tom has over 25 years of experience in predominantly executive people leadership roles across multiple industry verticals and geographies. Tom is an accomplished leader in the ICT industry, for the last 9 years, with Telstra, Optus and now NBN and was also the co-founder and CEO of a “profit for purpose” tech start-up - Croppz - The Surplus Food Marketplace. This has given him a unique perspective on all things tech, with a focus on the consumer and SMB segments and in particular, connection to the National Broadband Network. As a leader, he has a strong focus on people development and our customers’ experience. This, in unison with sound business management skills from P&L, EBITDA delivery and the whole of business/end to end strategies has been key to my career success to date. Over recent years he has dedicated himself to bridging the digital divide, in Regional, Rural and Remote Australia. This focus and dedication have driven him to become an evangelist on the power of technology in being able to unlock happiness, connectedness, transformation and improve user lives, with a special concentration on communities in the bush. Nothing excites him more than seeing people thrive, succeed and go on to achieve the goals that ignite them.


Hon. Mark Coulton

Mark was first elected to the House of Representatives for the seat of Parkes, New South Wales, in 2007. He has since been re-elected in 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019. Mark served as the Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government from February 2020 until July 2021. He was first appointed to the Coalition Government Ministry on 26 May 2019 by Prime Minister Scott Morrison as the Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government, and Assistant Trade and Investment Minister, and was officially sworn-in on 29 May 2019. From March 2018 to May 2019, Mark was the Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. During his time in the Federal Parliament, Mark has also held the positions of Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, National Party’s Chief Whip, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Ageing and the Voluntary Sector, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Water and Conservation and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development and Emerging Trade Markets.

Ken Gillespie

Ken Gillespie retired from the Army in June 20011 after a 43.5 year career. Born in Brisbane, he enlisted in the Army as an apprentice at the ripe old age of 15.5 years. After his apprenticeship he graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea in 1972 and was commissioned into the corps of the Royal Australian Engineers.
He enjoyed a diverse and unique career, rising from the Army’s most junior rank and retiring as the Chief of Army. He is a graduate of several institutions - the Australian Command and Staff College, Queenscliff in 1985; the Australian Joint Services Staff College in Canberra in 1991; and the Royal College of Defence Studies in the United Kingdom in 1998. At the RCDS he excelled in his international relations studies and along the way developed the College’s first substantial website.
Since his departure from the Service, Ken has been busy. He runs his own small consultancy business which supports government departments, corporations and small companies on strategy, leadership, culture and change management. For two years he was an independent adviser to the NSW Premier on Regional Infrastructure delivery. He is, or has been a director of several listed and not for profit boards. He is Chair of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute Council. He is a successful corporate speaker, and he has a passion for leading Australian tour groups to the battlefields of World War One. He remains very supportive of Ex-Service organisations and Legacy.
Ken has a strong network of international contacts in the fields of politics, defence, security, industry and diplomacy.


IGS - Speaker (14)

Cindy Cassidy

Executive Director - Southern NSW Drought Innovation Resilience and Adoption Hub. Cindy is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and she has graduate and post-graduate. qualifications in science and agriculture. Her 25+year career includes research and business management at some of Australia’s largest agribusinesses along with working in regional NSW as CEO of a not for profit farming systems group – Temora based, FarmLink Research. In 2015 Cindy received the RIRDC (Agrifutures) NSW/ACT Rural Women’s award and used the award to explore national and international approaches to
agricultural innovation and on-farm adoption of change.
Cindy is currently a Director and member of the Audit Committee for Agrifutures. She was recently appointed as the Director of the Southern NSW Drought Resilience and Innovation Hub, where her extensive networks and long history in agriculture are being called on to help shape this next phase of innovation
in the sector.

David Bardos

David is based in the Riverina and is responsible for the Port’s trade development strategies and supporting activities, including international trade, supply chain and logistics in NSW. David has over 20 years of experience in the Australian and international ports, shipping, supply chain and logistics sectors and his industry experience is supported by formal qualifications in Business, Project and Supply Chain Management. David is a Board member of Regional Development Australia - Riverina, President of the Police-Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) Wagga Wagga, a Board member of the Committee for Wagga and a member of the Charles Sturt University Regional Consultative Committee.

IGS - Speaker (20)

Tobin Gorey

Tobin Gorey is the Commonwealth Bank’s Agri Commodity Strategist responsible for strategy and research in agri-commodity markets. Tobin returned to CommBank in October 2014 after a six-year stint offshore working for JP Morgan (in London) and Olam International (in Singapore). Over that time he has been a continued supporter of the view that the world will demand more, and better, food. This growing demand requires a larger and more productive agriculture sector both in Australia and globally. He was educated at the University of Western Australia (Bachelor of Economic, Hons) and later at Macquarie University (Master of Applied Finance).

IGS - Speaker (19)

Bronwyn Pearson

Bronwyn Pearson is the Employment Facilitator for the Local Jobs Program in Far West Orana (including Broken Hill), an Australian Government initiative that brings together expertise, resources and access to funding at the local level to support job seekers and their communities in each region. Bron focuses on reskilling, upskilling and boosting employment pathways to support the region's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Bron is committed to developing the long term sustainability of our regions and works with local stakeholders to establish place-based strategies to address employment challenges and provide opportunities for those who are unemployed or at risk of unemployment. Bron also believes that helping regional businesses meet their obligations as employers, as well as attracting, retaining, and developing the right staff, leads to stronger, sustainable communities. Giving back to the community is central to Bron’s vision. Bron sits on the Board of several regional organisations that share her values of integrity and commitment to the community, one of which is as the Chairperson of the Management Committee on the North and Northwest Community Legal Service Board.

Newsletter 150 (1)-1
2nd February
9:00 AM
Session 1 - Collaboration for Success
10:30 AM
10:45 AM
Session 2 - Industry Innovation
12:20 PM
1:00 PM
Session 3: Workforce of the Future
2:45 PM
3:00 PM
Session 4: Infrastructure Development
4:40 PM
6:30 PM
Gala Dinner


       Our Event Partners      




                   Sponsor (2)                       ESE20-0421 Local Jobs Program Branding_RGB_300dpi



Interested in being involved next year?

Did you see our sponsors from this year? That could be you next year!


Each year RDA Orana host the annual Inland Growth Summit to highlight important topics that affect the growth of inland Australia. In 2019 the focus was on population growth and in 2020 the focus was on the water for the future.

Learn more about past events HERE


If you're interested in our sponsorship options opportunities you can email us at

Who is RDA Orana

Regional Development Australia Orana helps businesses large and small succeed in the Orana region. Led by business and community representatives, RDA Orana is strongly focused on diversifying the economic base of the region, workforce planning and development, business investment, infrastructure, and whole of government planning.

We recruit new businesses to the region, support the growth of existing Orana businesses, help manufacturers sell into international markets, provide start-up assistance to entrepreneurs and market the Orana as a premier travel destination. We also undertake extensive industry and market research to provide regional intelligence on critical regional development issues and find solutions to improve the Orana region for the future.

Our Mission is to build the region together, by providing regional intelligence that:

  • creates connections & partnerships

  • facilitates public & private sector investment

  • that supports the development of our workforce

To discover more about our initiatives visit For general inquiries, you can contact the office on 02 6885 1488 or email

Recording coming soon!

Stay tuned for event updates