What is Inland Growth Summit - Housing 2021?

RDA Orana is teaming up with RDA Riverina to host its fourth Inland Growth Summit, with a focus on Housing.

We love living in regional Australia, but a multitude of factors is pushing housing availability to the limit with a severe shortage of properties to rent or buy. This is having a resonating effect on communities where residents who can't find a home have to move somewhere else.

The Summit will examine why inland areas are in crisis, what can be done to resolve the problem and who is responsible for addressing the issue.

There’s never been a better time for our Inland regional communities to come together to discuss this important issue.

Register for a full access digital pass.


Why you should attend

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

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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.

Minister Melinda Pavey

Melinda Pavey is the New South Wales Minister for Water, Property and Housing, appointed in April 2019 under the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government. Minister Pavey has been a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly since 2015, representing the seat of Oxley for The Nationals. Melinda previously served as the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight. (2017-2019) and was the first woman to hold this Ministerial position. She was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council (2002-2015). She also served as the Shadow spokesperson for Emergency Services and the Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Health. Melinda grew up on a dairy farm in regional Victoria. She has two children and enjoys surf lifesaving, netball and bike riding. As a country girl, Melinda is passionate about advocating for rural communities and issues that matter to families across the state.

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Justin Nyholm 

Acting CEO & Property and Asset Services Manager. Justin has over 30 years’ experience in the building and civil construction and maintenance sectors. This experience has been with Corporate, State & Local Government and the Not for Profit Sectors. Justin experience ranges from residential, industrial, public infrastructure and air transport facilities. In his 3 years with Argyle Housing, Justin has delivered many housing projects and worked closely with the NSW State Government, Councils and other CHP’s to progress major Social and Affordable Housing opportunities in regional areas.


Genevieve Jacobs (MC)

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.


Brett Stonstreet

Brett Stonestreet was appointed as Griffith City Council's General Manager in August 2011. Brett has over 40 years of experience in local government and has spent a significant period of that time as a CEO, Group Manager and General Manager in Moyne Shire (Victoria), Gunnedah Shire, Cobar Shire and Barraba Shire Councils. Brett holds a Bachelor of Business Degree (Local Government).


Dr Kim Houghton

Dr Kim Houghton is Chief Economist at the Regional Australia Institute. Kim manages the Institute’s policy and research portfolio to ensure that the work has practical application and supports a better policy environment and more vibrant regional economies. Kim has played a leading role in recent research on population mobility in regional Australia, analysis of regional labour markets, and the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on regional economies.


Mike Day

A co-founder and partner at HATCH | Roberts Day, Mike has moderated visioning + planning design forums and led the firm’s design teams responsible for an array of urban renewal projects and new towns throughout Australia, New Zealand, UAE and Asia since the inception of the company in 1993.Based in Melbourne since 2005, Mike is leading the practice's design teams implementing new towns and urban renewal projects. Mike has held many positions as chair and deputy chair of planning committees in Western Australia and Victoria. Mike was the recipient of the 2018 Place Leaders Asia Pacific Centrepiece Award | Leadership Excellence in Promoting Walkable Urbanism.Mike is a Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Cr Greg Conkey OAM

Greg Conkey is an awarding-winning journalist and talented photographer who has had more than 30 years of experience working in rural and regional Australia. For 26 years he edited and managed The Riverina Leader newspaper in Wagga Wagga.  In 2005 Mr Conkey started his own public relations and media consultancy (Greg Conkey and Associates) drawing on his extensive media background and project work for numerous humanitarian causes. In January 2012 Mr Conkey was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to the Wagga Wagga community. Later that year he was elected as a City of Wagga Wagga Councillor and four years later was elected unopposed as Mayor. He was re-elected as Mayor in 2018 and again in 2020.


Neil Barber

Neil Barber manages Australian Red Cross Migration Support programs in South Western NSW, including the large residential accommodation program for Humanitarian settlement in Albury and Wagga Wagga - which involves coordination of an average 100 property leases at any one time across both cities as well as short term accommodation and responses to homelessness. Neil has a long association with social and community development in south-western NSW over the past 25 years and has a strong understanding of the capacities and barriers in relation to regional migration and settlement.

Peta Gilhome

Experienced Regional Account Manager highly skilled in Digital Strategy, Sales, Key Account Development, Business Development, and Marketing Strategy. With a passion for Regional NSW and Real Estate - building symbiotic relationships, connecting people and encouraging collaboration to grow our regional real estate industry. Strong sales professional with a Diploma of Business Management - Marketing focused in Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services.


Julie Briggs

The principal of JBMS Consulting, She has worked with business and government for over twenty-five years. Since September of 1997 JBMS Consulting has provided CEO services to the Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation of Councils (REROC). A voluntary association of 8 Local Governments located in the eastern Riverina region of NSW. Julie's main role is to identify, initiate and implement projects that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of local government through collaboration.
Julie has been working with the REROC Member Councils and the Members of the Riverina Joint Organisation along with NSW Government Agencies, RDA Riverina and industry stakeholders on the development of a Regional Housing Strategy for the eastern Riverina.


David Fisher

David has been CEO of Housing Plus since 2016, where he has been championing the need for additional community services and more affordable housing across the Central and Far West regions of NSW. David is passionate about community based organisations, provision of opportunities and choice to tenants and developing the culture and impact of the organisation that he leads.
David is Vice Chair of the Homelessness NSW and President of NCOSS Boards and seeks to provide a regional perspective to these organisations. 

Jenni Mattila

Civitas Solutions Australia assists local government and their local communities to establish owner occupied housing co-operatives around Australia.
Civitas Solutions Australia works with local governments, banks and housing co-operatives to assist with finance for affordable housing not just in major cities but also in regional Australia where quality housing is in short supply.

Peter Vltako

Peter Vltako

Commenced in Local Government as a trainee Accountant back in 1976 and worked in both South Australia and NSW Councils and currently the GM in Cobar for over 5 years.

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Catherine Brasier

Catherine is Sales Manager at Prefabulous. Catherine has a background in Hotel Management, Wine Industry and Property. While the wine was great, for the past 15 years her focus has been on property development and sales for new projects in the retirement living and real estate sector. As a self-confessed 'modular home' nerd Catherine loves a design challenge with plenty of personal building experience. But more than anything Catherine is passionate about your Prefabulous journey and how you can experience the best of what we offer.


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Garry Fielding

Qualified town planner with over 40 years experience in State and local government and the private sector. Worked at senior executive levels with the NSW Department of Planning and also as head planner with Newcastle, Woollahra and Maitland councils. Life Fellow and former NSW President of the Planning Institute of Australia
State-appointed Chair of the Western Regional Planning Panel.

Nick Lane

Nick focusses on developing business systems that deliver whole of community impact and uplift and has created a community development model to assist regional communities to tackle some of the critical issues that are facing them such as housing supply, population growth, skills, training, and employment pathways. In tackling the housing market failure that is constraining many regional cities and towns, he brings 20 year’s experience in innovation, complex systems management, project delivery, and development. He is also passionate about sustainable communities, collective impact, and placemaking. He is the co-founder for PassievPlace and Shift Regional, providing employment and housing solutions for regional Australia, and has extensive engagement and project experience in regional communities both here and overseas. 

Brendan Grylls

Brendan Grylls

Few people can bring 20 years of successful policy development and implementation in Northern Australia to the table, with an ongoing commitment to grow and develop the mining towns and cities of Northern Australia. Brendon Grylls, former politician, architect of the transformational Royalties for Regions program in Western Australia and now successful Pilbara based Managing Director of BGG has a track record of building policy platforms from - ‘that will never happen’ - to ‘how did that happen’?! Grylls has built a new life in the Pilbara after politics and is relishing utilising his skill set in assisting business in the corporate and small business sectors, in the vast Northwest where so many opportunities abound. He has established Brendon Grylls Group, providing strategy and business development advice to a diverse client base including agriculture, beef, aviation, indigenous corporations and the resource sector.

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Tony Blading

Managing Director of: The Building Supply Company, Buildpro Wagga , National tiles Wagga, lighting network Riverina, and Accelerated housing Company Pty Ltd. and recently divested business in Canberra building innovation centre. Currently Chairperson for the Riverina branch of the HIA a position held for 13 of the 18 years the branch has been reformed. Regional executive representative for ACT/Southern NSW HIA Board member of The Forrest centre Age care facilities. Life member of Apex Australia. Inductee into the HIA Riverina honor roll for Building Industry 2018. Strong focus on developing better ways of construction having been exposed to most if not all building systems over 40 years in residential, commercial and renovations. Having had the privilege to represent small to medium size builders on the board of HIA I have had exposure to many of the challenges in the industry from design, legislation, bureaucracy, and market trends.

8:00 AM
Grab your coffee and log in
8:15 AM
Welcome, Brad Cam, Chair RDA Orana and Dianna Somerville, Chair RDA Riverina Welcome to Country, Aunty Cheryl Penrith
8:30 AM
The official opening, The Hon Mark Coulton MP introducing
The Hon Nola Marino, Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories
8:45 AM
The Hon Melinda Pavey MP, NSW Minister for Water, Property and Housing
9:00 AM
9:05 AM
Keynote: A commercial eye, Peta Gilhome, Domain
9:25 AM
Migrant Housing Needs, Neil Barber, Australian Red Cross
9:45 AM
A local approach to housing analysis, Julie Briggs, REROC RIVJO
10:05 AM
Regional Housing Outlook, Kim Houghton, Regional Australia Institute
10:25 AM
Q&A Lead by Genevieve Jacobs, MC
10:35 AM
Short Break
10:45 AM
10:50 AM
Planning timeless communities, Mike Day, Hatch | Roberts Day
11:10 AM
Public-private investment in remote communities, Brendon Grylls
11:30 AM
Managing itinerant workers, Peter Vlatko, Cobar Shire Council
11:45 AM
Q&A led by Genevieve Jacobs, MC
11:55 AM
12:00 PM
Connect Communities, Tom O'Dea, NBN. Co
12:20 PM
Ethical housing, Nick Lane, Passive Place
12:40 PM
Pre-fabricated homes, a solution for now and for the future, Gavin King, Prefabulous
1:00 PM
Building the resilient House, Fire floods and Social housing, Tony Balding, Buildpro
1:20 PM
Q&A led by Genevieve Jacobs
1:30 PM
Lunch Break
1:40 PM
1:45 PM
NSW Regional Housing Taskforce, Garry Fielding, Chair
2:05 PM
The role of community housing in addressing shortages, David Fisher, Housing Plus
2:25 PM
Partnering to provide affordable housing, Brett Stonestreet, Griffith City Council and Wendy Middleton, Argyle Housing
2:45 PM
Financing regional housing, Jenni Mattila, CIVITAS
3:05 PM
Wrap up, Genevieve Jacobs, MC
3:15 PM



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Communications Partner



Interested in showcasing your brand?

We have limited spaces available for businesses to sponsor the event and get their company name in front of an engaged audience. Sponsors will receive logo placement on all material, a dedicated solus email to our database and more.


$47.29 buys you a virtual seat for the event, which will be a webcast. BYO lunch!

What time does it start? Registrations will start from 8:00 am, with the event set to start at 8:15 am. 

What if I can only attend half of the day? Your ticket for general attendance is for the complete program. 

Two days before the event, we will send you a link to watch the proceedings. One of our staff will be monitoring your interactions with the platform and you will be able to ask questions, which we will ask on your behalf.

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 www.rdaorana.org.au. For general inquiries, you can contact the office on 02 6885 1488 or email admin@rdaorana.org.au

Who is RDA Riverina

Regional Development Australia-Riverina (RDA-Riverina) is part of an Australian Government initiative based on building partnerships and ensuring that all governments and stakeholders are responsive to local priorities and needs. It is a conduit between government and local communities and a provider of information.

RDA-Riverina is a non-profit, community-based organisation, with a committee of 12 members spanning 14 local government areas who represent local communities, businesses and local government. RDA-Riverina’s committee has a broad and diverse skills base and demonstrated networks and alliances. RDAs are champions for local communities, working towards developing local solutions to local problems, and ensuring the prosperity of the regions.



8:00 am – 3:30 pm