Live, Work, Play, Invest Riverland
The Live Work Play Invest Riverland magazine was developed to showcase the diversity and unique qualities of the Riverland region.
Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland Inc has put this document together in response to business and industries challenge to enable people from outside the region to understand the unique way in which Riverland people live, work, play and interact together as one community.
Initiative to attract Migrants
The Murraylands & Riverland welcomes migrants to our region. RDA MR has been working with Dream Australia to develop a video showcasing our region and the story of a family who has migrated to our region. The video has already received numerous hits and generated a great deal of interest.
The Murraylands & Riverland has long been home to a strong migrant community. From the arrival of Italians who settled throughout the region following WWII to the more recent arrival of Chinese, Indian and Philippine residents, the blend of cultures has made for a vibrant and dynamic community.
Our region has a range of employment opportunities for which we seek intra-state, interstate and international migration - from professional services such as General Practitioners and Engineers to labouring positions in food production and processing.
The recent collaboration with Dream Australia to develop a video that provides an overview of the lifestyle and employment opportunities in the region will assist to develop our regional profile as an ideal location to 'live, work and play'.
There are many success stories from migrants within our region here is one of many, the story of Claudia and Rachid Ait-Toutai.
Live, Work and Play in the Murraylands and Riverland Region
Claudia and Rachid Ait-Toutai, Migration to the Murraylands
Jobs Growth and Investment Reports 2014-2016
Over the last two months RDA Murraylands & Riverland Inc has once again conducted our Jobs, Growth and Investment (JGI) Report. Murraylands and Riverland has great potential for the future and its location on key transport routes, affordable land and available workforce will be attractive motivations for future investment in the region.
The Jobs Growth and Investment Forecast has been conducted every two or three years since 1998. This year’s survey has provided hard evidence from business owners and managers that overall they expect significant growth for the foreseeable future. The survey has also identified potential growth segments and provided evidence of the optimism of the region.
The report will be used to influence and attract investors, industry, developments and people looking for quality affordable living options. It will ensure government training initiatives and programs match the future business and industry needs.
It is vital that these reports are up to date to ensure that they can influence business and government decisions. We greatly appreciate the support of Murraylands and Riverland business owners and managers who contribute their time to assisting with the survey.
The process to develop the JGI Reports involved sending over 1000 questionnaires to businesses across the Murraylands and Riverland region during October and November.
RDA engaged consultant Bill Clifford to conduct the survey in the Murraylands and well known consultant Chris Bennet in the Riverland. Both consultants have been excited by the valuable findings.
The survey asked businesses to make predictions for good years, average years and bad years. The results will outline a range of possible futures, showing the best and the worst that may be expected, as well as the middle ground.
Chief Executive, Brenton Lewis thanks all businesses who completed the survey questionnaire and for their valuable input. The Reports for both Murraylands and Riverland will be presented to the RDA Board at the December meeting and will be publically available on the RDA website before Christmas.
Play with your Future Pilot Program
In October the Riverland Career Development Centre (CDC) staff ran a 3 day workshop with a group of twelve year 10 high school students from Renmark High School called ‘Play with your Future”.
The workshop was a pilot funded by the local DECD Industry Skills Manager to support the introduction of Career Practitioners into the School environment and to demonstrate to Schools the opportunities and advantages of accessing professionals outside of the School environment.
Over the 3 days the students covered topics such as; Knowing yourself, Why work?, Resume writing, Job applications, Job interviews, Explore training options, How to set personal career plans, and it also incorporated a workplace visit to a local major retailer.
The Manager spoke to the group, advising on the different sectors of employment available in this industry and he gave overall advice on the retail industry in general. The feedback from the Manager regarding the students’ enthusiasm and their conduct being of a high standard was an excellent result.
The program was well received and the students left with a better understanding of their careers and employment and training options in the local area.
The resume writing training they received also included how to self manage their resumes in the future, which in turn will enable them to approach employment and employers with more confidence.
CDC staff feel this was a great opportunity for local High School students to gain more knowledge about the service that is available in the Riverland.
It is a great opportunity for local Schools to tap into a local professional service that is going to meet the curriculum requirements as well as strengthening future opportunities for their students.
Mark Bell - Churchill Fellowship
Mark Bell spent 7 weeks on a study tour in 2013 as part of being awarded a The Australian Institute of Management Churchill Fellowship to study cluster development and facilitation from European leaders. During the course of his studies, Mark visited regions like Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Italy and Spain.
During Mark’s study trip, he had the opportunity to meet with Government officials who manage cluster policy and programs, Cluster Managers who run the clusters and Academics at Universities who help assess the performance of the clusters and the associated regions cluster policy.
Each country does things differently, some funding clusters, others funding research and innovation & some do a combination of both.
What is a Business Cluster?
“Clusters are Individuals” each one is unique – no one size/set of rules fits all.
There are 356 cluster organisations in 50 countries primarily in OECD Countries. (I believe 24 European Countries have 34 active cluster programs which involve more than 260 of these cluster organizations)
- Business Clusters is the term generally used to explain geographical concentrations of economic and innovation activities. These activities are called initiatives or projects. Their activities
- Are focused on the potential human capital of a region
- Are used to sell the regions to prospective investors and to help remove the barriers to doing business through their lobbying
- Attempt to tackle the big picture/too hard issues that confront regions like making “unsexy” industries (horticulture, manufacturing, pulp and paper production etc) attractive to participate in through education & innovation. (Some regions/clusters are starting this process at kindergarten level right through the school/tertiary education system- a project within their cluster). They are also addressing different types of funding model etc
- Focus on and search for actions/synergies that add value to cluster member businesses and the growth, productivity, innovation and competitiveness of the region. This usually involves the cluster firms, government departments and /or the research/education community.
- Provide a method of cooperation (for “needs driven” logistics, research & development, infrastructure etc) in order to remain competitive in an ever-increasing competitive global market.
- Require long term government funding arrangements in place through bipartisan support for cluster policy which in turn enables the employment of long term cluster facilitators and project managers. Many of the facilitators I met have been working in/on their respective projects/clusters for 8 – 10 years. This continuity of the right type of person seems to me to be critical to the success of the clusters.
- In most countries/provinces/states I visited, from my understanding, viewed their cluster efforts as a stand-alone program(s) conducted by their economic or innovation development agencies. The resulting lack of coordination diffuses resources across too many disconnected activities and geographies, leaves a lot of potential synergies and economies of scale untapped, and ultimately dilutes the total impact of the administration’s efforts. In my opinion governments burn a lot of money trying to do the right thing without the appropriate engagement from the bottom up. Perhaps their clustering policies could be an organizing paradigm for linking, leveraging, and aligning all existing as well as potentially new programs across their administration. Strong cluster networks along with this suggestion may improve the results achieved.
If you are interest in this subject and would like to discuss further please contact Mark Bell on 0439 825 400 or email mbell(at)rdariverland.org.au
2013 Murraylands Careers Expo
Nine schools and over 900 students attended this year’s Murraylands Careers Expo on the 10th of May 2013.
With beautiful weather and live music provided by students and The Station the atmosphere around the Expo was fantastic. There were a lot of ‘interactive’ and ‘hands-on’ displays including construction, MFS equipment and 3D Printers. The Committee were very happy with how the day ran with schools from as far away as Waikerie and Strathalbyn attending the Expo.
The Expo saw more than 80 exhibitors all showcasing training and employment opportunities available for students in the future, as well as community members interested in career development or building upon their skills.
The Best Exhibit for the day was awarded to Coorong District Council & OPAL for their bike that when pedalled made smoothies. This was a crowd pleaser with the exhibitors reporting between 200 and 300 smoothies were made on the day.
Next year the focus will be on healthy lifestyle choices and youth services. This will highlight the importance of having a healthy work/life environment and having the correct attitude to support your career and the capacity to connect with others.
I would like to thank all exhibitors, sponsors, performers, volunteers, the Rotary Clubs of Murray Bridge, Mobilong and Tailem Bend and The Salvation Army for your efforts on the lead up to and on the day of the Expo.
I would also like to congratulate and thank the Murraylands Careers Expo Committee, for their dedication and commitment to the Expo year after year and for creating a fantastic event in 2013.
Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland, through the Regional Development Infrastructure Fund have been able to assist in securing a dollar for dollar $210k State Government Grant to the Riverland. With a total project cost of $420k, this will certainly be of great benefit to the economic and business development for the township of Berri, and also the greater Riverland region.
The potential for economic development in the area east of the Caltex roundabout through to Jellett Road/Shiel Road intersection in Berri, to the Riverland Complex Hoskins Road/Sturt Highway intersection, will now be greatly increased. This is resulting from a successful Regional Development Infrastructure Fund Grant being awarded to The Riverland Complex, to install infrastructure to supply filtered water and STEDS to this part of Berri. The supply of water and STEDS to this site, now paves the way for future potential investment of approximately $12millon in our region.
Development in the area is currently restricted by the lack of such infrastructure, with no filtered water east of the Caltex on the Sturt Highway. Water to business premises along this part of the Sturt Highway is currently pumped directly from the river via 2 private pipelines, with any new developers either totally reliant on rain water, required to install their own line or having to negotiate water use from existing private pipeline owners.
The Riverland Complex Manager, Peter Hoffmann, worked with RDA Business Development Manager, Mark Bell, to apply to the Regional Development Infrastructure Fund, a SA Government Fund designed to assist with establishing infrastructure such as power and water where there is wider community benefit.
The new infrastructure will now pave the way for future development of not only this site, but also this area of Berri, allowing the likes of bulky goods retailers and other businesses to be attracted to the region (subject to Council and other applicable approvals).