Growth Areas

Time to Try the Good Life

Time to Try the Good Life

I attended the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) 2021 national summit entitled ‘Shaping the Good Life’. The focus of the event was the discussion of key areas for the economic development of regional and rural Australia – population, mobility, jobs, skills, infrastructure, innovation, education, tourism and health.

The RAI also launched their national awareness campaign aimed at people currently living in the city to consider the move to the regions. With an advertising campaign starting in April and a marketing toolkit for use by regional councils, the centrepiece of the campaign is the website

A perfect fit for which provides the ‘why’ you should consider the move – all the livability reasons like growth areas, business opportunities, education, work hubs and community. This is the place to get you thinking about the move and to start your wish list of places.

The provides the ‘where’ with the promotion of various regional places across Australia including Rockhampton, Qld; Lennox Head, NSW; Port Augusta, SA and Bendigo, Vic. Its’s here you will find the detail on housing, jobs, population, facilities etc

Move To More

The opening address at the summit came from the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack who declared,

“Regional Australia is a great and safe lifestyle. Its where communities are big enough for you to get a good cup of coffee but small enough to still care.”

He also stated that 54,000 jobs are available in rural and regional Australia right now!

Why Make the Move?

Research undertaken by the RAI found that 1 in 5 city residences are looking to make the move out of their urban lives. The main reasons for moving regionally include traffic congestion, day-to-day stress and anxiety, cost of living pressures and the desire to reduce debt.

Sound familiar to you?

The Remote Working Revolution

Economist Saul Eslake provided this observation concerning the increase and acceptance of working from home,

“The Covid-19 working-from-home phenomena has enlightened employees to discover what more they can do in life if they don’t have to devote time to the up to two-hour commute. In return, there has been a greater acceptance by employers of carrying out your job remotely.”

“We’re not going back to the way it was before,” stated John O’Duinn from ‘The Art and Practice of Working Together While Physically Apart’ . He talked about that although working-from-home has been developing for some time, the Coronavirus just escalated and projected the idea to the forefront. He commented that it also helps greater diversity by enabling people with disabilities to have more job opportunities if they can work from where they live.

However John also noted that,

“Humans are social species and community is essential”

In doing so he provided highlights of co-working spaces in regional towns throughout the world including Ireland and California whereby empty buildings have been converted to local community use. These spaces provide people who are undertaking their job role remotely to co-locate with like minded people where they can network, have social connection and potentially share skills for mutual benefits.

There is great opportunity for more of this in regional towns across Australia, like the co-working spaces in Toowoomba and Dubbo.

Reasons to Move

Highlights include Gavin Williams from NBN Co. who announced the Business Fibre Initiative enterprise grade services being made available for businesses in regional areas. Who also stated in their commitment to decentralisation that:

“NBN actually have deleted the words ‘must be based in Sydney or Melbourne’ from job application descriptions.”


Sean McGoldrick from TransGrid which provides the hard infrastructure for power across NSW stated

“There is a generational change happening in the power system that will benefit rural NSW. You need to be open for business because there is a lot of business coming your way in regional NSW including 7000 jobs.”


Rob Clayton, CEO Nutrien Ag Solutions provided this take on the sector,

“Agriculture is a high tech industry. The best tool a farmer has is data. Growth Jobs in agriculture are now drone operators and satellite data analysts.”

Ever thought of those jobs in agriculture before?

Alison Watkins the Group MD of Coca-Cola Amatil discussed the benefits of regionalisation for Australia and offered,

Leadership and entrepreneurship skills provide opportunity because you can be based anywhere.”

If you’ve got these skills, Australia has the region!

Prof Helen Huntly, Chair, Regional Universities Network

“Prior to Covid-19, many regional universities already had well established remote learning and virtual engagement because their students have existing issues with distance, and are often mature age, working and with families. Covid just focused our efforts more intensely and we advanced our digital capabilities.”

Duncan Taylor, CEO Country University Centre provided information on their education hubs for regional and rural communities,

‘Higher Education hubs in regional areas are where people undertaking degrees and micro credentials (short courses) can work together in a hub and network in collaboration to get the best out of their student experience.”

This new model currently has 7 centres in 9 communities with the aim for 25 across Australia – including Clarence Valley, Goulbourn, Parkes and the Maranoa.

Gabrielle O’Kane, CEO National Rural Health Alliance although acknowledging that people will not move to a regional community if they can’t access good healthcare also noted that,

“the more interconnectedness, social inclusion and community participation in rural and regional areas is a protection for health.”

People Are Making The Move!

If you’re on thinking about the ‘why’, looking for the ‘where’ and wanting to take the leap …

MIss C Bean | This Regional Life

Ita Buttrose AC, OBE, ABC Chairperson, announced a program coming up on ABC TV in July this year called ‘Moving to the Country’ where viewers will be able to watch the move of a group of city people to their regional place. Follow their why and what brought them to make the move. We will be following that one and also their other predicted block buster ‘Muster Dogs’!

Join me Tuesday 11 May 2021 Future Industries ‘New industry opportunities for Regional Australia’ virtual event as our panel discusses how regions attract and incubate emerging industries.

In the meantime will share information about regional Australia to promote great things about great places, highlighting people who have already made the move so you can too.

Follow us also on facebook and twitter where we provide regular updates on all kinds of interesting stuff. Also our photos on instagram where you can see what our Miss C Bean is up to.

Sue Trewin | This Regional Life


Sue has 30 years’ experience in the world of corporate marketing and communications including developing and curating national business conferences. Although she grew up in Brisbane, her family also owned a beef cattle property near Beaudesert. With a grandfather an Australian Light Horseman and in the Charge of Beersheba and her father also an excellent horseman, her love of the land and mustering cattle was always going to be in her blood. In 2008, Sue moved to the Scenic Rim, Queensland and continued providing freelance marketing communication services to organisations throughout Australia. Sue curated conferences on regional development which began a deep interest in the issues and benefits of living in rural and regional Australia. She strongly believes in our regional communities and the benefits of living the regional life.

To contact Sue e: