Future of Regions workshop seeks sustainable solutions for regional Australia

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday

As Australia becomes more urbanised, regional areas must grapple with economic, social, and environmental challenges.

To tackle the problem, Federation University Australia, is hosting a Future of Regions workshop in the Victorian town of Ararat this week. The workshop will explore solutions for regional Australia’s sustainable future, with a particular focus on the local community.

Urbanisation is a global phenomenon that sees rural populations migrate to cities for better education, health, and livelihood opportunities. In Australia, 86 per cent of people already live in cities – and the figure is set to rise. The issue is creating increasing income inequality and insecurity, with few concrete efforts to reverse the growing trend.

Collaboration is key to sustainable solutions

A team of multi-disciplinary experts from Federation University’s health, society, economic, and environmental disciplines will attend the workshop at Ararat Jobs and Technology Precinct (AJTP) on Laby Street on 14 – 15 November. The AJTP is part of the Future Regions Research Centre (FRRC) at Federation University. It was established in 2021 and combines expert research and local knowledge to examine unique challenges regional Australian communities face.

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“AJTP is focused on engaging tomorrow’s researchers and entrepreneurs, transforming the regional economy, and improving the community’s health, safety and well-being,” says Professor Harpinder Sandhu, Director of AJTP at Federation University.

Education transforms lives

Vice Chancellor and President of the Federation University Professor Duncan Bentley supports the upcoming event.

“This workshop is another example of Federation University’s commitment to transforming lives and enhancing communities,” he says.

“We established the Ararat Jobs and Technology Precinct in 2021 as a strategic research initiative to address one of our priority areas, Society and Environment in collaboration with our valued partner, Ararat Rural City Council.”

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CEO of Ararat Rural City Dr Tim Harrison describes the AJTP as “a unique partnership between Federation University and Ararat Rural City for regional economic development”.

“The research workshop will help us establish benchmarks for broad indicators critical for the region’s health, social, economic and environmental well-being,” Dr Harrison says.

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Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]brandx.live