Across The Region
I recently journeyed to Forster to meet Glenn Handford, Interim GM of the newly formed Mid Coast Council. I’ve been curious to see how the new Council is coming together and what the implications will be for our region, in particular Taree which is currently a part of the RDAMNC region.
Not sure where this will end up as yet but RDAMNC is certainly keen to continue our work in the community. More on that later. In the meantime, it was very interesting to learn more about the change management process Mid Coast Council has implemented. Change is not always easy for people and there are some really impressive strategies and tools being delivered at the moment.
In case you are curious, RDAMNC does work in collaboration with RDA Northern Rivers and has also historically worked with other RDAs. I look forward to enhancing these relationships into the future, there is a lot to be gained through collaboration.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what leadership means from RDAMNC’s perspective. I believe it is our role to listen to our region, to draw together opportunities which enhance the economy of our region, and to get out of the region either online or in person to let people know about the outstanding opportunities presented here. This thinking will be articulated in our upcoming regional plan which will be completed before the end of this year and launched early next year. If you have any thoughts on the role of RDAMNC tell me HERE
During the past two weeks I visited numerous ventures throughout the region, including;
- Real Futures, Kempsey. The Supply Nation accredited organisation delivers a range of business units from the successful Pathways to the Pilbara program and VTEC program to honey production, Indigenous designed work shirts and even an incredibly talented dance duo. Like many organisations of its typology, it has established a range of opportunities to diversify revenue streams while maintaining core purpose – to build community capacity through job-readiness training, services and employment for Aboriginal people.
- There is an enormous amount of opportunity at Nambucca Macnuts in Macksville from agri-tourism to retail, production to supporting growers through a cluster (cooperative) framework. I met with the GM, Vince and organisational partners Mohamed and Sharif who are currently creating an incredibly exciting social enterprise project linking growers in the Nambucca Valley, Kenya and Rwanda. This internationally significant project is very exciting for our region and has the capacity to create many jobs both within Australia and further afield, not to mention expanding opportunities for local growers.
- There is a lot of movement in the setup of co-working spaces through the region. I met with several stakeholders in this space including Marilyn from ETC who has worked alongside small business in the region for many years and has been instrumental in conversations about a co-working space in Port Macquarie. I also met with Warren and Karen at the Coffs Harbour Innovation Centre (which is currently at capacity) and learned of the success of the centre and plans for the future. As Ernesto Sirolli passionately says “There is a new generation of entrepreneurs who are dying of solitude.” With many co-working opportunities emerging through the region (such as the successful 6 degrees delivered via Coffs Harbour Council in partnership with the Coffs Harbour Innovation Centre) it will be exciting to see what collaboration can do for start-ups into the future.
Last Saturday I saved a bit of elbow grease and had the company car washed by a Kempsey based youth group who are saving cash to attend a youth leadership program in Vanuatu. Good outcomes all round. I find community based fundraising of this nature to be really impressive – it’s true, you don’t always have to wait around for a grant to get things done.
Coffs Harbour’s city centre was buzzing on Thursday with the Makers Market and Growers Market activating the entire centre. Really interesting to notice how the flow of foot traffic changes (if not slows down) to check out the many and varied micro-producers as they display their wares throughout the centre.
Signing out for today, Kerry