RDAs Allow Regions to Thrive: Paul Sefky
Regional Development Australia Mid North Coast (RDAMNC) is currently calling for applications for Committee Members and Deputy Chair to join their Committee of Management.
RDAMNC reached out to Paul Sefky, the first Chair of RDAMNC from 2008 to 2010 to share some of his insights and experience from the time he spent as part of the organisation and to comment on why RDA’s are vitally important to the regions.
Paul Sefky: Chair of RDAMNC : 2008 – 2010
I have often imagined how the region where I chose to settle and raise my family some 35 years ago would/could choose to describe itself. What is our identity? What is our competitive and/or comparative advantage? What do we, or can we, contribute to our nation and the globe?
These are not questions that we think about at a regional level often, just like the question, what kind of community do you want to live in?
The answers, however, are vitally important for our regional future. Common answers often include safe, friendly, prosperous, environmentally appealing, caring, inclusive and sustainable. All these aspirations can only be achieved or maintained if we understand our common agenda and that we have considered and landed on a common identity. To do this requires leadership, engagement, passion and vision.
Above all, it requires a commitment to collaboration, tolerance, inclusion and investment in ongoing regional conversations.
The establishment of Regional Development Australia Committees has provided opportunities to regions like ours to invest in these conversations. With a brief to work across all levels of government, industry, civil society groups and the range of local communities within our region, we are given an opportunity to determine, maintain and advocate our unique place in our nation and in the world.
Free of the tensions of narrow sectional interests, RDAs can facilitate our own particular regional contribution to the nation and globe and contribute to the resilience of our local communities within.
RDAs are able to encourage individuals, enterprises and communities to come together to identify strong and resilient opportunities and how to best support these. These opportunities allow for our region to thrive in a global marketplace where regions both compete and cooperate.
Our regional future is not the province of any particular institution, expert analysis or typography rather it is the expression of the joined-up aspirations of the myriad of unique communities and diverse interests within. Our regional future relies on sustainable economic, environmental, social, cultural and governance activities that we choose to pursue. RDAs provide a means to both generate and promote this future through engagement, education, coordination, facilitation and collaboration.
This is a challenge, that if taken on, can only enhance the Mid North Coast’s ability to remain the beautiful, safe and healthy region we know it should always be.
I, for one, have always thought that it is a challenge worth my energy. In my experience the networks, unlikely friendships and enthusiasm I have enjoyed, always far outweighed any effort.
RDAMNC is part of a national network of 52 Regional Development Australia committees across Australia and has a charter to drive innovation, growth, and development in the Mid North Coast Region through the facilitation of regional projects, collaboration, communication, and advocacy.
Applications are now open – applicants can apply for a position as an RDAMNC Committee member or nominate for the position of Deputy Chair, with appointments being for an initial 12 month term.