The CSIA were in Cairns this week to host Regional Development Australia’s Allan Dale as keynote speaker for the crowd attending the Ignite and Unite: CSIA Women’s Business Breakfast. Allan’s insights were poignant, powerful and a good indication of what attendees at the upcoming Toowoomba and Rockhampton events can expect from their speakers.

Standing before an expectant Cairns crowd from private, public and community service organisations, Regional Development Australia’s Allan Dale had a strong message.

His message was this:

Centralised, short-term and fragmented programs will diminish our regions over time.

Most importantly, he stressed the need to focus on the dual challenges of workforce and inequality in order to come through the change successfully.

This will require:

  • strong, place-focused, cross-sectoral alliances
  • developing the evidence base
  • securing tri-lateral long-term solutions
  • a focus on building civic and network capacities
  • building the human service workforce as a priority
  • turbo-charging the focus on innovation and small business
  • a strategic focus on re-regionalising decision-making
  • testing of long-term, evidence based and adaptive solutions.

“The good news for Cairns, is that local community service organisations and the CSIA are committed to working together to find the best ways to make these things happen,” says Belinda Drew, CEO, CSIA.

“We can amplify the voice of the region by collaborating on our efforts and leveraging our combined strengths,” she says.

The Cairns Ignite and Unite: CSIA Women’s Business Breakfast was the first in the series of regional events happening across this month and the next.

The next event is in Toowoomba and will feature the wise words of Professor Robyn Keast, a professor in public management at the Southern Cross University School of Business and Tourism. 

She’ll lead the critical and much needed discussion on the regional response to the many, varied and rapid changes currently plaguing the Community Services Industry.

“At the breakfast, we’ll explore the benefits of improved strategic relationships and how that helps to build a stronger community. Naturally, a discussion like that is going to be strengthened by having both sides of the equation in the room,” says Belinda.

“With Professor Keast’s help, we’re going to unpack exactly why these tight-knit and purposeful relationships will matter in the new economy.

“The rapidly changing business landscape in Toowoomba makes connecting and staying connected difficult. New and expanded businesses, retailers, infrastructure and developments are making their mark.

“Market based reform such as the NDIS and aged care reform are bringing new and diverse community service organisations into the area so collaborative relationships are becoming more important than they have ever been in the past,” she says.

A similar event will also be held in Rockhampton on 16 November 2017.