The spotlight will be on Orana and the far west region at the Inland Growth Summit later this month.
Key industry, business, think tanks, and government leaders will hold two-day discussions at the Taronga Western Plains Zoo on February 21-22.
The Regional Development Australia (RDA) Orana has organised this event for the third time to highlight the speed of economic growth as well as the challenges faced by inland regions in contrast with coastal communities, RDA Orana chief executive Megan Dixon said.
"This event is an important conversation about the successes of inland Australia based on the investment made by businesses in inland communities, as well as the challenges they faced, how they overcame them, and why they choose to do business in inland areas," Ms Dixon said.
"We have invited many people engaged in regional and community development for the discussions on shared leadership for inland communities in NSW in particular local councils, economic development managers, business chambers, and regional development networks.
"It's an opportunity for us to gather broader feedback and turn them into conversations and submissions as we raise issues and take them to the federal and state governments for consideration in regional development policies."
The summit will formally open at the Orana Outlook Dinner on Monday, February 20 at 5.30pm at the Lazy River Estate with a keynote presentation by CommSec chief economist Craig James providing "the big picture economic and financial outlook" of the country.
The federal minister for regional development, local government, and territories, Kristy McBain, the Labor MP for Eden-Monaro, will formally open the event with a keynote speech, followed by a "Pollies Panel" with Parkes MP Mark Coulton, Dubbo MP Dugald Saunders in his capacity as NSW minister for western NSW, independent Barwon MP Roy Butler and Narromine mayor and chair of the Western Alliance of Councils, Craig Davies.
"What we are really excited about this event is that all our key political leaders are coming together reflecting their different positions in regional development and roles in respective political parties they represent," Ms Dixon said.
"This event is setting the scene for regional Australia, particularly us here in the inland region, which are facing different issues and challenges compared with coastal communities and to try and get the recognition from policymakers," Ms Dixon said.
The director and founder of The Demographics Group, Simon Kuestenmacher is the keynote speaker on Tuesday, February 21 at the summit at the zoo.
Mr Kuestenmacher, a newspaper columnist, will present his insights into regional Australia and perspectives on inland communities.
Leading social researcher, TEDx speaker and futurist Ashley Fell, of McCrindle Research, will discuss the emerging trends in the country's growing population to assist government and business leaders in tracking the trends shaping thriving communities such as inland regions.
The summit's theme is 'Bridging the Divide' between the opportunities and challenges faced by inland communities with surging population and what initiatives are driving their economic growth, industry collaboration, latest research and innovation, and investments from the private and government.
The featured presenters are Louisa Keily of Carbon Farmers Australia, Megan Jones of PV Recycling and Circular PV Alliance, Nick Hinwood of KEP, Kim Houghton of Regional Australia Institute, Loretta Wallace of Move to Move, Travis Doherty of Adaptable Innovations,and Michael Poulton of Committee for Ballarat.
The presenters from the region are Christopher McHughes of the Brewarrina Rural Fire Service and Young Australian of the Year, TWPZ director Steve Hinks, Kathryn Larkin of the Gilgandra Shire Council, Forbes Shire mayor Phyllis Miller, Felicity Taylor-Edwards of Squadron Energy, Laura Shooter of SJ Shooter Real Estate and Josie Howard of the NSW Department of Regional NSW Key Worker Attraction Program.
Another important presentation at the summit is by Leeton Shire Council's multicultural settlement officer, Ken Dachi, who will speak about their region's experience with settling residents and workers coming from overseas to meet the demand for skilled workforces in the regions.
"Settling new Australians into inland regions like Leeton in the Riverina region is not without challenges with most councils having dispersed functions so it will be interesting to hear their experience to share with us," Ms Dixon said.
Find out more about the RDA Orana summit and book your attendance at the events by clicking here.