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Shining a Light on Innovation in Regional Australia

May 2 2017

Top-ten finalists announced for Lightbulb Moments Campaign

Australians talk a lot about what governments are doing for regions, but it’s often the ‘bright ideas’ of local people that create the greatest impact for communities in regional Australia.

Exemplifying this are the ‘top ten’ finalists of the Regional Australia Institute’s 2017 Lightbulb Moments campaign, selected from a pool of 150 entries nationally. Finalists include:

  • Cultivate Farms – a website matching aspiring farmers to investors and retiring farmers, with the intention that they will eventually own and operate a farm together (Albury, NSW
  • Get a Rural Life – a pilot social media campaign aiming to promote the opportunities and possibilities available in regional areas to young people (Boort, VIC
  • Go Remote – a website and mobile app connecting physically isolated, highly skilled professionals to roles that can be filled remotely (The Rock, NSW)
  • Heathcote Dementia Village – a state-of-the-art dementia village to maximise the quality of life of sufferers in a safe and stimulating environment (Bendigo, VIC)
  • Rural Health Connect – a website and app using video technology to connect rural Australians to psychologists (Rockhampton, QLD)
  • Saltwater Country Inc. – a premier event using rodeo and campdraft activities to raise awareness of suicide and domestic violence, and giving at risk youth an alternative way of learning life skills and pathways to re-engage with the world (Broome, WA)
  • Smart Small Towns – a framework designed to foster entrepreneurial spirit, that regional councils can implement in their towns to attract innovative people to live in their community (Deniliquin, NSW)
  • The Australian Girls ESTEAMME Collaborative – a national organisation to collect, collaborate, and share Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths practices and resources, providing opportunities for rural, regional and remotely located youth (Rainbow Beach, QLD)
  • This Farm Needs a Farmer – a locally led community network that aims to link tree changers on farms with both retired and active farmers to share their skills and knowledge (Kyneton, VIC)
  • Travel like a Local – a podcast concept, which aims to connect audiences culturally and emotionally to regional Tasmania (Evandale, TAS)

Finalists were selected by a judging panel of five, including Minister for Regional Development, Senator the Hon Fiona Nash.

“I congratulate all of the individuals and organisations that submitted project ideas, each looking at ways to make rural communities even better and stronger” said Minister Nash.

Led by the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) in partnership with PRIME7/GWN7 and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), the Lightbulb Moments program aims to support individuals, community organisations and businesses across regional Australia to turn their ‘bright ideas’ into reality.

The ‘top ten’ entries will receive dedicated project development and communications support from the Regional Australia Institute to help get their ideas going. Additionally, the FRRR will provide finalists with assistance to identify fundraising strategies that can support their project goals.

One National Winner is to be announced in June.