After the fire comes the rain

October 25, 2017

In July 2015, Woorinen in Victoria was hit hard when their sporting clubrooms were destroyed by fire. Sport is such a pivotal part of social cohesiveness in regional communities and especially in Woorinen, where a day out watching the kids have a hit, catching up with friends and volunteering at the canteen is a weekly fixture for many families.

President of the Woorinen Cricket Club, Dean Morpeth, spoke with Kendi Burness-Cowan about the importance of sport in this thriving community and how locals banded together to rebuild both their clubrooms and their club.

Limestone Coast Regional Sporting Academy

October 18, 2017

This week we hear about a new initiative in regional South Australia that gives a group of selected young athletes access to elite trainers. Tony Elletson, Coordinator at the Limestone Coast Regional Sporting Academy, says that for people in the area, this kind of access to specially trained coaches is largely hindered by distance, and the program will give the opportunity to develop their sporting talent as well as give them the skills required to make it in professional sport.

By George, is this our new polo champion?

October 11, 2017

We chat with George Hill this week – one of the players representing Australia in this month’s World Polo Championship being held from the 21st to the 29th of October. 

It’s been a long and winding road for George and his love for the game of polo. He currently lives near Mitchell, QLD and manages a cattle property, but in order to play George will travel 5 hours south to North Star in NSW. George has recently arrived in Windsor, NSW, to prepare with the Australian team for the World Championship.

George took some time out from training to talk to us about his dedication to polo, being selected for the World Championship, and the adventures he’s been on so far – including some years working for the Packer family’s Ellerston stables.

This month's Regional Voices is supported by Commonwealth Bank.

Passion for AFL in the Pilbara

October 4, 2017

AFL is a community sport – it brings people together and, for communities in the Pilbara, acts like a social glue. AFL Regional Development Manager for the region, Vicki Agnew, sees it as a tool to help with social issues and has an important role in helping empower young women and men in the area. It also gives the older generation a sense of purpose and pride through their own involvement.

The Orange Women’s Shed

September 28, 2017
The Women's Shed in Orange equips women to learn new skills and rely on themselves for household maintenance and projects. Many of the members are older women who had previously relied on their husbands to take care of tasks from replacing tiles to fixing broken cupboards.
Fiona tells Kendi Burness-Cowan about empowering older women who are living on their own and encouraging those wanting to learn new skills.
This episode previously aired in 2016, and this month is supported by the Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia. 

Piloting a new path

September 21, 2017

This week we speak with Anne Lewis, someone who is truly inspirational.

Anne forged a career that was worlds away from the paths most other women were on, first as a pilot in the Women’s Air Force and later as one of very few female commercial pilots. Now 90 and living in Burnie, Tasmania, she is still actively involved with the local aeroclub, including regular jaunts in a plane.

Anne chatted with Kendi Burness-Cowan about some of her adventures and why she thinks age and gender should not be a barrier to choosing what is important in life.

From electrician to social worker to blacksmith

September 13, 2017

This week we speak with Dave Walker, a man who started his working life as an electrician, became a social worker, tried retirement for three weeks then at 67 opened up a blacksmithing business in Cargo, New South Wales. 

Dave talks about the need for sharing skills with young people and why a backyard across the road from a pub is the perfect spot for his business.


Field day leaders

September 6, 2017

Ross Edwards tells us how signing on as a car parking attendant in 1966 led to him to his current position as chair of the Henty Machinery Field Days in NSW. 

The growth of regional business

August 30, 2017

Yarra Valley Dairy CEO, Caroline Evans, talks to us this week about new jobs that open up as regional businesses grow and the challenges of casual workforces in regional areas.

The dairy produces fresh gourmet cheeses using milk produced by cows grazing the Yarra flats. The cheesemaking operation started in the owner’s kitchen but today the business has about 20 employees and sells across Australia as well as moving into global markets.

It’s a great example of how small operators in regional Victoria have built their market position based on local quality.

Big science in little communities

August 24, 2017

Jan Devlin, CEO of the Gravity Discovery Centre and Observatory based outside the tiny town of Gingin in Western Australia, talks to Regional Voices about the amazing work that happens at the facility and the cool jobs that go with it. 

The centre is doing world class science on out-of-this world topics like gravitational waves, with a roster of staff that includes physicists and even an astronomer.

The Discovery Centre also gives travellers, families and students the chance to see some of their work and to look at the universe in a whole new way – while sparking excitement and passion for science and technology jobs.

Kings Creek Station

August 16, 2017

300km from Alice Springs is Kings Creek Station. Managed by Ian Conway, the station is a great example of a business that finds new prospects and creates new employment opportunities in regional Australia. As well as running cattle, Kings Creek operates a tourist venture including accommodation for campers, glampers and long-term stays.

Ian speaks to Kendi about how Kings Creek finds staff, what it’s like to work in a place where you can’t go home at the end of the day, and how a stint on an outback station can teach skills that last a lifetime.

The future of regional communities

August 10, 2017

This week we talk to Senator Fiona Nash, Deputy Leader of the National Party. Hailing from rural New South Wales, Senator Nash is currently the federal Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Regional Communications, and Minister for Local Government and Territories. We covered regional employment, mobile connectivity, and the importance of education in regional areas to ensure Australia’s growth and global competitiveness.

A new approach to ag employment

August 3, 2017

Ella Shannon founded the online job site AgDraft to connect farmers to reliable casual labour. Before that, she split her time as a consultant to big investment funds in agriculture and helping out on the family farm because her parents could never quite find enough staff, and she knew they weren't alone. 

Empowering your workforce

July 27, 2017

This week we speak with one of our longest and most respected dealers, Roger Vater.

AW Vater has been operating for over 60 years, with Roger involved in the business almost his whole life.

Understanding that machines these days are highly technical and you can’t just pluck someone out of the street anymore, he offers all of his staff - and even other apprentices - training and upskilling opportunities.

He tells Kendi Burness-Cowan about the evolving skill requirements he’s seen through the years and why the excuse of businesses being regional is no longer a barrier in giving staff the best access to training.

Youth leadership in regional Australia

July 20, 2017

This week we speak with Claire Wright.

In her final year of HSC, Claire has travelled Australia to build a Heywire project, continued work experience for her desired vet career and kept on top of all her subjects, plus more.

Showing that living in remote Northern Territory is no barrier, she tells Kendi Burness-Cowan about her passion to be a vet and how she balances her studies with her daily responsibilities.

This month is supported by New Holland Agriculture.