Bringing Business back to Outback Australia

Creative solutions for bringing back business to regional towns across Outback Australia will be discussed at a special meeting hosted by Desert Knowledge Australia Outback Business Networks (OBN) on Friday, 24 February.

The Cross Border Meeting, hosted at sites across Australia, will feature four speakers talking about projects that are making a difference in communities and rejuvenating business and retail districts in towns and cities across Australia.

Outback Business Networks is hosting the meeting, called Bringing Back Business, Creative Solutions for Developing Districts, which links remote sites and people using Webex video and communications technology provided by major sponsor, Telstra.

Among the four presenters is Marcus Westbury, who will discuss Renew Australia (Renew Newcastle), an innovative strategy which was used to rebuild Newcastle in 2008. Since then more than 70 new businesses and initiatives have been seeded and the town was hailed by Lonely Planet as one of the top ten cities in the world to visit in 2011.

Mr Westbury works with communities and property owners to take empty shops, offices, commercial and public buildings and make them available to encourage short-term use by artists, creative projects and community initiatives.

Other presenters are OBN member, Jason King, proprietor of Bell’s Milk Bar and Museum in Broken Hill, who will talk about the success of the Patton Village project to rejuvenate the town’s historic retail areal; Glen Wallace, Special Projects Program Manager, City Design, City of Sydney, who will discuss the Sydney Laneway Art project; and Gavin Flanagan from Tamworth Regional Council, who will discuss how the Tamworth Country Music Festival is managed by Council and has grown from a small festival into an international brand and major source of revenue for the region.

According to DKA CEO, John Huigen, the Cross Border Meeting is a great resource for businesses keen to look at ways of bringing business back to their regions.

“These speakers have been chosen due to the innovative and successful solutions they have found to a shared problem,” he said. “Outback Business Networks is about finding innovative solutions to create real capacity amongst outback-based businesses. I encourage as many people as possible to take advantage of this opportunity. Response has already been strong and spaces are limited.”

Registration is free. For more information and to RSVP, phone 1800 603 866.

The Cross Border Meeting is the first of a series of events planned by Desert Knowledge Australia Outback Business Networks this month.
On 28 February, the Network is hosting an Outback Business Champions Forum in Alice Springs for selected Business Champions and Network Members representing their Outback regions. This is the first of what will be an annual event for the Network. Invited members will meet with DKA Chair, The Hon Fred Chaney, AO and discuss future plans for OBN.

On 29 February, NT-based OBN members are invited to join the Business Champions at a Business Networking Breakfast hosted by Desert Knowledge Australia at its Alice Springs premises. During the breakfast Desert Knowledge Australia will also reveal its new-look corporate website.

Bringing Back Business: Creative Solutions for Developing Districts.
Friday, 24 February at hosted sites across Australia.
WA: 1:00pm (AWST), NT: 2.30pm (ACST), SA & Broken Hill: 3.30pm (ACDT), QLD: 3pm (AEST), NSW: 4:00pm (AEDT)

Media contact: Jeanette Wormald M: 0418 810 785