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Rodd Pahl is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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Steven Clark is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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Grant Shalaby is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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Bob Dick commented on the Challenge 25 million and counting

Most regional centres are bleeding people and wealth to the coastal fringe.  Therefore, it should be possible to develop programs that are good for both the regional centres and the migrants.

An ABC report <https://ab.co/2vBvDqs> described the way in which the community of Nhill made Karen migrants welcome, for mutual benefit.  It demonstrates one effective approach, and was successful enough that other centres have followed its example.  It also suggests that there are benefits if the initiative comes from the people living in the provincial centres.

I agree with the comments that the attractiveness of regional areas is important.  In particular, access to education and health would complement other programs to encourage migrants to settle outside the large cities.

It seems to me that there is also a larger issue that impinges on this.  Current politics seem to thrive on negativity and polarisation.  A campaign to encourage Australia to be less mean-spirited would help, I imagine.

 

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Zoe Piper is now contributing to a Challenge Stimulating innovation through procurement

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皓杰 王 is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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Lani Refiti commented on the Challenge 25 million and counting

Great comments and very relative.  I gave a keynote today at the Smart Infrastructure Summit - http://www.smartinfrastructuresummit.com.au/ and part of the talk was policy incentives to get people into the regions, not remote towns but regions like Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast in QLD.

Agree with the other comments.  As a migrant myself, the driving factor for my parents to migrate was opportunity.  Opportunity for a better life, education for kids (there were 9 of us), to generate income that could be sent back home etc.

Infrastructure is important, jobs are important, education ie, schools universities are important.  Whatever creates opportunity.

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Michelle DALE is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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Eva Cox commented on the Challenge 25 million and counting

There is evidence that in some towns it works, particularly when there is housing and jobs on offer. Part of the problems come from the anxieties about moving on your own to possible hostile areas. The current evidence of racism and exclusion are not good attractors. If it is to work it needs careful planning and resourcing, and moving not a family but a bigger group to areas where they are made to feel welcome. .  

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Carolyn Ballinger (Dr) is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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Eva Cox is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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Lynne Newbury is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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Jon Eastgate commented on the Challenge 25 million and counting

Why do people choose to live where they live?  This is a pertinent question for Australian-born people as well as migrants, and across the world not just in Australia, since overall regional populations in many places are declining as urban populations increase.

My sense is there are a number of reasons people choose particular places.

  • relationships and community - people have family and friends in particular places which attract them there.  For a migrant this would include people from their own culture/faith/language.  If you are Muslim, for instance, and there is no mosque in a community it would be harder to settle there.  When I lived in Maryborough (Qld) in the 1980s a couple of families from Cambodia were sent there by the Immigration Department.  They were the only people in the community who spoke Khmer.  They moved to Sydney ASAP!
  • job and career opportunities - people will go somewhere for work.  We are very familiar with the phenomenon of new graduates going to regional areas to kick off their careers, but then moving back to the city when they have some experience to take advantage of the  greater career opportunities.  A few grow to love the community and may marry into it, and they stay.
  • Infrastructure and opportunities for themselves or their children - people enjoy cultural life, or want good schools and university education for their children, and may move to be near these - there are more opportunities for this in the cities although of course regional areas can also have vibrant cultural scenes and good schools and even universities.

All these things affect everyone, including migrants.  For migrants, especially those from non-European countries, the challenges are greater because they are also making a cultural adjustment - learning a new language, adapting to new social mores, often coping with incidents of racism or even abuse - and all these things are easier if they have the support of longer-standing migrants from their own culture.  This tends to draw them into the city where the ethnic networks are most established but may also draw them to particular regions where others from their culture have settled - for instance their is a strong Hmong community in Cairns because some community members were drawn there by the tropical climate and others followed, there's a strong Sudanese population in Toowoomba etc.

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Susan Wright is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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Bill Wyatte is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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Sheree Lloyd commented on the Challenge 25 million and counting

There is a  lot of talent in rural towns and cities but also a range of issues such as unemployment, lack of educational opportunities, conservatism, prejudice and history.  Sadly, in rural towns there is a great divide between the haves and have nots, ie those with jobs and those without. 

These issues mean that talented individuals, such as skilled migrants will still face many challenges.  I am a skilled migrant from Brisbane and have had challenges in employment as 'family relationships' are important in rural cities and towns.  I now travel to Brisbane for work - reverse drive in/drive out.  However, it is crucial that we take a problem solving and challenge the 'deficit' view of in the area I work in health (Bourke et al (2010)

Employment is key but also the strength of a community is important too.  Successful examples of growing rural towns and vibrant communities should be used as case studies to inform a coherent strategy to strengthen the whole community.  A cohesive community with strong employment growth, reasonable housing prices, social and educational opportunities will need additional workers.  The rural town that I come from has a divided and non-cohesive community.  Divided on the basis of cultural background and employment/wealth.  The most recent injection of employment is a new maxi jail?

The case studies and evidence-based solutions could be then used to inform and then put in place a plan to work with Federal, state, councils and community panels to put in place the building blocks to build and grow, cohesive, respectful, dynamic and joyous communities to live in.  The squeaky wheel, vested interests must be put aside and persuaded that a vibrant, successful community is critical for the future.

Reference

Bourke, L., Humphreys, J. S., Wakerman, J., & Taylor, J. (2010a). From “problem-describing” to “problem-solving”: Challenging the “deficit” view of remote and rural health. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 18(5), 205–209

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Elizabeth Watts is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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Sheree Lloyd is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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William Bell is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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John STAVRIDIS commented on the Challenge 25 million and counting

We have to consider why the people left the regions in the first place. The schools, banks, post offices, et al, left because they were not viable or needed. It is ridiculous to believe that if you build it they will come - they left when those services were there. The services then followed them out. 

 

 

 

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John STAVRIDIS is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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Jon Eastgate is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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Robert Hale commented on the Challenge 25 million and counting

From my understanding a key driver for migrants is to further the opportunities for not only themselves but for their children with a focus on education.

I would advocate the creation of education institutions in regional areas which tailor programs to meet local skill demands or in support of emerging local industries. In this way local education stays local rather than moving away to urban centres.

With international recognition of qualifications being highly regarded and sought after I would advocate partnering with major universities either local or overseas to host or sponsor these regional learning institutions.

This model could be supported by co funding investment with new or existing Cooperative Research Centres CRC's based in the regional area focused on new technologies and creating a demand for skilled local employment.

It appears we advocate for skilled migration based on demand but give no direction or infrastructure to new migrants as to where their skill set would be best utilised for the benefit of both the country and the new migrants. Creating regional education institutions and the supporting infrastructure that would be needed to sustain it would create appeal for regional engagement.

If you build it, they will come.

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Jessica Boyle commented on the Challenge 25 million and counting

If you want migrants to live in regional areas - these places need to appeal to them. There needs to be job opportunities and services that meet their needs. 

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Jessica Boyle is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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Susan Fraser is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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Paul Fairweather is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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Robert Hale is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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Colly Lesker is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

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Kathleen Rabel is now contributing to a Challenge 25 million and counting

 
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