USQ conducted this work for RDA DDSW with the aim was to develop and test a framework that could be used to measure community resilience across the RDA DDSW region and beyond. This is a follow up project to that conducted by Kate Tully for RDA DDSW in developing a preliminary resilience framework. This project was conducted on behalf of USQ and RDA DDSW in consultation with Southern Downs Regional Council for local organisation and support.
Migration – Work Experience, CPD Cities & Settlement Project, Welcoming Cities’ Local Government Welcoming Tookit
Through meetings with key stakeholders, RDA DDSW established that migrant services in Toowoomba were struggling whilst the rest of our region saw secondary migration as an opportunity to off-set population decline.
In preparation for a planned migration roundtable to be held in the 2019 – 2020 financial year, RDA DDSW started a migrant work experience program at the RDA DDSW Toowoomba office. We saw 6 migrants participate in this program with two receiving full time work and two going on to further training opportunities.
RDA DDSW also participated in the Centre for Policy Development’s (CPD) Cities and Settlement Project. We are the only regionally based representative on this project. RDA DDSW’s Director and Chair travelled to Canberra for the launch of CPD’s Seven Steps to Success on refugee entrepreneurship.
We have also been working closely with Welcoming Cities as part of a working group providing feedback on a welcoming toolkit for local governments.
Dalby Drone Forum
RDA DDSW collaborated with Western Downs Regional Council, State Development and others to deliver the Dalby Drone Forum.
Over 300 delegates attended the Dalby Drone Industry Forum. Please see Western Downs Regional Council’s summary of the event posted on 26 September 2018, summing up the speakers and exhibitors.
Thanks to everyone who came along to the Dalby Drone Industry Forum 2018. Drone technology has amazing potential across a number of industries — with the key learning from the day that drones are a great tool for surveying and mapping (above and underground). The accuracy of this data helps to make better decisions and save money.
It was an absolute privilege to welcome the Honourable Cameron Dick MP, Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.
A big shout out to our speakers: Jim Coyne, UAS International | Luke Gumley, Civil Aviation Safety Authority – CASA | Rob Harvey, Telstra | Jerome Leray, InFarm | Meg Kummerow, Fly the Farm | Jimmy and James, Canberra UAV | Stefan Hrabar, DATA 61 CSIRO | Loren Otto, AirBorn Insight
We would also like to thank all our exhibitors: Aerospace Australia Limited | AirBorn Insight | Business Navigators Western Downs | CR Kennedy | DroneLogbook Australia | FlyFreely | Fly the Farm | HELImetrex Pty Ltd | Horizon UAS | InFarm | Remote Aviation Australia | Telstra | UAS Aviation Services Australia | UAS Pacific | UAV Canberra | Universal Drones
Australian Small Business Advisory Service (ASBAS)
Despite there only being fairly recent activity to deliver ASBAS services in the RDA DDSW region, we can report that 16 small businesses accessed 30 ASBAS Digital Solutions services in the Darling Downs-South West Region in 2018-19. This level of activity has already increased significantly in the current 2019-20 financial year with additional facilitation and marketing of the program in our region by RDA DDSW.
RDA DDSW facilitated the delivery of the ASBAS Digital Solutions program in the region (in a collaborative arrangement with RDA Brisbane, which is contracted to deliver the program throughout Queensland). RDA DDSW facilitated key meetings between the ASBAS consultant by bringing stakeholders together. RDA DDSW also promoted the ASBAS program with articles in our newsletters, social media posts and by forwarding the EOI for advisors to our networks.
With the establishment of the program’s delivery in DDSW region during the financial year, RDA DDSW assisted to connect 16 small businesses with 30 ASBAS Digital Solutions services in the region, thereby providing them with low cost, high quality advice on a range of digital solutions to help them meet their business needs and grow their digital capabilities. This activity will increase in the next financial year as the program delivery is ramped up with more Digital Advisors on the ground.
Small Business Week & Toowoomba Small Business Expo
RDA DDSW partnered with others to support and promote the 2018 Toowoomba Small Business Expo. The expo had 165 exhibition stands and over 400 visitors which is a total of 730 participating people. The 2018 Toowoomba Small Business Expo had a 4.2/5 overall rating from exhibitors from the post event survey sheets.
In addition to this event, RDA DDSW also supported Qld Small Business Week from 27 – 31 June by participating in St George Chamber of Commerce Small Business breakfast, Western Downs Regional Chambers meeting and Toowoomba Chamber’s Small Business Exchange.
Over 500 people attended these events. RDA DDSW had a table filled with government programs and investment attraction collateral from across the Darling Downs and South West.
TSBE RDA DDSW Investment Attraction Prospectus
With an element in the new reform and charter for RDA’s to assist in bringing investment to the region and connecting our region to trade and investment partners, RDA DDSW partnered with TSBE to develop an investment attraction prospectus. With investment attraction being one of the core functions of TSBE and one of RDA DDSW’s four portfolios, partnering with TSBE was imperative in delivering this investment attraction prospectus. RDA DDSW will now look at replicating this document for other parts of our region through a TIQ Trade and Investment group which will be established in 2019-20. The link to the Investment Attraction Prospectus can be found at –
RDA DDSW were a foundation partner in the Darling Downs and South West STEM Hub. This project now sits under the Employment and Skills Portfolio. In 2018-19, RDA DDSW were a key stakeholder in refocussing this group, including the establishment and administration of the STEM Hub page – www.facebook.com/STEMhub DDSW.
“Regional Development Australia DDSW plays a vital role in the DDSW STEM Hub. It has always been influential in distributing information, but since Trudi Bartlett has been the director, they have taken on a very positive leadership role.
Trudi has been crucial to leading the Hub to the next level. Not only has she done significant paper work but her contacts and guidance have been invaluable.
The Hub now has a much clearer vision and a better overall focus on the whole region, not just Toowoomba, because of the RDA. Additionally, we are now putting more energy into linking up with major businesses and organisations, who are STEM orientated.
Tony CoonanLearning Officer
“Regional Development Australia has been an active member of the Darling Downs South West STEM Hub since its inception in 2016. Their role has ranged from disseminating information and providing advice, to recently taking a leadership role in the Hub. This is having a very beneficial impact on supporting the operations of the Hub and helping to drive its future direction in line with the overall direction of the Darling Downs South West Region.
Shelley DunlopPRoject Manager
SEQ City Deals Luncheon
Upon announcement of the South East Queensland City Deals proposal, RDA DDSW partnered with Toowoomba Chamber to engage with the SEQ Council of Mayors. As part of this engagement we were able to facilitate a SEQ City Deals Luncheon.
Over 250 people attended this luncheon with outgoing Chair of the SEQ Council of Mayors and Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Graham Quirk as the guest speaker.
The SEQ City Deals will help establish infrastructure that all of the Darling Downs and South West region will benefit from.
Toowoomba Chamber is proud to engage with Regional Development Australia – Darling Downs South West for numerous projects and events. RDA DDSW kindly sponsored our Local Produce Directory, an initiative of the Toowoomba Chamber Food & Agri Network, which encourages food businesses to purchase their produce from the Toowoomba region. RDA DDSW also engaged with the Chamber to host the SEQ Council of Mayors for a Luncheon on the City Deals and what that could mean for Toowoomba businesses. RDA DDSW regularly attend Chamber events and support the promotion of our networking and business opportunities to the greater Darling Downs region.
Coder Dojo Toowoomba
Coder Dojo is a global movement of free, volunteer-led, community based coding and programming clubs for young people. At a Dojo, young people, between 7 and 17, learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and explore technology in an informal and creative environment. In addition to learning to code attendees meet like-minded people and are exposed to the possibilities of technology.
Within the Coder Dojo Movement there is a focus on community, peer learning, youth mentoring and self-led learning, with an emphasis on showing how coding is a force for change in the world.
Coder Dojo Toowoomba is operated through the Canvas Co-working/Toowoomba Start-up Centre. RDA DDSW has partnered with the Toowoomba Regional Council as foundation supporters of Coder Dojo Toowoomba. RDA DDSW has supported the Toowoomba Start-up chapter since its inception through support of their Start-up/pitch weekends and Gov Hack weekends.
State Library of QLD
This jointly funded project will provide assessable funding for the Local Government Areas (LGA’s) within the Darling Downs and South West region to support their regional and remote libraries deliver the State Library of Queensland’s (SLQ) Coding and Robotics Program. The funding will provide resources and training to library staff and community members to deliver the coding classes to students of those communities.
With the introduction of coding into the Queensland State curriculum, it is imperative that regional and remote communities have exposure to robotics and coding, similarly to that of their metropolitan equals. Additionally it is important that extra-curricular opportunities exist, so those students with an interest and aptitude for coding and STEM, can progress that interest, the same as those with an interest or ability for sport or dance.