Regional Development VictoriaRegional Development Victoria

State Government of Victoria

Barwon Regional Partnership

Map of the Barwon partnership region Barwon Regional Partnerships Logo

From the famous Great Ocean Road coastline, to the Otway forests, to rich farmland, to the streets of Victoria’s biggest regional city, Geelong, the Barwon Regional Partnership spans spectacular and diverse landscapes.

Just over a quarter of a million people live here - almost half are under 35 - and this region is growing rapidly.

The economy is dynamic, with a strong advanced manufacturing and processing sector and great potential for growth in biotechnology, information and communication technologies (ICT) and the carbon fibre sector.

Growing the education and health sectors, strengthening road and rail networks, further developing the advanced manufacturing sector, managing the impacts of transitioning industries and creating  new jobs,  will be among the issues and opportunities tackled by the  Barwon Regional Partnership.

Local Government Areas:

Email the Barwon Regional Partnership

2017/18 Victorian Budget outcomes for Barwon

State-wide Budget Investments benefiting regions:

Regional Victoria will share in a range of significant state-wide investments that address a range of Regional Partnership priorities including:

  • $29 million for priority initiatives by the Partnerships, as well as funding to enable more comprehensive engagement in each region and to undertake further development of regional priorities.
  • $45 million to the Connecting Regional Communities Program to support digital initiatives such as broadband trials, digital agricultural applications and blackspot minimisation.
  • $1.45 billion for upgrades to regional rail infrastructure across the state.
  • 25% reduction in the payroll tax rate for regional businesses – expected to benefit 4,000 businesses.    
  • $50 million to double the First Home Owner Grant to $20 000 for new homes in regional areas.
  • $1.7 million to re-establish the Victorian Rural Women’s Network (RWN) to promote women’s economic participation and professional development.

Barwon Regional Partnership highlights include:

  • $110 million to fund the first stage of a massive new Surf Coast Rail Project, preparing the corridor for duplication between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds, and reserve land for a future line to Torquay.
  • $15 million to fund works to revitalise central Geelong.
  • Money for early works for the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan and Great Ocean Road Governance .

Find out more about the Victorian Budget 2017/18 outcomes for Victoria's regions

Regional Assembly snapshot

The Barwon Regional Partnership held their first ever Regional Assembly on Wednesday, 2 November, in Torquay.

Overlooking beautiful Torquay beach, people who live, work and play in the Barwon region came together to plan for the future of their region.


Who are the Barwon Regional Partnership members?

Kylie Warne

Kylie Warne – Chair

Kylie Warne is the longest-serving President in the Geelong Chamber of Commerce's 163 year history. She has operated her consultancy, Brand Bureau for 10 years, and is particularly passionate about supporting regional businesses and entrepreneurs. Prior to establishing her business, Kylie worked for a range of multinationals. She is married with two boys aged eight and six, and wants to do her bit to ensure the Barwon region enables every individual to reach their potential.

Kean Selway

Kean Selway – Deputy Chair

Kean Selway is Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer for Deakin University since 2010 and a member of the university’s executive since 2002.  Kean is currently Chair of the boards of Deakin Residential Services, Unilink Limited and the Bowater Trust.  He is also a member of The Geelong College Council and Chair of its Planning Committee.

Rodney Jackson

Rodney Jackson

Rodney Jackson has a strong background in health and indigenous issues and is currently Chief Executive Officer of Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative Ltd. The North Geelong-based cooperative operates a range of programs that span health services, early education, cultural, family and community, biodiversity and land management, social enterprises, Aboriginal arts, housing and justice.

Matthew McDonald

Matthew McDonald

Matthew McDonald is Chief Executive Officer of SeaRoad Ferries. Matthew has a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education from Monash University and Masters of Business Administration.  Matthew is passionate about the transport and tourism opportunities across the region.

Elizabeth Mears

Libby Mears

Libby Mears is Chief Executive Officer of Leisure Networks, a non-profit with a focus on sport, recreation, community inclusion and support for people with a disability. Libby is a Trustee of the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust and a former Surf Coast Shire Mayor and Councillor.

Bill Mithen

Bill Mithen

Bill Mithen is the Chief Executive Officer of the Give Where You Live Community Foundation, a philanthropic foundation that addresses disadvantage in the Geelong region. With a unique experience that covers corporate, SMEs, philanthropy and the community sector, Bill has a keen focus on equity and equality that enables everyone to participate in the Barwon Region's future growth and prosperity.

Anne-Marie Ryan

Anne- Marie Ryan

Anne-Marie Ryan is Chief Executive Officer of the Geelong Region Local Learning and Employment Network (GRLLEN) Inc. and is a member of both Victoria’s Manufacturing Skills and Training Taskforce and the Geelong Local Automotive Transition Taskforce. Anne-Marie is a board member of Give Where You Live and Creative Geelong Inc.

Nick Stanley

Nick Stanley

Nick Stanley Nick Stanley is an investor, founder and active entrepreneur with a particular focus on the success of regional start-ups. Nick has a background in successful software commercialisation and entrepreneurship having founded three software businesses. Nick’s most recent success story was Tribal Campus (nee: Sky Software) of which he was a co-founder and which was acquired by Tribal Group PLC in March 2014. Nick was then appointed the Managing Director APAC of Tribal Group PLC in June 2016.

Elaine Carbines

Regional Development Australia representative:

Elaine Carbines

Elaine Carbines is the Chief Executive Office of G21 Regional Alliance. She is also a Director of Barwon Water and Director of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) Victorian Branch. Elaine is a former member of state parliament and she is a Director of GForce.

Victorian Government representative:

Simon Phemister - Deputy Secretary, Economic Policy and State Productivity - Department of Premier and Cabinet

Local Government CEOs 
Keith Baillie

Keith Baillie – CEO, Surf Coast Shire Council

Keith Baillie grew up in Geelong and spent much of his youth on the Surf Coast.  Keith spent the first 20 years of his career in the commercial sector, with roles in project management, information technology and financial management. Keith joined local government in 2007, after being appointed CEO of the Shire of Campaspe. Keith became CEO of Surf Coast Shire in January 2015. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia, and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Kelvin Spiller

Kelvin Spiller – CEO, City of Greater Geelong

Kelvin Spiller is CEO of the City of Greater Geelong. He is an experienced CEO and executive coach with over 35 years’ experience in building, leading, managing and developing professional teams in complex service organisations. His previous appointments include seven CEO positions in local government, NFP and Utilities sectors. Kelvin has been a member of over 30 boards and committees in government, industry and community across 12 different industry sectors in Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Sue Wilkinson

Sue Wilkinson – CEO, Colac-Otway Shire Council

Sue Wilkinson has more than two decades of experience as a leader in planning and community development. Prior to her position at Colac Otway Shire Council, Sue worked in senior roles at Monash City Council, City of Port Phillip, City of Greater Bendigo and the State Government's Department of Planning and Community Development. She has also served on several boards including the business incubator at Monash, the former Building Appeals Board and is currently on the boards of the G21 Alliance and Great South Coast.

Lenny Jenner

Lenny Jenner – CEO, Borough of Queenscliffe

Lenny Jenner has been CEO of the Borough of Queenscliffe since October 2008 and was previously Director of Community Services with the Golden Plains Shire.  Lenny’s career includes professional roles in sport and recreation, academia, disability services, youth work, nursing and senior management roles in State and Local Government.  Formal qualifications include a masters degree in social policy, undergraduate degrees in education and recreation and a general nursing qualification.


Regional Matters Spotlight

Last Updated: 24 July 2017