Regional Development Victoria

What is holding regional Victoria back?


The new year brings a renewed focus on the need to listen to the regions and understand the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for business, industry and the community. 

The RDA Grampians committee, who represent Victoria’s west, have partnered with the Regional Incubator for Social and Economic Research (RISER) on the delivery of a public event to present interim findings on what is holding regional Victoria back. 

This free public event will be held in Horsham at Federation University on March 25 and will delve into the current barriers to social and economic development across five key topic areas: 

  • Redefining the socio-political position of the modern farm 
  • Entrepreneurship, Management and Community Leaders in a Regional System 
  • Political representation, equity and competition in Rural Victoria 
  • Young people’s agency and mobility in and out of small towns 
  • A Study of Downshifters in Australia and the UK.

RDA Grampians Chair, Stuart Benjamin said government, industry bodies, social agencies, researchers and community stakeholders will benefit from the insights of the RISER research. 

“The Regional Incubator for Social and Economic Research (RISER) is a collaboration between the Regional Development Australia (RDA) Grampians, Federation University, the Wimmera Development Association and local governments in the Grampians region,” said Mr Benjamin. 

“The learnings from the RISER’s research will identify current barriers to social and economic development in regional and rural Victoria and also more broadly across Australia. The learnings will be critical to informing how these barriers can be overcome to enable communities to reach their full potential.” 

Event Name: Development in focus: What is holding regional Victoria back? 
Date: 25 March 2019 
Time: 11.00 am to 1.30 pm 
Cost: Free 
Registrations: By Wednesday 20 March via
Catering: Lunch provided 

The RISER is based in Horsham and undertakes social and economic research in fields that impact on communities in rural and regional Victoria. The work undertaken is applied in nature and utilised directly by government, private enterprise and the not-for-profit sector to improve opportunities for regional communities and support sustainable growth and development. 

The work of RISER is embedded in rural Victoria, working with communities, local government and development organisations in new and collaborative ways. The RISER works with communities to develop funding applications to Commonwealth and State Government and the philanthropic sector to maximise the direct benefits of its research. 

For more information or to register, visit, or contact Regional Development Australia Grampians at

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