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Reflections from the Chair Kylie Warne - May 2019


This message forms part of a Barwon Regional Partnership newsletter published in May 2019. See the whole newsletter.

Hi there,

The only thing that is constant is change, and there has been a lot of activity since our last update!

On behalf of my Barwon Regional Partnership colleagues, I trust you find this update informative.

Best regards, Kylie

Priorities We’re Pursuing

Since our establishment in 2016, the Barwon Regional Partnership has heard from thousands of people in our region. You’ve told us what is needed and what should change, and each year we’ve taken your input and presented our regional priorities to the Victorian Government.

I am pleased to provide you with a summary of the key outcomes this Partnership is currently striving to achieve, as well as a description of the actions the Barwon Partnership is focusing on.

This roadmap is a living document, evolving over time as new opportunities, and perhaps challenges, emerge.

We welcome your feedback – email the Barwon Partnership  

Ministerial and membership changes

I was pleased to meet recently with the new Minister for Regional Development, Jaclyn Symes. The Barwon Regional Partnership looks forward to working closely with Minister Symes to deliver our region’s priorities.

I’d like to extend sincere thanks to Jaala Pulford, Jaclyn’s predecessor. For almost three years, Jaala was a great advocate for the nine Partnerships across the state. Jaala listened to the needs of our community and helped us deliver a range of outcomes for Barwon.

Congratulations to Simon Phemister, our Partnership’s former Deputy Secretary, who has since been promoted to Secretary of the newly-formed Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions. We thank Simon for his wisdom and support of our work.

Thank you to outgoing member, Rod Jackson, for his contribution to our Partnership. Rod has strongly advocated for economic development and tourism opportunities in support of Aboriginal people across the Barwon region.

I look forward to announcing our new Deputy Secretary and business and community leader members soon.

Priorities realised

Many of the Barwon Regional Partnership’s top priorities have been given the green light with the recent funding agreement of the Geelong City Deal.

In addition to the Geelong City Deal, our Partnership has most recently successfully lobbied for:

  • The expansion of the Geelong Project to an additional four schools over the next two years. The Geelong Project addresses the factors that contribute to educational disengagement. The additional funding means seven secondary schools in the most disadvantaged areas of Barwon are project participants.
  • Funding across five years to roll out the Home Stretch initiative, commencing in the first half of this year, giving young people the option of remaining with their carer until the age of 21 to transition from care to independence.

The Year Ahead

The Barwon Partnership has commenced our work for this year, reviewing our recent advice to government in the context of election commitments and recent announcements, such as the City Deal.

While we are not planning on a large Assembly this year, we will still be engaging with many members of the community on priority initiatives. Subscribe to our database to stay in touch with opportunities by emailing

Finally, I’d like to thank my colleagues on the Barwon Regional Partnership. Being a Partnership member requires a significant commitment of time and energy. I am fortunate to lead a team of passionate locals who are focused on bringing about positive change for our region.

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