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Maturing Regional Partnerships


Foreword by the Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes

This message forms part of a Regional Partnership newsletter published in May 2019.

For almost three years, Regional Partnerships have been a cornerstone of how our Government has engaged with regional Victoria.

Through Regional Assemblies - attended by thousands of Victorians - and smaller meetings, our nine Partnerships have engaged with stakeholders and communities across the state.

They have brought the voices of regional Victoria directly to Government. In turn, we’ve listened, and real change – driven by those living and working in the country – is underway.

In Wimmera Southern Mallee, for example, the community told the Partnership about the need for real change to early years provision and how things weren’t working for families with young children. A groundbreaking series of trials is now underway in the community to find better ways to help families access high quality early childhood services.

Change is also underway in Goulburn, where the Partnership got behind community calls for a whole-of-Government revitalisation of Seymour, while in the Great South Coast, the Partnership listened to young people and is in the early stages of an initiative for student hubs across the region.

These are just a handful of the initiatives, driven by what we’ve heard locally, that are now underway thanks to the work of Partnerships. They are initiatives that address local concerns, have been driven by the community, and often include several Government departments working together with the community to deliver change on the ground – and it’s really exciting to see the projects come to life.

As Minister for Regional Development, I am pleased to reassert our commitment to Regional Partnerships - but I’m also keen to talk about how they’re maturing and taking a more strategic approach to delivering for regional Victorians.

In this newsletter, the Partnership Chair is publishing the outcomes roadmap. The roadmap outlines the key, long-term strategic areas of focus for each Partnership, and where they are looking to make a difference.

Regional Assemblies successfully supported the Partnerships to engage with as many country communities as possible to identify their priorities, but the challenge is now to work together to address very specific areas and hard to reach cohorts in their community.

That’s why this year each Partnership will be narrowing their focus even further to identify a handful of key issues where they would like to work with government and stakeholders to make a substantial difference. It means there won’t be large Assemblies in 2019, but instead Partnerships will be engaging with people in their communities in a much more decisive, focused, strategic way.

This is a natural evolution of the Partnership model and one that will continue to support Regional Partnerships to ensure regional voices are heard and actioned at the heart of Government.

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