Red Earth Community Leadership Program facilitator Heather Ellis, from BlueWren Connections, with guest speaker Chad Renando, a research fellow from the University of Southern Queensland

December 11, 2021

Red Earth Community Foundation reflected on the past 12 months at its “Red Report” last Monday but also paused to consider the region’s challenges over the next 50 years.

The evening was held in the Kingaroy Town Hall Reception Room with invited guests and alumni of the Foundation’s Community Leadership Program.

Compere and Red Earth director John Carey, from Stanwell, said the organisation was made up of community-minded people who have a real passion for the region.

He said the three guiding principles were “we care, we collaborate and we act”.

“It is changing ordinary people’s lives,” John said.

He said Red Earth worked alongside organisations such as the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), Rural Economies Centre Of Excellence, Community Foundations Australia, Blue Wren Connections and the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund to effect change.

Guest speaker Chad Renando, who is undertaking a PhD at the University of Southern Queensland, spoke about his research into regional economic development strategies.

His research identified 16 different strategies and 928 individual initiatives, all with different focuses.

Earlier this year, Red Earth received $49,800 from the Federal Government under Round 5 of the Building Better Regions Fund to put towards the development of a Burnett Inland Futures Strategy.

This project – which has a total budget of $99,600 and is supported by Stanwell – aims to deliver “a holistic, regional strategy that has a 10, 20 and 50-year view for the Burnett Inland region”.

It covers the North Burnett and South Burnett council regions as well as parts of the Toowoomba, Somerset and Gympie council areas.

Chad said none of the broader regional strategies he examined really suited the Burnett Inland.

The BIFS project will now work with the Leadership Program alumni and community members to have conversations about longer-term thinking for the region.

The “Red Report” evening was also an opportunity for Red Earth to announce the 18 participants selected to undertake the 2022 Community Leadership Program.

More than 160 South and North Burnett residents have now graduated from the annual leadership program, which is held every year over two live-in weekends at the Bunya Mountains.

Members also paid tribute to Red Earth supporter Leonore Miller, a key part of the Leadership Program activities at the Bunya Mountains, who died in November.

Chad was quizzed by compere John Carey about his recent research
Ros Heit with Red Earth director Karen Seiler whose original dream grew into the Red Earth Community Foundation South Burnett Ltd

Anderssons Fruit Market for quality fruits and vegetables


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