In this episode I had a brilliant chat with Julia Spicer, Founder of two regional businesses based in Goondiwindi, Qld - Engage & Create Consulting and the Goondiwindi Business Hub. Julia and I met recently at the QRRRWN conference where I did a workshop, but actually we know each other from way back when I was living in Roma. Julia’s mission is to contribute to the vibrancy and viability of rural and regional Australia by helping businesses grow so she was an obvious choice to interview for our ‘Spotlight on the Regions’ series.
In this episode Julia tells us about her background in regional Queensland, what sparked her interest Smart concepts and how they can provide real opportunities for small communities in regional areas. We discuss the concepts of resourcefulness and resilience as objectives for Smart Regions, how the social fabric of a small town can be a blessing and a curse, and why it’s so important for communities to have a sense of control over their own destiny. Julia shares a bit about the opportunities and challenges that face regional communities to do with leadership, integration, and narrow funding models that can limit the ability to solve problems quickly. We talk about supporting regional employment through drought, and the Townsville Flood Recovery Centre as a great example of effective integration of many different disciplines, industries, governments and community groups. We cover the need for digital connectivity and the divide that still exists between regional and metro areas in accessing it. Julia tells us about the emerging trend of women in agribusiness and their role in regional economic development, and she shares a quote about women changing the world but she can’t remember the author. It’s actually from the Dalai Lama at the 2009 Vancouver Peace Summit, and the correct quote is that ‘The World will be saved by the Western Woman.’ So, keep an ear out for that.
We finish our chat with Julia telling us about some of the projects she’s currently working on in her own regional community. As always we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it!
Find the full show notes at: www.mysmart.community
Connect with Julia via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Connect with Engage and Create Consulting on Facebook and Instagram @engageandcreate
Connect with me via email: email@example.com
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The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Perk Digital