Wednesday, 19 October 2011
Scholarship winning student evokes regional careers
Susanne Ech is a young regional leader who’s looking forward to moving into a summer contract with Regional Development Australia, Ipswich and West Moreton Inc.
Typifying the talent pool that is available to regional Australia, a scholarship winner and about to graduate with a Bachelor Social Science from the University of New South Wales, Susanne (pictured right) is the second student in as many weeks to laud the value of regional work experience and career opportunities available via the Brolga Project.
The Brolga Project is an initiative which strives to help redress the regional skills shortage by finding regional host agencies who’ll offer final-year or graduate university students work experience or short-term contracts initially, encouraging the students towards regional careers when they graduate.
Susanne is stalwart in her belief that regional centres are the place to build careers.
“Regional areas provide a better learning environment than their urban counterpart, so in the transition from university to the workforce it’s a lot easier to engage with what we’ve learnt and apply it in a practical sense because there’s a broader scope of opportunity within each job in regional centres,” Susanne said.
Founder of the Brolga Project Richard Cowley said Susanne’s comments echo those of other students placed into regional businesses.
“Almost invariably the students we place make two comments,” he said.
“The first is that their practical exposure to what they’ve learnt is so much bigger than work experience they get in urban centres, because so often people are ‘jack of all trades’ within their regional work roles.
“The second comment students make is simply ‘…and everyone is so friendly out there!’’’ he added.
Hailing from a regional area herself, Susanne highlighted the value of building networks, offering new ideas and the opportunities to regional businesses through the project.
“Building networks is really important coming out of university, and in regional areas it’s a lot easier to build those networks. As students, we observe and learn the latest theories and methods, so graduate students can offer new ideas and technologies to businesses and organisations too,” she said.
Susanne starts work at the Regional Development Australia, Ipswich and West Moreton (RDAIWM) in East Street Ipswich on October 31.
The Ipswich and West Moreton office of RDA is one of 55 throughout Australia and one of 12 in Queensland funded by the Federal Government and supported by the State government. RDAs work with federal, state and local governments, local business and community groups to promote the sustainable social and economic development of their region.
Susanne will be working on a number of projects as diverse as regional branding and the regional chambers of commerce forum, while providing a local ‘face’ to the Brolga Project, answering questions and helping encourage local businesses to take students.
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Helping Build Capacity in Rural and Regional Australia by...
'Regional Skills Shortage' - Australia & the World