Many communities in rural and regional Australia are suffering from 'rural-drift', the movement of young people from these communities to the 'brighter lights' of city life. While it's been catastrophic for some communities, far from seeing it as a complete disaster, Brolga Project believes that it also offers tremendous opportunity.
We can 'exchange' youth by putting young professionals from urban centres into these struggling regional communities for work experience, encouraging the urban students towards regional careers when they graduate.
Brolga Project has identified three 'Regions of Opportunity'; 1) around Port Macquarie-Hastings and 2) the Moree area in NSW and 3) the Wide Bay Burnett area in QLD.
In Port Macquarie in particular, strong success has shown up where two people are working 'on the ground' through a joint approach between the Council's Higher Education Project and the Brolga Project.
In Moree, we are working closely with council to find funding to have a permanent Brolga Project Field Officer on the ground, as part of a two-year pilot program. We've had a number of successes locally, including a Business Breakfast which saw six students travel from Brisbane to Moree, to present themselves to potential host agencies.
The South Burnett was the first region to express interest in the Brolga Project, and we soon placed students into Mundubbera and Kingaroy. One student is now in a full time position in Emerald, another working with the Burnett Inland Economic Development Organisation (BIEDO). We are furthering the successes we've had in this region and hope to showcase them across Queensland and Australia.
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'Regional Skills Shortage' - Australia & the World