Small Regions Getting Ready to Make a Big Change


Desert Knowledge Australia and Desert Knowledge CRC are hosting a world class workshop in Alice Springs (27 July – 29 July) to help industries located in desert Australia identify how they can network together to improve business in the future.

The workshop run by internationally renowned Ifor Ffowcs-Williams and Mike Burke from Cluster Navigators is ground breaking work since this session physically brings 15 facilitators together from across Australia including Broken Hill, Kalgoorlie, Mount Isa, Port Augusta, Coober Pedy and Alice Springs in the first stage of the Desert Knowledge Australia Linked Business Networks Project.

“People will leave this workshop with initial skills development in how to either create local business networks or build on existing networks” explains Mr Ffowcs Williams. “They will then use a range of technologies to link those networks across desert Australia”

“A key element of this project is that regional development and other organisations from across four states and the NT are working closely together under the banner of Desert Knowledge Australia to create networks that will assist businesses identify opportunities and work with each other to mutual benefit.”

The 18 month project at this stage covers industries such as mining services, tourism, housing design, renewable energy services and bush products. Already participants are exploring ways in which particular mining service expertise in one region can help fill a shortfall in another region The conventional bush foods industry could be expanded by such innovative ideas as using festivals like the Alice Springs Wild Foods Festival as a market place for products from across desert Australia.

“A project of this scale would not be possible without the support of Telstra and AusIndustry” states John Baskerville, Chair of Desert Knowledge Australia Interim Board. “We are certainly thankful for their help and it will be exciting to report the developments as this project moves along.”

Bringing desert businesses together to seek solutions that are common to many desert businesses is just the type of project that Desert Knowledge Australia and Desert Knowledge CRC has been set up to promote. “This is a great chance for us to jointly show the capabilities of networking in remote desert regions” added John Baskerville.

Alice Springs organisations involved in this phase of the project include Department of Business Industry and Resource Development, Central Australian Regional Development Board, and the NT Tourist Commission.

Western Australian organisations involved in this phase of the project include, Goldfields Esperance Development Commission and the Goldfields Area Consultative Committee. Development Committee).

South Australian organisations involved in this phase of the project include the Northern Region Development Board and the Regional Ministerial Office- Port Augusta.

New South Wales organisations involved in this phase of the project include Chamber of Commerce Broken Hil, Outback Area Consultative Committee and the Broken Hill City Council.

Queensland organisations involved in this phase of the project include the Department of State Development and Innovation and Outback at the Isa.