Big brains needed for competition

SOUTHERN Cross University's Regional Futures Institute will today launch an online competition for people who want a seat at the table with some of Australia's highest level thinkers in the field of regional economic and social development.

Competition winners will have the privilege of attending the 2010 Transformational Economic Development Symposium, being held at Byron Bay on Friday, August 27.

The Symposium is being hosted by the Regional Futures Institute and its theme is 'Big ideas, innovative thinkers and future directions for regional Australia'.

Through the competition, community members as well as secondary and higher education students on the North Coast are being offered the opportunity to voice their thoughts about what is possible for the future of regional Australia, especially for the Northern Rivers.

The Regional Futures Institute is committed to ensuring a broad cross-section of the community is represented at the Symposium and is therefore running the competition which offers six people the opportunity to attend the invitation-only event.

The winners will be made up of two community members, two Year 11 students (plus two guardians) and two university or TAFE students.

The national Symposium will bring together about 70 innovative thinkers on economic and social development from across Australia to explore 'big ideas' about planning the future direction of regional areas.

Guest speakers will include NSW Chamber of Commerce president Stephen Cartwright, Regional Development Victoria chief executive Justin Hanney, South East Queensland Indigenous Chamber of Commerce vice-president Dwayne Good, former director of the ANZ board for 20 years Dr Brian Scott, and Professor Graeme Hugo, considered a leading demographic expert in Australia.

The Symposium will also unveil a new strategic document entitled '10 big ideas for growth in the Northern Rivers'. The document has been created by regional stakeholders, in conjunction with the NSW Business Chamber, wanting to establish a clear agenda to lobby for key developments on the North Coast.

People who want to enter the competition and have the opportunity to contribute to this valuable national discussion are invited to go to the Regional Futures Institute website and submit in writing in 50 words or less 'why I would like to be involved with the 2010 Transformational Economic Development Symposium'.

Entries for the competition close at midnight on Monday, August 16. The winners will be decided by the Regional Futures Institute, Southern Cross University, and notified on Wednesday, August 18.

Year 11 high school students must be aged 16 years or over and must be accompanied by a guardian over 18 years. Competition terms and conditions apply and entrants should check the Regional Futures Institute website for details.

For further information visit or email

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