The Board of Regional Development Australia Southern Inland (RDASI) toured the Queanbeyan-Palerang region on the 17th and 18th October 2017, as part of their Board Meeting and AGM. The regional visit was an opportunity for the Board to meet local community and business leaders and gain a greater understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing the Queanbeyan-Palerang region.
The RDASI Board began their morning with a visit to the Molonglo Observatory Synthesis Telescope (MOST), South of Bungendore. Commissioned in the 1960s, it is one of the largest and most sensitive radio telescopes of its type in the world.
With equipment recently updated, a current priority of the Observatory is the detection of fast radio bursts. Fast radio bursts are short, bright and highly dispersed pulses of radio waves that occur randomly. They last just a few milliseconds but register about a billion times brighter than anything ever seen in the galaxy. Whilst little is known about these bursts, MOST hopes to be able to pinpoint where the bursts come from in the galaxy.
The Board then visited Summerhill Road Vineyard, a vineyard in Bungendore run by Sarah and Anthony. Sarah and Anthony treated the Board to a wine tasting amongst the vines and lunch.
Both Sarah and Anthony are extremely passionate about wine production and their vineyard and hope that their children will follow in their footsteps.
RDASI then visited the Wood Works Gallery in Bungendore. Built entirely from Australian materials, the gallery displays wood work and fine arts of over 200 Australian designers, makers and artists. A highlight was the artwork of David Voigt, a combination between nature and geometric shapes and spaces, portraying a kaleidoscopic-like view of nature.
Dinner was then held at the Carrington Inn, with the RDASI Board, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) new Councillors, BEC Board members and CEO and local business owners. Richard Graham, owner of The Carrington Inn, spoke to guests about the incredible history of the Inn, whilst Mayor Tim Overall and Service Manager Business and Innovation, Martin Darcy discussed the exciting direction and upcoming projects for QPRC. Chairman of RDASI, Mark Schweikert and Project Officer, Camilla Staff discussed the role of RDASI and some exciting upcoming projects, including Ag Day BBQ in Goulburn on 21st November.
The next day, RDASI visited Innovative Metalworx Pty Ltd, a sheet metal fabrication company and laser cutting service in Queanbeyan. Cheryl Moulden showed RDASI around her workshop and the many innovative designs currently being worked on, including, Ned Kelly inspired letterboxes, customised fire buckets, hand cut fireballs, 3D animals and gates.
The final visit for the trip was to Electro Optic Systems Pty Ltd, a leading Australian technology company operating in the Aerospace and Defence market. CEO Dr Warwick Holloway led the Board around the facility. The defence business produces remotely-controlled weapon systems and ancillary products. EOS recently landed a $170 million contract with US defence technology firm, Orbital ATK.
RDASI would like to thank all businesses for welcoming the Board to the Queanbeyan-Palerang area. It provided RDASI with an opportunity to experience first-hand the innovation and excellence occurring across the region.