- 30 May 2019
Regional Development Australia Southern Inland (RDA Southern Inland) hosted their first ‘Welcome to the Region’ event at The Collective in Goulburn last night, in partnership with Southern Region Business Enterprise Centre (SRBEC). Over 50 people attended the event, travelling from Canberra, Sydney, The Southern Highlands, The Upper Lachlan and Queanbeyan to attend this pilot event. The program is being run thanks to funding through the Department of Home Affair’s, Fostering Integration Program. The purpose of the event was to welcome migrants to the Southern Inland region and provide them with a chance to network with local stakeholders and access settlement advice.
Mareeca Flannery, CEO and Director of RDA Southern Inland, started proceedings by welcoming everyone to the event.
Graham Baxter and Peter Gordon, from the SRBEC, then spoke about the SRBEC and what they offer, particularly for small businesses. Peter Gordon also briefly spoke about the upcoming business workshops being held in the region. These workshops, run as part of the Welcome to the Region Program, will help to provide new migrants with the skills, confidence and understanding to establish their own business. Peter acknowledged that Australia has different and often complicated business regulations. These workshops will help new migrants navigate these complexities and better understand Australia’s business culture. He also highlighted that it would be a chance to network with other like-minded people.
John Gunn, from the Goulburn Multicultural Centre (GMC) then spoke about the various activities and services they provide to new migrants. John spoke about his experiences living in a foreign country and how difficult it was to pick up the phone and speak in another language. The GMC provide opportunities for migrants to connect with each other and to explore the region, including our beautiful beaches and the Snowy Mountains, which attracted a bus load of 90 people last year. The ultimate goal of the GMC is to make sure that people are treated fairly. John told a story of a doctor who had her own business overseas but is now struggling to find employment in her profession in Australia. For reasons like this, GMC offer significant assistance in the employment space and try to eliminate job interviews for migrants and instead develop relationship with employers internally.
Jayde Butz, Skilled Migration Officer at RDA Southern Inland, closed out the night by providing two case studies of migrants who have relocated to the Southern Inland on a 489 visa. One has set up their own dental practice in Goulburn and employs five people locally. These case studies were shown to inspire new migrants on their journey and to show what possibilities can come from being sponsored on a 489 or 187 Visa through RDA Southern Inland.
“It was wonderful to see so many people turn up and to receive such positive and helpful feedback. We are looking forward to running more event like this one,” said Jayde Butz.
For the rest of the evening, everyone was encouraged to stand up and network. Goulburn Mulwaree Council and Upper Lachlan Council were in attendance promoting their respective areas. The Goulburn Chamber of Commerce was also represented by Mark Bradbury.
RDA Southern Inland certify RSMS Visa applications (187) and also sponsor State Sponsored Migration (489) Visa applicants. The migration program allows skilled migrants to fill employment vacancies where there are no local Australian applicants available. RDA Southern Inland is focused on not only attracting migrants but facilitating their retention over the long-term.
Another ‘Welcome to the Region’ event will be held in the Southern Highlands later in the year.
John Gunn, from the Goulburn Multicultural Centre