SEGRA stands for Sustainable Economic Growth for Regional Australia. It is a privately run conference, open to the public and frequented by regional economic development experts, aficionados of holistic development, as well as academics, practitioners, and bureaucrats who research and deal with regional development issues.
Startup and Innovation Tablelands’ Christine Doan has been a SEGRA regular for some years and actively recruited Troy Haines (theSpaceCairns), mentor and supporter of ST, to travel to Bathurst for the 2015 conference. Troy had cooked up a rather yummy program to compete in the segment of SEGRA called the SEGRA Challenge. In the Challenge, up to 6 nominated programs compete for some substantial prizes, no money but university research support, lobbying help at the highest State and Federal levels from SEGRA, and support from SEGRA as an organisation as well as from individual board members, a powerful group.
Troy invited Christine to join him on the stage as he presented the FNQ Challenge entry which centred on Troy’s own unique program called “Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Regional Australia”. In a stunning and unexpected result, theirs was the winning bid—unanimously!
Part of the success of ST winning the race to be the “beta testers” for Troy’s program for the Tablelands, accrued from the encouragement and support of SEGRA. Note that Troy, The SPACE Cairns, ST and Christine herself have all busted their boilers in the effort to get the first module of Troy’s program started. No one, not the least Christine and Troy, suspected that the success in pipping other areas to the post would also result in a fantastic team of eleven trainees. Christine notes, “Back in October, 2015, post-SEGRA my best dream was to see a trainee group of up to 5, maybe 6. We are over the moon with eleven highly principled and motivated trainees.”
Troy was quick to add that big numbers are great but that …., “quality trumps quantity any day. I am thrilled with the quality of this highly diverse and capable group of trainees. I didn’t dare dream of such a great group to work with. They are proving their mettle and rising to each challenge.”
Both Troy and Christine will again attend SEGRA in 2016, this time in Albany, WA, as the conference moves to a new regional centre every year. Troy will exclusively be representing all things startup from FNQ and the spread of Troy’s entrepreneurial programs nationally. Christine will, as usual, represent the Tablelands and the many, varied interests she represents; this year one of those will again be Startup and Innovation Tablelands.
Christine observes, …”SEGRA may be a bit of a bellwether as it now recognises the importance of shifting mentalities and capabilities toward a direction that barely existed in the last century but now is central to improving business productivity in our century.”