Regional Development Australia Moreton Bay director of regional development Julia Callaghan says boosting skills and creating local employment will be an important part of the region’s growth in coming years.
Julia works with the Regional Development Australia Moreton Bay committee to promote greater awareness of the region and engagement with government policies, grants programs and research.
She also works to facilitate economic development, investment, local procurement and jobs, as well as improving the Federal government’s policy-making by providing advice about regional development issues.
About Julia Callaghan
Since taking on the role of regional development director for RDA Moreton Bay more than 18 months ago, Julia has continued to be impressed by opportunities in the region.
She signed up because she was excited by the opportunity to be part of something big and help grow the region.
With more than 20 years’ experience in business and regional sustainability, Julia is using knowledge gained through working with people in industries such as construction, manufacturing, agriculture, food processing, forestry, health care, waste reuse and education to help Moreton Bay reach its potential.
Julia says her past connections have also been helpful as she works with all levels of government to help the region’s industries and promote Federal Government programs.
She sees her role, and that of RDA Moreton Bay, as acting as a conduit between communities and the Commonwealth.
“One aspect is to let people know what Commonwealth Government programs are available, like advanced manufacturing and recycling,” she says.
“Another is that we take regional issues back to the Commonwealth.”
She says while there’s a focus on attracting manufacturing, agribusiness and other industries to stimulate the economy and generate employment, there must also be support services that provide employment opportunities in their own right, creating a diverse business network.
Julia says having more people working from home has changed how communities engage, and combined with a push by RDA Moreton Bay and Moreton Bay Regional Council to attract more industries to the area, will boost the number of people working locally.
“Lots of people work outside the region and we’re working with all levels of government to help funnel investment in the right place so they can work here.
“It’s about letting people know what jobs are available and that it’s a good opportunity to work in Moreton Bay.
There’s also a need for training and education and Julia says while the UniSC campus at Petrie bridges the gap at a university level, it’s important other forms of tertiary education such as TAFE keep pace with the changing needs of industry.
She says tailoring training to match those needs will create more local employment opportunities.
“With Brisbane moving a lot of manufacturing out of the city, it’s going to come here and we need people to have the skills.”
Julia sees the Moreton Bay Region – with greenfield development sites – as the land of opportunity, with the chance to develop a well-planned region that supports the people who live here.
“There’s 12 growth areas, so getting the mix of industry and jobs right is the biggest opportunity.
“If you develop in the right way, it’s about how much liveability it adds to the economy.
“I think it’s really important that people realise they can pursue globally relevant careers right here in Moreton Bay.”
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