Local, Independant and Effective
October 16, 2015

Big ideas, innovation and ingenuity at Indi Summit

Indi’s future will be driven by creative thinking and a willingness to embrace new ideas, ways of doing business and collaborating in exciting partnerships.

At the Indi Summit on October 24 in Benalla, three speakers will feature in the Big Ideas Session, being facilitated by former Border Mail editor, Di Thomas. The focus is environment, job creation and the cultural economy. 

Guest speaker Sam Millar believes communities need to make their voice heard to get action on the major issues in Indi.     

“The Indi Summit presents an important opportunity to come together and generate ideas for the future of our communities,” Mr Millar said. “As a young person hailing from Indi, I'm excited to be speaking at the Summit on how we can generate community-led initiatives, better engage in political decision-making, and sustain our environment.”

Mr Millar is calling on communities to get behind the Indi Summit.

“I encourage all people from Indi, young and old, to come along and participate in this important get-together,” he said. “Community-led action, combined with active participation in political decision-making, will be important for overcoming key issues in Indi and creating the future our young people want to see.”

Employment for young people remains a major issue in regional Australia. Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship CEO Matt Pfahlert, based in Beechworth, is urging a change in mindset and approach to sustainable job creation in the future. 

“In a world of escalating change, rural Australia has experienced a tripling of youth unemployment since 2007,” Mr Pfahlert said. “At the same time recent research suggests 60 per cent of our young people are being trained for jobs that are unlikely to exist in the future. (FYA – Future of work, 2015).”

Mr Pfahlert said the great challenge at this time is to educate our young people to become job creators, and not just job seekers. “This shift requires our communities to become more entrepreneurial, without forgetting people and the environment along the way,” he said.

“I’m excited to be part of the Indi Summit, a place where great ideas and people can prepare for a future full of possibilities.”

Wangaratta Jazz Festival vice-chair Emma Jones will explain the value of the ‘cultural economy’ in Indi, and how this sector has the potential to play a much greater role in Indi’s future.

“Leveraging the Indi brand to form an Indi Arts co-operative model to share volunteers, professional resources such as marketing, administration and governance, members and leaders, is one example of how the arts sector can grow and flourish” Ms Jones said.

Capitalising on IT infrastructure will also be crucial to job creation and growing the small business sector.  

"There is great potential for communities in Indi to prosper by attracting and retaining the entrepreneurs, professionals, and best creative minds that can live and work remotely,” Ms Jones said.

Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, agrees with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull who spoke in Question Time on October 14 about Australia having more opportunities than ever to take advantage of its position.

“I agree with the Prime Minister, this is truly the most exciting time to be an Australian, and it is just as exciting to be in Indi,” Ms McGowan said. 

Ms McGowan is pleased to have three quality speakers outlining their “Vision for Indi” at the Summit, and is looking forward to their contribution.


Contact details: Matt Pfahlert – 0448 805 517

                          Emma Jones  – 0408 246 007           

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