An invitation to the world – to visit, to invest, to share
Almost a year ago demographer Bernard Salt encouraged the communities of the Northern Rivers to pursue a big and outrageously ambitious agenda for the future of our region.
A collaborative partnership of regional businesses, industry bodies and government representatives took up the challenge and this week the Northern Rivers NSW Brand has been unveiled at the Ballina BP Travel Centre, arguably a gateway to the region.
“We all know that the Northern Rivers is a region gifted with beautiful, world- renowned natural assets, an amazing climate, delicious fresh produce, entrepreneurial and creative flair and a history of strong community connectivity. Now its time to share our secret with the world,” said Tim Williamson, Director Regional Development Australia-Northern Rivers.
“The sense of place begins 20,000 years ago with the Bundjalung people’s stories. For more than a century the coastal hamlets, small villages and historical river towns of the Northern Rivers have blazed their own trails. But as the regional population clicks over 250,000 it has reached a critical mass that demands a singular voice,” said Southern Cross University’s Dean Gould. “Now, more than ever, we need to move forward together.”
The new Northern Rivers NSW Brand reflects the connected unified identity of our communities, and provides a basis for our shared vision to foster sustainable and innovative economic growth. It is the symbol of a new economic and cultural era for one of New South Wales’ oldest, most diverse and alluring regions.
“The Northern Rivers NSW Brand is an invitation to the world – to visit, to invest, to share. It brings together seven local councils, offering scale they could only dream of standing alone. A demonstration of collaboration between Industry and Government, the Brand represents the 12th largest region by population in Australia. The new Northern Rivers NSW Brand means things can really happen – limited only by our imagination,” said Simon Stahl, CEO of the Northern Cooperative Meat Company (NCMC).
“The Northern Rivers is home to an extensive network of entrepreneurs, creative artisans and innovative business start-ups. This new Northern Rivers NSW Brand will help us collectively drive jobs growth while building on the strong foundations underpinning our health, construction, professional, agriculture, technical and education sectors,” said Councillor Danielle Mulholland, Chair of the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation.
“The new Northern Rivers NSW Brand will enhance our collective capacity to compete with larger regions. The collaboration driving the Brand will boost our ability to be more strategic and competitive, helping to drive investment and grant ready opportunities from the Federal and State Governments,” said Jane Laverty, Regional Manager of Business NSW, Northern Rivers.
“The Northern Rivers NSW Brand will add regional strength to local operators and create opportunities for local businesses to talk to existing markets in a new way, while also opening up access to new markets”, said Michel Thurston, General Manager of Destination North Coast.
A Steering Group – ‘Northern Rivers Together’ – comprising regional businesses, local industry bodies and government representatives at all levels has developed the Northern Rivers NSW Brand, based on extensive consultation across the region.
Underpinning the new Northern Rivers NSW Brand is a strategy based on four key pillars: Visitation, Provenance, Liveability and Investment.
While a full launch of the Northern Rivers NSW Brand has been put on hold with the current COVID-19 pandemic, a new website – www.northernriversnsw.com.au – has been established and the ‘Northern Rivers Together’ Steering Committee is speaking with dozens of businesses and community groups keen to get involved and adopt the new Northern Rivers NSW Brand.