2021 National Summit Overview

Our National Summit, Growing Regional Australia – Shaping the Good Life, is the flagship event in our event series Regions Rising. This event links all levels of government, business and the community sector to ensure a collaborative and future-focused discussion that will help inform and engage with our leaders as we move toward the regionalisation of our nation.

As the nation’s thought-leader on Regional Australia, the concept of regionalisation is central to our work. Regionalisation is more than an agenda on decentralisation; it’s an ambition to grow and ensures that regional businesses and communities more than just survive, they can thrive. Regionalisation will create a more equitable, balanced, attractive and prosperous future for all Australians, not just those who live outside the city limits.

Day 1: Wednesday 17 March 2021


The National Summit will see Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Michael McCormack launch our national campaign to promote the opportunities to live, work and invest in Regional Australia.

Day one of the Summit will bring together some of the country’s brightest minds,  as well as an international keynote address from John O’Duinn, a change-maker for decentralisation in the US and the author of Distributed Teams. These leaders will present on the current issues impacting population and mobility trends, jobs and skills, regional policy, education, health, infrastructure and innovation, as well as local leadership and the economy.

Gala Dinner

The RAI is thrilled to celebrate its 10 Year Anniversary and we are delighted to host Buy from the Bush Founder, Grace Brennan, as the keynote speaker at our Gala Dinner. This will be a formal networking opportunity to close out Day 1, with a two course meal and entertainment. 

Day 2: Thursday 18 March 2021


More and more Australians are ‘voting with their feet’ and choosing to build a life in Regional Australia. Where they choose to live is determined by many factors. The Masterclass on Day 2 will deliver a more interactive program for summit attendees, focusing on the issue of ‘liveability’.

Participants will be the first to gain access to our Liveability Toolkit, to be launched by Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government, the Hon, Mark Coulton. The Liveability Toolkit is a practical guide for regional leaders seeking to attract and retain populations to their towns and regional cities. 

Attendees will also be invited to join the RAI’s Policy Hack and will have the opportunity to discuss a range of critical policy questions. The Hack format enables participants to move quickly from issues to responses, and the ideas for policy and program reform that are generated will be prepared by the RAI for submission to governments in all jurisdictions.

Conference 7.00am – 5.00pm Wed 17 Mar 2021
Gala Dinner 7.00pm – 10.00pm Wed 17 Mar 2021
Masterclass 8.00am – 4.00pm Thu 18 Mar 2021
Location Hotel Realm 18 National Circuit Canberra ACT 2600


Livestream Tickets (until 30 April 2021)

Livestream recording access$ 200

All prices include GST

Not-for-profit organisations are eligible for a discounted rate; please email events@regionalaustralia.org.au to request a discount code.


Michael McCormack

The Hon Michael McCormack MP
Deputy Prime Minister

Mark Coulton (photo)

The Hon Mark Coulton MP
Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government

Andrew Gee (photo)

The Hon Andrew Gee MP
Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education

Catherine King (photo)

The Hon Catherine King MP
Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development

Grace Brennan
Buy From The Bush

John O'Duinn (photo)
Gavin Williams (photo)
Sean McGoldrick (crop)
Victoria Anderson (photo)
Romilly Madew (photo)
Marisa Purvis-Smith (photo)
Gary Barnes (crop)
Ralph Addis (photo)
Rob Clayton (photo)
Tony Mahar (photo)
Helen Huntly (photo)
Ruth Stewart (photo)
Gabrielle O'Kane (photo)
Sam Dimarco (photo)
Vanessa Leigh (photo)
Ali Davenport (photo)
Jenni Mattila (photo)
Rachel Bacon (photo)
Jo Palmer (photo)
Nick Lane (photo)
Ros Abercrombie (photo)
Tracey Grosser (photo)
Jillian Kilby (photo)
Kerry Grace (photo)
Matt Linnegar (photo)
Sam Birrell (photo)
Rachel Whiting (photo)
Todd Babiak (photo)
Liz Ritchie
Kim Houghton (photo)
Dominique Schwartz (photo)
Shyla Vohra (photo)
Geraldine Mackenzie (photo)
RebeccaTomkinson (photo)


Nutrien Ag Solutions

About the Regional Australia Institute

The RAI is the nation’s first and only independent regional economic think tank specialised in developing and communicating the knowledge, policy and practical solutions required to lift the prosperity of people in regions and Australia overall.


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