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Liz Ritchie

Chief Executive Officer Regional Australia Institute
Rebalancing the nation – empowering regional Australia for growth

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

The National Press Club of Australia

Liz Ritchie, Chief Executive Officer Regional Australia Institute, will make her Address to the National Press Club of Australia on 'Rebalancing the nation – empowering regional Australia for growth'. This date has changed from the 5th April 2023. 

Capital city dwellers continue to move to the regions at rates higher than pre-pandemic, seeking a better quality of life and more bang for buck.

For the first time, many of us can live where we love, rather than simply where we work – we have choices like never before. But what do the regions need to continue to deliver on this promise of a better life?

In her first address to the National Press Club, Regional Australia Institute CEO, Liz Ritchie makes the common-sense case for a transformative, holistic approach to regional growth.

In parallel with increased internal migration to the bush, regional job vacancies and workforce participation are at all-time highs. Rental vacancy rates in many regional towns are below 1%. More than 3.7 million regional Australians live in a childcare desert and access to a GP remains generally much harder for those outside city bounds.

Meanwhile regional Australia is warming up to be the engine room of the energy transition, the nation's largest economic transformation since the industrial revolution.

The one common factor between all these sectors is regional Australia and therefore it requires a laser like focus to simultaneously achieve economic and social prosperity. But we have a great deal of planning and catch up to make this a reality.

Liz Ritchie is leading the Regional Australia Institute’s 10-year framework to rebalance the nation, seeking ambitious but balanced growth, that has the potential to add billions of dollars to the nation’s overall GDP. Success will require many shoulders to the wheel including from government, business and at a grass roots level.

The Regional Australia Institute is the nation’s only independent think tank dedicated to research to inform regional policy. The RAI was established by the Gillard Government in 2011. In 2023, the RAI’s members include Australia’s leading corporate names; local government organisations and grassroots economic development organisations.

Liz is the former Regional General Manager with Westpac, State Director of CEDA WA and, as the daughter of farmers from Deniliquin, cites being the Founding Festival Director of the famous Deniliquin Ute Muster, as a personal career highlight learning first hand the power of a community..


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