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(What if) Gippsland took a leading role on the global stage (?)

We asked the team at Snowy Advisory to share their bold vision for Gippsland in 2040 – it didn’t disappoint.

Dec 21, 2023


Words: Snowy Advisory

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You’d struggle to find folks as optimistic about our region’s future as those on the Gippslandia team. Sharing Gippsland’s stories, and gaining insights into the incredible people behind them, we’re frequently abuzz with excitement about the potential of the area.

Getting to chat with the team at Snowy Advisory, it didn’t take long to see that their dreams for this region are just as big as ours – maybe braver. We asked them to share their bold vision for Gippsland in 2040 – it didn’t disappoint.

“...the holistic innovation occurring reflects Gippslandians' pervasive dedication to improving the social fabric and well-being of their neighbours.”

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Let's kick off by considering the bigger picture.

Fuelled by innovation, Gippsland has transformed into a thriving regional hub, positioning itself as the renewable energy ‘Green Silicon Valley’ of Australia – the Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) and offshore wind being big players. Embracing technology and innovative leadership, Gippsland is now a beacon for regional development, fostering entrepreneurial diversity, progressive policies and successful change management.

Gippsland is also distinguishing itself as a pioneer in social well-being – the holistic innovation occurring reflects Gippslandians' pervasive dedication to improving the social fabric and well-being of their neighbours.

Now for the specifics.

As we approach the 2050 carbon-neutral target, renewable energy manufacturing businesses are becoming a common sight, particularly in central Gippsland. Factories and manufacturers have pivoted to join new entrants in supporting the REZ and the offshore wind sites. We’ve established a problem-solving hub with researchers, together with all the players in the supply chain, tackling industry challenges and driving productivity growth and sustainability.

Communities and industries across Gippsland have embraced carbon neutrality. We are exceeding our emission reduction targets and all six Gippsland shires are facilitating, enabling and, importantly, sharing solutions to carbon challenges.

Initiatives like private tree plantations are actively sequestering carbon; direct trades between tree owners and their global offset clients are regular business practice and we are becoming a carbon trading mecca.

Discerning visitors – inspired by our remarkable natural features – are redefining Gippsland’s visitor demographics. Micro and small businesses are the engine room of the visitor economy, showcasing the best of local provenance and artisan goods. Demand for transparency has inspired Gippsland to achieve its own provenance certification, which visitors diligently seek out.

The hospitality and agricultural industries have coalesced around mutual continued improvement. Hubs across Gippsland are delivering training for everything from food production, supply chain logistics, nutrition and cooking to marketing and hospitality management – collaboration at its best.

Gippsland’s native food industries have taken off – propelled by local First Nations food experts and supportive First Nations organisations. A network of native food farms affiliated with these entities supplies local cafés, restaurants and hospitality businesses across Australia and international markets, generating native food revenue. Native food producers are partnering with prominent traditional growers to diversify food varieties, increasing productivity on prime Australian agricultural land. These partnerships are made possible through visionary leadership and models of business that empower First Nations organisations.

‘Twitchers’ from all over the world are discovering bird-watching paradises (yes, plural) where marine, estuarine, freshwater, grasslands, temperate rainforest and coastal scrub areas all coexist within a few square kilometres (think Marlo and Seaspray). Big-spending bird watchers are creating new opportunities for wilderness travel and hospitality ventures serving local food across key coastal, wetland and mountain destinations.

Let’s turn to our people and their well-being.

A campaign to attract people in the ‘transition to retirement’ is gaining momentum. Our region is recognised as age-friendly and a location of choice for active retirees, sea changers and tree changers. These people – and their lifetime of accumulated knowledge and skills – have helped transform local businesses, creating a thriving economy, and have contributed to Gippsland’s global ‘green’ credentials.

‘Gippsland’ has become synonymous with ‘outdoor education excellence’. The region of choice for school camps, we are renowned for tailoring programs to student needs and providing leadership development and team-building experiences within wilderness environments.

Co-designed by health professionals, youth experts and host venues, and supported by visionary public policy, our communities are establishing novel ‘data-free’ spaces that allow young people to ‘disconnect’, recover and reset.

Gippsland is overcoming accommodation shortages through collaborative efforts by councils, the Gippsland Regional Partnership, the Committee for Gippsland, government agencies and private businesses. In the mid-2020s, they launched targeted public-private partnerships and a startup program. A reinvigorated Startup Gippsland created local, innovative supply chain opportunities – combining local sustainable materials with high-tech architecture. Dedicated compact housing developments have changed the face and look of micro-housing and improved the aesthetics of several of the region’s towns.

Gippsland in 2040 is full of energy and enthusiasm. Emissions targets met, sustainability practices admired and energetic communities embracing innovative ideas and capturing the imagination of those hungry for wilderness experiences and amazing produce, other regions are looking on enviously, seeking to replicate our success.

Gippsland is indeed on the global stage.

In late 2019, Leecia and Stephen Angus, finished with the ‘corporate world’, but far from embracing the prospect of becoming full-time grey nomads or dedicating themselves solely to rose pruning, they eagerly sought to fill their lives with a renewed sense of purpose. Snowy Advisory emerged as their platform for consulting and contributing pro bono services to communities across Gippsland and beyond.

To cap it off, on their property near Orbost, they cultivate commercial garlic and have established a private hardwood plantation and implemented biodiversity corridors. They’re not a pair for sitting still!

You can find more at snowyadvisory.com and contact them at enquiries@snowyadvisory.com.

Gippslandia - Issue No. 29

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