TALES OF ALTERNATE TOURISM REINVENTING RURAL TOWNS What it takes to build strong, enterprising and sustainable towns

Residents, community leaders and program coordinators from small towns across Australia are invited to this week’s Rural Aid webinar on alternate tourism initiatives.

Each week, Rural Aid delivers a free webinar as part of the Community Builders series, and this Thursday at 4pm AEST the focus is on two towns with populations of under 600 and their successful tourism initiatives.

Rural Aid CEO John Warlters said the webinar is built to inspire and motivate small towns to take control of their futures.

“The story of Derby in Tasmania is a cracking tale of a place that was in decline but capitalised on their natural resources and an increasingly popular sporting pursuit to develop a globally renowned mountain biking track.” Mr Warlters said. “Derby now attracts 30,000 people per year and injects up to $18 million into the local economy.”

“Then we’ll head to the town of Morawa in the mid-west of Western Australia where locals are taking advantage of their low-light pollution and extraordinary night sky to develop successful telescope tourism.”

This week’s guest speakers are Greg Howard, mayor of Derby and a third-generation local farmer, and Carol Redford, better known across WA as the “galaxy girl” bringing astro-tourism to 15 towns in rural areas.

The free webinar series, sponsored by Bushells, was created during the early months of Covid-19 restrictions to support small towns in rural and remote Australia to develop stronger futures in the face of adversity.  

The webinars are hosted by Peter Kenyon, community change and renewal expert from The Bank of Ideas.

“This week’s webinar is all about reinvention through alternate tourism, putting little towns on the global stage. We will talk to two communities that have reinvented their fortunes through new alternative tourism initiatives. One through sport and the other through stars,” Mr Kenyon said.

“It’s amazing what communities realise about their potential when they focus on the assets at their disposal, particularly natural resources that locals often take for granted.”

Guests from these towns will speak on the initiatives that worked for their communities, and attendees can ask questions through the chat function of the webinar platform.

  • Week 2: 13 August 4pm-5pm AEST | Reinvent your town’s fortunes through alternative tourism
  • Week 3: 20 August 4pm-5pm AEST | How to use events to put your town on the map
  • Week 4: 27 August 4pm-5pm AEST | Bold community campaigns that work in small towns

To register to be part of the Community Builders Series, visit: ruralaid.org.au/towns/webinars


About Rural Aid

Rural Aid is one of Australia’s largest rural charities. Well known for the highly successful ‘Buy a Bale’ campaign, the charity also provides financial assistance, water and counselling to farmers in times of drought, flood or fire. Other initiatives support its vision that farming and rural communities are safeguarded to ensure their sustainability both during and after these natural disasters. Visit www.ruralaid.org.au for further information on these programs and other support for our rural communities.

Media: 0447 116 757 | media@admin.media.ruralaid.org.au

Spokesperson: Rural Aid CEO John Warlters | 0409 618 641

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