Our Partnership

The Ovens Murray Regional Partnership is one of nine such Partnerships across the state, established by the Victorian Government, recognising that local communities are in the best position to understand the challenges and opportunities faced by their region.

Over the past two years, our Partnership has heard from thousands of people living and working in Ovens Murray, including through two Regional Assemblies.

We've taken your voice to the heart of the Victorian Government, and we look forward to hearing from you in 2018.


2018 Regional Assembly

Our 2018 Regional Assembly was held on Wednesday 27 June in Wangaratta.

It was an opportunity to hear what the Partnership has achieved to date, and for participants to add their thoughts on important issues for our region including agriculture, digital innovation, renewable energy, early years and youth.

It was great to see so many people there and to hear the depth of conversation.



Have your say on our top priorities

Over the past couple of years we have heard about the priorities you want us to work on. Since the last Assembly, we have also been talking to community members, businesses and service providers to get a better understanding of regional needs.

We would now like to know more about some key areas and invite you to share your views now and help us to get the most from this year’s Regional Assembly.

A Sustainable Farming System

We have heard that agriculture has an ageing workforce, with the average age of farmers being nearly 60, and that not many young people consider farming to be an attractive career option.

What actions could be taken to attract younger people into farming careers within the Ovens Murray region and promote what is special about agriculture in Ovens Murray?

29 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Support for when there are arid conditions. Youth permaculture programs with a focus on vegetable and crop produce instead of animal agri ”

24 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Consider re-zoning farm land to allow for farm families to develop their land with business that compliment their current faming practices.”

23 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“The BSC it s good to go with finally building a school worthy of the town. Why are you stopping the promised funding again? ”

22 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Broaden curriculums in regional schools such as Beechworth SC to include agricultural studies.”

20 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Provide loan for equipments and trainings for efficient farming, and selling outlets, so they can sell the produce at competitive price”

20 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Introduce a Permaculture and organic farming course in NE Victoria. Make Vegetable farming a sport with all associated council support”

18 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Agriculture is more than farming. Promote the vast number of associated careers to pique interest in young people and their parents. ”

16 June, 2018

Tric says:

“Assist a school like Beechworth SC to establish and run Agricultural Studies on site- we want to & kids want to”

15 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“To get younger people into agriculture you need to have agriculture addressing the pressing major issues ... forward looking ”

15 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“The cost of viable agricultural land is an issue to those wanting a farming career. A program to access older farmers land could solve this ”

12 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Programs within the Agricultural and Horticultural Sectors - Opportunities within each from Seed, growing, Sales & Marketing to R&D all are ”

10 June, 2018

BowmansFletcher says:

“Sponsor farmers to offer cadetships for 17 yrs + and link to VCAL subjects; including on-farm technology which the farmer can also enroll in”

Overcoming the Digital Gap

People are finding that many basic tasks are requiring them to get online and many employers are requiring workers to have digital skills.

How can we increase adoption of innovative technology and build the digital skills of people in the Ovens Murray region – all ages, abilities and backgrounds?

29 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Pop up IT stops with monthly workshops ”

20 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Fund an IT Cafe, where people can use internet and also shown how to do basic things such as email, Browse, download and use app, net safety”

16 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Government supported Programs where the young are paid to run ICT workshops for older community members”

15 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Provide TAFE opportunities and specific agricultural programs. Involve the BOM and Universities in program development ”

5 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Internet that offers reliability and speed- we don’t have that here in the north east.”

4 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Increased scope of community based training. ”

4 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Reliable and fast Internet MUST be a priority in regional areas. We just don't get what is in the city. We can't rely on our internet.”

2 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Just want a reliable telephone line and NBN for starters!”

30 May, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Schools could provide digital skills sessions for parents/families/community members - most students are very skilled.”

Entrepreneurship from the Ground Up

The workforce is changing rapidly with fewer traditional job opportunities and increasing expectations to be creative, mobile and adaptable.

How can we encourage people to create their own employment and bring their jobs into the region through entrepreneurship, remote or web based work, mobile freelancing and business start-ups?

22 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Provide a framework for small towns to give startup businesses access to vacant shopfront and real estate. This has worked in other areas.”

20 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Fund a small business startup agency, help with abn, awards, bookkeeping tool, where to get loans, website, and advertising, compliance ”

15 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Improve infrastructure especially rail transport to increase the size of the market ( number of people accessible). And education facilities”

6 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Partnerships with schools and universities - some entrepreneurs need interns/junior staff, who often don’t stick around regional areas. ”

6 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Sadly, we know the solution and aren’t conquering it: reliable phone and internet throughout the region, fast reliable train to Melb and Syd”

6 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Sadly, we know the solution and aren’t conquering it: reliable phone and internet throughout the region, fast reliable train to Melb and Syd”

2 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Enterprise training from school (eg ACRE) and micro-enterprise hubs in town centres as shared market place and hot-desks for networking”

30 May, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Provide examples, case studies, speakers - show how it can be done.”

29 May, 2018

Anonymous says:

“An ideas hub where people can pitch their idea and then others can opt to join the person in getting it up and running. ”

29 May, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Mentoring for those that have an idea but don't know how to go about it. ”

29 May, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Better career advice for schools students STILL list doctor, nurse, teacher, builder on their career plans! ”

28 May, 2018

Anonymous says:

“By improving the NBN to the point where it allows people to offer services that require greater speed and bandwidth.”

Renewable Energy

Ovens Murray has significant renewable energy generation opportunities, particularly for solar power.

What can we do to capitalise on the demand for renewable energy in ways that will benefit our region?

25 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Community solar enterprises are exciting as is value adding agriculture with solar energy but solar farms on arable land are a concern.”

15 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Market the value of solar for middle and large businesses in the region. Including agribusinesses. Create purchasing deals to help take up ”

12 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Clone Yackandandah ‘s strategy in other towns”

8 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Would love to see the see Ovens and Murray region full of micro grids; roof top solar, batteries and smart controllers. ”

8 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“How about a community energy retailer...”

8 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“How about a community energy retailer...”

5 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Maybe solar farming should be thought through a bit more- why not utilise areas that are marginal rather than productive farming land.”

4 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Assistance with community based purchasing initiatives. ”

2 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Solar farms on roofs of all industrial areas feeding into the grid and reducing power costs for businesses. 50/50 business/community energy”

Supporting Our Children (0-6 years)

The data tells us that young children in the Ovens Murray region are less developmentally ready to start school than children in most other parts of Regional Victoria.

How can we give children the best start in life and support their families during those early years?

19 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Rural children in this area are challenged by the chemical cocktail they are subject to due to Victorias continued use of Hazardous Chemical”

16 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Out of Home Care support for carers and parents.”

15 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Lobby state and federal government to provide more pre school places. Set up community houses and day care facilities. ”

10 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“We need to focus on supporting mothers when baby is in uter. Support mothers to attatch to their newborns & provide access to services ”

6 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“I’d like to know more about this, tonunderstand the criteria and factors in developmental readiness so we can address it”

5 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Family mentoring- families from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are having more children. We need villages to support our children.”

4 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Support the running of play groups as a connector into early years. Use schools to run parent support sessions. ”

2 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“co-locate childcare and family daycare centres at retirement villages”

30 May, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Support for our young families - places where they feel comfortable/included and can seek advice/support.”

29 May, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Create a digital guide for parents to implement from home to prepare their children. A checklist of social, emotional, physical milestones.”

29 May, 2018

Anonymous says:

“More childcare facilities to accommodate the expected growth in the region.”

29 May, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Invest in childcare facilities and staff. ”

Supporting Our Young People

Surveys and other measures of wellbeing show that young people are finding life more difficult than they did in the past.

What can we do to assist young people in our region to enjoy happy, healthy lives and establish a strong foundation for their future wellbeing?

25 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Beechworth is a lucrative 'destination' town for Victoria and should be supported by a functional secondary school.”

25 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“A fast train system would facilitate a vast flow of benefits between rural and regional settings. Other countries can do it why not us?”

23 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Fund and provide safe comfortable modern learning classrooms at Beechworth Secondary College.”

22 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Advocate for funding for the Beechworth Secondary College. Send the message to our youth that they matter and wont be forgotten. ”

22 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“More leadership development and mentoring opportunities.”

22 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Provide more alternatives to the traditional school model.”

22 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Fund a broader range of mental health support services. Lobby for security of funding for existing services.”

22 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Invest in Beechworth Secondary College & providing 21st education facalilities that were promised. Our kids need a safe place to learn.”

20 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“You're happy when you feel safe and cared for. Fix the buildings at Beechworth Secondary School, that will assist our young people!”

19 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Students at BSC are studying in spaces that no adult should be allowed to work in -hello OH&S! Asbestos, Buildings falling apart. Discgrace ”

19 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“please provide beechworth secondary college with the funding they need to upgrade the facilities. It’s only fair ”

19 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“It is imperative that the students of Beechworth Secondary school finally benefit from the promised works. Fair go to our country kids!!!!”

Other regional priorities

Other regional priorities you told us about that we have been working on include passenger rail, tourism, health and wellbeing, education and skills and economic development.

Your thoughts about these priorities are welcome.

27 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Link Traditional Owner support & priorities into OM regional partnership work. NB: Bpanerang recognised as TOs not Yorta Yorta (RAP only)”

25 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“A regional approach to green waste composting in each town would provide local jobs and minimise transport, odour and regulation issues ”

22 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“If regional towns are going to be viable in terms of population and growth, local schools need to be competitive. Fund Beechworth Secondary”

22 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Without fast, reliable, affordable access to telecommunication our rural and isolated communities will get left behind.”

22 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Can't expect economic growth without reliable transport and telecommunications. These are top priority. ”

20 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Fund Beechworth Secondary School upgrades and more families will come to our region seeking excellence in public education.”

20 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“A reliable train service is priority.”

19 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Beechworth secondary upgrade is a regional priority. Local schooling means we can build community and kids are not travelling 1.5-2hrs”

18 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Educate our kids in modern facilities. Complete the promised Beechworth Secondary College upgrade! ”

16 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Respectful partnership between Government and rural services-upgrading Beechworth Secondary College would help the rural youth to suceed.”

15 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Education. Beechworth Secondary College needs to get upgraded. This is so important to our community. They have waited and waited. ”

15 June, 2018

Anonymous says:

“Fund Beechworth Secondary College upgrade! ”