Farewell from Jack Archer

Outgoing Regional Australia Institute CEO has penned a farewell message reflecting on the ‘greatest hits’ during his time at the institute.

When we started the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) in 2011 we wanted to achieve several things.

We wanted to create an influential voice for regions in the national conversation. One that was independent of industry and other interest that used evidence to advocate for better regional policy.

We wanted to rebalance the conversation to counter what can be an overwhelmingly negativity about the future of our regions and look forward with robust ambition.

We wanted to move regional development policy firmly beyond the old school concrete cargo cult – because the future of regions is about people, not infrastructure.

We also wanted to help policy makers to respond to the diversity in regions. We believe that place-based policy – ideally locally led – should win out over one-size-fits-all decisions.

After seven years I believe we have made enormous progress on each of these fronts. The RAI is an important player in national debate and policy making for regions around the country is changing.

Today is my last day and it’s been a great privilege to be part of the journey. To mark the occasion, I have compiled a list of what I see as our ‘greatest hits’ during my time with the RAI. There is also a link below to my last opinion piece on the future of regions.

I can’t leave without saying a big thanks to all the supporters of the RAI from around the country and to all the regional leaders who have taught me so much about the places they live in and lead. Thanks also to all of the organisations who have partnered with us and invested in our work.

Finally, thanks to the Board and staff for their effort and support.

I hope all of you will provide Kim and Liz with the support I have received, in their new roles as co-CEOs. If you do, I know they will succeed in taking the RAI to the next level over the coming years.

All the best for the future,

Jack Archer