In Australia, regions are not just geographic locations, they are also cultural ideas. Being regional means being located outside the nation’s capital cities and in the periphery of its centres of power and influence. Regional development in Australia is thus significantly different than its European or American counterparts. However, surprisingly little has been written about the unique dynamics of development in Australia's regions; this book has been written to fill this gap.
In recent decades the Australian government has made repeated policy efforts to achieve sustainable development in its non-metropolitan areas. Over the same period, those who live and work outside the nation’s capital cities have come to identify as regional Australians. This booktakes an anthropological approach to understanding the particularities of regional development in Australia. It draws upon rich, on-the-ground observations of towns, industries, universities, development organisations, and communities across different settings to provide an in-depth understanding of the subject.
This book will be of interest to researchers and practitioners concerned with regional development and policy.
‘In Regional Development in Australia Robyn Eversole demonstrates her profound capacity to challenge our established – and too often unquestioned – understanding of what it means to live and work outside the nation’s capitals. This elegantly written book sheds new light on the social and economic processes shaping regional Australia and throws up new possibilities for its future development. Regional Development in Australia is a book of potentially enormous benefit for researchers, policy makers, economic development practitioners and all those who study how non metropolitan places grow or decline.’ — Andrew Beer, Dean, Research and Innovation, University of South Australia Business School, Australia
‘Robyn Eversole presents a valuable and original analysis of the state of Regional Australia that goes beyond identifying problems to propose realistic solutions.’ — Professor John Tomaney, Bartlett School of Planning, University College London and Fellow of the Regional Australia Institute, UK
‘This book is both a reflective and provocative contribution to the study of regional development in Australia. […] Robyn Eversole brings her lived experience of regional Australia to this book and her analysis of the experience of ‘doing’ regional development is empathetic, perceptive and well informed. This books celebrates the complexities of non-metropolitan Australia and the many people who are dedicated to its viability and sustainability. It is not however shy of articulating the often city-centric decisions and policies which clearly do not understand the particular nuances of regional Australia and which so often undermine the potential opportunities of this highly productive but also challenging environment.’ — Professor Fiona Haslam McKenzie, Co-Director, Centre for Regional Development, The University of Western Australia, Australia
'Eversole has a perceptive grasp of the contemporary issues and challenges for widening conceptions of regional development in Australia.' — Professor Andy Pike, Director, Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), UK
‘In this tour de force Robyn Eversole brings great insight into the challenges facing regional Australia. Her anthropological perspective shines a light on aspects of life in regional Australia overlooked by the dominant regional science paradigms of geography and economics. It is a must read for metropolitan-based policy-makers concerned with the future of regional Australia. Notwithstanding the continuing ‘institutional gap’ Eversole reveals between local and central institutions we are left with an optimistic view of the capability of regional Australians to address the challenges they face.’ — Dr John Martin, Emeritus Professor, La Trobe University, Australia
‘Robyn Eversole provides an insightful analysis of the Australian regional development situation, melding her theoretical knowledge with significant practical experience in regions around Australia. The reasons for our lack of progress in many regions are exposed, as are the ways in which our outdated assumptions about the state of play in many places clouds our judgement about how to best enable a brighter future outside our major cities. The book serves as an essential brief for anyone seeking to make an impact in their region or in regional policy.’ — Jack Archer, CEO, Regional Australia Institute, Australia
‘Robyn Everesole has produced a succinct but deeply insightful review of key aspects of regional development in Australia. The predominance of an anthropological rather than economic perspective on regional processes and experience is a refreshing contrast to many other Australian commentaries. Her account is highly personal yet comprehensive in the other sources on which draws, and the onsights which she presents to complement her own. This is a very useful resource not only for students of regional development in large developed countries, but also for researchers and policy makers who will find thaf she offers many thought-provoking insights.’ — Professor Bruce Wilson, Director of the European Union Centre, RMIT University, Australia
1. Regional towns 2. Regional industries 3. Regional universities 4. Institutions and communities 5. Conclusion: being regional