This week's Global Foundation Roundtable focused on the Bega Valley's 2020 experience as a way of driving a bigger conversation around recovery, rebuilding, and resilience in regional communities around the world.
About 150 people from France, Singapore, Luxemburg, Canada, Wales and beyond participated in the video conference via Zoom, including a a number from the Bega Valley representing the Yuin Nation, business and industry, arts and culture, environment and community groups.
Mayor Sharon Tapscott said some "big players" took part in the discussion, including the current and former Governor Generals, Andrew Colvin from the National Bushfire Recovery Agency, and Pat Turner, Convenor of the Coalition of the Peaks.
The Global Foundation is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organisation, and through its regular roundtable series aims to connect people to strive together for the global common good, with 'cooperative globalisation' as the model for action on many pressing world issues.
The Bega Valley event held this week is the only one to be held in a regional community so far and canvassed a number of themes:
- Lessons about resilience and recovery
- Opportunities for sustainable economic growth, linking local, national and global
- Culture and knowing who we are
- A green recovery is a universal opportunity and a necessity
- Where to from here?
"We aren't the only community reflecting on these issues and what this week's meeting did was put us in front of key national and international investors and leaders who are looking to make a difference and now see the Bega Valley as receptive and ready for change," Cr Tapscott said.
"Pat Tuner for instance has been instrumental in the new grassroots approach to the Federal Government's Closing the Gap framework. She made the offer this week to fast track the Bega Valley's involvement in that.
"Council has already picked up that invitation and is looking forward to working with the Yuin community about taking the next step."
The particular set of challenges our region had to navigate throughout the Black Summer bushfire emergency around food, fuel, transport, land management, power and communications were also themes of the roundtable discussion.
"What is clear is that we need more localised supports and infrastructure. And with our state and federal representatives in the room, council will continue to make that point," Cr Tapscott said.
Bega Valley Shire Council had hoped to live stream the event to its Facebook page but technical difficulties prevented it, and recordings from the roundtable are available now via The Global Foundation website.