Blog:

The Power of the Regional Voice

C7EVEN’s Client Service Director Anna Moulder, shares her thoughts on communication and information sharing across regional and rural Australia, and the profound impact and power of the regional voice!

For my entire career, I have proudly lived and worked in regional Australia. This has been a deliberate choice based on the lifestyle it affords me, and this continues to be the choice I make, due to the wonderful life it now gives my young family. 

For many years though, the question would come “When are you moving to Sydney to further your career?”  

A regionally-based career (particularly in broadcasting) was so commonly seen as a stepping stone, not a final destination.  What was once considered a place for beginners to cut their teeth, choosing to tell the stories of regional communities, choosing to reflect life being lived outside the major cities, has become, I think, far more accepted, professionally speaking, and far more common a choice, lifestyle wise. I found my career in radio to be very fulfilling, I was even afforded the chance to broadcast to metro audiences on many occasions – thanks to technology, my location was not an issue. 

If you live in regional Australia, you’ll already know the wonders and challenges it can bring. Immersing into a community, discovering the surrounding localities, understanding the history and stories of the first nation’s people of the area… it all adds to the rich tapestry of belonging somewhere, a place where the stars shine brightly and connections run deep. 

From a storyteller’s point of view, there’s something very special about being able to adequately share these voices, to reflect the communities and uncover the perspectives of folk who live life regionally. Whilst this has always been important, we know many more are now appreciating (and choosing to live) this lifestyle too. 

Economically, we know the value of regional Australia is impressive. From food and fibre, to providing the backdrop for the latest Mad Max film (thanks again Broken Hill), to giving you a bougie holiday destination, regional Australia is thoroughly epic. And so are the voices found here – their experience, the knowledge they share. The business houses, regional organisations, community groups, commercial entities all working to help regional Australia thrive, ultimately shaping the essence of your experience you have when within a community. This vast landscape enveloping us informs a strong current of connection… it is a place where critical and intelligent work occurs, where experimentation and aptitude is combining each and every day. 

Innovation and implementation of change (particularly in sectors like agriculture and renewables) is all taking place here, in the country. Leading the way, for Australia, and in some sectors (like Agri), for the world. If we consider the current climate around truth telling, news production, misinformation, reporting… it only enhances the need for adequate reflection of the many and diverse experiences across Australia. Particularly for those living outside the city limits, regionally-based news bureaux provide a mirror to our local communities, they hold our politicians to account, and help inform our policy makers, who are often based away.  

Interestingly, there can also be a demand for rurally based stories to be told for a city-based audience to understand. Does this improve momentum for policy to better cater to regional communities, as well as the city dwellers? I’m not sure… but no doubt having city-based advocates on regional issues is important, at the very least to have some deeper sense of how regional Australia functions, and its value to the wider economy.  

I’m by no means assuming those in the city don’t care, nor understand the regional lifestyle and services we require, however, as the kids say, IYKYK… and you can’t know what you don’t know – so there’s great value in being able to tell stories for regional communities, but also sharing those stories for the wider population. (I would acknowledge the barrier of understanding can also work in the reverse, for regional folk not living the city experience, but I digress).  

The value of country journos, reporters, program makers, storytellers… is huge. From those at the very beginning of their careers, to those with lots of experience choosing to make regional life their forever base… in a world of misinformation, where we’ve seen such boom in tech, a constant bombardment (if you let it) of information and many ways of absorbing and accessing that info… let us continue to understand the importance of regional and rural stories being told.  

Let us not forget the importance of giving the respect so deserved to the regional perspective. Let us acknowledge the incredible work being done every day across this incredible land we live upon… something I personally celebrate and am thankful for constantly. The ability to allow regional voices to be heard is just one of the reasons I have cherished my many years working in regional media, and I will champion those who are working hard every day to do this.  

The joy of storytelling continues for me too, just in a slightly different form – in my new role as Client Service Director with C7EVEN, I’m able to support our dedicated and intuitive team to best showcase the stories, skillsets and work of some incredible businesses, community-led organisations and innovators who are investing in regional Australia, working right across the country (and beyond) playing their part in keeping regional Australia thriving. 

Whilst the way stories will be told, and shared, will continue to change and evolve over the years, let’s recognise the strength of the regional experience. Voices worth hearing, every day. 

 

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