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The Hub’s transformational business

By Professor John McVeigh, Hub Director
24 June 2022

Here at the SQNNSW Innovation Hub, we’re in the business of connecting people. We are about building partnerships, working toward shared goals and working with industries and people to create vibrant landscapes and thriving communities. 

In short, we’re about transformation. The country’s eight drought resilience, adoption and innovation Hubs are all on the road to fostering and supporting pathways to practice change, and that was the clear message we each delivered to the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund (FDF) in Canberra last week (June 16 & 17). 

It was the first time the eight Hub Directors were able to meet face-to-face, when we had the chance to provide an update to both the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE) and the FDF Consultative and Hubs Advisory Committees headed up by sheep producer and former National Farmers’ Federation president Brent Finlay.  

There was positive feedback about the activities of our Hub, and our work toward helping regional communities of Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales in continuous improvement. 
Our Hub, and all of our sister Hubs, have already had additional expectations placed upon us, ones that we are meeting. 

Firstly, over and above our existing drought preparedness and resilience activities, we will soon be able to talk about eight new projects to support agricultural innovation across the region, and also our move into providing extension services via support for adoption officers within our Node partner organisations. 

These are just two activities that will enable our Hub deliver on Brent Finlay’s hopes that we will contribute to an increasing focus on ag innovation in rural Australia, and to increase the extension capacity available to producers.  

The goal of transformation is exactly what all of our team are doing: our Node managers in their local communities, our post docs who are finding and plugging the gaps between existing research and resources and the needs of industry and community, and our team members who are supporting the day-to-day activities. 

Ultimately, our success will be based on locally led initiatives that support drought preparedness and ag innovation at a property level. There’s much to do but as long as our efforts are community and industry led and relevant, we will succeed.