Good news for Regional Australia. Government launches Regions 2030: Unlocking Opportunity in Regional Australia

WRI welcomes the Government’s recently launched policy statement for rural, regional and remote Australia: Regions 2030 Unlocking Opportunity.

WRI believes this is an important attempt to link-up programs across key outcome areas and to create a more integrated regional development framework. It's pleasing to note the more confident approach to promoting the economic and social role regions play in delivering prosperity to cities and the nation.

WRI's Media Release.

Minister's announcement.

Regions2030 01 01 01



WRI announces new Inland Research Fund

The Western Research Institute today announced a new Inland Research Fund to support high quality policy research that will assist in targeting programs for inland communities and promote investment in inland economies.

The new research fund is one of the many new ways WRI strives to make a real difference in the community, and to be a first-choice, front-of-mind service for inland regions.

Media release.



WRI Welcomes new Board Members, farewells long-standing Directors

WRI announces new board members web

Photo: (L to R) WRI Chair Mark Burdack with new Director Andrew Everett, WRI General Manager Wendy Mason and retiring Directors Michael Milston and Ian Davison.

WRI welcomed new directors Andrew Everett and Jo-anne Strader to its Board of Directors at an event held in Orange recently. The appointment of Andrew and Jo-anne is consistent with WRI's plan to bring new knowledge and expertise onto the Board that will support our regions to address key challenges, and seize new opportunities, into the future, said WRI's Chair, Mark Burdack.

At the event Former Chair Michael Milston and Deputy Chair Ian Davison were farewelled. We have greatly benefited from the outstanding contribution of outgoing directors Michael Milston and Ian Davison. They have given their time and energy for many years to advance WRI, and I join with the Board in wishing them all the very best in their future endeavours', said Mr Burdack. 

The continuing members of the Board are Juliet Duffy (CEO, Regional Enviroscience), Kate Baxter (Regional General Manager, NSW TAFE West Region) and Lesa Dunn (Director, NSW Department of Education and Training).

A full press release can be read here.



TAFE Western a critical contributor to regional NSW

IMG 7805 web

Photo: Wendy Mason with TAFE Western Institute acting director Adam Bennett. source: TAFE Western Institute

In addition to contributing 870 jobs in central and western NSW and adding $128 million in gross regional product each year TAFE Western's impact on the Human Capital of regional NSW is huge.

Human capital is, “the skills, knowledge, and experience possessed by an individual or population, viewed in terms of their value or cost to an organisation or country”. In the case of TAFE Western graduates, they will earn $125 million dollars in income, across their lifetime, compared to those without post-school qualifications.

“Individuals who gain a Certificate III or above increase their weekly earnings, and this is the same for TAFE’s Aboriginal students. Unemployment levels are also lower for all students once they gain at least a Certificate III level qualification at TAFE Western" says Adam Bennet, acting director TAFE Western.

Read more on the TAFE Western website.

Download the factsheet.


Wendy profiled in Dubbo Liberal


New General Manager Wendy Mason has hit the ground running in her first week at the head of the organisation. Wendy recently attended a series of meetings with key stakholders and potential clients in Dubbo, as well as attending the Dubbo Chamber of Commerce business breakfast.

Whilst in Dubbo, Wendy took some time out of her schedule to meet with the Dubbo Liberal who published a piece profiling her return to Western NSW.

Click on the link to read the full Dubbo Liberal article.


WRI welcomes new General Manager

Wendy Mason pictured with Deputy Chair Ian Davison

The Western Research Institute (WRI) board is pleased to announce it has appointed Ms Wendy Mason as the new General Manager of the Western Research Institute Limited.  Wendy will commence work on 29 March 2016.

Wendy comes to WRI from her former position as Head of the Commonwealth Bank Foundation.  The Commonwealth Bank is the largest bank in Australia, and the Foundation managed the Bank’s philanthropic program focussing on financial literacy education.  During her tenure with the Bank, Wendy designed the Bank’s flagship StartSmart program which is now delivered to over 500,000 school aged children around Australia each year. She played a key role in managing the Bank’s relationships with Government, the community and industry.

In this role, Wendy was responsible for a triennial budget of $50 million and worked closely with research organisations such as Monash University and the Australian Centre for Educational Research to develop and evaluate programs to support improved financial literacy in Australia.

Wendy has also worked as a primary school teacher, adult educator, community relations and marketing manager for a major private school and in various roles with the Commonwealth Bank Foundation.

She brings with her formal qualifications in education and psychology from the University of Sydney, a Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management and Graduate Certificate in Business (Marketing). Wendy also holds an Australian Institute of Company Director’s Diploma of Business (Governance).  

In addition to her formal qualifications Wendy has undertaken studies in social investment, and won the Commonwealth Bank’s CEO Award for Excellence.  She was nominated to represent the Commonwealth Bank through its Women in Leadership program at the Garma Festival, a Global Gathering of 2,500 business and political Leaders to discuss Indigenous opportunities and development.  

Wendy comes to the Western Research Institute Limited with extensive management and business development experience in a ‘small team’ environment; excellent networks, and a substantial track record, in stakeholder relations across the government, financial and not-for-profit sectors; and, experience as a major end-user of research to support best practice outcomes.

Growing up in the central west, she is enthusiastic about the opportunity to return to the country and work with the staff of WRI to support the social, economic and environmental development and sustainability of rural and Indigenous communities in our regions.  

The Board is very excited to welcome Wendy as the new face and leader of WRI, and as someone with the skills, experience and outlook to advance the 2016-20 Strategy.



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