Webinar: COVID 19: What's Next for Regional Victoria?

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Webinar of the Centre for the Study of the Inland

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Wednesday 24 June 2020 05:00 pm until Wednesday 24 June 2020 06:15 pm (Add to calendar)
Centre for the Study of the Inland
Presented by:
Cathy McGowan, Sam Birrell, Ross Lake; Chair: Katie Holmes
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In just a few months, our lives have been upended in so many ways by the impact of COVID-19. The pandemic has created challenges for our everyday lives and raises critical questions about the shape of all our futures.

But what has been its impact in regional Victoria? And what lies ahead as different regions face the on-going challenges of a changing climate, employment, water management, healthcare, transport and infrastructure. Join our panel for an online discussion about how can we navigate through the challenges we face in the months and years to come.


Cathy McGowan (Former member for Indi and Vice Chancellor’s Fellow)
Sam Birrell (CEO Committee for Greater Shepparton)
Ross Lake (Mildura businessman and community activist)

Chair: Katie Holmes (Director, La Trobe’s Centre for the Study of the Inland)

Panellists’ profiles:

Cathy McGowan was the independent member for Indi from 2013-2019. During her time as a politician Cathy actively worked in Parliament to develop policy around regional development, constitutional change for first nations people and a solution to the indefinite detention of asylum seekers.  In 2019 she was awarded The Accountability Round Table award for political integrity and in 2020 became a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at La Trobe University. She is an Officer in the Order of Australia, a Churchill fellow and lives very happily on her farm in the Indigo Valley in NE Victoria.

Sam Birrell has been the CEO of Committee for Greater Shepparton since 2016. He has a background in agriculture and horticultural agronomy and has worked in the water management and irrigation field for many years. He chairs the board of Goulburn Community Leadership, the La Trobe Shepparton Regional Advisory Board, and in 2018 graduated from La Trobe MBA program.

Ross Lake OAM isa Mildura based businessman,Managing Director of Tasco Petroleum, a wine grower, community activist and arts dabbler, with a long standing interest in the river, water management and environmental issues across the region. He is the Chair of Mallee Family Care and has a passion for the history of the Sunraysia district.

Katie Holmesis the Director of the Centre for the Study of the Inland and a Professor of History. She is the co-leader of La Trobe’s Climate Network and the coordinator of the new Environmental Humanities major within the Bachelor of Arts.

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