This three-day event will inspire economic development professionals to develop plans which address the challenges facing communities across Australia, showcase the importance of places and how to create diversification and build long-term economic resilience and how to deliver economic development with people at the centre.

NEDC23 is the only national event which brings together economic development professionals from local, state and federal government, the private sector and other stakeholders with an interest in Australia’s prosperity and economic growth.


NEDC23 Initial Program

DateSession Details
Tuesday August 22Day 1
Delegates can select one of three optional activities.
Half day (12:30pm - 5pm)Option 2: Dampier Port Study Tour (optional)
Half day (12:30pm - 5pm)Option 3: Corps Group Site Tour and Murujuga Rock Art Study Tour (optional)
6pm - 8pmWelcome Function and Registration: Red Earth Arts Precinct The Shelf
Wednesday August 23Day 2
8amCoffee & Registration
Elle Pound, MC
8:30amWelcome to Country
8:40amEDA Welcome Address/br>Jacqueline Brinkman GAICD, CEO EDA
8:55amMinister's Address
The Hon Stephen Dawson MLC
9:05amHost Welcome Address
Peter Long, City of Karratha Mayor
9:15am Keynote - Social inclusion and climate action - Why a wholistic approach to economic development makes (dollars) and sense.
Nicki Hutley, Economic Consultant
10amNational Economic Development Awards for Excellence - Finalist Announcement 1
10:10amMorning Break
10:25amPresentation - Investment for Impact - Building shared wealth
Mary Delahunty, Founder and Managing Director Seven Advisory
10:45amPresentation - Measuring economic prosperity - What does economic growth mean and how do current measures fall short?
Dr Susan Stone, Chair of Economics Credit Union SA
11:05amQuestion & Answer - Panel members Facilitator - Nicki Hutley
11:35amNational Economic Development Awards for Excellence - Finalist Announcement 2
12:30pmBreak Out Session 1 - Cities Theatre
Facilitator - Matt Grant
Break Out Session 2 - RegionsStudio Rooms
Facilitator - Simon Massey
12:35PMCase Study - Topic - Ethical tech and civilized capitalism - viva la revolution!
Ania Karzek, Manager Strategy and Governance
12:35pmCase Study - Topic - City of Karratha - A "look under the hood" in the engine room of the nation - Translating the Karratha experience to other regions
Virginia Miltrup, City of Karratha CEO
12:55pmCase Study - Topic - Smart Cities - The important role of Monitoring Activity Levels in your LGA
Jordan Tomopoulos, Economic Research & Data Analyst
12:55pmCase Study - Topic - Planning for regional social change – understanding the drivers and subsequent impacts on social infrastructure provision
Rhiannon Jaeger-Michael and Dr Sheridan Coakes, Unwelt Australia
1:10PMCase Study - Topic - Shining a Light on the Night: Exploring the thriving future of night time economies.
Emmily Acton, Economic Development Officer
1:25PMCase Study - Topic - Case study of Grow Local
Kitty Prodonovich, CEO Regional Chambers of Commerce and Industry WA
1:25PMCase Study - Topic - The Phenomenon of Ramadan Night Lakemba
Mike Thomas, Manager City Business and Engagement
1:35pmQuestion & Answer - Panel members
Panellists: Virginia Miltrup, Rhiannon Jaeger-Michael, Dr. Sheridan Coakes, Kitty Prodonovich
1:45pmQuestion & Answer - Panel members
Panellists: Ania Karzek, Jordon Tomopoulos, Emmily Acton, Mike Thomas
2pmAfternoon Break
2:15pmNational Economic Development Awards for Excellence - Finalist Announcement 3
2:25pmBreaking Down the Breakouts
Elle Pound, Matt Grant, Simon Massey
2:45pm Keynote - Indigenous economic development
Darren Godwell, President & CEO i2i Development Global
Question & Answer - Keynote presenter
3:40pmPresentation - The Bajinhurrba Project - Cossack Historical Townsite
Sean-Paul Stephens, Ngarluma Yindjibarndi Foundation CEO
3:50pmDay 2 Close
Elle Pound
4pmConclude Day 2
6-10pmNational Economic Development Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner - Cossack
Thursday August 24Day 3
8:30amCoffee & Welcome
9amWelcome & Recap
Elle Pound
9:15am Keynote - Economic development through the demographic lens - Outrageous + Optimism
Simon Kuestenmacher, Co-Founder & Director The Demographics Group
Question & Answer - Keynote presenter
10:10am Keynote Fireside Chat with Simon Kuestenmacher and Juan Pablo Alcantar
Facilitator - Michael Campbell
10:30amMorning Break
Rapid Fire 20 Minutes Sessions
10:55am Presentation - Attract Connect Stay – An evidenced-based, person-centred, placed-based solution for strengthening rural Australia’s professional & skilled workforces
Dr Cath Cosgrave, Founder Cath Cosgrave Consulting
11:15am Presentation - Skills for the Future: What are they and more importantly the pathways to acquiring them?
CEO Pilbara Kimberley Universities Centre
11:35am Presentation - Workplace diversity
Laura Allen, Onshore Installation Manager
11:55am Question & Answer - Panel members
Panellists: Dr Cath Cosgrave, Susan Grylls, Laura Allen
Optional Investment attraction discussion group (all welcome)
1:25pm Keynote - Economic Development and Talent Attraction: Actionable strategies for cities and rural communities
Juan Pablo Alcantar, Director International Economic Development
Question & Answer - Keynote presenter
2:20pmBreak Out Session 1 - The Green Revolution - how to plan for the future Theatre
Facilitator - Paul Hodgson
Break Out Session 2 - Tourism, The Arts & Events - transforming spaces and places through creative thinkingStudio Rooms
Facilitator - Jennifer Mathews
2:25PM Case Study - Topic - The Economic Opportunity of Planetary Regeneration and the Essential Role Cultural Knowledge
Brigette McDowell, CEO Powerhouse
2:25PMCase Study - Topic - Placemaking, Town Teams and Wellbeing: South Hedland Community engagement with focus on, Youth and Aboriginal engagement case study
Patrycja Rosinska, Community and Place Specialist
2:40PMCase Study - Topic - How Local Government can be a key player in the economic development and diversification of communities in a resource-based economy
Alex Wise, Director Development and Growth
2:40pmCase Study - Topic - Transforming Cities and Regions Through Major Events
Grego Bowden, CEO Toowoomba and Surat Basin
3:00PMCase Study - Topic - Driving Digital Transformation for Regional Economic Evolution in a Mining Area: Assessing Digital Adoption and Transforming Singleton SMEs, Hunter Valley
Karen Varker, Senior Economic Development Speciaist
2:55PMCase Study - Topic - Regional Tourism Destination Marketing as an Economic Development Driver
John O'Neill, Manager Economic Development and Tourism
3:15PMQuestion & Answer - Panel members
Panellists: Brigette McDowell, Alex Wiese, Karen Varker, Paul Fellowes
3:10PMQuestion & Answer - Panel members
Panellists: Patrycja Rosinska, Greg Bowden, John O'Neill
3:30pmAfternoon Break
3:50pmBreaking Down the Breakouts
Elle Pound, Paul Hogson and Jennifer Matthews
4:10pm Presentation - From Good to Great: Cultivating a positive team culture and a collective growth mindset
Julian Pace, General Manager Happiness Co
4:50pmConference wrap up and close
Jason McFarlane, EDA Chairman

The Evolution of Value – the future of economies


How to drive sustainable and inclusive economic development


  • Strategic economic development in a fast changing world
  • Measuring economic development and community well-being
  • Assessing economic development initiatives post COVID-19
  • Housing and workforce challenges
  • Diversification and sector building
  • How do you prepare for community transition and cultural restoration?


Transforming regions and cities


  • The future of energy – Decarbonisation and the role of renewables and hydrogen.
  • The growing opportunities in a resource-based economy.
  • Clustering, smart specialisation and agglomeration
  • The future of place-based economic development
  • Exit vs expand?


Economic development with community at the centre


  • Migration post-pandemic
  • Changing workforce in regions and cities
  • Driving economic participation and inclusion
  • Maintaining the pace of change. What happens after we pivot?
  • Community Wealth Building
  • Circular economy and sustainable economic development