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Geographic equity link to equity page

Geographic Equity

A Fair Go for
Rural & Remote Australians

Rural and remote people are the backbone of the Australian economy.  Without commodity industries generating the bulk of Australia’s export wealth, our nation would be poorer, inflation would be higher, there would be substantially fewer jobs in our cities and our economy would be exposed variability in international markets.  

Despite being only 1/3 of the population, rural areas generate 2/3rds of Australia’s export wealth. That means, services, retail and other industries based primarily in major cities generate just 1/3rd of our export wealth despite housing 2/3rds of our population.

Cities do generate higher levels of domestic consumption.  But city economies are highly exposed to the variability of global markets.  Recent downturns, such as the IT Bubble and Global Financial Crisis, showed that without rural industries Australia would have had repeated recessions and depressions over the last few decades.

 

Food, minerals and other commodities are stable across financial cycles because they are essential to human life.  Commodities feed us, shelter us, keep us warm, provide medicines when we are sick, enable us to communicate and supply essential energy to our homes. During a financial crisis, people cut back discretionary expenditure and focus on the essential goods and services produced in rural economies.

Rural and remote industries are also the most innovative, creative and productive in Australia.  From the use of drones in crop protection, robots for harvesting and mineral extraction, and the application of AI for precision irrigation - rural and remote people have led Australian industry in productivity growth over the last 5 decades.

Australia no longer rides on the sheep’s back.  Today, it rides on the back of a globally dominant, multi-billion dollar commodity and renewable energy sector. 

Despite this enormous contribution to Australia’s wealth and security, rural and remote communities have seen public sector roles centralised and populations decline.

 

This has left many highly qualified rural and remote Australians unable to find work in their own communities, contributing to poorer health outcomes in rural and remote Australia.

The Foundation is committed to addressing this wastage of talent and capability in rural and remote Australia.

 

Our Geographic Equity Policy gives priority in employment to people who are living and work in inland rural and remote communities.  To support this, the majority of jobs at the Foundation fall within our ‘work from anywhere’ policy.

Today, more than 90 percent of our staff work from home or remotely across rural and remote Australia.  This not only gives rural and remote people a fair go, it also means that our policies and programs are informed by the best minds in rural and remote health.  

At the Foundation we do not accept the narrative that you can’t find good talent in rural and remote Australia.  We have not only found some of the best people in Australia, they have enabled us to design policies and programs that actually work in rural and remote communities.  

So if you live in Cunnamulla or Coonabarabran, Walgett or Whyalla - you will know that if you apply for a job at the Foundation, and have the skills and knowledge we need, you will be given preferential treatment.

NOTE: Despite the devastating impact on geographic discrimination in Australia on rural, remote and Aboriginal people, governments have thus far declined to expand anti-discrimination laws to make it illegal to discriminate against a person or group of people on the basis of where they live. To help to level the playing field, the Foundation gives preference to rural and remote residents in access to employment.

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