What are the key ingredients to regional innovation? - Chad Renando

Regional Innovation


Project overview

The Girls Talking Agriculture (GTAG) program was developed in collaboration with Catholic Care. This project built the capacity of Queensland women on farms to tell their stories within and beyond their communities.

  • of drought resilience projects and products to other landowners to increase the uptake of climate friendly practices, including those borrowed from age old Indigenous methods
  • to the wider public to further education and appreciation of the good land management and climate custodial work done in rural areas

Stage one of GTAG was rolled out to four cohorts of women on farms in agricultural areas near Mitchell, Cunnamulla, Charleville and Hebel.


The Rural Centre for Economic Excellence (RECoE) is a collaboration of four Queensland-based universities plus the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (Q-DAF). RECoE is focused on rural economies and policy issues across regional Queensland and has deep engagement with drought-affected rural communities and industries. RECoE has been delivering Future Drought Fund Regional Drought plans across Queensland from 2022-2024.

The Southern Queensland and Northern NSW Drought Innovation Hub is a UniSQ-led Hub that is one of eight national Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs, a flagship of the multi-billion-dollar Future Drought Fund. The Hub empowers stakeholders to co-design drought preparedness activities for the region. Hub seeks to apply drought-resilience research on the ground to improve innovation and adoption across agriculture, industry and the community.

Catholic Care are the social services agency of the Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba and provide a range of services to promote individual, family and community wellbeing.


Project outcomes

  • Learning the skills and techniques of different narrative forms and platforms provides opportunities for soft marketing of products, as well as supporting diversification and other drought coping strategies
  • Learning new skills together in cohorts increases social capital and resilience, in preparation for the next major drought and other climate events, and provides new opportunities for self-expression, self-esteem, and novel forms of on and off-farm entrepreneurial and creative work
  • Within the cohorts, soft mentoring of women by existing female community builders to strengthen community resilience in the face of the next drought and other climate events
  • Amplifying and encouraging the drought resilience practical approaches from trusted women to other landowning families will facilitate take-up of proven as well as new innovative drought mitigation practices and products

Where to next?