It is with hope and optimism that I write my final column as chief executive officer of Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland (RDAMR).
In reflecting over the last four years, our region has undergone significant change.
The region is the food bowl of South Australia, producing fresh, premium food and beverages for Australia and overseas, with growing export demand.
We have the Murray River on our doorstep and significant growth in our regional tourism is being driven by world-leading experiences which call our region home.
This is in addition to the significant renewable energy infrastructure projects which have and continue to be built in coming years.
Despite these successes it has not all been smooth sailing with various events testing our resilience.
Throughout the good times and those challenges, local businesses and the community have worked together to create economic growth and prosperity for our local economy.
We are ideally positioned with strategic alignment among business and community stakeholders, a strong investment attraction pipeline and an exciting future ahead.
"In reflecting over the last four years, our region has undergone significant change."
At the same time, fulfilling this significant potential will require the region to address its employment challenge.
How do we attract and retain the people we need to achieve a diverse and vibrant workforce who become our future community members?
We won't get there by doing things the way we've always done them.
Now is the time for businesses to consider how to design and develop not only jobs, but aspirational careers for the future.
As a community we need to support local businesses to help them thrive and collectively make every effort to reduce red tape.
Continuing levels of cooperation to build regional capability will be key. Together we can achieve so much more than individually.
As I reflect on the journey in recent years I feel fortunate to have been given the opportunity to promote this wonderful region as a place to live, work, play and invest.
I maintain a strong love of the region and will continue to follow its progress with interest.
I acknowledge all of the workers and job seekers who live here, the businesses who invest here and the dedicated team at RDAMR which works so hard to make a difference daily.
This includes new acting chief executive officer Leonie Boothby who will take on this column from next month.
If you have not yet had the opportunity to meet the RDAMR team and would benefit from free, confidential and personalised support to grow your career or business contact 8535 7170 or visit 137 Adelaide Road, Murray Bridge.