06 Apr 2016
Our past is important but the future is of critical concern to younger people who are increasingly choosing to live here, despite reports that population estimates are apparently not being realised.
Our society has much healing to undertake following Royal Commission revelations about unspeakable abuse and cruelty within religious institutions and in people’s own homes.
Part of that healing surely requires us to promote Ballarat’s ongoing advantages for our children, families and those who are attracted to this fantastic region.
Committee for Ballarat is a membership-based organisation that sees great advantage and opportunity in the attributes available within our city and region. Unashamedly our members want prosperity in their businesses because, like the gold miners’ legacies to our city, they build, or enable the building of, community assets and facilities.
Businesses need skills to operate successfully. Employed people spend money on things that keep cities vibrant – or “urban cool” as some say. Coffee spots and cafes of all varieties are now available in Ballarat as its growth continues.
Younger people regard these as essentials to modern life whereas some of us are still attached to our kitchens.
We have sports facilities in abundance and significant arts activities expected in mature cities.
But we so often don’t realise what’s within and find it easier to decry this that and the other thing around us.
It is time for a glass half-full perspective to prevail!
The new Ballarat is showcased in The Moment is Now campaign running on local television and in cinemas. If you haven’t caught it, look here or on Ballarat Regional Tourism's website www.visitballarat.com.au.
Recently I visited a business with a global reputation for engineering innovation and business effectiveness that few of us here seem to know about. Gekko is a great example of success in its services to the mining industry – on every continent in the world. Its founders are recognised within their professions and have achieved the highest accolades over the years, yet they go about their business mostly under our radar, quietly contributing to our community.
This is the sort of underpinning needed for healthy and happy communities so that Ballarat people can be confident in the future.
There is much to celebrate about the thriving nature of such businesses, and there are many in this city, because of the economic and social health generated by such success.
Why is that significant you say?
It’s the expertise developed and the skilled professional careers offered that contribute to the attractiveness of this area as a place to work, instead of running the rat race in Melbourne. It’s also the diversity of people recruited in to work in such highly valued activity, and this actively enriches our historical monocultural base.
A healthy society blooms across the economic, social and environmental elements but without thriving businesses the chances for social and environmental prosperity would be much dimmer.
Janet Dore - Committee for Ballarat Chair - 5 April 2016
This opinion piece was published in The Courier (Online) on 6 April 2016