Coastal community conversations to shape future work, education, lifestyle

Having a say about the future of work, education and living well on Tasmania’s North-West Coast will be the focus of a community conversation to be held in Devonport on Thursday 21 November.

Organised by the University of Tasmania’s Cradle Coast campus in partnership with the Devonport City Council and the Devonport Live and Learn Steering Group, the event is the first of several aimed at involving the community in conversations about its future.

Cradle Coast campus General Manager and Devonport Live and Learn Steering Group member Danielle Kidd (pictured), said it’s vital the region comes together to learn about what’s happening in the community, what the future could look like and be inspired to participate in that future.

“The forum opens up the opportunity to discuss what are the jobs of the future? How do we train for those jobs? How do we live well in our community and provide opportunities for participation?” Ms Kidd said.

“It’s about exploring these themes as a community so we can meet the challenges and access the opportunities together.

“We want to share ideas, identify challenges and provide the community, business, industry and government with a means for talking, sharing and listening.”

Ms Kidd said the Devonport Community Conversations would build on the significant success of the Devonport Live and Learn Steering Group, which started this conversation last year during the Festival of Learning.

She said the University of Tasmania’s Institute for the Study of Social Change Director Professor Richard Eccleston, hosted a panel discussion on “Pathways to the Future”, which prompted plans to continue the conversation and offer a different theme going forward over the coming months.

The first community conversation will feature two key speakers and industry leaders, including Director in the Australian Government Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business (Labour market research and analysis branch) Phillip Wise, and Cradle Coast Authority CEO Daryl Connelly (pictured). The session will be hosted by North and North-West Tasmania Employment Facilitator James McCormack.

Mr Connelly said one of the biggest challenges the region faces, is making sure there are enough people with the right skills to support and promote industry growth into the future.

“We’re expecting thousands of new jobs at the same time that our population is plateauing and getting older, and there is often a mismatch between the skills held by jobseekers and the skills that employers are looking for,” he said.

“We’re really focussed on ensuring that students, teachers and parents have a good understanding of what the jobs of the future look like and what skills are required to fill them.

“Attracting and retaining working age people is another part of the puzzle that we are working on.”

The Devonport Community Conversation will be held from 6pm-8pm (doors open at 5.30pm) on Thursday 21 November at the paranaple convention centre (Torquay Room) in Devonport. Please RSVP at:

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