Check out our staff spotlight! Here at the Hunter JO, we are lucky to have an amazing team with an enormous range of experience who are passionate about delivering outcomes for our region. Over the next few newsletters, we will be introducing you to our wonderful staff who make all of the things we achieve possible.
This month we are featuring out Events & Economies team – Dr Boyd Blackwell, Regional Policy and Programs Manager and Kim Carland, Regional Projects Coordinator (A2E).
Dr Boyd is currently working on several key projects including Regional Priority Infrastructure Lists (PIL), the Hunter Venture Fund, the Hunter JO Subcommittee for Economic Evolution, and the Hunter Economic Model among many more! Dr Boyd’s focus on regional economic diversification is an important aspect of the work we do at the Hunter JO as a region facing the downturn of its traditional markets.
Dr Boyd brings to the team skills and ability for rigorous economic analysis to support the evidence base needed for policy advice around regional economic development and assessment. His experience in stakeholder engagement, including survey techniques, is important to achieving collaborative outcomes for the region.
His proudest achievement at the Hunter JO was securing the $864k grant from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund for the delivery of our A2E – Accelerating Events Economies project. Dr Boyd’s role is key to assisting the work of the Hunter JO in driving the successful economic (social and cultural) evolution of the region that is needed as we approach 2050.
He reflects that the region is one of opportunity, especially through collaboration across our Member Councils. Collaboration is not easy; it takes sustained hard work from all parties but can result in much greater benefits for all. If we know it is hard work but can see the benefits, we can achieve great things together for the region.
Regional Projects Coordinator (A2E), Kim Carland is working on collaborative projects with our Member Councils that will help attract and build capacity to host more events and bring more visitors to the Hunter region. This includes a Hunter Events Economic Analysis, Facilities Audit, Event Toolkit, Event Approvals Review, Tourism Prospectus and building a website to share information with event managers and promote all events across the Hunter.
Kim’s mix of private, state, and local government experience, as well as project management and communications skills, enable her to be an integral team member delivering outcomes for the region. She loves bringing people together to clarify objectives and seeking feedback to ensure project outcomes are meeting their needs.
Reflecting on her time at the Hunter JO, Kim’s key highlights and achievements include:
- Meeting numerous stakeholders
- Broadening her knowledge and passion for the Hunter region
- Reintroducing plants back into the office after the covid hiatus (we agree with this!)
For the future of the Hunter, Kim sees that the region will mature in providing more diverse tourism products and services and working together to promote our region’s offerings. She is looking forward to sharing the information and products we are developing through the Hunter JO, especially with some of our smaller regional communities where the potential for event based and other forms of tourism can be such an important contributor to local economies and liveability.
Keep an eye out for our next newsletter to see who is featured next, or head to our team page today!