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People living in rural and regional communities

Tailored guidance for the recruitment and selection of people living in rural and regional people to Victorian Government boards.

Nearly 1.6 million Victorians live in rural and regional communities.

Government decisions can affect rural and regional Victoria in unexpected and unintended ways, and it is important to ensure decisions and impacts do not unfairly disadvantage these communities.

Victorians who live rurally and regionally are resourceful, and can often call on extensive local networks to achieve tangible outcomes for their communities.

Key considerations

Rural and regional communities are not homogenous. Regional and rural communities have diverse social and community structures and characteristics, such as higher rates of volunteering and distinct community identity, and some communities experience poorer social, education and health outcomes.

Issues that affect cohorts can be intensified when geographical isolation is a factor. For example, people with disabilities living in rural and regional Victoria may have a harder time accessing appropriate and affordable health care than their Melbourne counterparts. If your board’s subject matter is primarily in a diversity-based area, consider the overall geographic diversity of candidates.

Word of mouth plays a key part in advertising and recruitment for opportunities in rural and regional Victoria. Consider approaching existing leadership networks including Regional Partnerships and the Victorian Regional Community Leadership Program. When advertising, consider including tangible outcomes and actions your board has achieved. If it is a new board, state the types of outcomes potential members can achieve for their communities.

Reasonable adjustments may be needed to accommodate regionally based candidates and appointed members. For applicants, this may include offering to hold their interview at a location closer to them or offering a telephone or video interview. Ongoing adjustments to support appointed members may also be required, including holding some meetings locally to the regional-based member/s, providing video or teleconferencing meeting options and providing the required equipment, or providing accommodation and travel expenses for Melbourne-based meetings.