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New vision for resilient regions at University of Southern Queensland

Former Federal and State Government Minister Dr John McVeigh will lead research shaping regional development and innovation in his new role as Executive Director of the Institute for Resilient Regions at the University of Southern Queensland.

USQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie congratulated Dr McVeigh on his appointment, based in Toowoomba.

“John McVeigh is a widely admired leader, well placed to provide a bold vision for the Institute as it helps regional communities to build resilience and adapt successfully to change,” Professor Mackenzie said.

“He has long been a passionate advocate for regional Australia and as a former Cabinet minister brings unrivalled policy experience.

“As Executive Director, he’ll further develop USQ’s world-class research capability, to ensure innovative research outcomes for Australia’s heartland.

Professor Mackenzie said the University of Southern Queensland was committed to high quality, focused and engaged research that makes a difference to our communities.

“With his wealth of experience and years of regional representation, Dr McVeigh is perfectly placed to build on this commitment to research, education and collaboration,” she said.

Dr McVeigh said “This is very much like returning home for me – to USQ where I commenced my tertiary studies in the 1980s”.

“Regional Australia has been my personal, professional, academic and political passion over many years,” he said.

“I’m excited therefore to be joining an Institute which is dedicated to addressing core elements of health and well-being in regional Australia and helping communities to innovate, navigate change, and exploit new skills, technology and infrastructure.

“To remain based in my hometown Toowoomba, Australia’s largest inland private sector city, to take on this role while continuing to manage family priorities is a blessing and an honour.”

Dr McVeigh is a former Federal Government Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government and former Queensland Government Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

The Darling Downs-born father of six had a 20-year commercial career in agribusiness prior to his time in public office, which spanned all three levels of government. .

The Institute for Resilient Regions conducts research which enables rural, remote and regional communities to be resilient and adaptive, liveable and prosperous, healthy and active and connected and collaborative.

It works with government, non-government, businesses, communities and other research organisations to deliver research across three program themes: Regional Business and Enterprise; Regional Health and Well-being and Regional Learning and Development.

Dr McVeigh’s appointment follows a rigorous USQ selection process, and he will build on the success of the Institute previously led by Foundation Executive Director Professor John Cole, now Pro-Vice Chancellor (Engagement). Dr McVeigh begins in his new role this week.

Dr McVeigh said that it was very much like returning home.