The NSW Growing Regions of Welcome (GROW) pilot is a lifestyle and employment program underway in the Murray and Riverina regions.
It aims to connect interested people from migrant and refugee backgrounds living in Western Sydney with opportunities in regional NSW.
GROW is about providing people with an alternative place they can choose to call home. The three-year pilot program was launched in June 2021.
NSW GROW aims to:
- strengthen the capability of regional communities to attract and retain newcomers
- assist interested newcomers in Western Sydney to relocate to regional NSW
- coordinate a collaborative, cross-sector approach to regional resettlement in NSW.
A key feature of NSW GROW is its commitment to build and maintain community-led partnerships to improve outcomes for newcomers and regional communities, share information and coordinate services.
The Murray and Riverina regions are now providing a gateway, through the NSW GROW pilot program, for newcomers to live and work.
What does GROW offer?
NSW GROW is an opportunity for newcomers, who often have under-utilised skills, qualifications and experience, to relocate to regional areas.
The NSW GROW model includes:
- A Regional Employment Hub in Western Sydney, delivered by Australian Red Cross, to create strong referral pathways between Western Sydney and the pilot regions. The hub helps interested newcomers and their families to connect with opportunities in the Murray and Riverina regions, and supports relocation.
- Place-based partnerships in the Murray and Riverina regions to develop and carry out local attraction and retention strategies. Each place-based partnership is led by a local Backbone Coordinator. Our Backbone Coordinators are with the Australian Red Cross and Regional Development Australia Riverina.
- Regional taskforces in the Murray and Riverina regions. The cross-sector regional taskforces guide each region’s strategic approach to newcomer attraction and retention. They also oversee a variety of related activities across community welcoming, employment and service coordination.
The Murray and Riverina regions were selected as pilot locations because of the demonstrated capacity, interest and diversity of local stakeholders.
Who is involved in the NSW GROW Pilot?
An overarching steering committee comprised of senior government, community and policy experts monitor program outcomes and align existing programs and resources to support regional resettlement. The NSW GROW Steering Committee champions place-based approaches to secondary settlement across government.
Collective Impact specialists work closely with the Murray and Riverina place-based partnerships and the Regional Employment Hub in Western Sydney to build capacity and design localised indicators of success.
Multicultural NSW liaises regularly with NSW GROW partners and we support our partners by helping to build awareness of NSW GROW. Multicultural NSW monitors the progress of NSW GROW at a program level.
The NSW GROW model recognises that building a sense of welcome is at the heart of thriving communities.
The program is based on extensive consultation with communities and stakeholders across NSW and on research undertaken on Australian and international initiatives. Multicultural NSW tested the approach by working closely with several regional NSW communities over the past few years and by supporting secondary migration.
For more information, email the program team at [email protected]
Moving to a regional area: opportunities, improved well-being, and inclusion
People who have moved to the Murray and Riverina regions and now call some of their towns home tell us their stories. Finding a job, helping settle children at school and building social networks have been challenges that these families have overcome thanks to the welcoming communities in Leeton, Temora, Holbrook and Albury. Watch their stories.
Originally from Pakistan, Ali and his family came from Saudi Arabia in 2022. After two months in Sydney, they decided to move to Leeton. Ali is now working as a town planner for Leeton Shire Council and is hoping this will be a forever home for him and his family. Watch Ali’s story.