A story to inspire and motivate

A story to inspire and motivate

East Gippslanders have the opportunity to hear from a Rural Women’s Award recipient with wide-ranging knowledge of infrastructure and community projects at a gala dinner this month.

The event, hosted by East Gippsland Shire Council, features keynote speaker Jillian Kilby, whose story will inspire and motivate people involved in business, community development, or start-ups.

Jillian approaches life optimistically with the logical thinking of a civil engineer, the roll-up-your-sleeves attitude of a farmer’s daughter from Coonamble, and a passion for driving change.

Jillian’s company, The Infrastructure Collaborative, was established from a 50,000-acre property west of Walgett and has served the infrastructure needs of more than 50 local governments and other clients across regional New South Wales since 2009.

The Infrastructure Collaborative works hard to create thriving regional communities by shifting infrastructure projects from planning shelves to be shovel ready. Jillian refocuses infrastructure conversations around the benefits to the community; productivity for agriculture, safe and secure water supplies or access and mobility in the regions.

Passionate about the next generation, Jillian received the 2018 NSW/ACT AgriFuturesT Rural Women’s Award, she is an industry advisor for the new engineering degree at Charles Sturt University, and she has served as a Director of the Royal Agricultural Society Foundation.

Holding a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from the University of Sydney, a Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Policy from Stanford University, she believes “that education is given to benefit many to make Australia great”.

Jillian is unique for having her boots-on-the-ground in both regional Australia and the USA. Now based in Dubbo, she is able to cross-pollinate learnings from her diverse set of international work assignments.

Mayor, Cr Natalie O’Connell, said she hoped the gala dinner sparks ideas and conversation.

“Jillian has a wealth of knowledge and experience working with regional communities. I am very pleased council is able to host this event and give our community the opportunity to hear from someone with expertise that is particularly relevant to our region,” Cr O’Connell said.

“Business leaders, advocates of regional innovation and community members are invited to be part of this special opportunity. Everyone has a role to play in the future of making our rural community successful and liveable and to do this we need to work together.”

The ‘Owning Our Future: Celebrating the Potential of Regional Business’ gala dinner will be held in Bairnsdale on Thursday, July 25.