EDA Webinar: EDA Economic Recovery – Lessons from Australia

The following recording was made at the “Economic Recovery: Lessons from Australia” on 23 March 2020.

This webinar features two Australian economic development professionals who have led economic recovery efforts following major bushfire disasters in Australia.  The session will provide a practical, stepped approach to disaster response, first-hand experiences and tips for economic development professionals to employ in the short, medium and long-term.


Bruce Connolly | Manager Economic Development Unit, Latrobe City Council

Bruce Connolly is currently the Manager of the Economic Development Unit at Latrobe City Council. The Unit encompasses business development, trade, regional strategy, export and is responsible for the operation of the Latrobe Regional Airport and the International Relations team.

Prior to working at Council Bruce operated a small consultancy firm, Nexus Strategy Group for thirteen years in Regional Victoria. Following the 2006/07 bushfires, Bruce’s consultancy firm provided support services to small businesses in Gippsland, including recovery strategies and future planning. He also worked with small businesses following the Black Saturday fires in 2009 in recovery activities and planning for the future.

Bruce has a Bachelor of Business (Public Administration) and a Graduate Diploma in Economic Development (Auckland University of Technology). He has studied economic development in the United States of America (Economic Development Certificate, University of Oklahoma) and recently completed an Innovation in Economic Development program at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.


Bob Elkington | Macedon Ranges Shire Council

Bob Elkington has been involved in economic development for over 15 years; initially at Murrindindi Shire Council and now at Macedon Ranges Shire Council in Victoria.

The 2009 Victorian bushfires devastated many parts of the state, including Murrindindi, and it was at that time that Bob turned his hand to bushfire relief, recovery and community/economic rebuilding.
Many lessons were learned in the need for resilience, flexibility, partnerships and positive thinking.

Bob is a member of the Red Cross National Disaster Recovery Network and is always happy to share his experience.


Access the Resources here: