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Applied research for an innovative and thriving regional Australia

Regional Australia is the heartland of our nation, home to one-third of the population and the source of nearly 70 percent of our exports.

Regional Australia’s greatest asset is its people and for there to be continuing opportunity it is essential that regional communities have the infrastructure, skills and capacity to adapt to change and compete in the global economic marketplace.

University of Southern Queensland (USQ) research is meeting this challenge by helping regional communities to be more resilient and adaptive.

Regional resilience is the capacity of regional communities to deal with impacts, risks and change, and adapt positively, exploiting new opportunities but also retaining the important parts of their heritage.

USQ’s Institute for Resilient Regions has multi-disciplinary research groups in social sciences, humanities, business, law, economics and community development working in partnership with government, industry, business, communities and other research organisations.

Our Research

Our research is helping communities to innovate, successfully navigate change, exploit new skills, technology and infrastructure and strengthen community health and well-being.

We are achieving these impacts by:

  • advising policy makers;
  • creating new knowledge and technologies;
  • developing innovation pathways for business and communities;
  • strengthening human and social capital in regional communities and
  • enabling community adaptation and resilience.

Our vision is for a regional Australia that is innovative and thriving, a great place to work and live.

Find out more about the Institute's research

New thinking for a resilient regional Australia

Professor John Cole OAM, Executive Director of IRR, has more than 30 years of leadership experience in government, industry and academia. His blog shares insights and commentary on the importance of regional Australia – why we need to be putting regional issues first and developing more resilient and sustainable local economies. 

In 2016, Professor Cole was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to the environment, to higher education and to the community. He has been a long-time adviser to industry, government and communities on sustainable development. In 2012 he was awarded the Queensland Premier’s Award for Leadership in Sustainability, for promoting sustainability innovation in Queensland’s regions and industries.

Visit blog

Be part of industry transformation

Further your studies and passion for research with USQ’s Higher Degrees by Research.