The beginning of March brings back memories of how pandemic restrictions changed our lives so suddenly 12 months ago. Today, with COVID outbreaks under control and vaccinations in progress, we are slowly edging back to normal.
One of the lessons of the pandemic is that cities are more susceptible to rapid spread of infectious disease. The experience of extended lockdown periods in our biggest cities helped create growing interest in regional Australia.
New research published by the Regional Australia Institute suggests that one in five city residents are looking to relocate to the regions, with more than half wanting to move in the next 12 months. Among the ‘push’ factors for potential city movers are traffic congestion, housing prices, and stress; the appeal of regional life relates to space, closer connection to nature and to community, and perceptions of greater general well-being.
“Regionalisation is a vision for our future as a nation”, commented Regional Australia Institute CEO Liz Ritchie, “a nation that is more balanced, equitable, sustainable, and prosperous.” That vision also appeals to those of us who work in community philanthropy.