Dysart and Moranbah residents have had their say in first-of-their-kind weekend Community Forums to help people prepare themselves, their families and their businesses for change right now, while at the same time inputting into community planning for the future.

The Forums – held on 15 and 16 February – are part of the Smart Transformation Project, which was commissioned in November 2019 by BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), and facilitated by Futureye as part of a broader engagement with community and business stakeholders.

Other elements of the Project include town-based, independently-run Smart Transformation Advisory Councils (STACs) and the creation of the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) including 16 representatives from Moranbah and Dysart State High Schools.

“For a smart transformation we need to include people and technology to grow regional communities through sustainable competitive advantage,” Katherine Teh, Futureye Managing Director said.

“What’s important is the mindset of the community – the belief that you can be the determinants of your own future.”

The belief shift across participants was significant, with a survey showing optimism about the future rose by 34% in Moranbah and 48% in Dysart in the space of the four-hour forums.

After the Dysart Forum, attendee Sharon Bradford said: “I learnt how to be more mindful about how I can take action myself and prepare myself and make more of a strategy to prepare myself for any changes that might happen within our community.”

In Moranbah, Carolyn Fritz said the Forum was better than what she had anticipated.

“I was a little bit skeptical coming in – but by the end of it, I was so happy that I’ve done it. It points out different ways of thinking, if you are anxious about what the future holds and what you can do about it,” Ms Fritz said.

The Forums included workshops on diverse topics to assist individuals, businesses, and community organisations to get ready and develop real plans to future-proof the towns.

Moranbah Smart Transformation Advisory Council member, Sean Milfull, who is General Manager of BMA’s Goonyella Riverside Mine, said: “The Smart Transformation community forums are a new approach to regional development.”

“We recognise that everyone who has a stake in this needs a seat at the table, whether it’s employees, contractors, the supply chain or local communities, to make sure the path forward will take us to a shared future.”

The next phase of the project is the further development of the Smart Transformation Roadmap – and actions to deliver it.

Please view the video below for highlights of the Forums – we encourage you to forward it to your friends and colleagues, so that we can bring as many people as possible on the Smart Transformation journey.