Young people have an essential role to play in the development of regional town centres, according to leading Australian futurist Peter Ellyard.
Doctor Ellyard said Generation Y, people born between 1977–1994, were looking for 21st century jobs and experiences and were increasingly leaving rural and regional towns “in droves” as part of a worldwide phenomenon.
“Regional centres are not doing very well, globally speaking, they are struggling,” Dr Ellyard said.
“Most of the best and brightest and most ambitious young people leave to go to the city to seek opportunities.
“The reason they leave is they try to find 21st century relevant jobs and lives and they perceive, perhaps correctly, perhaps incorrectly, they are not going to get that in the small town or regional community they grew up in.”
He said the challenge for small communities was to encourage them to return and settle down when they were in their 30s.