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Futureproofing opportunities for Hunter businesses, job seekers


A series of events in the Hunter this week will help pivot the region’s economy to create new work opportunities for local people.

The inaugural Futureproof Festival brings together nine functions, to take place in the Upper Hunter, Maitland, Newcastle and online, from Monday 21 March.

It has been organised by Hunter Futurepreneurs facilitator Cheryl Royle and Hunter Local Jobs and Skills Taskforce chair Karla Notman. 

Ms Royle said the festival would showcase emerging and innovative growth industries and give insight into how the region could adapt and change.

“The events cover everything from employment opportunities in the disability sector to tips for setting up a small business, a skills roundtable and developing an entrepreneurial mindset,” she explained.

“Partners include Maitland, Singleton and Newcastle councils, Committee for the Hunter, Training Services NSW and the Scone Chamber of Commerce. 

“The Futureproof Festival will bridge the information deficit gap and provide the region’s industries, businesses, parents and job seekers a chance to see the opportunities in our backyard as we pivot, pioneer and prosper.”

Ms Notman said another important outcome of the festival was to highlight skills of the future and pathways to employment.

“With innovation, automation and emerging technology shaping the future of work, the reputation of the Hunter as a hub for future jobs continues to grow,” she stated.

“Already home to a thriving defence precinct, world-class advanced manufacturing and a flourishing tourism sector, the Hunter continually shows itself to be an adaptable and resilient region.”

For details and to book a place at events, visit

Futureproof Festival summary

Monday 21 March

  • Scone Trade Fair: Presented by: Scone Chamber of Commerce, 10am-4.30pm at Scone RSL
  • Cultivating Entrepreneurial Mindset in Education: Presented by: Hunter Futurepreneurs, 6pm-7.30pm at The Show Room, Owens Collective, Newcastle

Tuesday 22 March

  • Futureproof for the Hunter: Presented by: Committee for the Hunter, noon-2pm at 25 Watt Street, Newcastle

Wednesday 23 March

  • Small Business Opportunities in the NDIS Sector: Presented by: Hunter Futurepreneurs, 10am-11.30am; Online (Zoom)
  • The Future of Employment in Singleton: Presented by: Singleton Council, 11am-12.30pm at Singleton Diggers
  • Panel Discussion – Entrepreneurial People: Belief in a Better Future: Presented by: City of Newcastle, 5pm-7pm at 48 Watt Street, Newcastle

Thursday 24 March

  • Small Business Start-up Series Launch: 8 Steps to starting a business: Presented by: Hunter Futurepreneurs and Maitland City Council, 5pm-7pm at Maitland Regional Art Gallery

Friday 25 March

  • Hunter Industry Roundtable: Presented by: Training Services NSW & ITAB, 10am-1pm at NEX Club Newcastle
  • Lunch & learn: 10 lessons learned by a small business owner:Presented by: Hunter Futurepreneurs, noon-1pm; Online (Zoom)

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