Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is one of 10 founding members of the Regional Australia Council 2031.
The initiative aims to use the collective knowledge and influence of council members to help transform regional Australia.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank general manager of corporate and public affairs Robert Musgrove says the council will focus on areas that will help the regions succeed.
"Being part of the council, our role will be to act as a champion and advocate for this region," Mr Musgrove said.
The year 2031 has been signposted to acknowledge the council's long-term vision.
Despite this, Mr Musgrove says there are short-term learnings to be gleaned from fellow council members.
"On Monday, we were discussing how different companies were navigating the impacts of COVID-19," Mr Musgrove said.
"An immediate outcome is that we recognise we have a lot of learning and experience that can be shared and best practice drawn from some of those companies."
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack officially launched the new council via a Zoom meeting on Monday morning.
"Regional Australia is a fantastic place to live, work and raise a family," Mr McCormack said.
"I'd love to see more people moving out of the busy capital cities and explore what our regional centres have to offer."
Mr McCormack's sentiments are shared by Mr Musgrove, who says regional Australia is an engine room for our economy.
"When we think about regional Australia, almost one third of Australia's GDP before coronavirus was from regional Australia," Mr Musgrove said.
"Two thirds of our goods that are sold globally come from regional and rural Australia."
The founding members of the council include Commonwealth Bank, Expedia Group, Telstra and KPMG.
The RAC2031 will be guided by evidence-based research relating to jobs, population, liveability and leadership.
Ms Musgrove says the council's focus will be on what can be achieved to improve success in the regions.
"It is an important step for us to be involved in RAC," Mr Musgrove said.
"It ensures our customers and partners are central to the debate around Australia's economic success."
The Regional Australia Institute established the council.
Chief executive Liz Ritchie says the council is asking corporate leaders to make regional Australia a priority.
"This council will be poised to address the opportunities for regional Australia and the role each organisation can play," Ms Ritchie said.
The group will meet quarterly, with the next meeting slated for July.
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