Water policy and management
In 2019 Robbie Sefton was appointed to Chair the Independent Panel to assess social and economic conditions affecting Murray-Darling Basin communities.
This recognised Robbie’s, and Seftons’, ongoing contribution to consultation, policy development, program delivery and communication, and facilitation around sensitive water issues over many years. Working with a range of clients, Seftons has consulted communities, drawn together disparate views and information into effective reports, and stood at the front line of conflicts, skilfully facilitating agreement between stakeholders in Australia’s complex and challenging freshwater management system.
Building on this expertise, Seftons was appointed by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to prepare an independent report for Murray-Darling Basin Ministers on the Murray-Darling Basin Water Infrastructure Program’s public consultation initiative. In 2017/18 Seftons worked with the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation to run a major consultation and engagement program about the potential release of the carp herpes virus to control the damaging impacts of carp.
Seftons is actively committed to the development of regional infrastructure that supports sustainable economic development and provides essential regional services. Seftons played an important role in community consultation on behalf of Australian Rail Track Corporation delivering community consultation and engagement in western NSW for the Inland Rail Project linking Melbourne and Brisbane.
Seftons also worked closely with Edward River Council on an assessment and strategic communication plan for a new freight terminal at Deniliquin Airport, in partnership with John Wagner, Wagner Group. Seftons held community meetings with state and local government representatives to further explore the potential benefit to the region.
Robbie Sefton was appointed as an independent committee member for the Federal Government’s 2018 Regional Telecommunications Review, examining regional telecommunication issues including access to effective connectivity.
Previously Seftons worked with the NSW state government on a program to reduce mobile phone black spots through building more towers. Seftons also worked with Southern Phone (a NSW provider owned by 41 shareholder councils) to deliver its community grants to return profits to regional communities.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Through Seftons’ decades of work across regional Australia and with different communities, and Robbie Seftons’ regional board and advisory roles across industries, the company has a ground-truth understanding of the risks that poor mental health pose to Australia’s rural and regional communities. Seftons is committed to improving regional mental health, particularly for young people.
In late 2019 Robbie Sefton was appointed as a board member of the youth mental health organisation Headspace – an opportunity that she values for its ability to positively influence the delivery of mental health services to regional youth.
In 2019 Seftons worked with its long-term client the Country Women’s Association of NSW to run its annual awareness week with the theme Start a Conversation, focusing on mental health concerns and services in rural and regional NSW, particularly in relation to women.
Trust / Social Licence
In 2019, leaders in Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries have come together for a new cross-sectoral community trust program to help food and fibre industries engage with and respond to issues around community trust. The Community Trust in Rural Industries Program involves ten Rural Research and Development Corporations, the National Farmers’ Federation and the NSW Department of Primary Industries. With its extensive experience in community consultation, research and stakeholder engagement in relation to trust and social licence issues, Seftons has been appointed project manager for this significant three-year program.
Telling Powerful Stories
For more than two decades Seftons has helped the people and organisations working in regional Australia tell their stories. We have produced hundreds of stories about all aspects of rural and regional life, which have been published in many forms and have won awards.
In 2019 Seftons appointed Colin Bettles, one of Australia’s leading regional and rural journalists to the team. Former Senior Media Advisor to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, and former Canberra Bureau Chief for Fairfax Agriculture, Colin is working with Seftons’ clients to tell their stories in even more powerful and effective ways.
Robbie Sefton is also a member of the National Farmers’ Federation Advisory Board, tasked with steering a national consumer campaign to better ‘tell the story of agriculture’ to metropolitan markets.
Regional Advertising and Marketing
Seftons has a dedicated team to manage our clients’ advertising and marketing needs. We can develop strategic advertising and marketing plans, develop media partnership opportunities for our clients, purchase advertising space, and work with our leading graphic design partners to design powerful and effective advertising and marketing campaigns across a range of media platforms including print, television, cinema, outdoor, digital and radio.