GROW Bendigo launches across the Bendigo region

Bendigo businesses taking the lead on addressing local and social opportunities within their region

The Victorian place-based GROW programs are having a significant positive impact on the communities in which they operate. GROW Bendigo is one of the recently established GROW Programs and has commenced the implementation phase of the program which aims to deliver local economic outcomes as well as having a positive impact on addressing social challenges within the region. GROW allows regions to take the lead on addressing issues within their communities using local & social procurement practices.


About GROW Bendigo

GROW (Growing Regional Opportunities for Work) Bendigo is a collaborative program that works with businesses across the Bendigo region to strengthen social and economic outcomes and increase job opportunities through strategic procurement and employment.

The GROW initiative began in 2013 as Geelong Regional Opportunities for Work, a ten-year economic development approach to addressing place-based disadvantage in the G21 Region. GROW was developed using a ‘Collective Impact’ approach, employing backbone staff to convene and facilitate key local stakeholders to join the program, which now has over 110 signatory organisations committed to the G21 GROW Compact. Over the past three years (to May 2019), the G21 GROW initiative has created a total of 247 jobs and 39 employment pathways for the regions target communities (Corio, Norlane, Whittington and Colac).

In 2018, the Victorian Government also announced “start-up” funding for additional GROW initiatives to be established in the key regional centres, including Bendigo.  ArcBlue is currently supporting the delivery of all five active GROW programs in Victoria.

The GROW Bendigo program highlights and actions to date are as follows:

  • Be.Bendigo established as the backbone organisation for the program
  • The GROW Bendigo Regional Action Plan has been developed
  • A formal Regional Action Plan launch was conducted on Monday 28th October with the first group of Compact signatories receiving their signed GROW Bendigo Compact certificates
  • The program currently has 22 Compact signatories with significant interest from many other organisations across numerous sectors
  • Signatories are now developing their own Compact Action Plans to assist in delivering the GROW Bendigo target outcomes
  • GROW Bendigo will be supporting the Bendigo Kangan Institute, GovHub & Law Court construction projects.


The Program Partners

Be.Bendigo, the peak organisation for business in Greater Bendigo, has been established as the ‘backbone’ organisation to lead the implementation of the program. Be.Bendigo will partner and work closely with ArcBlue and Localised through the implementation phase.

Greater Bendigo City Council (CoGB) is the administrative body for the City of Greater Bendigo local government area. CoGB is actively supporting the implementation and delivery phase of the GROW Bendigo program through the provision of a dedicated part time Council officer to assist the Be.Bendigo backbone team.

Industry Capability Network (ICN) is a business network that introduces Australian and New Zealand companies to projects large and small. ICN will act as the conduit between major projects delivered in the region and local Bendigo-based suppliers.

Localised is a place-based business network that advances local economies by connecting local businesses to each other, local expertise, business events & opportunities.  The Localised platform supports the GROW programs in Geelong, Gippsland and Ballarat.

Regional Development Victoria (RDV) is the funding partner of GROW Bendigo and the Victorian Government’s lead agency responsible for rural and regional economic development.  RDV leads the delivery of a number of major projects in Bendigo and facilitates a network across all five GROW programs.

Give Where You Live is the founding partner (with the G21 Regional Alliance) and Backbone organisation for the G21 Geelong GROW program.  Give Where You Live supports the delivery of all GROW programs through provision of advice, support and access to tools and resources.


Our role in the GROW Bendigo Program 

ArcBlue is supporting the development and implementation of GROW Bendigo.  We are working closely with Be.Bendigo to ensure that the foundations of the program set it up for success, and will continue to support the program during its post-implementation delivery phase.


Want to get involved?

The GROW Bendigo program looks to build on the commitment that many local organisations have to supporting the Bendigo region and its wider economy through procurement, employment and advocacy activities. The program is open to all public and private sector organisations committed to GROW’s objectives, who are either locally based or with significant procurement and employment activity in the region.



For more information on the program, contact Be.Bendigo on (03) 5442 7816 or visit

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