Read the winning 2017 Regional Showcase stories!


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By Melissa Keogh

We told you about Riverland almondsthe world’s best beer and that cheese with the ants, but which success stories came out on top?

Every year Brand South Australia’s Regional Showcase program highlights individuals, groups and businesses that have significantly contributed to SA’s regional areas.

The best stories, written and shared by our team of journalists, were shortlisted earlier this year before three winners were declared at a regional celebration in Whyalla on October 6.

Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock congratulated all the winners and finalists of this year’s program.

“Regional South Australia is a vital part of the economic and social fabric of our state, contributing around $25 billion to the state’s economy,” he said.

People’s Choice Award – Farina Restoration Group
Bakery thrives in Outback ghost town

The bakery leads to the underground oven. PHOTO: Rob Fairweather.

The bakery leads to the underground oven. PHOTO: Rob Fairweather.

The ghost town of Farina in South Australia’s Far North is the last place a traveller would expect to be met with the aroma of freshly baked bread.

But that is exactly what visitors to the almost forgotten remote town will find – in addition to freshly baked pies, pasties and buns.

For eight weeks every winter volunteers flock to the small town in the state’s Far North, 55km from Marree, to fire up an old underground wood-fired Scotch oven.

The old oven is one of many ruins discovered by Victorian man Tom Harding and his group of caravanners about a decade ago.

Now, the Farina Restoration Group helps boost the town’s profile by luring thousands of hungry tourists every year and restoring the ruins to their former glory.

Business Award – Sundrop Farms
Port Augusta’s high-tech tomato source launches

Sundrop Farms founder and executive officer Philipp Saumweber.

Sundrop Farms founder and executive officer Philipp Saumweber.

It’s been a year since horticultural company Sundrop Farms launched its tomato farm that relies on sun and seawater to produce 15,000 tonnes of fruit a year.

That’s a lot of tommies.

The $200m sustainable facility launched in Port Augusta and includes four 5ha climate-controlled greenhouses, a desalination plant and solar power system.

This solar system features more than 23,000 mirrors to reflect the sun’s energy.

Sundrop has proved its worth in being a leader of sustainable agriculture, benefitting job creation and driving long-term sustainable profits.

Community Award – Diesel and Dirt Derby
Diesel and dirt jets into Keith

This year's derby attracted 10,000 people who watched a round of the 2017 Australian Jet Sprint Championship.

This year’s derby attracted 10,000 people who watched a round of the 2017 Australian Jet Sprint Championship.

What do you get when you combine demolition derbies, jetboats and thousands of spectators? The Keith Diesel and Dirt Derby, of course.

2017 Australian Jet Sprint Championship as part of its booming Diesel and Dirt Derby.

The Keith event is one of the most action-packed events regional SA has to offer, attracting 10,000 people to enjoy tractor pulls, buggy racing, a header demolition derby, and the Australian Ket Sprint Championship.

The jetboat sprint circuit is dug by hand – one of many displays of passion from the event’s organisers who first launched the diesel and dirt derby as a way to transform the Keith and Tintinara District Show.

Adrenaline junkies and rev-heads look forward to the next derby in March, 2018.

Regional Showcase 2017/18:

It’s not the end of the line for Regional Showcase. We’re always on the hunt for inspiring yarns from our regional communities.

If you know an individual, organisation or business that deserves to have their story told in the next round of Regional Showcase, submit your idea for consideration here!

Header photo courtesy of SA Media Gallery, Kangaroo encounter, Fitzgerald Bay, Eyre Peninsula.

Click here to nominate >>

These inspiring regional stories made possible by:

Major Partner
Primary Industries and Regions of South Australia (PIRSA)
Program Partners
Bendigo Bank
Dr Jones & Partners
Uni SA
Return to Work SA
Thoroughbred Racing SA
Seniors Card
Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Education Foundation of South Australia
Statewide Super
Major Media Partner
ABC Local Radio
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