Previous research has established that saleyards and livestock exchange facilities provide extensive economic value to regional Australia; but there is also a huge social benefit to having operating saleyards in these areas. Sale days bring crowds to towns; are multi-generational events and are a meeting place for people who normally might lead a more isolated life. Sale days are also known to be key contact places for service providers to connect with communities for information sharing and service access.

​ALMA commissioned a research project investigating the social value of saleyards to rural communities. The project sought to capture what sale day means to community members, service providers and saleyard stakeholders. Site visits for face-to-face interviews along with virtual interviews were carried out at 11 saleyards across Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.

The project report will be a valuable tool in working with all levels of government and the livestock industry to help shape future policy and funding direction.

Social Value of Saleyards Report

Social Value of Saleyards Summary Report

Social Value of Saleyards Key Findings

Strengthening Remote Neighbourhood Centres in Drought Affected Queensland

The purpose of this project was to visit Neighbourhood Centres in the remote areas of Far Western
Queensland, interviewing key stakeholders with the intention of establishing recommendations for
NCQ to assist Neighbourhood Centres in Drought Resilience. Research participants share their lived
experiences from working and being a part of communities affected by drought and natural
disaster and their need for further networking and professional development.

The research follows and explores several thematic areas: Staff recruitment and Education; Policies
& Reconciliation Action Plans & Board Inductions; Networking Sub-Groups; Learnings & Insights;
Funding; Drought Resilience; Place based Community Issues. This report highlighted five key
recommendations for NCQ to facilitate, with the implementation of the first two well and truly
underway in the organisations and the remainder incorporated into further strategic planning.


  • Michelle Reay – Channel Country Ladies DayMichelle Reay – Channel Country Ladies Day

    We are extremely fortunate to have Heathers leadership skills and tireless enthusiasm to help strengthen our committee and our event, for remote women in Western Queensland and surrounding areas.

  • Gunther VillageGunther Village

    Heather's engaging and informative workshops really generated an appreciation amongst staff, of the strengths and attributes of their team members, and provided some of the skills required for teams to communicate more effectively and positively.  Blue Wren Connections provided valuable professional and personal development to our team.

  • Matt Pronger – Australia’s CEO ChallengeMatt Pronger – Australia’s CEO Challenge

    Heathers commitment, passion and expertise in leadership and organisational change has been fundamental to the development of our organisation. We have been working with Blue Wren connections for the last 3 years.

  • Naomi Purcell – Burnett Catchment Care AssociationNaomi Purcell – Burnett Catchment Care Association

    We found Heather to be flexible and adaptable to meet the needs of our growers. Her passion and enthusiasm for her work with rural and regional business came shining through and as she is someone who's come from the land use able to connect with our producers.

  • Social WorkerSocial Worker

    Heather is a fantastic supervisor. During our supervision she enabled me to reflect deeply on my practice as a social worker. She was able to gently but effectively challenge my assumptions and bring these to the foreground of our discussion. She helped me to take these ideas and transform them into practical steps I could take to improve the ways I work with clients. Her supervision immensely helped me improve as a practitioner. I would highly recommend Heather for supervision.

  • Social Worker – Queensland HealthSocial Worker – Queensland Health

    Heather encouraged me to connect to my framework and reflect on my practice. This Allowed me to grow and attain a promotion

  • Daniel ClacyDaniel Clacy

    It's an amazing experience for real personal growth.

  • Rhys PeacockRhys Peacock

    I have been a continual attendee to Heather Ellis' "Building Rural Leaders" Leading in the Central West Program for over three years now. Prior to attending I was somewhat opposed to the idea of the seminar's content, however was extremely shocked and found it exceptionally compelling, enough so to attend the full three days each and every year. Each seminar is extremely mentally stimulating and Heather keeps it interactive to ensure that attendees are not getting bored. Everyone, especially those in the Rural Industry will benefit from Heather and her leadership content.

  • Ali Doneley – Leading in the Central West Steering CommitteeAli Doneley – Leading in the Central West Steering Committee

    Fundamental lesson from Heather since working with her. Every member of our community is worthy of developing their own leadership skills and how the empowerment of your local community members can create a ripple effect of positivity, strength and cohesion.

  • Growcom Staff MemberGrowcom Staff Member

    Colour Spectrums gave me great insights into my team members and better understanding of how my colleagues work and react. How to work with my immediate team. Appreciation of the skills of those around me. I learnt so much about myself and I enjoyed the Industry relevant anecdotes from the presenter.

  • Skye Orsmond – Fruit Forest FarmSkye Orsmond – Fruit Forest Farm

    Loved your teaching style it was great to learn about the topic get examples and then do an activity as or a group and reflect it really helps the information stick. Colour spectrum exercise was very beneficial especially doing it first set a great foundation.

  • Queensland Corrective ServicesQueensland Corrective Services

    We have found Heather and her team to be professional extremely engaging and we've always had fantastic feedback from participance in her workshops. We would highly recommend Heather to any workplace or organisation.

  • Trudy Gorringe – Windorah Visitor Information CentreTrudy Gorringe – Windorah Visitor Information Centre

    I would recommend BlueWren Connections to anyone who would like to grow confidence and direction in a leadership and teamwork capacity.

  • Bec Clapperton – Salisbury Plains GrazingBec Clapperton – Salisbury Plains Grazing

    It’s the exercises that set this 3-day program apart from the theory intensive workshops. I didn’t
    think I would benefit too much from the deep listening session, but it’s one of the areas I am trying
    to change the most following the program. Finally, that my unique take on the world can make a
    positive contribution to future planning.