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The Commissioner for Kangaroo Island will focus her work on a number of projects that have been identified as crucial to delivering lasting prosperity and benefits to Kangaroo Island residents.

Kangaroo Island Growth Project

Building Better Regions Fund (Federal Government) (BBRF)

The State Government was not able to apply for this Federal funding, so work was undertaken to develop an application for lodgement by the Council.  The application was successful and will deliver support to businesses, individuals and industry associations and continue on the work initiated by my Office as part of the KI Transformation Project.  There are 3 streams to the funding:

  1. Local Events:  business networking, half day events, immersion activities and meet the investor events.
  2. Strategic Planning/Collaboration: support for collaboration with industry bodies; conduct of a workforce skills audit;
  3. Leadership & Capability: emerging leaders program, business leadership courses and mentoring/coaching.

A series of specialist skills will be engaged throughout the various projects and information will be distributed to all industry associations and our email listings as projects get underway.

The program has State, Local and Federal funding and some contributions will be made by businesses through their participation.  Over $400k of investment is being made into this program.

Key programs underway are:

Stream 1:

  • November 2017 Expo where developers, industry associations, key State Government agencies and a small group of businesses experiencing growth were on display.  The community and businesses interacted with those on display and gained contacts and information about the status of projects;
  • One Day Business Networking Training Event – scheduled for 15 May 2018; Click Here for more information.
  • Arrangements for individual business development events through connecting with mainland businesses (beverages, agriculture, arts are the current key focus); and
  • Arrangements are underway for a “meet the investor” event.

Steam 2:

  • Industry Association collaboration project which aims to align the operations of the various associations who are currently under-resourced and some are duplicating efforts to serve a common membership; and
  • Conduct of a skills audit of workers on KI – project commenced with a survey and final report due in June 2018.

Stream 3:

  • Leadership Growth Series Program under development with a call for candidates in late April, commencement in May/June 2018 and concluding later in the year;
  • Coaching/mentoring program – various support services being provided in retail, tourism, laundry services, agriculture etc; and
  • Targeted growth development programs for up to 10 businesses.

Overall these streams will involve an estimated 150 interactions with individual businesses during the conduct of the various streams.  In addition the businesses that are members of the associations (approximately 350) and approximately 100 individuals will benefit from the programs through leadership development or interaction through the employee skills audit.

Kangaroo Island Visual Arts

The Office of the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island (OCKI) has undertaken consultation with Kangaroo Island’s visual arts community:

Kangaroo Island Arts Committee

OCKI established an Arts Committee seeking representation from KI’s key arts organisations and events committees and a cross section of artists.The Committee will assist the Commissioner to develop strategies to address the priorities identified.

The Committee is comprised of:

  • Pat Austin (KI Council)
  • Kylie Bamfield – (Tourism KI)
  • Nick Hannaford (Kangaroo Island Industry and Brand Alliance)
  • Roger Hansen (KI Arts Collective)
  • Michele Lane (Artist)
  • Robyn Molsher (KI Arts Society)
  • Fleur Peters (Commercial Gallery owner)
  • Peggy Rismiller (Easter Art Exhibition)
  • Dean Wiles (Arts Feastival)
  • Wendy Campana (OCKI)
  • Cate Stanford (OCKI - Executive Officer)

The Committee has been appointed until April 2018.

Resources and Grants through Country Arts SA

Country Arts SA have been supporting the work of the KI Arts Committee. There are a number of grants and resources available to artists through this organisation.

Quick Response Grant < $1500 individuals, < $3000 organisations
OPEN 1 JULY 2017.

Shows on the Road - Always available

PITCH your great arts idea

There are also a range of grants accessible through the Australia Council.

Local Produce Project

OCKI has engaged the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies to undertake research on the demand for local produce on Kangaroo Island. Fresh and packaged food supplies are required across the island at restaurants, hotels and retail outlets. With increasing demand by consumers for locally sourced products, this project will quantify the demand for produce that could be provided by local businesses and agriculturists.

OCKI has been working with Agriculture KI to determine the types and varieties of produce that KI has the capacity to produce. A report that summarises the findings will be available in the near future.

View the Project Brief.

Economic, Social and Ecological Sustainability Indicators for Kangaroo Island

With significant economic growth expected for the island, the Commissioner has partnered with the Kangaroo Island Council to determine the ‘carrying capacity’ of the island. A set of indicators will be developed that will help to measure the social, economic and environmental impacts of development, and the impacts of a growing population and increasing visitation.

As Kangaroo Island’s economy relies on its pristine environment, this project will help inform individuals, businesses, planners and developers in ensuring sustainable development on the island.

The indicators will also be a useful resource for OCKI, the Council and other government departments. To deliver this project, OCKI will be partnering with: 

  • Kangaroo Island Council
  • Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
  • Department of State Development
  • Primary Industries and Regions South Australia
  • South Australian Tourism Commission
  • Department for Education and Child Development
  • Department of Health and Ageing

View the Project Brief.

Three Year Strategic Plan for Agriculture on KI

The Office of the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island in association with Agriculture Kangaroo Island (AgKI) is in the process of developing a three year strategic plan for agriculture on KI. The strategy seeks to maximise opportunities for agribusinesses on the Island and identify key priorities for the industry.

A workshop was held on Thursday 1 September and was attended by around 40 representatives from KI's agriculture industry. The survey and workshop helped to identify the following priorities for the industry:

  • Increased productivity
  • Greater investment in research and development (R&D)
  • Native Species/Feral Animals
  • Benchmarking
  • Use of the KI Brand
  • Small kill facility

OCKI will work with AgKI to finalise the Strategic Plan, which will guide the work of OCKI in supporting agriculture on KI. Click here to view the report on workshop's findings.

Kangaroo Island Workforce Development Project

The Department of State Development (DSD) through the Jobs First Employment Projects (JFEP) program is working in partnership with the Office of the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island to assist businesses engaged in the Kangaroo Island Transformation project.

The Workforce Development Project seeks to facilitate the engagement of employees for developments on the island by providing a single point of contact for job seeker referral agencies and developers.

The Adelaide Training and Employment Centre (ATEC) have been engaged to undertake this project and they will identify the work force needs arising from developments, work with agencies to support job seeker engagement, and report to DSD on skills development needs. Cathie Tydeman has been appointed as the ‘Workforce Coordinator’ with ATEC. Cathie will be the key point of contact for all stakeholders, businesses and jobseekers involved with the developments. Cathie can be contacted via email at

View the Project Brief.

Kangaroo Island Projects Economic Impacts Study

The Office of the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island would like to determine the economic impacts across the Island's industry groups for the over $171 of approved and proposed projects taking place on the Island over the next 3-5 years. This Study will help identify what direct and indirect benefits could be realised for Kangaroo Island Businesses, and potential areas of industry growth. This study will assist in identifying the commercial and workforce needs related to developments, to ensure businesses are ready to be involved in economic growth opportunities on the Island. 
View the project brief.

This project is complemented by the Transformation Project, which will provide business support services to industry groups in light of the direct and indirect impacts of developments.

Energy Security 

Energy Security is a priority issue for the Island. Reliable and affordable electricity is an essential ingredient to the Island’s future. However the island has a rather unique vulnerability in that it is connected to the mainland and the broader National Electricity Market (NEM) via a single undersea electricity cable. The 14km cable is now over 20 years old and plans are being developed to ensure the Island’s ongoing security.

The Commissioner appointed an Energy Security Focus Group in September 2015. This group will play an advisory role to the Commissioner and represent the views of various Kangaroo Island industry groups and businesses.

Find out more about Energy Security and the Focus Group Here.

Kangaroo Island Transformation Project

Kangaroo Island is currently undergoing an economic transition, with over $171 million of projects either proposed, approved or under planning assessment expected to be delivered over the next five years. An additional 300+ jobs will be created on Kangaroo Island during this period of growth, in addition to 180 short term construction jobs. 

Under the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island Act, the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island, Wendy Campana is responsible for assisting in improving the local economy. The Transformation Project aims to deliver benefits to Kangaroo Island businesses, industry and the local workforce that will arise from developments taking place on the island. This will be achieved by a three-pronged approach.

Transformation Project

More information on the elements of the Transformation Project is available here.

Kangaroo Island’s China Engagement Strategy

The Commissioner is investigating opportunities to strengthen engagement between Kangaroo Island and China through AgroEco tourism and technical and vocational education opportunities. This project will develop various proposals for opportunities to facilitate this strategy, which will be subject to community consultation and engagement.
View the Project Brief

The Case for Kangaroo Island

The Regional Australia Institute was commissioned to develop a report on the ‘case for Kangaroo Island’, which identified the unique social and economic circumstances that characterise Kangaroo Island. The report The Case for Kangaroo Island (PDF, 2250 KB) identifies the challenges and opportunities that are specific to the Island.
View the Project Brief.