Leaders gather for Future Voices event

By Tara Whitsed

Leaders from Shepparton and beyond gathered to hear from former Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu at a Future Voices event yesterday.

Politicians, organisation chairs and others heard from Mr Baillieu at a commemorative lecture marking the international day for Nelson Mandela at La Trobe University.

Mr Baillieu, who was the 49th premier from 2010 to 2013, spoke about issues facing the country, the state and Goulburn Valley.

‘‘Ted spoke about the future visions for Victorians and exploring the different opportunities we have in the Goulburn Valley,’’ Future Voices’ Marina Incletolli said.

Mr Baillieu then asked participants what they were doing to combat the issues that faced them, linking all topics to legacy of Nelson Mandela.

‘‘Mandela said ‘it always seems impossible until it’s done’,’’ he said.

‘‘In Victoria, anything is possible.’’

Inspiring people to take their future into their own hands, Mr Baillieu spoke of African innovation taking place in the Goulburn Valley.

He said some young Africans had migrated to the area with nothing and started to commericially grow the continent’s staple grain, teff.

Imported teff is already sold at Australian supermarket giants as a ‘‘superfood’’ and the forward thinkers aim to hit the gluten-free market.

‘‘They came with an idea to a community that was set in its agricultural ways,’’ Mr Baillieu said.

The lecture marked Mandela Day, which is celebrated annually on July 18, and looks at what has been done and what will be done to make the world a better place.