What is the Digital Innovation and Smart Agriculture Festival?

Southern Grampians Shire Council (SGSC) presents the second Greater Hamilton Digital Innovation and Smart Agriculture (DISA) 2021 Festival leveraging off our experience as a regional area undergoing a digital transformation program for our community.

Our theme for DISA21 is ‘Creating Smart Regions’, looking beyond the Council boundaries to implement innovative practices, partnerships and technology to uplift regions. DISA19 showcased how rural communities are embracing new technology and innovative practices to gain an edge, DISA21 is going to be bigger and better.

Our program for DISA21 takes you onto farms, into laneways, deep drives into Smart Ag workshops and connects you with the many practitioners of smart technology that are becoming important to our way of life in a regional area.

Whether you are from a rural council, work on a farm or live in a rural community, you will learn from your peers and those who have taken up the challenge to create Smart Regions across Australia. The Greater Hamilton region is transforming into a Smart Connected Community that is a leading example of a successful digital economy for regional Australia and we invite you to become part of our journey.

Smart Agriculture

A focus on the farming community, suppliers and innovators within the agriculture space. How sensor technology can be leveraged to help farmers make better decisions and be more efficient in how they manage their farm. SGSC has invested in a LoRaWAN sensor network which is free for our community to use allowing a low cost entry into using sensor technology.

Smart Community

It is time for rural councils, agencies and authorities to step up and embrace digital transformation and transform into a Smart Community. There are many examples of smaller councils using technology and innovative practices to help their communities thrive. From sensor technology, public WiFi, smart lighting and open data, all these topics are relevant to help smaller rural councils, agencies and authorities improve and be more efficient.


Enjoy these podcast episodes featuring DISA21

DISA21 Image Gallery

DISA21 Introduction

Take a look at what DISA21 has to offer


Smart Agriculture Stream


Sarah Nolet is an internationally recognized food systems innovation expert, the CEO and Founder of AgThentic, a global food and agriculture strategy firm, and a General Partner at Tenacious Ventures, Australia’s first dedicated agrifood tech VC firm. Sarah has been instrumental in building the early stage agtech ecosystem - from advising dozens of startups, designing accelerator programs and consulting to established agribusinesses, to helping industry, universities and government develop and implement forward-looking initiatives in food system innovation.

Sarah is also the host of the AgTech…So What? podcast, and co-founder of Farmers2Founders, a national innovation program that supports primary producers to commercialize inventions and new businesses, as well as gain early access to emerging technologies.

Sarah holds a Masters in System Design and Management from MIT, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Human Factors Engineering from Tufts University.

Director & Consultant | Price Rural Management Pty Ltd.

Precision Agriculture Manager | Meat & Livestock Australia.

Darren has 34 years Rural Industry experience. He is extremely passionate about the industry, its people and its future.

Darren started the consultancy business - Price Rural Management in 2013. This business provides Agri business and rural advisory and consultancy services to clients with various size holdings and enterprises, as well as the wider agricultural industry. In 2019 Darren joined MLA as a Precision Agriculture Manager (Consultant). This role allowed Darren to provide expert knowledge and leadership in precision agriculture. Specific tasks include advancing the recent pilot digital farms/digital forums, addressing producer requests and delivering producer awareness, producer adoption and demonstrable impact of precision agriculture.

Darren held the role of General Manager with Carwoola Pastoral Company (CPC) for 22 years. CPC is a group of 4 properties comprising over 16,000 acres. With fodder crops, centre pivot irrigation and carrying capacity of 2,000 cattle and 13,000 sheep, Carwoola Pastoral was an ideal location and property mix for Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) to evaluate digital production opportunities.

Industry Technology Coordinator – Sheep | Bio security and Agriculture Services | Agriculture Victoria

Mark is an Industry Technology Coordinator with Agriculture Victoria. Over the past two years he has been working alongside farmers in the Agriculture Victoria On Farm IoT Trial to investigate the benefits of IoT technology on farm.

Mark has a diverse background; from working as a technology support and product development consultant, to running his own small business providing technological solutions for the bulk heavy vehicle industry. He owns a small property with his partner in the East Wimmera producing fat lambs. Mark also spent over a decade in the education sector specialising in maths, physics and science.

Smart Community Stream


Zoe is an experienced consultant, Churchill Fellow and engineer with a passion for Smart Communities, that is using different ways of thinking and technology as enablers to make the places we live more accessible, liveable and sustainable for all.

The combination of Zoe’s engineering background and her ability to engage and explain complex topics in a friendly and informative way, allows her to offer future-thinking, useful and realistic strategic advice.Zoe keeps up-to-date with the latest trends and shares her learnings through hosting The Smart Community Podcast.

Through her boutique consultancy My Smart Community, she offers strategic advisory on dealing with disruption, leveraging infrastructure spend and major projects, smart technology in regional communities of all sizes and facilitating genuine collaboration.

Founder & Director | Meshed

Catherine is a global expert in Smart Cities and IoT. Co-Founder and Director of Meshed IoT Integrators, Founder of the Global Community - Giant Ideas for Smart Cities, Co-Founder and Board Member the IoT Alliance Australia.

As a global leader in smart sustainable cities and digital transformation, Catherine has been awarded prestigious industry awards including the IoT Ambassador Award by the IoTAA and Smart Cities Industry Leader by Smart Cities Council.

Prior to Meshed, Catherine was the Director of Smart Cities and Industries for IBM and has held other Executive positions for KPMG, MC2 Consulting, Telstra and PMP Communications and earlier in her career was a Strategic Planner for the City of Prahran (aka as Stonnington.)

Catherine is an Advisory Council Member for University of Wollongong SMART Infrastructure and holds university qualifications in urban planning, economics, telecommunications, management and applied finance.

Innovation & Partnerships Manager | 25eight

Emma Van Smale is an innovation and business transformation professional dedicated to driving human and technological change to deliver better business benefits and community outcomes. Weaving human centred approaches and continuous customer engagement into solutions and cultural change is a passion, with a strong focus on education and adoption.

Emma comes with a spectrum of experience spanning digital transformation, tech product management, project management, digital marketing and customer experience, industrial design, continuous improvement and adoption.

She is currently merging her experience in scaling successful tech start-ups with digital transformation and community programs in Local Government to form approaches, products and programs for positive social impact and community economic development outcomes with the 25eight Group.

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(03) 5573 0444

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Southern Grampians Shire Council
111 Brown Street, Hamilton VIC 3300

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