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Remote and Rural Enterprise (RARE) program

Connecting students with remote communities
RARE is a community-engaged learning program connecting students with remote, rural and Indigenous enterprises in Australia and South-East Asia to solve real-world business challenges.

Our academically guided action research projects emphasise community consultation, researching best practice and reviewing local markets to provide remote entrepreneurs and organisations with solutions that suit challenging remote environments and socio-cultural differences.

Applications for the RARE Vietnam February 2020 intensive are now open. Find out more.

RARE stories

Our students, academics and enterprise participants share their stories and experiences as part of the RARE program.

Our projects

The RARE program manages numerous exciting projects throughout regional and remote Australia and South-East Asia. 

Australian projects

We offer a range of action research projects where students have the opportunity to have a real-world impact on remote communities, such as employment generating social enterprises, Indigenous arts and tourism and renewable energy projects.

Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi Aboriginal Corporation (Waltja), an established not-for-profit organisation based in Alice Springs, delivers community and health services such as aged care, youth programs and disability programs tailored for the needs of Indigenous communities and culture. Projects include:

  • Waltja Community Art Store: developing a strategic plan to scale up an existing art sales to reach a wider national and international audience.
  • Waltja Cultural Events and Tourism: exploring best use of existing land and human resources to allow an exchange of local culture and knowledge with the outside world.

The Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation provides community services and operates different enterprises that support the local communities in the Maningrida region of Arnhem Land. They also support the development of small enterprises and entrepreneurial activity in Maningrida, with a focus on surrounding homelands. Projects include:

  • Monetising and scaling the operations and activities of local entrepreneurs that have close ties to local traditional activities: fishing, mud crabbing and cultural tourism.
  • Building a small business hub that can help provide back-end support for emerging local businesses and support economic development in the area. 

Mogo Local Aboriginal Land Council holds and manages lands on behalf of the community. Projects include:

  • Mogo Cultural Tourism Business: developing a strategic business plan to create an Indigenous cultural tourism company that draws on the environmental, cultural and human resources unique to the Mogo region. 
  • Mogo Community Arts and Crafts Centre: creating a business plan to scale and expand a community-run Indigenous Arts and Crafts Centre at their shopfront in Mogo Village, to display and sell local artworks and connect local culture with a wider national and international audience. 
  • The Australian Agricultural Centre aims to dynamically promote the agriculture of today to a younger audience, through education and tourism.
  • The AAC intends to operate using 100% renewable energy and is seeking a renewable energy plan that outlines best use of land and energy mix to ensure the centre is sustainable.

Settlement Services International is a community-based not-for-profit organisation providing a range of services in the areas of refugee settlement, asylum seeker assistance and employment services in NSW. Students are working on a range of social enterprise opportunities identified by SSI, that support newly arrived refugees.

RARE Vietnam Intensive unit

Each year we run a Vietnam intensive unit of study. We fund up to 16 select cross-faculty students to travel to Hanoi to research and work on the ground with real social entrepreneurs, helping to scope and scale their operations. This is a unique opportunity to study social entrepreneurship in a Vietnamese context and to have a meaningful impact on a real social enterprise.

This unit will run again in February 2020, with pre-departure workshops from October 2019. Applications for this unit are now open and will close Sunday 25th August at midnight. Undergraduate students from the Business School, Faculty of Engineering and IT, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Faculty of Science can apply by completing the online application form, where you will answer a series of questions relating to your interest and experience in social entrepreneurship and community development. You will also be asked to upload a copy of your CV and academic transcript.

Please note as this unit is New Colombo Plan funded, only undergraduate students who are Australian citizens are eligible. For further inquiries and key dates please download the Scaling Social Enterprises in Vietnam flyer (PDF, 120KB) or contact RARE coordinator Jared Harrison.

Below are some of the inspiring social entrepreneurs we are working with.


KOTO provide kitchen and hospitality training through their various restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Vietnam. The training gives at-risk and disadvantaged youth the opportunity to learn and thrive. Students worked with the KOTO team to develop a crowdfunding campaign to finance new uniforms for staff and to use as a guide for developing future campaigns.

Khac, through partnership with other community enterprises, provide authentic, lively and compassionate trips to enable urban travellers to regain balance, confidence and a peaceful life. Students reviewed Khac’s strategy and provided recommendations for further expansion into  Vietnamese and international markets.

Imagtor is a B2B photo-editing social enterprise that provides employment and free Photoshop training to people with disabilities in Vietnam. Students developed a business plan that aimed to increase Imagtor’s brand awareness and better engage with international clients.

Le Gia is a producer of traditional Vietnamese fish sauce, where all ingredients and workers are sourced from the local community to increase employment and training opportunities. Students developed an internationalisation plan for Le Gia to enter foreign markets and increase their sales and impact.

Completed projects

This map showcases projects we have completed, communicates the nature of the work we take on and highlights areas where we have been active in Australia and South East Asia.

RARE Vietnam 2020 flyer

Download PDF

RARE Program flyer

Download PDF

Contact us

Jared Harrison

RARE Program Coordinator