In this episode I had a really fascinating conversation with Bruce Winzar, the Executive Director of Innovation & Digital Services and Chief Information Officer responsible for Information Technology, Architectures and Applications, Innovation & Research at Bendigo Health. As part of our spotlight on the regions this month, I wanted to speak with Bruce specifically about his experiences fostering Smart Health initiatives in the Bendigo region of Victoria. In this episode, Bruce and I discuss how as visit to Amsterdam in 2007 sparked his interest in Smart Cities and Smart Community concepts, and why he believes it’s so important for the economic and community development in regional areas. 

Bruce explains the power of the strengths-based approach to Smart Communities in regional areas, which for Bendigo means a focus on Smart Health initiatives. He shares a bit about the projects he’s working on, including the new Bendigo Hospital ICT and ePR project, with its focus on data and innovation via a Startup Centre. He tells us how having a mix of key players and regional champions is important for integration, as is creating an intentional ecosystem and environment of collaboration.

We finish our chat talking bout the emerging trend of refocusing on change management when building Smart Communities, and why glossing over the change management process in the past has been detrimental.

A quick warning that there are a couple of audio glitches in this episode however I think you will find this conversation fascinating and enjoy the insights Bruce shares into Smart Regional Health. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it!

Listen here: 

What we cover in this episode: 

  • Bruce’s background of over 4 decades in the IT industry and his passion for the change management aspect of enabling businesses to utilise ICT
  • How a visit to Amsterdam sparked Bruce’s interest in Smart Cities and why he’s inspired by and working towards Smart Regions
  • What a Smart Community is to Bruce and why it’s so important for the economic and community development for regional areas 
  • How Australia is embracing the Smart Regions concept and what Bruce has seen change over the years 
  • The strengths-based approach to Smart Communities in regional areas, which for Bendigo is Smart Health and Education
  • Some of the Projects Bendigo is working on with Smart Health at the new hospital, including focus on data and innovation via Startup Centre 
  • How we can better integrate across the different disciplines, government, industries, the startup space and the community
  • The emerging trend of glossing over the importance of change management when building Smart Communities, and why we should refocus on that


[On the benefits of Smart Regional initiatives] 

“It gives you the opportunity to retain jobs and people in your community and therefore you get growth. And the flip side of that is that it’s an attraction. So therefore, you get maybe the younger people that left coming back, maybe new businesses wanting to move out of metro area…[there are] economic and regional development benefits”.

“It’s not just technology, but it’s also the workforce and keeping our workforce in front of the curve so we can espouse to be a significant if not the best regional town in Australia providing Smart Healthcare.”

“[With Smart Healthcare] we can start to look at really good community-based innovations, remote patient monitoring, keeping the patient in their home etc. with all the benefits to try to keep our community healthy and probably also wealthy and wise!”

“It’s just all straight change management, and how you bring people along the journey and how they can see that the new way of doing things is going to do to help them directly or help their family or help their business or help the community.”


Find the full show notes at: 

Connect with Bruce via email or  @cio_bh on Twitter and follow Bendigo Health via the  Facebook Page

Connect with me via email: 

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @SmartCommHQ

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Perk Digital.

My Smart Community

My Smart Community offers consulting and media services with a focus on making our communities more accessible, liveable and sustainable for all. We have a focus on Smart Mobility, Smart project management, Smart technology in regional communities, dealing with disruption and facilitating genuine collaboration. As well as podcast production, communication and media advisory and engagement, keynote speaking, moderating, master of ceremonies and workshop design and facilitation.

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The Smart Community Podcast is a hub where smart and exciting people from all around the world come to discuss all things Smart City, Smart Town, Smart Region - anything that makes a place more liveable. Together we can create our own Smart Communities.


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