Our regional centres are distinct enough in location and character to consider them as the basis for trialling some different approaches. We have some place-based approaches at play but they’re typically under resourced. Not in terms of infrastructure – because that’s sometimes easier to attract – but in terms of support for innovation. Regional centres are large enough to provide a test bed for specialisation, new forms of governance, use of technology, partnership with universities, school-community-business partnerships, collaboration between sectors, teacher training and attraction incentive schemes etc. Universal frameworks for school improvement and system level initiatives seem to be passing regional centres by, despite the very best efforts of everyone involved. We can do better with the right type of support.