Reasons for youth to stay in the Rum City
PAUL PILTZ is one successful local who believes young people should look for the region's hidden gems before being swayed by the big city's bright lights.
Mr Plitz, who works at Best Practice Software as a learning and development specialist, has worked in the medical software company since the early days and has lived in the city for about 24 years after moving here from Charters Towers.
Both of Mr Plitz's children have remained in Bundaberg after finishing high school.
Son D'Arcy also works at Best Practice.
Mr Piltz said moving from Charters Towers to Bundy was a "heck of a move” but one of the best decisions they had made.
He understands why the younger generation would find the big cities appealing with their "bright lights”, but urged the region's youth to look for the "hidden gems” in Bundaberg first.
He believed once the youth had left town it was harder for them to return in the short-term.
According to demographer Bernard Salt, who looked at the data to go with the Future Bundaberg campaign, people leave for education after they finish school and return for lifestyle at about 45 years of age.
Retaining youth has long been a challenge faced in the region.
"D'Arcy didn't know what he wanted to do and had aspirations to join the navy,” Mr Piltz said.
"They wanted him to have more life experience first.”
That's when D'Arcy, 24, joined Best Practice in a support role and has already been promoted to an application architect after a year with the company.
D'Arcy's advice to the younger generation wanting to leave straight after school was to "open their options”.
D'Arcy said with advances in technology such as fast internet in Bundaberg, there was no reason to head to the big smoke.
He said with a CQU campus offering a number of degrees, there was a fantastic opportunity to pursue further education here.
"There are options there - don't push yourself into limiting your options,” he said.
"Even at a corporate level for employment we have it here - such as Best Practice.”
Mr Plitz said it was a unique situation for businesses in the region.
"We're in regional Australia, the bushy way, where there is no need (for businesses) to show off or self-promote what we have,” he said.
"The trick is to get your name out there and tread the fine line to keeping Bundy and regional areas how they are.
"All while making the most of what we have.”
Best Practice Software was created in 2004 in Bundaberg by Dr Frank Pyefinch.
It brings users the benefits of a busy and successful career as a respected general practitioner and more than a decade of experience as Australasia's pioneer of medical software development.
Today Best Practice develops, markets and supports software products for Australasian medical practices - in general practice, allied health and specialist fields.
It's businesses such as Best Practice and its opportunities for youth that show why the NewsMail's campaign to Grow Our Own is just so important.
Mr Plitz says there's no way he'd walk away from the region.
"I mean if I had to have a gravestone over my head it would have to be here,” he said.
"Bundy is one of those places where you can put your roots down.
"And you put your roots down where you are comfortable.
"I don't see a reason to leave - I live at Bargara, it's quiet, near the beach and even the town centre doesn't feel busy,” he said.