Western Australian Community Achievement Awards

2021 Finalists

Rinehart Development of Northern Regional WA Award

Nagula Jarndu Designs of Broome envisions healthy and empowered women and families. Nagula Jarndu Designs is a small-to-medium art and textile social enterprise established over 30 years ago by elder Yawuru women. Their initial objective was to record oral history and preserve and practice Yawuru language and culture. They have since evolved into an arts and textiles centre business offering skill development and fabric production designed and made by local Indigenous artists. They give Indigenous women the opportunity to create distinctive hand-crafted textiles and support women to attend and enter art exhibitions and markets. The organisation is governed by seven Yawuru women and has 130 members.

Djarindjin Aboriginal Corporation of Djarindjin is committed to capacity building and self-determination. Djanrindjin Aboriginal Corporation (DAC) operates commercial businesses that allow it to be 70% self-funded. DAC reinvests their profits into improving the liveability of the community, developing skills and creating local jobs. They own an airport that refuels helicopters for the Browse Basin and has created 20 highly skilled and paid local jobs. They operate the Dampier Peninsula Safehouse and provide an Aged Care program and a youth and Community Service Outreach program. DAC recently rolled out a Remote Communities Pilot Program for Language, Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Skills Development for post-school-aged adults in WA.

North West Recycling of Karratha is helping reduce eco footprint. NW Recycling is a small business founded by Jake and Jodie Swaffer to implement the WA government’s ‘Containers for Change’ scheme in Karratha, Wickham, Pannawonica, Onslow and surrounding towns. They have set up an Over-the-Counter Recycling Refund Point using a custom-built truck and trailer, where they offer 10-cent refund for eligible containers returned. Since opening in October 2020, they have recycled 7.6 million beverage containers, shared $700,000 of revenue in the community and generated employment for 12 locals. NW Recycling won the City of Karratha Best CBD Garden 2020 and the WA Regional Waste Award 2021.

Walaja Raw Bush Honey of Broome is supplying Kimberley and Pilbara towns with Kimberley honey in its purest form. Walaja Raw Bush Honey is a local family business owned by David Appleby, and wife Dianne Appleby, a proud Yawuru woman. The company manages 250 bee colonies and follow the Kimberley nectar flow from season to season, specialising in the Melaleuca honey flow on Roebuck cattle station, which is owned and managed by the Yawuru Aboriginal Native Title Holders. They have trained people to develop their beekeeping skills. They are currently building a new honey extraction shed which will expand opportunities to employ more young people.


Insurance Commission of WA Regional Safety Award

Morawa District High School of Morawa is promoting road safety through its students’ work. Under the guidance of Artist in Residence, Paula Hart, students of Morawa District High School from pre-primary to Year 11 helped design and paint 40 road safety street barriers to be displayed on Winfield Street and digitised and promoted on local websites, social media, newsletters and postcards. The program started when the School Drug Education and Road Aware program visited the school and encouraged students to create catchy messages and slogans. The Shire of Morawa hopes the banner display will lead to a reduction in serious fatal car crashes in the region.

RAC Project Road Smart of West Perth is committed to saving the lives of young people. Launched in August 2019, RAC Project Road Smart is a free road safety event for Year 10 to 12 students in regional Western Australia. They demonstrate the consequences of distracted driving, speeding and drink driving and inform students on how to reduce risk-taking behaviours as drivers or passengers. The event includes a crash re-enactment drama, talks from local emergency services, video case studies, interaction session, and support services for students provided by partner organisations like Road Trauma Support WA and Headspace. The event travels to regional centres across WA every two years.

Injury Matters - Road Trauma Support of Leederville envisions safer people and places. Injury Matters’ Road Trauma Support WA (RTSWA) is a state-wide service that provides free specialised clinical and non-clinical support and counselling to anyone affected by a road crash, regardless of involvement, blame or referral. They help families, friends, work colleagues and unpaid carers of those injured as well as drivers, witnesses and first responders including emergency services personnel. Their service consists of four core elements: information and support, community engagement, education seminars and training, and specialist grief counselling. During 2020/2021, they delivered 815 counselling, visited 11 towns, held 19 community events and conducted 16 presentations.

Aboriginal Driver Training Program - Life Without Barriers of Broome is dedicated to removing barriers for remote and regional communities through learning to drive safely and legally. In 2013, Life Without Barriers (LWB) commenced the Aboriginal Driver Training Program to prepare, train and equip clients with the skills and knowledge to drive safely on often dangerous roads in the Kimberley and Goldfields regions of WA. Drivers are trained to understand speed, fatigue and gain experience in a variety of conditions, therefore making roads safer. Having a licence also improves employability and reduces the very real danger of Indigenous People being pursued by police. Since 2013, LWB has trained over 700 drivers.


Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries
The Shire of Donnybrook Balingup is determined to create positive and sustained change. The Shire revitalised the Donnybrook Railway Heritage Precinct, a major junction of the South Western Line established in 1893. The main objectives were to restore buildings and spaces that promote significant heritage values. The newly named Station Square presents a landscaped, multi-use public space alongside the heritage-listed Donnybrook Goods Shed. The space connects to the Town Centre, the Preston River Walking Trails and the renowned Apple Fun Park. The project aims to increase tourism visitation, beautify the area, improve connection to neighbouring precincts, protect heritage buildings and infrastructure and improve health outcomes.

The Shire of Harvey is empowering people with disability. In 2021, the Shire conducted a full review of their Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2017-2022. The goal was to provide key insights to access and inclusion issues and create a roadmap to becoming the most accessible community in regional Western Australia. Led by the Shire’s Community Development Team, the engagement included an Access and Inclusion Summit, Co-Design Workshops and a trial of the Access and Inclusion Ambassador Program. The Summit, a first in the South West Region, was attended by 64 local residents in person and online. Local service providers provided transportation and support.

The Shire of Bruce Rock has acted swiftly to address essential community needs. On 25 March 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, a fire destroyed Bruce Rock’s only supermarket and hardware store. With elderly residents and community members self-isolating and in need of supplies, the Shire acted quickly to establish a temporary supermarket in the Shire Hall. They worked with volunteers and community organisations to install security and telecommunications and source infrastructure, including shelving and fridges and an operating system for the checkout. They employed employees of the former supermarket to operate the store. The temporary supermarket continues to operate to this day.

The Shire of Christmas Island is committed to creating solidarity and harmony. The Shire’s Community Service Program provides a suite of community development programs on Christmas Island, a remote island, 2600 kilometres away from Perth. The Island has less than 2000 people, with 85% of people identifying as Malay or Chinese. During 2020, whilst locked out from the mainland for six months, the Community Services Program helped maintain the ‘kampung spirit’ and enhanced community mental health by ensuring residents had outlets for activity and celebrations socially distanced. They hold five major events annually: Territory Week, Seniors Week, Sea Week, Harmony Week, and Christmas Island Marathon.


Curtin University School of Education, Teaching Excellence Award
Goldfields Aboriginal Language Centre of Boulder aims to improve outcomes for Aboriginal programs and people. The Goldfields Aboriginal Language Centre runs a ‘Cultural Competency Training’ (CCT) course and a ‘Speak, Read and Write Goldfields Aboriginal Languages’ course. The CCT course was developed with Aboriginal Elders six years ago, as a way to encourage, educate and empower people in developing their cultural competence and skill at effectively communicating with Aboriginal people. Over 700 people have undertaken the CCT course, resulting in a significant improvement in attitude, respect for and understanding of Aboriginal cultures, language and experience. Many organisations have added the course to their staff induction process.

Sue Sheridan of Tambellup is championing early childhood education. Sue has been working at Tambellup Primary School for 30 years. She co-founded and co-wrote key initiatives such as A Smart Start (ASS) and oral language programs like the Albany District Oral Language Focus (ADOLF), Tambellup’s Oral Program in Language and the Kindergarten Oral Language Program. Developed in the 1990s, ADOLF was implemented in all schools in the Central Great Southern and later in other WA and Victoria schools. ASS was developed in 1999 to encourage early education at home and a smooth transition to school-based education and help break down barriers of isolation, culture and disadvantage.

Helena Nicholson of Dunsborough has a passion for continued sustainability education. Helena is a Digital Technology teacher for Years 1 to 6 and coordinator for STEM education and sustainability at Dunsborough Primary School. She has developed and led school and community initiatives in sustainability education, the Arts and STEM education in Regional WA for 20 years. Helena manages the school partnership with Dunsborough Coast and Land Care. In teaching digital technology, she uses the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals where she allows students to create digital solutions to real problems using robotics and coding applications. In 2011, she developed the school’s Sustainability Committee.

Kimberley Language Resource Centre of Halls Creek is committed to preserving Kimberley’s unique languages. The Kimberley Language Resource Centre (KLRC) was established in 1984. Its head office is in Halls Creek, one of the most remote towns in WA. KLRC works with language groups to create resources, upskill Aboriginal people and advocate for the continuation of the Kimberley’s languages. They have produced bilingual language publications for teaching purposes and provide linguistic support to schools. In 2008, KLRC began to promote its Language Continuation Continuum which set out an emerging issue for Kimberley languages. They are working to provide access to audio and video recordings so languages can be continued.


Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Economic Development Award
Regional Shearing and Wool-Handling Hub Program of Forrestfield is working to increase the employment rates among youth. The Regional Shearing and Wool-Handling Hub Program was developed by DPIRD’s Aboriginal Development Team in 2019 to assist unemployed Aboriginal youth to secure work and reconnect with the industry across Regional Western Australia. In 2020, they opened four regional camps and one shearing improver school. 35 novice trainees, mostly Aboriginal people, undertook skills training to become work-ready and assist 90 shearing contractors across WA. Up to 25 novices have since taken regular employment, with the rest taking casual or part-time work in the industry. They’ve opened two more hubs in 2021.

Hemp Homes Australia of Margaret River is advocating for a sustainable building industry. Owned by Gary Rogers, Hemp Homes Australia is building carbon negative homes with a better living environment, energy efficiency, sound absorption, acoustic performance, sustainability, fire and pest resistance. They use concrete made from locally processed hemp. In 2019/2020, Hemp Homes Australia received a funding grant from the WA Government’s Value Add Agribusiness Investment Attraction Fund and Industrial Hemp Grants Scheme. Hemp Homes Australia has doubled its workforce in the last twelve months, including employing two carpentry apprentices through the WA incentive scheme. They won the 2020 HIA CSR Award for ‘GreenSmart Sustainable Home’.

Willie Creek Pearls of Broome are passionate advocates of tourism in the northwest. Established in 1989, Willie Creek Pearls is a family business that operates across six industries: tourism, retail, commercial pearling, manufacturing, jewellery and hospitality. They run the Willie Creek Pearl Farm, Pearl Luggers Museum and Elizabeth Quay Pearl Experiences. They hold a pearling license in Western Australia, allowing them to commercially farm oysters with their sea lease. They take part in joint marketing campaigns and collaborations for Tourism WA and support local visitor centres, hotel partners and agents. From 2020-2021, they have welcomed 27,580 visitors onto their tours and have employed 118 team members.

Yurra of Gap Ridge is passionate about making positive and lasting changes. Founded in 2013, Yurra is the outcome of a successful collaboration between the Yindjibarndi People and ALM Landscaping. Yurra provides employment and training for the people of Roebourne whilst driving business, social and economic benefits to the wider community. In 2019, Yurra was awarded a 5-year $20 million contract to provide maintenance services to Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s Pilbara Rail Network in Western Australia. The contract has provided pathway opportunities to existing Aboriginal employees, with 45% of crews progressing internally. Yurra has grown from $500,000 turnover in 2014 to $30 million in 2021.


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award
Amy Gornall of Broadwater is committed to creating positive lifelong memories for customers. Amy works as Operations Manager of Busselton Jetty, a 156-year-old heritage listed attraction in Western Australia that receives 500,000 visitors every year. She has implemented Visitor Surveys and improved the reporting system to capture both positive and negative customer feedback. During events, Amy makes sure that customer experience is worthy of a world-class event. She also arranges activities that are tailored to individual needs. Amy and her team have re-done the entire Jetty Train audio, including extra points of interest and multiple voices of different genders and ages, for improved customer experience.

Karri House. Eat-Stay-Love of Margaret River is passionate about offering exceptional service. In 2016, host Tracey Tyler decided to open her home to travellers from around the world. Karri House provides luxury bed and breakfast in Western Australia’s wine region. It is set on two acres of manicured gardens and offers guests use of an outdoor kitchen, barbecue area, a bottom paddock with friendly farm animals and more. Tracey delivers individualised experience tailored to the needs and preferences of each guest. She helps guests plan their itineraries, make reservations on their behalf and secure VIP treatment at wineries and restaurants. Tracey personally cooks and serves the breakfast.

Happy Days Coffee Pot of Northam has the recipe for customer service excellence. Happy Days Coffee Pot is a family-owned and operated business owned by Brad and Sue Day. They renovated the old café into a bright, modern, industrial style café. They operate six days a week and source 95% of their food product from local suppliers and businesses. The company has four strategies in customer service, namely: meeting customer needs and expectations, providing high quality food and drinks, providing comfort, and requesting feedback cards. All of their staff are trained in food safety, food quality and cleanliness, and they cater to all special dietary requirements.

Kununurra Visitor Centre of Kununurra prides itself on their extraordinary service. Incorporated in 1972, Kununurra Visitor Centre (KVC) is a not-for-profit with 150 members composed of local tour operators, accommodation establishments, local general business and some interstate businesses. Their core focus is on visitor servicing, including providing advice and booking facilities for tours and accommodation. KVC works hard to ensure customers are pleased after leaving the centre. Staff take the time to explain to visitors the many sites around Kununurra. KVC has also modified the visitors centre to entertain children. The KVC team undergo training opportunities to appreciate where they work and increase their passion.


Prime Super Business Innovation Award
MiCone Australia of Dunsborough is the future in delineation. Launched in March 2020, MiCone Australia manufactures solar-powered LED flashing traffic cones. The idea for MiCones originated from nightshift operations across multiple sites which had separate solar lights placed on top of cones to be compliant around explosive blast patters and drill areas. MiCones are stackable, for ease of storage and transport, and last a minimum of 14 hours to get through the night. MiCone hopes to achieve an Australian Innovation Patent that covers a mobile phone app as well as MiCones with GPS that are remotely operated. MiCone has clients all around Australia and Canada.

Hemp Homes Australia of Margaret River is leading sustainable hempcrete construction in Western Australia. Hemp Homes Australia is building homes made of hempcrete, a composite building material made by combining small pieces of hemp hurd with a lime-based binder. Hempcrete is used to construct all of the external walls and, depending on the client, some of the internal walls. Hempcrete has the capacity to create a much healthier living environment with the home. Hempcrete homes are also sustainable, highly energy efficient and can be maintained with minimal negative impact on the environment. In 2020, Hemp Homes Australia won the HIA CSR Award for ‘GreenSmart Sustainable Home’.

Karratha Signs of Karratha has a passion for innovative design solutions. Established in 1998, Karratha Signs is a locally owned and operated signwriting business that provides all types of signage in the service of local Karratha and Pilbara businesses and tradesmen. Co-owner Jed Griffiths is a trade-qualified signwriter who noticed a gap in the local signwriting market. Karratha Signs has an innovative approach to business. They work closely with clients to design signage that visually communicates all their required elements and functionality requirements. Jed also conducts onsite audits of signage requirements for various start-up mines. They also provide expert advice to customers in need of signs.

Vasse Valley Hemp Farm, of Vasse is WA's leading hemp foods brand, driving market demand for WA grown hemp seed products. Their innovative roasted hemp seed range allowed WA grown hemp seed to enter the food market without the need for large scale and expensive processing equipment. This year, the team have overcome another major industry limitation; surrounding the prohibition of licensed hemp growers to extract CBD oil, a highly sought after tincture. Through extensive research and experimentation Vasse Valley can now offer a legal and cheaper alternative to CBD to their clients, many of whom are in chronic pain or suffering other challenges such as poor sleep, low energy and anxiety.


Woolworths Community Group of the Year Award
Pilbara Community Legal Service of Karratha is empowering people to manage their lives effectively. PCLS is a non-profit organisation that provides disadvantaged people access to free financial counselling, legal services, disability advocacy, housing support, domestic violence outreach, community migrant program and indigenous advancement outreach programs. Their holistic multi-disciplined service delivery is able to resolve client’s problems in a one-stop-shop approach. Over the last 12 months, PCLS implemented safety plans for women and children experiencing domestic family violence, provided food vouchers to the homeless, held outreach programs and enabled community phone calls to support the most vulnerable. In May 2021, PCLS received the Attorney Generals Community Law Award.

Binningup Surf Lifesaving Club of Australind is promoting safe recreation for all ages. Binningup Surf Lifesaving Club registered their first Silver Salties program in Western Australia in October 2020. The program aimed to increase the community’s capacity to recreate safety on the beach through improved skills and awareness whilst building awareness of Surf Life Saving and its services. They offered three programs, each tailored to participants’ skill levels: beach fitness, ocean swimming and ocean fitness. Two first aid courses were also run for participants to increase first aid knowledge. After receiving an overwhelming response from 53 members during the initial program, they ran another program in January.

Country Women's Association - Ord Valley Branch of Kununurra unites women to strengthen the community. Founded in 2009, the Ord Valley branch of the Country Women’s Association (CWA) is comprised of 23 like-minded ladies from all walks of life. They are bound together by their passion for state and national programs promoted by CWA to support the local community. In 2020 and 2021, their ‘Cane Toad Muster’ initiative, aimed at protecting the Northern Quoll, freshwater crocodile and other animals in the Kimberley at risk from the cane toad invasion, saw members lend a hand to Parks & Wildlife & the University of New South Wales to collect live toads.

Wheatbelt & Beyond Youth Mentoring Inc of Bruce Rock has a passion for assisting rural youth. Wheatbelt & Beyond Youth Mentoring (WBYM) is a school-based volunteer program run by passionate educators and community members alongside significant partnerships. Developed by Janine Dayman and Karen Strange in 2011, the program is delivered online to regional students in District High Schools where mentors and secondary students are matched one-on-one. They provide an opportunity to build a solid relationship and for students to have a support and confidante. In 2021, they were granted charitable status for advancing social and public welfare and advancing education. WBYM currently provides ongoing support to around 200 students.