Western Australian Community Achievement Awards

2023 Finalists


Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Economic Development Award

Bullara Station Stay of Exmouth is a family-run cattle station. Their commitment to a 'Buy Local' policy resulted in 95% of purchases and 80% of expenses staying within the region, contributing $1.2 million in the last year. Expanding their offerings, they upcycled a 1920s woolshed into a thriving café, serving over 32,000 scones and locally sourced delights. With an increase in staff from 11 to 70, including locals, they generated $830,000 in wages annually. Their unique glamping experience is a hit, and hosting events like the Solar Eclipse has brought in visitors and revenue. Bullara Station Stay embodies the spirit of regional growth and community support.


City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder boasts of bold vision and strategic planning that gave rise to transformative economic diversification. Their relentless pursuit of a symbiotic industrial estate led to the $575 million Lynas Rare Earths Processing Facility, generating 290 construction jobs, and creating 128 permanent positions. Collaborative efforts unlocked strategic industrial zones, with Pure Battery Technologies' $460 million battery material refinery poised to bring 1,900 jobs. Beyond local impact, this initiative elevates Kalgoorlie-Boulder's global standing in the critical minerals sector, meeting international clean energy targets. The project's success and partnerships demonstrate how regional communities can harness emerging industries for sustainable economic growth.

LA. ONE Economics & Consulting of Albany was founded by Lucy Anderton in 2016. In August 2020, LA.ONE introduced myFARMSMART tool after four years of development. This tool empowers farmers to navigate the complexities of farming, improve profitability, and build resilience in the face of uncertainty. Lucy's innovation revolutionised farm decision-making, providing farmers with an easy-to-use, data-driven solution. Lucy's commitment extends beyond technology; she actively contributes to regional development by conducting economic studies and fostering employment growth. Her impact is felt not only through myFARMSMART but also in securing funding for crucial projects like the CRISP Wireless network, demonstrating her dedication to the prosperity of regional communities.


Pingelly Somerset Alliance Inc embarked on a groundbreaking journey to revitalise Pingelly, tackling the challenges of limited aged care services and dwindling job opportunities. Their "Home Care Support Service" (HCSS) model became a beacon of hope, creating over 8 full-time positions, catalysing local business growth, and reshaping the town's economic landscape. PSA's commitment to community well-being and innovation has led to the HCSS project attracting $1.3 million in annual federal funding, supporting individuals to age in place. Beyond Pingelly, this success story has inspired more than 8 other small communities to replicate the model, leaving a profound mark on rural job creation and economic prosperity.


Curtin University, School of Education Teaching Excellence Award

Deanne Hedland of Cloverdale shows unwavering commitment to her students. As the driving force behind the SILO cafe, she provides a real-world work environment, fostering graduates passionate about hospitality. Dee's innovation is evident in the Djinda Ngardak culinary program, empowering First Nations youth and strengthening their connection to culture and food. She tirelessly eliminates barriers, ensuring individualised learning and fostering positive engagement in a regional setting. Dee's community partnerships, such as with Northam Share and Care, open doors for students, promoting holistic well-being. Her dedication extends to her self-development and mentorship of preservice teachers, making her a beacon of excellence in education.


Dexter Catambay of South Hedland has immeasurable impact on healthcare education in remote WA. As a Nursing Lecturer and Head of Programs, Dexter has pioneered innovative digital teaching methods, breaking down barriers for remote students, including many First Nations learners. His vision for a technologically empowered healthcare workforce has led to program digitalisation, foundational digital skills development, and an increase in Indigenous enrolments. Dexter overcame resource challenges and have turned his department into a Centre of Excellence in rural health education and digital learning. His commitment to self-improvement and advocacy for digital teaching and learning earned him the University of Notre Dame HESTA Nursing & Midwifery Award in 2022.


Dr Ian Kanini of Banksia Grove has a teaching journey spanning over 20 years and three countries. His innovative approach centres on understanding students' backgrounds and tailoring teaching methods. This personalised approach transcends socio-economic disparities, fostering effective learning in regional settings. Overcoming challenges in regional education, including limited resources and cultural obstacles, Dr Kanini empowers students to embrace the value of education. His vision for a Registered Training Organisation reflects his dedication to increasing literacy and numeracy levels in regional Western Australia. Dr Kanini's transformative impact on at-risk youth at Joondalup Anchor Point School exemplifies his dedication to shaping a brighter future for students who need it most.


Philippa Rumble is a dedicated teacher who has a passion for supporting learning and education. Beyond her full-time teaching, she supports learning in remote areas in her volunteer roles and has revitalised her school's Positive Behaviour Support program, fostering a positive learning environment and inclusion. She facilitates collaboration with colleagues and has worked to develop wellbeing and academic programs to support a vast range of young people. Philippa's volunteer work in sports and leadership roles within community organisations demonstrates her commitment to learning and wellbeing for all. She's a beacon of inspiration for her students and peers alike.


Rinehart Development of Northern Regional WA Award

Impact Digi of Karratha stands tall as a 100% Aboriginal-owned marketing powerhouse, spearheaded by founder Tamara BinAmat since 2013. Celebrating a decade of visionary work, Impact Digi's star has never shone brighter. Over the past year, they've doubled their revenue, tripled their workforce, and achieved a remarkable 106% increase in net profit. Offering a comprehensive range of design, communications, and marketing services, they serve businesses of all sizes, government entities, and tier 1 mining companies. Their dedication to the Northern Regional WA community, active involvement, and commitment to uplifting local businesses shine brightly. Impact Digi's story is one of resilience, excellence, and unwavering impact.


North West Recycling of Karratha is a family-owned recycling venture founded in 2020. As the Containers for Change Refund Point Operator, they've recycled over 33 million containers and sharing $330,000 in revenue with the community. Their commitment to inclusivity is evident in their diverse workforce, including individuals with disabilities and those re-entering the workforce. Their facility boasts a 6-star green rating and zero carbon emissions, setting a high standard for sustainability. Community outreach initiatives and partnerships with industry giants showcase their dedication to promoting recycling, reducing landfill, and supporting local employment. North West Recycling leads the way in waste management and sustainability in Northern WA.

Pilbara Kimberley University Centres of Karratha (PKUC) is transforming education accessibility in remote Australia. PKUC is a not-for-profit that provides a lifeline for students in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions, where the nearest university campus is days away. They’ve collaborated with CQUniversity, UTAS and Curtin University to allow students to pursue degrees locally, bridging the gap in higher education. PKUC's pioneering approach includes nursing residential schools and tailored courses for industries like mining. Financially robust, they've secured substantial government funding, leading to remarkable revenue growth. PKUC's dedicated local team, under the leadership of CEO Susan Grylls, has earned acclaim and awards for their exceptional contributions to the community.


Yinjaa-Barni Art of Roebourne is supporting Yindjibarndi artists, embodying strength and resilience. Based in Roebourne, Western Australia, this not-for-profit Aboriginal Corporation has fostered a community of 18 talented artists. Their artworks, inspired by the Pilbara's beauty and culture, and have garnered national and international acclaim and ensured cultural preservation while providing economic opportunities. Yinjaa-Barni has triumphed over challenges in Roebourne, including crime and substance abuse, by offering a nurturing environment where individuals can create and earn. Supported by Rio Tinto and self-sustaining through sales, this art centre is poised for global expansion. Their commitment to community engagement, training, and cultural continuity sets them apart.


Woolworths Community Group of the Year Award

Comfort Quilts Against Cancer of Northam (CQAC) is a volunteer-driven initiative that has touched the lives of 3,380 individuals battling cancer by distributing handmade quilts. This not-for-profit community group's journey began 11 years ago, driven by a deep personal loss. CQAC provides not only physical comfort but also emotional solace to recipients, nominated anonymously via their Facebook page. With over 40 dedicated volunteers, CQAC is ensuring that they continue to reach those in need. Their short-term goal involves raising community awareness and securing sponsors, while their long-term commitment is to sustain this invaluable service. CQAC's impact extends far beyond quilts, offering support in the fight against cancer.


Goldfields Aboriginal Language Centre Aboriginal Corporation has tirelessly championed the Goldfield’s 12 First Nations languages since inception in 2011. GALCAC’s reputation as a leading Australian language centre, dedicated to research, resource creation, and intergenerational language transfer, is outstanding. The Aboriginal research body preserves language through lexical databases, dictionaries and film. Despite significant barriers, including limited government recognition, GALCAC thrives. Visionary work ensures Elders have agency with their language, linguistic status, and an inclusive linguistic future. GALCAC's commitment, resilience, and achievements in revitalising Indigenous languages make it a remarkable asset to both the Goldfields community and the broader cultural of Australia.


Northwest Multicultural Association WA Inc. of Karratha was established in 2021, promoting cultural diversity and inclusivity in the Pilbara region. Through programs and events like the Northwest Multicultural Show, they connect more than 250 participants from various ethnic backgrounds, fostering cross-cultural understanding and unity. Their work benefits migrants, refugees, ethnic communities, businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies by creating a vibrant, diverse community. Overcoming geographical isolation and limited funding, they actively collaborate with stakeholders. In the face of language barriers and cultural diversity, they provide training to enhance communication. They advocate for improved infrastructure and volunteer retention, profoundly impacting the region's social cohesion and multicultural awareness.


Southern Forest Steppers of Manjimup started in 2016. Their united team of 47 members have raised $137,910 for The Harry Perkins Institute, earning the title of WA's highest fundraising team. They host lively events that captivate their community's spirit, like the One Step Closer event and the iconic Double D Cup football match, drawing local support and engagement. Beyond fundraising, they are an embodiment of unity, showing how a close-knit community can change lives. Their journey involves navigating challenges, including COVID restrictions, but their dedication to the cause remains unwavering. The Southern Forest Steppers continue to make strides in the fight against cancer.


Tom Price Emergency Services Cadet Corps is a thriving program since 2000, showcasing hope and leadership for over 1500 young individuals aged 11-18. Beyond boosting school attendance, this program has nurtured 21 cadets into roles within volunteer emergency services like SES, St John Ambulance, Fire and Rescue, and the Bush Fire Brigade. Today, with 101 active cadets, their community impact is profound. They've responded to emergencies, helped during natural disasters, and provided over 30,000 hours of community service. Initiatives like road safety signs, accessible defibrillators, and educational programs showcase their dedication to community safety. Overcoming barriers and challenges, they continue to shine as community leaders.


Awards Australia Charitable Foundation Mental Health and Wellbeing Award

Boyup Brook Community Mental Health Action Team is advocating for rural mental health. Their unique Framework for Change tackles the siloed approach to mental health, uniting stakeholders and transforming local mental wellness. With a focus on youth and the wider community, CoMHAT's approach engages, educates, and empowers, addressing community-identified priorities. Despite limited resources, they've secured funding to support projects like the Youth Zone centre and mental health education. CoMHAT's initiatives have ignited community engagement, created stronger connections, and fostered a more understanding and inclusive community. Their dedication to improving mental health in rural areas has far-reaching impacts and serves as a model for similar communities.


Desert Blue Connect of Geraldton is promoting women and children's well-being. Their comprehensive services cover sexual assault counselling, family violence support, women's health, and more. Responding to community needs, they launched the Women's Wellness Centre, a haven for holistic healthcare. Challenges of soaring demand and complex client needs were met by expanding clinical staff and streamlining internal referrals. They're a trauma-informed service, addressing distressing situations with care. Desert Blue Connect's impact extends beyond clinical walls, fostering social connections and promoting mental well-being through support groups and community engagement. In the heart of the Midwest, they empower their community with accessible and inclusive healthcare, leaving a legacy.


Goldfields Women’s Health Care Centre of Kalgoorlie (GWHCC) has been a source of support for women and families in the Goldfields region for over three decades. Their services, including counselling, well-woman clinics, and well-being programs, cater to women from all walks of life. GWHCC stands out for its advocacy efforts, championing improved healthcare access and adopting innovative strategies like embedding legal services for women. Their impact is undeniable, with nearly 4000 people benefitting from their services annually. From mental health support to cancer survivors' groups, GWHCC fosters empowerment and well-being. With values of Trust, Respect, and Inclusion, they continue to build thriving and sustainable communities across the Goldfields.


Neami Mandurah provide flexible community-based mental health supports, both individual and group, that meet people where they are at and help them achieve the things they value for living well. This means people can maintain their lives, relationships, jobs and independence while also improving their mental health. Neami walk alongside people to help improve their quality of life, on their terms. Through awareness campaigns and community programs, Neami Mandurah have supported positive change for individuals, their families and the broader community, and aim to create a place of acceptance and understanding.


APM Sustainable Disability Employment Award

Accessability of Narrogin is an unwavering force in the Wheatbelt and Upper Great Southern, transforms lives and communities through a variety of Services. They’ve pioneered employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, creating permanent positions including cleaning, handyman services, admin and behaviour support advisory. They foster self-sufficiency, assisting with finding and keeping jobs, housing, and financial security. Accessability's dedicated support system and holistic approach empowers participants with consistent training and guidance. An employer of choice in the region, they boast high staff retention, contributing to personal growth, and community enrichment. Accessability's enduring impact is a testament to their commitment to creating brighter, more inclusive futures.


Good Sammy – Albany is an iconic charity that addresses the barriers to employment that individuals with disabilities face. Good Sammy has over 50% of its 700 employees, over 50% of its have disabilities, is a game-changer. Their four regional op-shop stores offer affordable goods and meaningful jobs for more than 20 individuals with disabilities while saving items from the landfill. In 2022-23, they achieved a remarkable 32% growth in disability employment. Good Sammy's commitment extends to tailored support through Employee Pathways Coordinators and a training Academy. Their impact shines in the 23 individuals who secured open employment, transcending limitations to participate fully in society.


Kardan Construction of Burswood is an exemplar of inclusivity and social responsibility. Their collaboration with Goodwill Engineering has delivered impactful projects, including critical modifications for WA Police. Beyond construction, Kardan Construction champions diversity, fostering Aboriginal employment through apprenticeships, traineeships, and trade assistant positions. Their innovative approach collaborates with subcontractors, women in construction, and over-55s, demonstrating their dedication to inclusivity in the industry. Their partnership with Western Australian Disability Enterprises has opened doors for individuals with disabilities, enriching the workforce and empowering local businesses. Kardan Construction not only builds structures but also fosters a culture of respect and social responsibility, positively impacting the community.


Shire of Manjimup - Property Care Team exemplifies a community's commitment to inclusivity and support. This team of five individuals with disabilities carries out outdoor property maintenance, offering them meaningful employment close to home. The Shire's robust backing, complete with dedicated equipment and training opportunities, ensures their success and integration into the broader Shire team. Beyond jobs, this initiative fosters a sense of pride, accomplishment, and responsibility within the community. The Property Care Team's quality workmanship is highly sought after, solidifying their impact. By championing inclusivity, the Shire paves the way for a more diverse and equitable workplace, open to all job applicants in the Manjimup community.


Konica Minolta Customer Service Award

Innovative Mentoring Pty Ltd of O'Connor was founded in 2019 by Jeanette Barnesby. They've grown from a single-parent operation to a dynamic team of like-minded individuals. They now reach clients nationwide, including regional areas, through innovative approaches like virtual consultations, with focus on helping people access the NDIS. Jeanette's unwavering "can do" attitude permeates the team, inspiring them to go above and beyond for their clients. One example saw them invest over 30 hours of combined effort to secure NDIS access for a client who had been denied multiple times. Their dedication resulted in a life-transforming change, emphasising their commitment to changing lives and boosting local communities.


Lo's Cafe and Dining Pty Ltd of Karratha is the brainchild of siblings Steven and Ginger Lo. It is a culinary gem offering a delightful fusion of Australian and Asian flavours. Their journey began with dreams and limited language skills but evolved into an enduring success story. They invested heart and capital to establish a welcoming and vibrant eatery. Steven and Ginger lead by example, building lasting relationships with customers through warm, personal service. They also actively support the local community, earning accolades and loyalty. Over the years, Lo's Cafe and Dining has become an integral part of Karratha's identity, epitomising excellence in service and community engagement.


Next Gen Wellness AU of Australind is a haven of holistic well-being and transformation under the leadership of Dani Hewton. A former educator, Dani's shift towards natural wellness was fuelled by her husband's remarkable recovery from a severe back injury and her own chronic pain. Her groundbreaking Freedom from Old Pain Program, weaving coaching, infrared therapy, psychology, and energy healing, has liberated clients from chronic pain, enriching their emotional well-being. Dani's profound impact extends beyond her clients, as she actively shares wellness tips, conducts free presentations, and offers downloadable resources. Her expertise is widely recognised in her community, with clients and professionals alike praising her life-changing contributions to health and wellness.


The Good Egg Cafe Pty Ltd of Busselton is a heartfelt tribute to its cherished husband who died of brain cancer. The Good Egg Cafe is a testament to the power of kindness and community. Beyond being a culinary delight, it donates 5% of its profits to vital brain cancer research, having contributed over $50,000 to date. Exceptional service is at its core, seamlessly guiding patrons on a welcoming journey. The cafe's ingenuity shines through private offices, co-working spaces, and high-tech facilities, fostering a sense of belonging. Community engagement thrives as the cafe supports local charities, offers a meeting space to groups, and donates to front-line workers during crises.


Insurance Commission of Western Australia Regional Safety Award

End to End Young Driver Training of South Bunbury is a life-changing initiative dedicated to empowering disadvantaged youth aged 16-25. By providing comprehensive support, it helps them obtain a Driver's License, instils safe driving attitudes, and breaks the cycle of disadvantage. The impact is a 99% success rate in steering program graduates towards further education or employment. What sets End to End apart is its holistic approach, addressing participants' challenges, from homelessness to mental health issues. By achieving success where others have fallen short, this initiative not only ensures safer roads by removing untrained drivers but also unlocks opportunities for young lives, securing their futures and fostering positive change.


Newman Neighbourhood Centre Inc made a significant impact on road safety in their community through the Bike Bonanza event. With 50 participants, they actively promoted bike safety and raised awareness about road safety essentials. Their focus on visibility, path sharing, and safety gear underscored the importance of road safety for all road users. Although direct accident statistics remain pending, the event's success is evident in the demand for its return. By proactively addressing road safety concerns, they are helping to make Newman's roads safer, setting a positive example for other communities to follow in their efforts to create safer road environments.


Red Dirt Driving Academy (RDDA) / Ngarliyarndu Bindirri Aboriginal Corporation of Roebourne is an outstanding social innovation program enhancing road safety in regional areas. Launched in 2010, RDDA has made significant strides in reducing traffic offenses, drink driving, and the over-representation of Aboriginal individuals in the justice system due to traffic-related issues. RDDA's holistic approach addresses barriers faced by Aboriginal people in obtaining their driver's licenses. Cultural sensitivity, individualised support, and comprehensive services encompass license checks, theory testing, driving lessons, and driver education workshops. The outcomes achieved in 2022 including the issuance of licenses, supporting employment opportunities and over 1600 driving lessons underscore RDDA's remarkable success and positive community impact.


TRANSAFE WA is revolutionising road safety education with iNSTRUCKTA! the safety truck. Launched in January 2023, this initiative takes a proactive approach to reducing truck-related crashes and fatalities. By delivering hands-on experiences, virtual reality simulations, interactive quizzes, and informative videos, iNSTRUCKTA! empowers road users to share the road safely with heavy vehicles. Initial feedback has been exceptionally positive, demonstrating its potential to make a significant impact. With Australia's freight task set to triple by 2050, this education is crucial to prevent a surge in road-related casualties. iNSTRUCKTA! serves as a beacon of safety, illuminating the path toward safer roads in Western Australia.


Awards Australia Local Legend Award

Andrea Musulin of Carnarvon is committed to child protection. She journeyed from a 30-year career as a police officer to become the Managing Director of CFSS WA. Her dedication has resulted in developing essential resources for Carnarvon's children and parents, offering protection against abuse. Andrea's remarkable work has not only reduced child sexual assault complaints but also empowered numerous service providers through training. Her legacy extends beyond her years of involvement, as the Protective Behaviours Program instils life skills in children, ensuring future generations are equipped to protect themselves. Andrea's contributions have transformed her community and hold the potential for broader impact and replication.


Dave Seegar of Margaret River has been running the Soup Kitchen for 28 years. His vision provides a space for people to enjoy affordable, nourishing meals and connect with their community. Dave has given an estimated 20,000 volunteer hours. As he steps back, a dedicated team of volunteers steps up to ensure his legacy endures. Dave values community over personal gain and has touched countless lives. He is more than a local legend; he is the heart of a cherished institution. Dave's impact transcends numbers; it's the smiles, conversations, and hearts touched that define his legacy, and his unwavering commitment.


Lily Gresele of Brentwood went from elite gymnast to mental health advocate, a testament to her resilience. She founded "How to Be Well" with over 4000 followers, sparking open conversations on mental health. Lily's vulnerability and determination have had a profound impact on countless lives, challenging stigma, particularly among young adults. Her influence extends to public speaking engagements, including Lifeline WA and corporate events, where she shares her depression journey, encouraging others to break their silence. As a Youth WA Lifeline Ambassador, she's championed suicide prevention. Lily's impact ripples through articles, podcasts, and workshops, reaffirming her commitment to reshaping the mental health narrative.


Rach Mac of Perth transformed from a real estate agent to a fearless survivor and advocate against domestic violence. Her creation of the Broken Crayon’s Still Colour Foundation has not only saved lives but empowered survivors. Rach takes enormous risks, personally conducting emergency relocations and providing critical support to victims. Her impact extends to legal advocacy, court support, Christmas provisions, and a transition to safer homes. Despite receiving no government funding, she raises her funds, securing an emergency relocation vehicle and establishing two safe havens for mothers and children. Rach's dedication has led to awards and international recognition, promising lasting change in the fight against domestic violence.