Western Australian Community Achievement Awards

2022 Finalists

Curtin University, School of Education Teaching Excellence Award


Dexter Catambay is equipping the future enrolled nursing workforce with digital competence. Dexter is a nursing lecturer for North Regional TAFE. He helped digitalise their nursing program and developed the first online enrolled nursing clinical tools in WA using the Blackboard learning management system. He also developed their “eHealth” and “Telehealth” to allow EN students safe transition to a hospital environment. Dexter advocates for digital learning and teaching in health and training services.


Esme Keogh is working to foster inclusivity and teaching excellence. Esme is a teacher at Australind Senior High School. She started an LGBTQIA+ Alliance Group on campus. Esme is currently working on her thesis on feminist education for her PhD in Education. Esme is currently learning Noongar and Auslan to better communicate with students. She has also started a WADL debating league.


Polly Farmer Foundation Primary Programs run 12 primary programs that provide culturally safe environments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary students to engage in learning outside of the class room. They offer two models: after school learning clubs and STEM centres. Students engage with local community members and get opportunities to visit local industries and go on camps. Their staff recently engaged in a Professional Learning Inquiry program.


Lynette Hillier has created innovative and engaging biology programs for students based on local environmental issues. The Blue Swimmer Crab Monitoring program monitors the health and population of crab stocks in Bunbury. Investigating biodiversity, methods to reduce mosquito populations and rehabilitation are the focus of the Mallokup Wetlands project. Lynette recently participated in the Earth Watch Teach-live Bush Blitz program to bring further learning to her students.


Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries Making a Difference Award


Kathy Brooking encourages participation in leisure and recreation within the Shire of Coolgardie. She has developed programs like Youth Night, Community Sports and Junior Gym. She has introduced the Shire Sports Holiday Program, Community Clubs Development and the Shire’s first Youth Basketball team. Kathy collaborates with local service providers. She also builds strong partnerships by liaising with regional and local sporting groups.


Shire Of Murray catalysed the establishment of the Food Innovation Precinct WA. Using a ‘smart specialisation’ approach, they partnered with Peel Development Commission at the State level and the Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure. They have three facilities: research and development, innovation centre, and production- F&B facility. The Shire has activated strategic partnerships and strong business and community engagement to scale-up hundreds of SMEs.


Mandurah Surf Lifesaving - Starfish Nippers is a lifesaving skills program designed for children and young adults with a disability aged 6 years and older. Starfish Nippers is entirely run by volunteers. Mandurah Surf Life Saving Club members teach and supervise each student in and out of the water. In 2022, the Program won the Surf Life Saving WA Awards of Excellence community education program of the year.


Meekatharra Shire Youth Services has operated the Meekatharra Youth Centre since 1988. MSYS works in collaboration with like-minded organisations like the Yulella Aboriginal Corporation, Mission Australia and Youth Focus. With Yulella, MSYS provides support to the social development of Aboriginal people. With Mission Australia, MSYS offers mental health coordination services. With Youth Focus, MSYS provides no-cost mental health services and early intervention and prevention services.


Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Economic Development Award


Brida Pty Ltd is a 100% Aboriginal owned social enterprise delivering cleaning services, ground maintenance, landscaping, waste management and labour hire. All its 210 employees are local, and over 50% are Aboriginal. Brida earns almost $12 million annually and delivers $10.82 million in regular wages to local people. Its profits are reinvested to deliver social innovation and empower Aboriginal people through social initiatives.


Willie Creek Pearls is a Western Australian family business who sustainably produce the best pearls in the world: Australian South Sea Pearls. On their multi-award-winning tours, they educated and entertained 26,009 visitors in 2021-22. Kimberley region tourism output is estimated at $360,992m - as a tourism advocate, the company invests >$50,000 annually to partner with tourism bodies to attract visitors to the region.


Froth Craft Brewery is focused on producing good beers and beautiful dishes whilst giving their guests the best service and warmest welcome. Froth has invested over 500,000 in itself to expand and create growth. From only 12 staff when it started, Froth has now over 75 employed staff in its two venues. Many of the positions are full-time, creating stability in a rural town.


Denmark Farmhouse Cheese and Ducketts Mill Wines is a family-owned business that produces award-winning cheeses and grow premium grapes made into wine. Since its purchase in 2018 from its founders, DFC|DMW has tripled production and supply. They also run a retail outlet, a restaurant and a vineyard. They currently have 6 full-time staff and 13 casual positions.


HASS Foods Tourism and Hospitality Award


Busselton Jetty Incorporated is a not-for-profit that operates Busselton Jetty, a 157-year-old heritage-listed attraction and eco-tourism destination. They offer unique tourism experiences, including a Solar-electric over-ocean tourist train and the largest natural Underwater Observatory. 25% of BJI’s gross revenue are redirected to the Jetty Maintenance Reserve and 3% to the Busselton Jetty Environment Foundation. BJI is a WA Tourism Awards Hall of Famer.


Perth is OK! is an independent media outlet launched in 2014. Its purpose is to shine a light on the best parts of WA that are often forgotten. They have written in-depth guides and articles to promote WA as a destination of choice. Perth is OK! places a strong emphasis on building their social media audiences. It has over 900,000 followers on social media, the vast majority of which are based in WA.


Solitaire Homestead is a venue offering memorable wedding experiences. Kelly and Nico Mesdag founded Solitaire Homestead Weddings and Accommodations in 2012 after receiving positive comments about the farm from their own wedding guests. Since then, they have created different spaces on the 110-acre property to suit everyone’s needs. They also work with many local suppliers and have created jobs in the community.


Australian Natural Biotechnology PTY LTD is a comprehensive company that integrates manufacturing, research, development and trade. Its main business focus is beekeeping and production of honey. ANB has partnered with Noongar Land Enterprise Group to share advanced beekeeping experience with the Noongar Inhabitants and support beehives and tools for Aboriginal beekeepers. In 2019, ANB became the first company to sell WA honey to United Arab Emirates.


Insurance Commission of Western Australia Regional Safety Award


Ngarliyarndu Bindirri Aboriginal Corporation established Red Dirt Driving Academy, a social initiative aimed at teaching their community to be safe, responsible drivers. The Roebourne based Aboriginal Driving Academy employs and trains local people to teach practical driving skills, good driving habits and responsible and courteous attitudes when driving. They also deliver road safety education workshops, theory tests and lessons to high school students.


Shire of Nannup - Living with Emus is a project designed to communicate road safety messaging to pre-drivers and learner drivers. It aims to increase the understanding of the risks while driving on regional roads, with a focus on those caused by wildlife. The initiative enabled local artist, Lewis Horne, in consultation with Nannup youth, to create a large emu sculpture from old road signs to open dialogues.


Clontarf Foundation delivers the L-2-P Gap for Young Aboriginal Men (Pathways to Employment) to Years 10, 11 and 12 students. The L-2-P Program was developed in partnership with the Road Safety Commission and other supporters. It aims to address licence inequality for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men through road safety education, risk behaviour training and obtaining learning permits and driver’s licences.


South West Women' Health and Information Centre developed a road safety initiative to highlight driver fatigue to young drivers, particularly females aged 17 to 25. Maximising relatability and reach, the outputs include three original videos, an original song created by the Focal Fusion Youth Choir, a catchphrase, TV adverts and shirts with a message promoted by a women’s sports team. The initiative also led to community empowerment particularly with young women.


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award


Integrity Coach Lines is a public transport provider that runs 8 services a week. Integrity offers ease of booking, prioritises customer retention and communication. They offer assistance with itineraries through their reservation team. They implemented a ‘Hop on Hop off’ pass for tourists. The company employs 17 permanent staff, 13 of whom are full-time employees. Staff receive training around issues for feedback received.


SecondBite is dedicated to ending waste and ending hunger. Secondbite rescues food from landfill by collecting and distributing food donations to their 227 registered agency partners who give them to people in need. Lyndon Nilsson leads the team of 10 staff and 50 volunteers as State Operations Manager. Their team ensures professional, reliable and friendly service via emails, phone calls or face to face.


Im Online (Innovative Mentoring Pty Ltd) was founded by Jeanette Barnesby to assist people with disabilities access the NDIS and assist NDIS Participants. Im Online delivers assistance to regional areas by in-person, zoom or phone. Jeanette believes that educating people with disabilities about the NDIS, empowers them to achieve the level of services and supports they require.


Broome Whale Watching is committed to making unforgettable holiday memories with their guests aboard their 50-foot vessel ‘Orcaella’. It offers cushioned seating and a top deck viewing platform, perfect for wildlife interactions. Soaking in Broome’s sunset sky aboard ‘Orcaella’ is made even better with guests enjoying delicious appetizers and the friendliest customer service in town. You are in good hands with Broome Whale Watching.


Rinehart Development of Northern Regional WA Award


Broome Whale Watching is building local marine eco-tourism in the Kimberley. Founded in 2008 by Cameron and Valerie Birch, it started with two crew and has grown into a team of 10. They pioneered whale watching in the region and introduced the world to Australia’s Snubfin Dolphin, a unique tourism experience. Today, they offer cruises twice daily from March to December.


Hedland Psychologists is a private psychology practice, founded in 2018 and owned and operated by Caroline Rodgers. Individuals are provided with highly valued, confidential counselling, diagnosing, and reporting. Workplaces are provided with on the ground group training, EAP, fitness for work and critical incident support. They won the best Micro business and best overall business of the year in the 2022 PHCCI Awards.


City of Karratha has transformed to become a vibrant, modern and liveable city. The City has successfully built infrastructure to accommodate current and future industry and community demands. With sound budgeting and sensible use of resources, the City has maintained a debt-free bottom line. In 2020, the City was ranked 13th of 138 LGA’s in regional Western Australia by total revenue and the number one in regional WA.


North West Recycling is a small family owned business, diversifying waste services in the north west by becoming a Containers for Change Refund Point. Operating from Onslow to Dampier and communities in-between, they have kept 21 million beverage containers from landfill since October 2020. They have created a carbon neutral Refund Point in Karratha and employ 12 local people, including 3 people living with disabilities and 2 people with indigenous backgrounds.


Stumpys Roadhouse Local Legend Award


Asha Bhat is the CEO of Southern Aboriginal Corporation, representing the interests of over 5,000 Noongar people. She was the recent Chair of Albany Family and Domestic Violence Action Group and a board member of Community Legal WA. She is a Volunteer Team Leader for Share the Dignity, a woman’s charity making a real difference in the lives of those experiencing homelessness or fleeing domestic violence.


Nathan Swayne has been working as a youth worker at the Youth Involvement Council for more than six years. He left a lucrative mining industry job to follow his passion – supporting young people towards better outcomes. Nathan handles even the ‘hardest cases’ referred by Youth Justice and other agencies. He is trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills.


Renee Knapp founded Boyup Brook Community Mental Health Action (CoMHAT) in 2016. While a Deputy Principal at Boyup Brook District High School, Renee saw the need for improved mental health outcomes for youth and the community. She founded the CoMHAT model and created a framework for change that brings sectors together in order to improve mental health outcomes across communities.


Glenys McDonald is a 76 year old leader in local community development and sports administration. She has published two books about HMAS Sydney detailing her discovery of a sailor’s grave, establishing the Geraldton Memorial and her role on the search vessel. She was her Rotary Club’s first female President in 2011 and recently retired as Chairman of the Board of a not-for-profit in Bunbury.


Woolworths Community Group of the Year Award


Blackwood Youth Action Inc is a non-profit that provides at-risk and marginalised young people mental health services and support across social, emotional, educational and psychological domains to help maximise their fullest potential. BYA is run by 10 volunteer committee. Their social enterprise, Youth Enterprise Op Shop, ensure their own sustainable income. In the last financial year alone, they made 2,600 connections with young people.


South West Indian Group (SWIG) is a not-for-profit community volunteer group promoting multiculturalism through their Indian themed events. SWIG's vision is "Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers" promoting harmony, wellness, and unity .During Covid 19 pandemic, SWIG campaigned for ventilators in India and fund raising. SWIG events contribute towards education for poor income girls as well as Aboriginal communities. SWIG in collaboration with City of Bunbury Council planted 260 seedlings on World environment day on the 5th June 2022.


Care For Hedland Environmental Association Inc is a community environment group founded in 2003. Their work areas include community gardening/organic food production, home sustainability, waste management and recycling. Their flagship Turtle Monitoring Program has helped with intervention, ongoing monitoring, and data collection of findings on Flatback turtles. Their Containers For Change program has seen over 15.5 million eligible containers recycled, raising over $109,000 to support community causes.


Motown Community Shed started in 2020 to provide a place to reduce the risk of isolation in a rural and remote setting. They are setting up the community shed for the people of Morawa and surrounding communities to attend for social interaction, craft, woodwork crafts or just have coffee. Their Containers for Change program is helping support the communities financially. MCS has 12 volunteers.






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 Award

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.



2020 Finalists

Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award
Aviair of Kununurra prides itself on its customer service philosophy. Established in 1984, Aviair provides general aviation services to north-west Australia, including tourism, charter and regular public transport to remote Aboriginal communities. Now owned by a Kununurra-based family, it employs over 90 local staff and operates around 5,000 flights each year. Their customer service team has 12 full-time members, all of whom follow the internal memo of ‘yes, we can’. Aviair’s pilots also provide personalised inflight commentary on natural landscapes found in the Kimberley region. Aviair holds Quality Tourism Accreditation, conducts customer service and cultural awareness training, and collects visitors on time.


West Coast Honey of Gingin was founded in 2003 and has built honey extraction facilities to provide an environment for education and learning for the general public and to sell beekeepers’ honey. New owner and manager Tina Mettam took over almost 5 years ago. They now have a small café offering homemade cakes and treats and barista coffees and cold drinks. West Coast Honey takes pride in communicating promptly, professionally and kindly with all customers so they receive the information and service they require. They reply to reviews and personally contact each person. They immediately rectify issues and offer free coffee in-store and other gestures of kindness.


Happy Days Coffee Pot of Northam is dedicated to community engagement. Happy Days Coffee Pot is a modern, industrial-style café purchased and renovated by owners Sue and Brad in 2015. About 95% of their food products are sourced from local suppliers and businesses. They upgraded their equipment and installed ceiling fans to make the café more comfortable for guests, resulting in a 20% increase in sales. They have four strategies to maintain excellence in customer service: customer needs and satisfaction, high-quality food and drinks, comfort and feedback. During COVID-19, they offered heavy discounts to menu favourites and accepted pay over the phone orders to retain customers.


Mandurah Taxis Pty Ltd of Mandurah has been serving the Peel Region since 1959. They provide 24/7 on-demand capped price transport, including wheelchair accesses transport, ensuring everyone access to important healthcare, pharmacies and shops. During the COVID-19 lockdown, Mandurah Taxis continued to operate and ensured that their vehicles were kept sanitised and safe. They transported passengers to their cancer treatments or other life support treatments such as dialysis whilst ensuring they travelled in a clean, safe vehicle. Mandurah Taxis has partnerships with Ovis, Chorus, and the Department of Veteran Affairs to ensure the highest standard of transport for the most vulnerable and disabled people of the community.


Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries Making A Difference Award
Shire of Corrigin has kept the community afloat despite a crisis. During COVID-19, Corrigin CEO Natalie Manton realised the flexibility in her budget which could be used to work on a backlog of tasks. She then gathered up for a special employment fund and advertised that the Shire had work for any local resident who had lost or been stood down from their job. 10 of 12 applicants were able to find casual employment. The Shire outdoor crew allocated work based on skills and interests, providing gloves and high-visibility vests to participants. The Shire received positive feedback and was praised for taking the initiative.


Shire of Manjimup collaborated with charity organisations and support service providers during the pandemic. The Shire’s COVID-19 Recovery Team became the central contact point for people experiencing hardship. They have been in intensive contact with the community, ensuring that all those within the Shire were adequately accommodated. They helped meet the increased demand for emergency and crisis relief, directly contacting local businesses and 1,000 farmers to encourage them to apply for government assistance. Since March 2020, the Recovery Team has worked approximately 2,640 hours. Through a successful Lotterywest grant, the Shire was able to financially support 166 individuals and families and 45 local businesses.


Bindoon Library is a community hub that provides entertainment, education, support, socialisation, and information for the community. The Library has one full-time staff and seven volunteers. In October 2016 they introduced “Theme Months” and started planning activities, workshops and seminars around the themes, leading to over 200% increase in visits. All activities are free and aim to promote library services, activate the library space and build community connectivity. They have collaborated with groups such as Better Beginnings, Advocare, Safety House WA, Chittering Cancer Support Group and Palliative Care Australia. During COVID-19, they introduced a pick-up service for loans and took activities online.


City of Karratha is committed to achieving superior outcomes. The City of Karratha, in partnership with Rio Tinto, established the Community Infrastructure and Services Partnership, an innovative social investment project that significantly enhances the liveability of the city, providing improvements across infrastructure, facilities and services that are achievable and sustainable. The Partnership has leveraged more than $65 million in contributions from third parties towards the delivery of important community services and infrastructure. The first key project, the Karratha Leisureplex, was delivered in 2013. Other projects include the Wickham Recreation Precinct, Dampier Community Hub, Wickham Community Hub and the Dampier Foreshore and Hampton Oval Redevelopment.


Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Economic Development Award
AGRIFresh of Badgingarra is passionate about promoting Regional WA. For over 15 years, AGRIFresh has supported the local community, local business and suppliers and local service providers. They adopt the “Buy Local Policy” to ensure sustainability and support from the region. They have developed 300 hectares of citrus and mango plantation and expanded their export market to 15 countries. AGRIFresh is on track to reach $5 million in revenue in 2020 despite COVID-19. They have established an 8,000-square metre packing facility. From a small team of two, they now provide employment to 82 people, with 85% of the jobs located in Moora, Dandaragan and Badgingarra.


Brida Pty Ltd of Roebourne is dedicated to developing Aboriginal communities. Brida is a 100% Aboriginal owned-and-operated social enterprise that provides cleaning services, ground maintenance, landscaping, waste management and labour hire on Ngarliyarndu country. Their primary objective is the provision of careers that deliver independence and pride for local people. They are the oldest and largest employer of Aboriginal people, with 60% of its 170 staff, Aboriginal. They use majority of profits to deliver social innovation and empower Aboriginal people through social initiatives. Brida has been providing ground maintenance services for Rio Tinto since 1974 and provide waste management services for the City of Karratha.


Warmun Art Centre of Warmun continues to support its artists and members in its gallery, studio and cultural programs. In the 2019-20 financial year they launched an online art shop and web-cart that was immediately successful. The online sales strategy saw Warmun Art Centre perform above the national average of Art Centre Sales, grossing over $850,000 in total artwork sales. The number of artists engaged also increased by 35% with around 95 artists being involved. For their positive economic and social impact for and on remote Aboriginal people, Warmun Art Centre won the 2019 WA Telstra Business Awards in the Social Change Maker Category.


Willie Creek Pearls of Broome is passionate about North West’s tourism. Willie Creek Pearls is a local family owned and operated business that operates across six industries: tourism, retail, commercial pearling, manufacture, jewellery and hospitality. The company has evolved from having nine staff in 1989 to now 84 local team members employed during 2019 peak season. They operate the Willie Creek Pearl Farm, Discover Broome Tour, Pearl Luggers Museum and Elizabeth Quay Pearl Experiences. They also run seven jewellery showrooms, the Zookeepers Store café and Harvest Café. The company has maintained Eco Accreditation since 2008. They also engage the services of 110 locally-based Broome suppliers.


Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award
Clarence Estate Residential Health and Aged Care of Albany have cared for over 650 residents and 400 people in their own home over the last fifteen years and are strongly focused on supporting carers and families and delivering high quality care and services across the region. Clarence Estate currently employs over 180 staff who receive extensive local internal and external training and a performance development structure. Enterprise Bargaining Agreements provide above award conditions and an Employee Assistance Program provides counselling or other support as required. Shift workers receive seven weeks of annual leave ensuring time to dedicate to family. Staff are rewarded through the annual Directors Awards and scholarships.


Juniper Bethshan of Katanning is a homely residential care facility was built around the original federation style house and can host up to 25 permanent residents and one short term respite resident, all in private rooms. Juniper invest heavily in the training and development of their staff to ensure a highly-skilled, capable and motivated workforce. Staff are enabled and empowered for their individual physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual well-being with Juniper acknowledging that their staff are the heart of their person-centred ethos. Staff are supported in their career development and provided with ongoing training and development programs to help them achieve their individual goals.


Springhaven Frail Aged Hostel of Kojonup is a twenty-two bed not for profit residential care facility proudly owned by the Shire of Kojonup. Their thirty-three staff include Registered Nurses, Personal Carers, Kitchen and Cleaning staff along with Activities Coordinators. Staff are encouraged to up-skill and the Shire provides funding towards ongoing education and training. A free counselling service is available and subsidised housing is also offered at the commencement of employment. Above Award wages are provided and flexible rosters and workloads allows staff to mix work with family life and commitments. As a young staff member said "Good people - good environment."


Yaandina Community Services Ltd of Roebourne is a small 20-bed residential aged care facility with a new 10 bed wing soon to be commissioned. Of their 20 residents currently, 14 are local Aboriginal people and many staff have extensive knowledge of the local language and family groups. Yaandina has a strong staff development program with six monthly performance review and training plans to support a career pathway and identify personal and leadership development. Indigenous staff are supported with Lore and Cultural Leave and are acknowledged and supported at sorry business and funeral times. On offer is an Employee Assistance program and financial assistance, housing and advocacy when required.


Prime Super Business Achievement Award
Brida Pty Ltd of Roebourne Ltd is a social enterprise owned and operated by the Ngarliyarndu Bindirri Aboriginal Corporation that delivers cleaning, grounds maintenance and waste management services in Pilbara. Brida was incorporated in 1999 and started working with Rio Tinto providing grounds maintenance. From eight employees in 2008, Brida now employs 170 staff, all of whom are local and 60% are Aboriginal, making it the largest employer of Aboriginal people in Roebourne. In 2019, they started providing waste management services for the City of Karratha and the Wickham Waste Transfer Station. The company’s expanded customer base and services resulted in an annual revenue of $11 million.


Busselton Jetty Incorporated of Busselton is a not-for-profit association that operates the 155-year-old 1.841-kilometre Busselton Jetty. Following the Jetty’s destruction by Cyclone Alby in 1978, a group of passionate community members came together to raise funds to save it. The group, now known as Busselton Jetty Incorporated (BJI), manages and ensures the preservation of the Jetty. BJI has an annual revenue of around $4 million but suffered $0 income due to COVID-19. They have 52 employees and 90 volunteer Jetty hosts. In 2019, BJI won gold in the Major Tourism Attraction and Ecotourism categories at the WA Tourism Awards and the Sir David Brand Award.


Footprint Cleaning of Djugun is committed to providing opportunities to local people. Footprint Cleaning was founded in 2016 by Aaron and Taryn Ryan with an objective of providing high quality commercial cleaning services to Kimberley businesses whilst employing Aboriginal people who resided in Broome. Only three months since they opened, the Shire of Broome awarded Footprint Cleaning a full tender for cleaning services. From two employees, they now have 20 staff, 50% of whom identify as Indigenous. They now have 26 clients and 43 facilities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they started a new service called “Touch-Point Cleaning”. Footprint Cleaning earns nearly $1 million in revenue.


Froth Craft Brewery of Exmouth opened in February 2017, when Pete, Phil and Tyler decided to pioneer a “Craft Micro-Brewery Tourism” industry in north-west regional WA. Froth has a predominantly wooden feel that is aesthetically pleasing, inviting, comfortable and evokes a unique, rustic, warm atmosphere conducive to socialising. They offer 16 taps pouring artisan craft beers and an extensive offering of wines, spirits and cocktails and have brewery tours and ‘Beergustation’ dinners with six courses. They have 36 staff and experience 30% growth annually. Froth won the Best Boutique Brewery, Best Regional Venue and Best Outdoor Area in the 2019 Australian Hospitality Association (WA) Awards.


Woolworths Community Group of the Year Award
Southern Aboriginal Corporation of Albany is committed to developing better outcomes towards “Closing the Gap”. SAC was initially inspired in 1983 when Elders had the vision to form an organisation focused on ensuring better opportunities and land rights for the Aboriginal community. Governed by seven Aboriginal Board Members, SAC employs 18 staff, 60% of whom are Aboriginal. SAC provides health, housing, recreation, employment and education programmes whilst promoting Noongar social and cultural values. Some programmes include the Family Violence Prevention Legal Service, Gnumaries Hurt (‘smoking tobacco harms’) and the Aboriginal Ranger training and employment Program. Another major project is the development of a Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre.


The Rural, Regional & Remote Women's Network of WA of Margaret River has been actively engaging with the 265,000 women of rural, regional and remote Western Australia since 1996. In June 2020, they provided input to a WA Government Ministerial Round Table on the impacts of the COVID-19 shutdown on women. In mid-2019, they hosted ten regional forums to support the Women’s Voices initiative, where they highlighted major issues for women such as lack of career-building jobs, leadership roles and essential women’s health services, and sexual harassment. The Network has partnered with Curtin University to deliver regional leadership programs and with National Body Agrifutures Australia to acknowledge the essential role of women.


Youth Involvement Council of South Hedland is a not-for-profit that has been offering a youth drop-in centre, crisis accommodation, social enterprise and outreach and patrol service for 30 years. They work with young people and their families to support them to engage with life in a positive way. During the COVID-19 pandemic, YIC supported more than 70 households to meet daily challenges like putting food on the table whilst engaging with more than 200 youth. YIC’s Fresh Start Café changed from a breakfast spot to a kitchen that produced meals in very large quantities to feed local families, while their patrol van became a food delivery van.


Bunbury Multicultural Group Inc of Bunbury promotes cultural diversity and inclusivity. Established in 1991, BMG is a not-for-profit comprising of a ten-member management committee and ten regular volunteers from various ethnic backgrounds. They organise events and projects such as the ‘This is Me’ program, which presents migrant stories in public spaces and cafés. Their biggest event is the South West Multicultural Festival, a free event that celebrates a vast array of culturally diverse communities and attracts over 5,000 people annually. Their events offer an informal opportunity for new migrants and refugees to network in the community. BMG was voted Bunbury’s Community Group of the Year in 2017.


RAC Volunteering Award
Chris Mitchell of Broome believes in leading by example. Chris has been an active member of the Broome Lions Club for 31 years and has undertaken various roles including Treasurer, Vice President and President of the Club. He is a founding member and current secretary of the Broome Men’s Shed. A registered wildlife rehabilitator, Chris and his wife set up a 24/7 wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release service. He has been a Councillor with the Shire of Broome since 1992 and is currently a State Councillor on the WA Local Government Association (WALGA) representing the Kimberley region. In 2019, Chris was awarded a Life Membership by WALGA.


David Barton of Busselton demonstrats strong leadership in the community. In 2019, David was a catalyst in bringing The Man Walk, a regular Monday morning walk welcoming men of all ages to encourage regular activity, promote discussion and foster social connections. David also coordinated the installation of the Strong Roots Blue Tree project, which is part of a nationwide initiative to destigmatise mental health and improve suicide awareness. He helped raise more than $10,000 for the Blue Tree Initiative’s affiliated non-profit groups. A physiotherapist, David is the current Chair of GP Down South, a public health not-for-profit that delivers mental, youth and Aboriginal health services.


Phil Ticehurst of Pinjarra has a compassionate heart. For over 30 years, Phil has been visiting prisoners in Karnet Prison once a month to build friendship and be a support that many of them feel missing in their lives. He visits homes of people in poverty or those struggling; supplying company, food and other needs and bringing general encouragement to vulnerable community members, even negotiating peace between feuding families. In 2014, Phil was instrumental in starting the Pinjarra Community Kitchen, Inc. (PCK), a fully volunteer organisation that feeds homeless and needy people once a week. PCK also supplies second hard clothing, bedding, toiletries and furniture.


Sharon Henderson of Kalgoorlie has dedicated over 40 years to numerous organisations and charities promoting the advancement of health, education and wellbeing of the community. In 2020, Sharon became a mentor at Coder-Dojo workshops, helping children with Autism learn coding. She has also taken an active role in the Goldfields Disabled Sports. She was instrumental in establishing the Henderson Centre and the Before School Care Program at East Kalgoorlie Primary School, where she helped Aboriginal children have access to food, clothing, healthcare and transport. Sharon worked hard in petitioning for the installation of an MRI machine in the Kalgoorlie Health Campus, getting over 2,500 signatures.


Rinehart Development of Northern Regional WA Award
Djarindjin Aboriginal Corporation of Djarindjin is dedicated to improving the liveability of their community. DAC operates several commercial businesses that allow it to 70% self-fund their community operations and activities. It owns a highly successful airport that refuels helicopters for the Browse Basin and provides 20 highly skilled jobs for local people. The organisation is governed by a board of six directors and employs 35 people. DAC also owns and operates a roadhouse and shop that provides food, groceries and fuel to the community and tourists. It operates the Dampier Peninsula Safehouse, provides a Youth and Community Service Outreach program and runs the Community Resource Centre.


Impact Media of Karratha is committed to helping local businesses develop a strong and successful brand. Established in 2013 by Tamara, BinAmat is a 100% Indigenous-owned business based in Karratha that provides a range of graphic design, communications and marketing services throughout Northern Regional WA. They have assisted hundreds of unique local businesses, delivering a high standard of communications, marketing and design work. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they helped clients survive the downturn by facilitating e-commerce stores for clients who could no longer sell to their customers face-to-face. As a result, Impact Media’s turnover increased by 30% and achieved a similar annual net prior to 2020.


Willie Creek Pearls of Broome passionately advocates for tourism in the North West. Founded in 1989, Willie Creek Pearls is a Western Australian family-owned and operated sustainable business that runs the Discover Broome sightseeing tour, Willie Creek Pearl Farm, The Zookeepers Store, and seven Pearl Jewellery showrooms. In 2015, they were issued a pearling license, allowing them to commercially farm oysters at their sea lease. In 2017, they designed and constructed a land-based Aquaculture facility used as a hatchery for oysters and other technical pearling activities. Willie Creek Pearls has won two Sir David Brand Awards and has been inducted into the WA Tourism Hall of Fame.


Pilbara Dive and Tours of Pegs Creek is promoting Australia’s North West as a dive destination. Natalie Callanan established PDT in August 2016 after recognising the need for a scuba diving service in Pilbara. PDT became a PADI Resort Centre in 2017. Some services they offer include the Dampier Archipelago Dive and Snorkel Charters, Shore Diving Experiences, PADI Dive Courses, School Dive Programs, and Kids Holiday Dive Programs. Their two casual dive masters will complete their PADI Open Water Instructor course to meet the growing demand. They have teamed up with Sorted Futures to run an innovative “Youth at Risk” dive education program with Indigenous school groups.


Insurance Commission of Western Australia Regional Safety Award
Carnarvon Roadwise Committee of Carnarvon was formed in an effort to raise awareness, educate and promote road safety to the local community and Gascoyne Region. They deliver road safety messages in line with Road Safety Commission’s Towards Zero campaign. The Committee was approved for a grant to run the Horns and Hooves on the Highway Project, which aims to create awareness of livestock on and near the roads within regional locations. They teamed up with the Carnarvon Lions Club for Driver Reviver to promote fatigue management. They developed an information pack called “A Guide to Towing in WA” to educate on the do’s and don’ts of towing.


Constable Care of Maylands started an initiative to prevent child fatalities and accidents by providing state of the art pedestrian, bike and transport and road safety education to children 4 to 12 years old. This was done through the Constable Care Child Safety Foundation’s incursion program, Safety School and the Arilty App. Constable Care delivers safety education to over 20,000 children in regional and remote WA through puppetry as an educational and entertaining platform for learning. The Safety School is a purpose-built complex that includes a realistic layout of Perth’s streets to provide students with hands-on opportunities to learn vital pedestrian, bicycled and public transport travel.


Royal Perth Hospital, P.A.R.T.Y. Program of Perth or Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth is a unique evidenced-based licenced program that promotes injury prevention through vivid clinical reality, enabling youth aged 14 and above to recognise risks, make informed choices and learn about the potential traumatic consequences of risk-taking behaviour. The Program provides an opportunity for teens to go ‘behind the scenes’ of a hospital following the trauma patient’s journey and speak with experienced trauma nurses, doctors and physiotherapists. The Program has a Regional Expansion Project funded by the Road Safety Commission. By December 2019, more than 18,700 students have attended the Program in WA.


South West RYDE Program of Bunbury aims to break the cycle of young people driving without a license, getting caught, fined and suspended. The Regional Youth Driver Education (RYDE) Program helps young people in the South West who are experiencing barriers completing their compulsory 50 logbook hours through gaining experience and improving skills. The End to End Young Driver Training is designed for disadvantaged and disengaged young people 16 to 25 years old who need training and support to obtain a driver’s licence by giving them Pre-Driver Education. Those with Learner’s Permit are coached one-on-one to increase their knowledge of rules and improve attitudes towards safety.


Curtin University, School of Education Teaching Excellence Award
Donna Goodman of Carnarvon advocates for the empowerment of young Aboriginal people. Donna is an On-Country Trainer at the Aboriginal Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Ltd. She designed and implemented their On-Country Education programmes, framework and resources, ensuring they met all Department of Education requirements. The age-specific programmes are activity-based and provide a solution to the intergenerational barriers that Aboriginal Australians presently face throughout their years of schooling. The alternative learning method is delivered in an interactive natural environment and revolves around three courses: Bush classroom, Ranger 4 Life and Lifeskills to Leadership. In designing the Programme, Donna identified different approaches and philosophies pertaining to inclusiveness.


Helena Nicholson of Dunsborough is a Digital Technology teacher Year 1-6 and coordinates 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 over 20 years. Helena manages the school partnership with Dunsborough Coast and Land Care to improve biodiversity, protect critically endangered Western Ringtail Possums and conduct revegetation of the Blythe Reserve. She utilises the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals in teaching digital technology. In 2020, Helena worked with the local custodians in the new Dunsborough Djiljit Mia Aboriginal Themed Nature Based Gathering Place.


Miriam Ifould of Ellenbrook hopes to become a better person and role model for the students. Since working at Edmund Rice College, Miriam has been actively involved in organising the yearly NAIDOC Day of Celebration, from submission to organising the day and inviting guest speakers. Miriam has developed teacher resources for the staff to allow them to integrate Aboriginal studies across the curriculum and provide ideas to assist the teacher in teaching Aboriginal students in the classroom. Miriam works with the Aboriginal students at school to ensure they are coping. She initiated the school’s Reconciliation Action Plan which had been approved by Reconciliation Australia.


Rielle Fowler of Cadoux is passionate about creating an engaging program. The Field Days Activity Trail is a student-centred guide to the Dowerin Field Days event. In 2017, she worked to bring the paper-based Trail online using QR Codes at each site. This allowed curious adults and children to engage even if they were unaware of the Trail. In 2019, Rielle worked to add to the Trail the Experience Agriculture Hub, an exhibit that encompassed different areas of agriculture. During COVID-19, Rielle created Learning@Home packages for parents to continue the curriculum in their own home. In her classroom, she implements a Walker Learning Approach.



2019 Finalists

Insurance Commission of Western Australia Regional Safety Award
Boab Health Services of Broome values remote travel safety for their staff. Boab Health has its own fleet of quality 4WD’s which boast key safety features such as satellite tracking, emergency duress pendants, satellite phones, emergency breakdown kits and water and access to the RAC breakdown service. New staff receive a comprehensive remote travel orientation training. Boab Health has developed a remote travel manual, also called the remote travel bible, which is constantly updated and developed. As a result, Boab Health has had no major incidents for over 21 years, involving any of its 30 staff who travel monthly to remote facilities in the Kimberley.


Shire of Denmark Roadwise Committee is dedicated to promoting road safety amongst young drivers. From November 2018 to Easter of 2019, Denmark Roadwise, the Police and Shire implemented a community-based road safety initiative called “Sober Super Hero.” The initiative targeted P Platers and other young drivers and aimed to address the danger of driving after consuming alcohol. “Sober Super Hero” promoted the “designated driver” concept and rewarded responsible behaviour by giving vouchers from supportive local businesses and an entry to a major prize draw. The campaign resulted in zero chargeable drink-driving offences and no reported fatalities or serious injuries due to traffic crashes.


Royal Perth Hospital, P.A.R.T.Y. Program is dedicated to promoting injury prevention amongst young people. P.A.R.T.Y. stands for Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth. Developed in 2006, the program seeks to promote injury prevention through vivid clinical reality that enables young people to recognise risks, make informed choices and learn about potential traumatic consequences of risk-taking behaviour. It brings together groups within the hospital, from external agencies to victims of previous injuries. The PARTY program is licensed to support sub-sites in WA, with a regional expansion project funded by the Road Safety Commission. Its achievements include successful regional outreach presentations and aboriginal programme partnerships.


Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries Making a Difference Award


Kimberley Remote Area and Wheatbelt Rural Health Placement Program began in 2005 with a three year hiatus due to funding issues. Now, nine Shires are active participants in a rural and remote area health education program for medical students from the University of Notre Dame. Medical students in first and second year are billeted with families, where they learn firsthand about country life and the social determinants of health. The families and workplaces that billet students are not paid and some families have participated from day one. Many of the doctors working in the Kimberley are graduates of this program which they credit as the spark that ignited their passion for rural and remote area health.


Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Network Program of Brookton is committed to improving road networks for the agriculture industry. Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Network Program aims to provide as much access as safely achievable on low traffic volume roads in the Wheatbelt region, which largely depends on its agricultural and transport sectors. The pilot project successfully engaged 42 local governments – most of whom lack the resources and capacity to maintain sections of the network within their boundaries – into an efficient, sustainable and cost effective integrated transport network freight network with 80 connecting routes. This led to a $70-million commitment by the Federal Government through the Roads of Strategic Importance initiative.


Shire of Laverton Youth Services believes in the essence of maintaining culture and connection to country. The Youth Services Team provides a structured program of interactive and cultural activities for children and young people. The service operates every day after school and selected weekends. Laverton has no high school, yet many young people remain to contribute to the community. Youth Services has partnered with groups like Pakaanu Aboriginal Corporation, Leonora Cross Cultural Association, Goldfields Aboriginal Language Centre and Community Elders. Some of its initiatives are “Keeping Language Alive,” aimed at helping retain heritage, and “Out Bush” trips, which encourages children to share their culture.


Wheatbelt Medical Student Immersion Program began in 2005 with a three year hiatus due to funding issues. Now, nine Shires are active participants in a rural and remote area health education program for medical students from the University of Notre Dame. Medical students in first and second year are billeted with families, where they learn firsthand about country life and the social determinants of health. The families and workplaces that billet students are not paid and some families have participated from day one. Many of the doctors working in the Kimberley are graduates of this program which they credit as the spark that ignited their passion for rural and remote area health.


Prime Super Business Achievement Award


Life and Soul Health and Fitness Club of Djugun is dedicated to serving the community through fitness. Life and Soul operates a fitness facility 24/7, 365 days a year, with modern equipment, up-to-date programs, first-class products and community events. The Club offers a venue where locals can meet and exercise together. They currently employ over 150 people throughout the Northwest, all of whom enjoy membership to the club, access to the F45 studios and training opportunities. Life and Soul increased its net profits by 30% in 2018 and its membership has grown to 8,500 plus. For its achievements, they were awarded the Broome Small Business Chamber Awards for Best Innovative Company.


Desert Sands Mechanical of Geraldton recognises the importance of employees to its rapid success. Established in 2016, DSM is a small mechanical company offering field service to the mining and civil industry. Their employees are offered a competitive wage and are provided with training opportunities. The Director, Jesse Ryles, is passionate about giving back and encourages volunteering. In 2018, Desert Sands Mechanical was a finalist in the MidWest Chamber of Commerce and Industry Small Business Excellence Awards and received a DFES Silver Award in the Volunteer Employer Recognition category. DSM is also a supporter of the mental health initiative, Black Dog Ride.


AGRIFresh of Badgingarra commits to promoting locally produced fresh fruits. AGRIFresh is a vertically integrated primary producer with a commitment to grow, pack and export premium quality fresh fruits, like mangoes and citrus, for domestic and international customers. They started with only two employees in 2006 and now have over 95 employees in the orchards, pack houses, regional office and head office. They adopt the “buy local” attitude, sourcing labour, material, fertiliser and equipment locally. AGRIFresh started exporting its Citrus brand, ZESTIE, in 2015. Recent revenue reached $4.5M and AGRIFresh was named the Export Council of Australia’s 2018 WA Exporter of the Year.


Gravity ETC of Dalyellup is passionate about raising the bar on guest experience and creating possibilities for young people and the community through specially designed programs. Located in Dalyellup Beach Estate, it is a 2,000sqm trampoline park, with 1,800sqm of trampoline area and 7 different activity zones and play areas. Gravity ETC remains unsuccessful in obtaining signage to the highway, so guests are attracted purely by marketing and word of mouth. Their 32 casuals and four managers are chosen for their proven histories of team work, their empathy and their love of life. Employees are given a supportive work environment that encourages “stepping up”.


Curtin University, School of Education Teaching Excellence Award
Renee Knapp of Boyup Brook is an outstanding educator and an advocate for positive mental health. A Level 3 Classroom Teacher with over 22 years of education background, Renee teaches music, health and science at Boyup Brook District High School. She set up the Community Mental Health Action Team (CoMHAT) which has been integral in supporting the work done at the school level with Positive Behaviour Support and Mental Health and in accessing community-based services. Renee also developed a sustainable and widely-recognised music program at the High School called Music Rock Band Programme. In 2016, Renee was invited to speak at a Mind Matters Showcase.


Dallas Bruce of Geraldton is dedicated to promoting teacher development and student engagement in Science at Geraldton Grammar School. Dallas has been a science teacher for 15 years and is a big supporter of innovative and thoughtful teaching programs. She organised and facilitated the MidWest Science and Engineering Challenge, a national event run for primary and secondary students. She facilitated a teacher professional development program at Geraldton and Broome and was part of the Geraldton community that started a Science Engagement Group, now called Scinapse. Dallas is currently completing her Masters by Research in Education and is trialling an innovative teacher professional development model.


Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring Language and Culture Centre of Kununurra is committed to sharing, nurturing and revitalising the Miriwoong language. The Centre is an Indigenous-led Aboriginal corporation established in the 1970s to preserve Miriwoong, the traditional language and culture of the Traditional Owners in and around Kununurra. The Miriwoong Language Nest is the only program of its kind in Kununurra, teaching the critically endangered language to over 400 children through immersive teaching techniques like songs, games and simple-talk activities. A Public Language Class is held weekly and language workers record and broadcast programs on Waringarri Radio. The program is reaching both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities to instil cross-cultural awareness and communication.


RAC Volunteering Award


Truffle Kerfuffle Inc of Manjimup has dedicated time and passion to promote the local black truffle in the international arena. Truffle Kerfuffle is a not-for-profit organisation managed by a Board of community volunteers that include teachers, caravan park owners and farmers, amongst others. Over the last nine years, the Board has organised the Truffle Kerfuffle Festival, an event that showcases South Forests region’s local produce on an international platform whilst fostering improved community spirit. Despite the geographical isolation, 4,000 people attended the 2019 Festival in the rural town of Manjimup. The Festival raised $2 million, which went to support the producers, businesses and tourism.


Les Wallam of Eaton has devoted his life to the development of the Roelands community. He is an elder and has been the volunteer CEO of Woolkabunning Kiaka Inc., a registered an Aboriginal charity for 12 years. Les is responsible for turning Roelands, a former “Stolen Generation” mission site, into a thriving community. He manages a labour force and oversees 30 houses on-site and 500 acres of land. Les works endlessly so he can pass on his cultural knowledge and skills to the younger Noongar generation. Les has partnered with WAITOC to develop Roelands into a tourism product, creating an income stream for the village.


Beacon Progress Association of Beacon has made a big impact on the quality of life in the Beacon community and beyond. Entirely run by volunteers, Beacon Progress Association works with community groups to facilitate communication, develop strategic economic plans and initiate projects for the future of Beacon. They have hosted many successful events including the 2018 Adam Harvey Country Music Festival. The Progress Association has built community facilities like the Beacon Community Resource Centre, playgrounds and tourist facilities. They hold the Annual Community Crop initiative, assisting the town to be financially viable and they also host an annual community town clean-up called BIG BUSY BEE.


Rinehart Development of Northern Regional WA Award
Froth Craft Brewery of Exmouth is an award winning culinary and craft beer microbrewery in the north-west WA desert that has become an iconic stop for visitors and locals. Launched in 2017 by Phil Gray, Pete Firth and Tyler Little, Froth is open 7 days a week and employs up to 26 staff in peak season. Since opening they have reinvested profits, expanded the brewery's capacity to 200 and upgraded equipment resulting in a higher quality of product. They are approached to attend many festivals, they foster the Exmouth arts community and sponsor many local clubs. Froth won the 2018 Australian Hospitality Association’s Tourism Initiative Award.


The Karijini Experience of Tom Price offers an incredible five day arts and cultural Festival to visitors of northern WA. The Karijini Experience provides a diverse and inclusive program designed to connect people to the breath-taking landscape of the Karijini National Park. The Nintirri Centre, a not-for-profit organisation, manages the festival with help from over 57 volunteers. More than 50 events celebrate Aboriginal culture featuring acclaimed artists and musicians, along with Aboriginal performers and Traditional Owners, the Banjima people. In 2019, the festival brought $1.2M dollars to the region and in 2018 won the Australian Event Awards for Best Cultural, Art or Music category.


Live Ningaloo of Exmouth delivers a memorable nature-based ecotourism experience. Live Ningaloo offers bespoke oceanic eco-tours in Exmouth, delivering small group, aquatic life adventures. Owners Murry Pattison and Sonia Beck operate the tours in Ningaloo Marine Park, which protects the world famous Ningaloo Reef, Australia’s largest and most accessible fringing reef. Live Ningaloo offers shark and humpback whale swimming interactions, snorkelling tours and catch and release game fishing. To attract the best qualified staff, they offer one of the highest rate of wages in the local industry. Their current nine employees enjoy supported staff training, bi-weekly catch-ups and monthly reward days to keep them motivated.


Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Economic Development Award
Grant Simpson Rural Fencing of Yalgoo offers priceless training and experience to its Indigenous employees. Established in 2018, Grant Simpson Rural Fencing is a 100% Aboriginal owned business that specialises in building fencing. Their biggest breakthrough was winning the contract to replace 52.4km of the State Barrier Fence. Since then, Grant has won numerous government fencing contracts and has tripled his employees. Grant currently works with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and Murchison Regional Vermin Council. He understands the importance of hiring local people and is dedicated to providing employment, capacity-building and growth opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.


AGRIFresh of Badgingarra is passionate about making WA-grown fruits meet the global demand. For over 15 years, AGRIFresh has engaged the local community, businesses, landcare groups and service providers to work hand-in-hand to promote WA. They adopt the “buy local” attitude, sourcing labour, material and equipment locally. AGRIFresh has developed a 300ha citrus and mango plantation and now exports to 11 countries. They employ 95 people, mostly the rural regions of Moora, Dandaragan and Badgingarra. Over the last 12 months AGRIFresh has invested in a purpose-built facility providing further employment for local people and spending $1.1M with local businesses and promoting local agritourism.


Djarindjin Airport of Broome is an epic example of economic self-determination. Djarindjin Airport is 100% owned by the Djarindjin Aboriginal Corporation and lies near the top of the Dampier Peninsula. For the past eight years, the airport team has provided hot refuelling services for helicopters flying to the Browse Basin oil and gas fields. The Corporation saw the commercial opportunity and borrowed $6M to pay development costs. Today, Djarindjin Airport provides sustainable, high-quality jobs to local people and an on-going profit stream supporting a multitude of community programs and local business development. It supports 20 local jobs and produces significant income for the community.


Community TAB Community Service Award
Nanette Williams of Nickol has a passion for community health and has been a vital part of the Karratha community for the past 36 years. After six years of hard work and dedication, she was able to develop the Community Health Centre. At the time, there were no female doctors, no support services for the disabled and people with drug and alcohol issues. Nanette was coordinator of the Karratha Community Health Centre for the Health Department of WA, administrator of three hospitals and Pilbara Regional Manager. She helped establish The Karratha Women’s Place and achieved funding for an employment service and supported workplace service.


Grant Westthorp of Albany is committed to promoting men’s wellbeing. He was 53 when he fell off his bike and got injured. Being put in a position to empathise with men whose physical and mental health were compromised inspired him. Grant is the CEO of the Men’s Resource Centre and has contributing significantly to men’s health and wellbeing in Albany and Great Southern WA for 11 years. He designed innovative ways to engage men to participate in events like Australia Day Fun Run, Mental Health Week, Men’s Health Week Blokes Talkfest and a Positive Mentoring Program. Grant received the 2018 WA Seniors Juniper Lifetime Achieved Award Regional.


Julian Pace of Victoria Park is inspiring others to find happiness and purpose. After losing his father to suicide, Julian established Happiness Co. in his honour. Designed as a social movement to make a difference in people’s lives in regional WA, Julian seeks to empower people to change for the better, reduce anxiety, and help with everyday issues. Julian teaches 15 volunteer ambassadors about emotional mastery and human behaviour so they can inspire and impact more people. Happiness Co. has over 112,000 followers on Facebook and won the Australian Small Business Award for Professional Services, the Belmont/WA Small Business Mentor Award and a 40 Under 40 Award.


Woolworths Community Group of the Year Award
The Moore Catchment Council Inc. of Moora hopes to increase environmental awareness. Moore Catchment Council is a small landcare group composed of local community volunteers who wanted to show off the natural assets of the Midwest as well as the threats it faces. The Moore Catchment Council holds The Last Stand, a community environmental awareness raising event, highlighting the Wheatbelt wildflower country. Over 400 people attended the 5-day event at Moora Performing Arts Centre. The event includes an exhibit of artwork, poetry and craft, interactive displays, guided bush walk and a symposium. The Last Stand won the Shire of Moora Australia Day 2019 ‘Event of the Year” Award.


Harvey Community Radio of Harvey promotes harmony in diversity. Harvey Community Radio is a not-for-profit organisation providing radio broadcasts for the community by the community, offering inclusive and accessible opportunities. The volunteer management committee implements programming according to community needs and wants. They provide training, mentoring and participation opportunities to local schools, indigenous, ethnic and emerging communities. The station offers traineeships for Indigenous students and accredited training in media and community services for free. HCR provides valuable community information and supports local musicians and emerging Australian artists. They have won many awards, including the 2018 Excellence in Indigenous Engagement and Excellence in Community Engagement Awards.


WA iSports Inc. of East Bunbury is building an active and inclusive community. WA iSports provides a welcoming community that embraces diversity and provides opportunities for members to participate in inclusive and accessible sporting activities, life-skills and well-being programs for free or at a low cost. They run an annual multi-sport community event, weekly training sessions and music activities. Volunteers and members run programs for people with complex disabilities, schools, and aged care facilities. In 2018, WA iSports helped send 14 athletes and 8 volunteers to Malaysia for a sporting and cultural exchange. WA iSports held a Health and Wellbeing Expo in September 2019.


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award
Bullara Station Stay of Exmouth are passionate about enriching their guest’s experience. Bullara Station Stay is a nature-based campground situated between Coral Bay and Exmouth in the Norwest Cape. Originally a sheep station, owners Edwina and Tim Shallcross decided to diversify into agritourism to supplement their income, which as seen the business expand. They currently rank 1st on TripAdvisor amongst Exmouth and Coral Bay accommodations. Edwina responds to all social media customer feedback within 24 hours and monitors customer satisfaction through emails. Staff are encouraged to attend tourism workshops and undergo procedure training before employment. Edwina is also a member of the Coral Coast Tourism Board.


Shannon Richards of Boulder is committed to offering a high level of service in the recreational and leisure industry. Since 2013, Shannon has been an employee at Goldfields Oasis, a local business that provides a year-round recreational venue and hosts most of the community’s sporting needs and major events. Starting as junior lifeguard, Shannon is now customer service team leader, acting as liaison between customers and Goldfields Oasis departments, making sure that communication lines are effective and customer satisfaction is a priority. Shannon received the Rising Star Award from the City of Kalgoorie-Boulder in 2018 and Oasis Employee of the Year in 2017 and 2016.


Bianca Turri Photographer of Australind is all about providing professional photography service. Bianca has worked hard to become accredited and certified in the photographic industry and hopes to make an impact on her clients and her community. Profits from her “100 Women” project, where she attempts to photograph 100 women a day, are being donated to the South West Refuge. Another project called “Keeping it Real” is about empowering women. She recently started her “Be Kind” project, a movement against bulling and raising self-esteem. The last 2 years has been filming a documentary show casing the wonderful work around the people of the Bunbury Soup van.


Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award
Springhaven Frail Aged Hostel of Kojonup has successfully engaged the whole community to work as a team. Springhaven Hostel is a 22-bed not-for-profit residential care facility which employs around 33 staff that includes Registered Nurses, Enrolled Nurses, Personal Carers and Kitchen and Cleaning Staff. Springhaven offers flexible employment and competitive rates and they encourage staff to widen their skills and attend ongoing education and training. Staff are given incentives to complete extra study and are provided with a free counselling service. Springhaven Hostel prides itself on being a team along with their residents, families and the community to assist residents in leading a meaningful life.


CraigCare Albany of Albany is determined to improve the quality life of older community members and has been a trusted aged care provider for 40 years. A for-profit organisation with eight facilities, they employ 862 employees, 70 of whom work in the Albany care community. CraigCare offers flexible rostering to align with staff requirements and family commitments. They regularly host staff functions and have introduced paid staff meetings. CraigCare plans to offer staff-funded training for continue learning and stronger career paths for staff. More than an aged care facility, its care community is designed to keep residents engaged and connected with family, friends and community.


South West Community Care of Harvey has excelled in the area of people management. Starting 30 years ago by volunteers, they provide support services to about 50 people. In 2014, the facility relocated to the 24-hectare Eden Grove Community Precinct on the outskirts of Harvey. The 150 staff serving an area of over 5000sqm in six South West shires. South West Community Care has a culture of continuous learning and supports employee development. Management encourages all workers to gain a Certificate III in Aged Care. They offer traineeships, a pay rate structure based on career progress and financial support for staff to complete their qualifications.


Horizon Power Leadership and Innovation Award
Albany Roller Derby League of Spencer Park has redefined volunteerism and leadership. They built a sporting club and a one-of-a-kind venue, run solely by volunteers who rely on fundraising and a passion to achieve the dream. The specialised venue called “The Track” has since become the site of multiple community swap meets, subleasing at a low cost to small start-up businesses and community groups and a training venue for the roller derby league. They are the first regional roller derby club in WA to be accredited by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. Albany Roller Derby League is operated by volunteers, from executive and management committees to coaches.


Grant Westthorp of Albany encourages positive wellbeing among men. Grant is CEO of Men’s Resource Centre. Following a bike accident, he has since dedicated 11 years of his life to community service, particularly in improving men’s health and wellbeing. He helps address “real problems” by developing meaningful solutions and lasting results. Grant designed innovative ways to encourage men of Albany and the Great Southern WA to attend events like Mental Health Week, Australia Day Fun Run and a Positive Mentoring Program. He collaborates with Pivot Support Services, Chorus Support Services, YMCA and other organisations. Grant received the 2018 WA Senior Juniper Lifetime Achievement Award Regional.


Claire Roach of Harvey has made significant contributions to the aged care community. She is the CEO of South West Community Care, an aged care facility that employs 150 people and serves more than 1,000 elderly people across the south west. Since becoming its CEO, South West Community Care has consistently grown by 10% every year. Over 13 years, Claire has introduced innovations, always identifying potential for expansion and advancement whilst ensuring that elderly people in remote areas receive the same quality service. Despite being a large corporation, she maintains excellent connection with elderly consumers, their families and communities. Claire is also a cancer survivor.






2018 Finalists


Rinehart Development of Northern Regional WA Award

Wrapped Creations of Karratha is an events management company specialising in Northwest events. They are also the innovator of community orientated events which showcase the Pilbara as a dynamic, fun place to live. Wrapped Creations has successfully created high end fashion and music events such as the Gossip Festival. It’s beer and beef festival, Brew in the Moo has been included in the 2018 Urban List Perth’s Top 10 Events to travel to.

Waringarri Aboriginal Arts of Kununurra is a community owned Aboriginal centre. With a strong vision, they deliver social, cultural and economic benefits for artists and community. Waringarri Aboriginal Arts provides income and employment opportunities to over 75 artists, performers, cultural tour guides and arts-workers. Offering a unique tourism destination, visitors experience authentic Aboriginal culture and are able to purchase beautiful artworks and exclusive artist inspired merchandise. All proceeds are reinvested in ongoing arts and cultural projects.

Impact Media of Karratha is a 100% Indigenous-owned creative agency offering a complete range of graphic design, communications and marketing services. Established by Tamara BinAmat in 2013, Impact Media helps new and existing businesses to develop and communicate a strong brand. Impact Media has won national contracts from major corporate and Federal Government clients. Tamara is on the Board of the City of Karratha’s Small Business Advisory Council and the Board of Karratha Young Professionals.


Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

Waratah Lodge of Wagin provides both low and high care to its 18 residents allowing them to age in place within the home. Waratah Lodge has been accepted into the Regional Residential Dementia Project. The 27 employees work mainly in a part time capacity and those with children or caring commitments are rostered according to their needs. On school holidays children come and engage in activities with the residents, providing a welcome intergenerational experience.

Manjimup Community Home Care is a not for profit organisation. Operating since 1988, they enable their 400 clients to live independently and remain at home. Part of the Dementia Friendly Communities program, the Wellness and Respite Centre has a Sensory Garden and is a welcome hub for seniors, people with disabilities and those with dementia. Staff have flexible hours, cultural and volunteer leave, career development and a wellness program, resulting in a high employee retention rate.

South West Community Care of Harvey has been operating for over 30 years and currently has more than 70 paid staff and as many volunteers. They provide in-home nursing, personal care, home maintenance and meal preparation. The organisation also boasts a full calendar of social activities and outings. Offering a family-friendly work environment, staff have flexible working hours and children are encouraged to participate in intergenerational activities. Staff utilise a social media group with quarterly social events.

Narrogin Cottage Homes Inc. has a 50 bed residential complex known as Karinya, which includes a dementia secure unit and 58 independent living units, accommodating over 120 residents. The volunteer committee, Friends of Karinya participate in fundraising and social activities such as singers and an animal farm visit. Narrogin Cottage Homes takes pride in their high staff retention rate. A wide variety of shifts are available to staff to match their physical capacity and skills.


Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Economic Development Award

Bee Firm NRG of Applecross produces natural honey drinks that are a healthy alternative to energy drinks and soft drinks. They utilise West Australian Honey, ginseng, guarana and native Kakadu plums, with no processed sugars, which has proven to be the point of difference in a crowded market. Bee Firm NRG directly and indirectly provide hundreds of jobs. They also support Western Australian athletes who compete in a variety of adrenalin pumping sports.

The Djarindjin Airport of Broome is fully staffed and managed by 39 local Indigenous workers. The airport supplies a refueling base for Helicopters taking staff on and off the Shell and INPEX platforms in the Browse Basin. It is also one of very few civilian airports where they undertake hot refueling of helicopters. With the Liquid Natural Gas industry expected to continue for 40 - 60 years, training and employment opportunities will be provided for several generations.

AGRIFresh of Badgingarra is one of the largest family owned citrus growers in Western Australia, employing 75 staff during season. They distribute to leading national retailers and wholesalers and are the leading citrus exporter in WA. Their fertiliser, insurance and machinery supplies are all purchased locally. AGRIfresh encourage students to enter the horticulture industry at field days to create local jobs. They won the 2017 Emerging Export of the Year Award.


RAC Volunteering Award

 Andrew Smith of Boulder is currently the longest serving volunteer for Kalgoorlie-Boulder Soup Patrol, having been an active member for 12 years. Andrew has sought donations, sponsorships and volunteers to fund and run the Soup Patrol, enabling it to continue. Andrew also donates money on behalf of his drilling company and he encourages his staff to volunteer at the Soup Patrol. Andrew also volunteers for Red Cross and co-coordinates the Emergency Services Team.

 Dellys Sice of Bridgetown has served on domestic violence and Aboriginal affairs action groups, Neighbourhood houses and secured 7.5 million dollars to establish mobile counselling services for 30 Wheatbelt towns, the Alive & Well suicide prevention program, and men’s health Pit Stop program. Dellys serves on boards for the Manjimup Family Centre, Henri Nouwen House and Geegeelup Village, building resilience through modernisation of governance and business procedures.

 Mike Walmsley of Waroona volunteers for a number of organisations and committees and is a well-respected Shire Councilor and President. He is a Member and President of the Waroona West Fire Brigade and coached local football for ten years. Mike is the volunteer Chairperson of the Quambie Park Aged Care Facility. Mike was awarded a Shire of Waroona Meritorious Community Service Award in 2015 for his dedication to the community and volunteer work.


Woolworths Community Group of the Year Award

 The Nungarin Community Resource Centre is an independent not-for-profit centre. They provide services including banking, print & design, stationery supplies and locally made products and souvenirs. They have made the transition to a Licensed Community Post Office after being without one in the town for 24 years. Nungarin CRC is committed to continuous improvement and is keen to develop a high quality range of services to best meet the needs of their community.

 The Littlewell Working Group was established in 2010 and has 30 members. They created a heritage trail and oral history project to document and honour the lives of the Aboriginal people who lived on Littlewell Reserve. The Littlewell project is an important community resource and promotes a strong message of reconciliation and demonstrates what is possible when community bands together to achieve a collective vision.

 Hedland Well Women’s Centre is a not-for-profit community organisation meeting the vital needs of women and families in the Port Hedland community. They currently have a Staff of 7 and a board of management with 12 members. The centre actively engages with almost 20,000 service users each year. They focus on strategies to encourage, enhance and empower women, through the provision of a women’s health clinic, counselling services, social activities, drop-in facilities and women’s health advocacy.


Curtin University Teaching Excellence Award

Sarah Penn of Bulgarra has worked in early childhood, primary, secondary, adult and vocational education for 14 years. She considers herself a life-long learner with professional development and continuous improvement being extremely important to her. Sarah’s motivation is to provide opportunities to improve life outcomes through education, particularly for women and students from low socio economic backgrounds. Sarah has seen her students overcome obstacles to learn, achieve their goals and better themselves and their lives.

 Mirima Dawang Woorlab-gerring Language and Culture of Kununurra was established in the 1970s to preserve and revitalise Miriwoong, the traditional language and culture of the traditional owners. The Miriwoong Language Nest has six Indigenous language teachers who deliver engaging, immersive language and cultural sessions. They have consistently adapted to changes in technology and adopted new innovative teaching methods, concepts and activities. The program is now teaching Miriwoong to 400 children each week in primary schools and early learning centres.

 Jaclyn Drake of Kalgoorlie created the Kalgoorlie Science Teachers Network to address the lack of collaboration and knowledge sharing between teachers from different schools. She wrote successful grant applications for $40,000 of funding to coordinate professional development and networking opportunities for teachers and community science projects for students. Jaclyn also facilitated Kalgoorlie’s Early Career Teacher Program. She values lifelong learning and wants to bring teachers together to continuously improve education for the students of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

Harmony Agriculture and Food Co Agricultural Innovation Award

Nigel Metz of Esperance works with local grain growers to improve production efficiency, harvest grain quality, telecommunications and supply chain opportunities. Nigel’s work on earlier grain harvest than traditional harvests is now seeing increases in yield, quality and production efficiencies. Nigel has written several publications which have been valuable resources for grain growers. Nigel has started “Lucky Bay Brewing” which is the first brewery in Australia to use barley straight from farm to brewery.

Women In Farming Enterprises (WIFE) of Harvey is an incorporated not for profit organisation designed to share ideas, experiences and offer support. The WIFE network has had a positive effect on farming communities, families and the industry. They promote active and positive images of farming and support the journey women experience within their varied roles in farm businesses. WIFE has 15 branches across WA and over 200 members.

AGRIFresh of Badgingarra are one of the largest exporter of citrus from WA to the South East Asia Market. They have established state-of-the-art 8,000sqm packing facilities, with advanced technology, robotics and vision grading. 3D models and maps of the orchards are produced using remote sensing technology to providing analytics in productivity, costing, weed pressure identifying and effectiveness of chemicals. They are currently in preliminary stages with CSIRO, of developing an autonomous spray tractor.

Leigh Ballard of Narrogin is passionate about getting better regional internet connectivity. His business, Regional Communication Solutions supports farming businesses to reduce input costs and increase productivity with products such as mobile phone boosters, On-Farm Wi-Fi and CCTV. He uses technology to enable a smart phone to turn on a pump or open a gate from a remote location. Leigh volunteers with the Fire and Rescue and St Johns Ambulance and is the Shire President.


 Horizon Power Leadership and Innovation Award

Dr Anne Poelina of Broome has been a leader in policy and procedures in Indigenous education, research and training. She is a role model for young Indigenous women and supervises female PhD student researchers and emerging professionals. Ann is a key Indigenous community leader responsible for drafting the Fitzroy River Declaration and driving the establishment of Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council. Anne was awarded the 2017 Women’s World Summit Foundation Prize for Women’s Creativity in Rural Life.

Kimika Lee of Broome is an Aboriginal Health Worker, in Specialist Palliative Care. Her leadership has inspired others and her work has made a significant impact on the access, experiences and outcomes of Aboriginal patients, carers and families. Kimika has mentored senior nursing and allied health staff and Aboriginal health colleagues, and has contributed to regional and state initiatives. Kimika contributed to palliative care data collection to build the capacity of health workers across the Kimberley.

Montana Ahwon of Kununurra is passionate about improving outcomes for young people in Kununurra. She worked with a local aboriginal organisation Waringarri- to create an aboriginal youth leaders committee. Montana talks about the inequalities faced by indigenous people in areas of education, employment and the impact that trauma has had on the community. She won the 2016 NAIDOC Apprentice of the Year Award and has been invited to attend the Young Leaders Forum in Bangkok.


Community TAB Community Service Award

Youth Involvement Council of South Hedland delivers programs to young people from 5 years old to 25 who are considered to be at risk, disadvantaged or homeless. Over half of the 40 employees are under 30 and a third are Aboriginal. The Youth Accommodation Program, fondly known as YAP is a 24/7 crisis accommodation service. They also provide night patrols and a social enterprise cafe to assist young people to gain employable, transferrable skills.

Julian Pace of East Victoria Park is the founder of Happiness Co, a social movement aiming to end global unhappiness and reduce suicide, using solution based models. The programs empower people to change lives, reduce anxiety and stress, and help with everyday issues. Using connection and contribution, through their social movement, Julian has now helped over 30,000 people. His Facebook page has grown to over 106,000 followers. Julian is assisted by 15 volunteer Ambassadors.

Eugene Eades of Boxwood Hills created The Nowanup program to support disadvantaged and troubled young people. Cultural knowledge camps and healing activities are held on Eugene’s property Nowanup, a meeting place for Noongar people. The Nowanup camp helps kids reconnect to their culture and community, with over 1,500 participants each year. Eugene runs cultural workshops for young Aboriginal people in the justice system, contributing to their sense of identity and worth, building cultural awareness and pride.


Insurance Commission of Western Australia Regional Safety Award

Narembeen Community Resource Centre created the weeklong event, S.O.C.K. – Save Our Country Kids. Rocked by five road fatalities in 2016, it was clear something had to be done to get the road safety message to the front of people's minds. The Resource Centre coordinated the week which included a huge social media presence, featuring powerful heartbreaking stories showing the impact road tragedies have on our volunteers, families and the community as a whole.

Rotary Club of Geraldton conducts the Rotary WA Driver Education program for Year 10 & 11 Midwest students prior to them gaining their drivers licence. The project addresses issues such as fatigue, non-use of restraints, excessive speed, driver distraction and driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The program consists of 6 interactive sessions to encourage safer young drivers and a recognition of shared responsibility for road safety and trauma prevention.

Northam Local Drug Action Group in collaboration with Northam Roadwise Committee and other stakeholders, created the #AvonLocalsDrivingChange campaign. With Wheatbelt road crashes and road trauma statistics double the rate of the regional average, they wanted to create conversations about road safety. The campaign reached over 60,000 people on social media and 50,000 through radio advertisements. The concept of #AvonLocalsDrivingChange and the variety of strategies used successfully has become a model on which to base further campaigns.


Prime Super Business Achievement Award

The Goodnight Nurse of Vasse was born eight years ago from Emma Pollard’s experience of a sleepless baby and Post Natal Depression. Rather than a “one size fits all” approach, Emma tailors a sleeping plan for families based on their unique needs. The Goodnight Nurse has a global following and won numerous awards. Emma has written a book, is undertaking new ventures in child sleep apps and parenting podcasts, and is a regular guest speaker.

Bindoon Mowers and Machinery began in 2016 by siblings Justin and Rachel Witnell. Starting with one toolbox and a few spare parts, they now have a fully functional workshop and are 100% debt free. Their recently renovated showroom sells new and second-hand equipment. Justin and Rachel take on work experience students and donate hand tools to the Men’s Shed. They have won several awards including the 2017 Wheatbelt Business of The Year 2017.

Kooljaman of Cape Leveque is a remote wilderness camp owned and run by the Indigenous Bardi Jawi Communities. The unique off-the-grid wilderness camp is located on Native Title land and is sustained by solar power and local bore water. The low-impact accommodation has been specifically designed to reflect the Aboriginal values of caring for land and country. Kooljaman has been established for 20 years and has won numerous state and national tourism awards.

Southern Car Care of Bunbury has for over 20 years, been about safer, easier, secure and more enjoyable driving. Taking over from his father, Craig Ewen’s goal was to grow the business. They now offer retail customers the latest in car accessories and have introduced car and home window tinting and pride themselves in being market leaders. Southern Car Care supports local sporting groups and annual events for disadvantaged youths and an Aboriginal youth group.


Ricoh Australia Customer Service Award

Gravity ETC of Dalyellup has a motto "Creating possibilities for youth and community". In 2015, Juliette Davies and her partner, created a 2,000sqm Trampoline park to provide safe activities for youth in a drug and alcohol free environment. Features include seven activity zones, a parents retreat, café, and free soft play area for children under 3. They have birthday packages and provide discounted sessions for guests with special needs or disabilities and carers jump free

Karratha Life & Soul has been operating as a private health club for over 11 years and is a well-equipped, modern facility of worldwide standards. They are open 24/7, 365 days a year. They have a 12 month calendar of fitness challenges and events for their members and a fully stocked retail shop with supplements and gym gear. The crèche operates six days a week and was voted one of the best in the fitness industry.

Nudge Psychological Assessment & Consulting of Busselton began in 2012 with a commitment to create a Centre of Clinical Excellence in psychological services for the South West community. The practice has grown to a team of six highly qualified psychologists, a Practice Manager, administrative team, and a suite of allied health contractors. They were nominated Finalists in 15 small business awards last year, winning eight of them, including the 2017 WA Regional Small Business of the Yearngratulations Nudge Psychological Assessment & Consulting. 


2017 Finalists

Community TAB Community Service Award

Big hART began working in Roebourne in 2010. New Roebourne builds participation across the community in education, intergenerational knowledge transfer, work participation, inter-cultural communication, prison programs and create opportunities for a thriving community. Big hART’s network of highly skilled mentors and youth workers seek to highlight cultural heritage and art projects. They work with community members to create content and develop skills that assist in communicating their cultural heritage.

Collie Police and Community Youth Centre has undergone a transformation in the last year, from a negative delinquent venue to a vibrant and welcoming centre. Young people are engaged in positive, fun activities to build self-esteem, social consciousness and engagement. The centre has established a food program which provides the 67 Friday night attendees with a meal, whilst giving them skills in cooking, budgeting and food preparation.

Wongan Hills Therapy Group is a not-for-profit disability support group, started by a group of local parents to provide essential services and supports for families with children with special needs. They have weekly therapy programs and have the Wheatbelt’s only special needs resource library. The group relies on a dedicated team of volunteers and collaborates with the local school, professional therapists and community groups.


Curtin University Teaching Excellence Award

Joeley Howard of Yerecoin is a passionate teacher and Principal at Yerecoin Primary with a career spanning 29 years of outstanding service. Joeley inspires students, peers and colleagues with her hard work and dedication. She engages in regular professional development and has won several awards for her teaching excellence. Joeley has presented key teaching ideas in Early Childhood and Digital Technology at many professional learning days. 

Kathryn Fitzgerald of Geraldton is the Clinical Education Manager at the Western Australian Centre for Rural Health. She has developed education programs for young people interested in health careers. Kathryn is an advocate for rural health, presenting the challenges and rewards of rural practice at professional association meetings and conferences. She is also the founder of Aidan’s Place Inc., a not for profit organisation supporting families with children with disabilities.

Neville Talbot of Mount Clare is a highly accomplished educator, and has contributed greatly to the broader musical community of Albany and the Great Southern Region. He teaches voice, percussion, group music lessons, runs choirs and is the Artistic Director of the Albany Sinfonia Orchestra. He develops innovative programs and partnerships to maximise opportunities for local musicians. Neville supports local young musicians in their further development beyond school.

Harmony Agriculture and Food Co Agricultural Innovation Award
Dr Catherine Bowen of Jennacubbine
created BABY BALES ™, for consumers with small pets such as guinea pigs and rabbits. With seed funding and all her savings, Cathie purchased and modified a baling machine to convert a standard 25kg hay bale into a miniature 3kg bale, increasing the value by 200-300%. BABY BALES ™ are an export quality premium product and are available in pet stores and farmers markets.

Chestnut Brae in Carlotta is a 70 acre chestnut farm purchased by John and Linda Stanley in 2013. Wanting to add value, they travelled to Europe bringing home 300 recipes. They now raise heritage Berkshire pigs for delectable chestnut fed pork and make crème de Marrons, chestnut flour, chestnut puree and ice-cream. Partnering with Blackwood Valley Brewing, their chestnut ale won Gold at the 2017 International Beer Awards.

Mamabalunjin Aboriginal Corporation in Broome is undertaking an innovative trial using recycled water to grow native trees. In collaboration with the Water Corporation, they have established a seedbank of native and endangered plants for land restoration programs. They also propagate cut flowers and bush fruits. The project provides local people with valuable skills and experience, whilst improving the local economy through sales of bush fruits and flowers.


Horizon Power Leadership and Innovation Award
Dr John van Bockxmeer of South Hedland is a doctor in the remote Pilbara region. In 2010, he founded ‘Fair Game’, a charity to tackle the health disadvantage of remote Indigenous and refugee communities. Fair Game’s programs, Recycle and Donate; Game On! and Healthy Communities, incorporates education on hygiene, nutrition and team work. John and his 200 volunteers have distributed over 22,000 items of used sports equipment to remote communities.

Rene Reddingius of Leonora has been an integral and binding member of the Leonora community for the last 50 years, 40 of them as a teacher. He started the annual school bike ride and Community Fitness sessions, where fitness is mixed with a dash of group counselling and leadership. He has supported children through trauma and loss and shown many young Aboriginal children the wonder of learning and positive reinforcement.

Robbie Miniter of Albany is a Nyoongar Elder. Robbie works for the Wirrpanda Foundation as an Aboriginal Sports Development Officer, motivating and upskilling young Aboriginal men to take on leadership roles such as coaching. He is the head of the Gnowangerup Aboriginal Corporation, preserving and promoting Nyoongar culture and history. Robbie is also a coordinator and mentor for the Deadly Brotha Boyz dance troupe who perform traditional Aboriginal dances.


Insurance Commission of Western Australia Regional Safety Award
Cory Payne of New Norcia was critically injured in a car accident and after three months in hospital had to re-learn to walk and talk. Cory has recently completed his 18th fun run and raised over $40,000 for charities. He speaks at sporting events and schools to raise awareness of road safety. Cory has produced a short video of his journey "Not drunk, not speeding - JUST TIRED".

Industry Road Safety Alliance South West brings together community, industry, and government to address road safety issues in the regional area. Since its formation in 2008, the Alliance has been credited with contributing to a fall in local road trauma, and improvements in road user behaviour. The Alliance-model is being replicated across regional Western Australia with five groups and more planned.

The Royal Perth Hospital P.A.R.T.Y. Program stands for Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth. P.A.R.T.Y is an evidence-based youth injury prevention program, targeting risk-taking behaviours and attitudes. Teens go ‘behind the scenes’ of a hospital and can speak with patients, experienced trauma nurses and drug and alcohol experts. Pilot programs have been completed in many regional centres and Albany & Busselton have secured continued funding until 2018.


LandCorp Sustainability Award
Dunsborough Primary School’s students are involved with daily sustainability practices including recycling, composting, looking after the worms and chickens, energy and water saving. Their biennial showcase "Sustainability Expo" allows them to outreach into the community and teach sustainable behaviours to others. The students are advocates for sustainability events including Tree planning with Planet Ark, Nude Food Day and the quarterly WalkingSchool Bus which attracts over 200 participants.

Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation in Broome uses recycled water from the wastewater treatment plant to establish a seedbank of native plants. The seedbank will be used for land restoration projects in the Kimberley, propagation of cut flowers and native fruits including gubinge and pindan walnut. An expected 12,000 native trees will be established. In partnership with the Water Corporation, this project provides opportunities for Aboriginal participation and employment.

Transition Margaret River is part of the worldwide Transition Network, a community-led approach to creating a more sustainable and resilient society in the face of climate change and economic uncertainty. In five years their network has grown to 500 people with a focus on local food, renewable energy, reducing waste, sustainable agriculture, housing and transport. Through these activities, they are building a low-carbon, healthier, happier, socially-connected future.


Prime Super Business Achievement Award
Corporate First Aid Australia of Bunbury is a multi-award winning, private Registered Training Organisation for the community services and health industry. Over nine years, CFAA has trained over 5,000 local people. They have an impressive 95% enquiry conversion rate and a 100% student completion satisfaction. CFAA engage in a ‘Pay it Forward’ action, providing free First Aid training to assist those in hardship looking for employment.

Gravity Etc of Dalyellup is a Trampoline park with seven activity zones, parent retreat, café, and a free soft play area for young children. It is a unique tourist attraction and a safe hub for local youth to gather. Gravity Etc provides opportunities for new friendships and challenges in a drug and alcohol free environment, encouraging face to face socialisation and upholding the “Choose Respect” code of behaviour.

Wattnow Electrical of Derby is a multi-award winning Aboriginal owned and operated company run by Jonathon Smith and his wife Prue. Over four years they have grown from two employees to 12, and increased revenue by over 450%. They support local community, sponsor sporting teams and events and provided free electrical works for the local Women’s Shelter. Wattnow is dedicated to providing jobs and training for Aboriginal people.

Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award
WA Country Health Service - Kimberley Aged and Community Services
provides aged care services in partnership with remote Aboriginal Communities. They employ 40 staff, and 20 remote Community Care Coordinators and Workers. Staff have access to an Employee Assistance Program, annual personal development and support for external training and study leave. Staff are encouraged to be innovative in the workplace and are valued for their creativity.

Southern Cross Care - Victoria Park Aged Care of Kalgoorlie caters for 51 residents and is one of the first aged-care homes nationally to have an onsite dental clinic. Their 57 permanent staff have flexible working arrangements and an employee assistance program. Staff are supported to complete further studies and the in-house child care encourages parents to return to the workforce whilst the children enrich the resident’s lives.

Waratah Lodge of Wagin is a small community owned facility, currently with 18 residents, that has been operational since 1984. The facility employs 27 staff who are provided with flexible rosters and hours to attend school based activities, carer’s duties or volunteer commitments. During school holidays, staff are able to bring their children to work to engage with residents, which provides a healthy intergenerational experience for all.


RAC Volunteering Award
Hands Up 4 Kids Volunteers Inc. of Bunbury is taking affirmative action to redress the debilitating effects of illiteracy. HU4K encourages volunteers to sign on for at least 1 hour a week. They work alongside teachers, to help five or six young children each visit become confident readers and learners. 165 volunteers are currently attending 17 Primary Schools, helping 825 students improve their reading skills.

Kirsten Beidatsch of Mount Barker has been a volunteer with the Mt Barker State Emergency Services since 2009 and is a Shire of Plantagenet Local Emergency Management Committee member. Kirsten is also a volunteer on both the Shire's and the Region’s Disability Access Advisory Committees. Kirsten is the founder and current Chairperson of the Mt Barker Community Garden and is a member on the Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee.

The Kyle Andrews Foundation of Broome was established 20 years ago as a legacy to 11 year old Kyle Andrews, who lost his battle with cancer. They run annual Kyle’s Camps for children with cancer, and provide a house close to hospital and a family holiday retreat in Broome. Driven by volunteers, their fundraising events include the annual Kyle's Cable Beach walk with over 1000 participants.


Rinehart Development of Northern Regional WA Award
Morrgul Pty Ltd in Broome is a non-profit organisation providing free specialist business development support services to Aboriginal people in the Kimberley. Over the past four years, Morrgul's has assisted over 85 business start-ups, provided support to 60 existing Aboriginal businesses and seen 400 people attend their business workshops. This has created millions of dollars of local economic development and employment for at least 130 Aboriginal people.

Pilbara Meta Maya Regional Aboriginal Corporation in Wedgefield first began in 1994 to provide Aboriginal people living in 29 remote communities with essential services such as power and water. Other services are property management, support and tenancy education, environmental health and municipal services. The Corporation is a 100% Aboriginal owned, not for profit organisation employing 90 people with a Board of seven Elders.

Port Hedland Peace Memorial Seafarers' Centre Inc commenced in 1973, caring for 66,000 seafarers annually who crew the ships exporting ore from Port Hedland. The centre provides communications to family via free WIFI, counselling, transport, a free meal and recreational facilities. A registered not-for-profit charity, the centre is self-funded through harbour and iron ore loading tours, foreign currency exchange and a small supermarket and gift shop.


Worldwide Sports Award
Josef Bandera of Australind was born with a rare genetic disorder, with a form of intellectual disability, poor motor processing and low muscle tone. Despite this, Josef has represented Australia and achieved gold, silver and bronze medals in athletics. He won many medals at the 2016 Trans-Tasman Games. Josef was an Athlete Representative on the Special Olympics South West Committee and a founding Member of the WA iSports Committee.

Kristina Perrin of Goomalling is an elite Karate athlete. She has represented Australia five times, won two gold medals in the Oceania Championships and Bronze at the Youth World Cup. Kristina is currently ranked number one in her weight division in Australia and has been undefeated in the WA Women’s Open for the last five years. She runs her own karate club and is in preparation for the 2020 Olympics.

Nathan Groch of Port Hedland is a triathlete. He coaches and referees water polo games and is on several committees. Training remotely, Nathan is coached via the internet and has to swim in backyard pools because the local pool closed down. Nathan was first in his age group in the 2017 Ironman Australia, qualifying him for the World Championships. He has a World Ranking of 7th in his age group.



2016 Finalists

Community TAB Community Service Award

Kim Gentle of Collie is the owner and founder of Gentle Transitions, offering Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning to remote communities. Kim works with aboriginal people to reconnect with culture and family. The program empowers youth with skills to make positive life choices and she hopes to establish a not for profit fund to assist Indigenous youth pursue equine-related careers. Kim is an advocate for surviving domestic violence and raised awareness on a national level through the “We Care” campaign.

Andre Foulon of Manjimup has been Coordinator of the Manjimup Family Centre for 21 years. Starting with a small playgroup, the Centre now provides 20 services to support individuals, families and community groups. Andre has received awards for his Early Years child development groups and the Bands@Manjimup youth program, which builds resilience and self-esteem among youth experiencing mental health issues. Other initiatives include information technology workshops focusing on cyber bullying and the ‘World on a Plate’, cross-cultural community festival.

Lenny Papertalk of Geraldton has worked in community-related roles for 25 years and is well known for her generosity. Lenny was instrumental in establishing the Bluff Point Primary School pre-school playgroup and the Aboriginal Parent Group. She implemented a before school surfing program and an after school cricket program for students at risk of disengaging with education. In addition to raising her four children, Lenny supports up to 12 children at a time, providing, food, shelter, love and care.

Goldfields Individual and Family Support Association has been delivering specialised disability and mental health support since 1991. They employ 114 staff and support 250 people with a disability as well as their families and carers. A variety of programs are hosted which provide respite and support to families and carers. The Association’s core value is “Cultivating Community Spirit”, and they are at the forefront of promoting disability in the region to better educate people about inclusion and acceptance.

Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

Hocart Lodge Aged Centre of Harvey is a not-for-profit organisation with a 40 bed aged care facility, a 27 unit Retirement Village and 65 passionate staff. Hocart Lodge offers staff flexibility and set shifts to ensure staff can plan personal activities. They offer extensive in house education programs and encourage further training and education. Hocart Lodge has a community focus and actively supports local businesses and suppliers and hosts annual afternoon tea celebrations to thank their volunteers.

The Bethanie Group of Claremont has been operating for 60 years and is the largest not-for-profit provider of aged care and retirement living services in Western Australia. The 1,750 staff and 600 volunteers, care for 5,000 people with Home Care Packages, residential aged care, retirement living and community housing. They focus on improving organisational culture and offer flexible working arrangements resulting in increased staff retention. Bethanie offers a wide range of staff training and health and wellbeing programs.

Juniper Hillcrest of Geraldton is a not-for-profit organisation who take pride in their care model which is designed to meet the individual needs of the 80 residents. They offer training opportunities for staff to increase skills and knowledge of Palliative and Dementia care, and also provide work placement opportunities for students completing studies. Juniper Hillcrest has received three year accreditation and their dedication to residents is evident with the positive feedback received from volunteers, families and residents.

Wattle Hill Care of Bunbury is a not-for-profit retirement village and residential aged care facility with 100 staff and 62 residents. Activities include bus outings, live entertainment and concerts. They offer a flexible staff roster, Staff Incentive Program and internal and external staff training. They host an annual Quiz Night with funds raised going to Alzheimer’s Australia. They have raised $8,000 to purchase PARO, an advanced interactive therapeutic robot, designed to stimulate patients with Dementia.

Insurance Commission of Western Australia Regional Safety Award

Royal Perth Hospital P.A.R.T.Y. Program was established in 2006 because of increasing youth road trauma and fatalities. The program aims to prevent alcohol and risk related trauma by enabling people to recognise risks and make informed decisions. Participants speak with trauma nurses, emergency doctors, drug and alcohol experts and victims about the impacts of traumatic injury. The program has been rolled out in numerous regional communities such as Bunbury which has become an award winning program.

RoadWise Committee of Kimberley together with Main Roads Western Australia, launched the “Horns and Hooves on the Highway” road safety campaign. With 235 cattle strikes in the Kimberley during 2015, the campaign has a strong focus on educating road users and raising awareness of the risks. Bumper stickers, social media, local print and radio have spread their message. The RoadWise Committee is investing in safer roads, fencing and investigating possible speed limit reductions in high risk areas.

School Drug Education and Road Aware was established in 2003. It assists students to develop social and emotional skills, enabling responsible choices when faced with challenging traffic situations. A total of 15,885 students have participated in the “Keys for Life” program and 500 parents and learner drivers attend the annual regional seminars in 20 locations. The seminars increase parent confidence and reinforce that the more time learner drivers spend supervised, the safer they become.

West Australian Music Industry Association developed the Wheatbelt Touring Circuit in 2012. They feature local musicians who deliver live contemporary music accompanied by targeted messages of road safety. Partnering with the RAC this year, the program presented four workshops and 90 free live music events to Wheatbelt communities, raising awareness and encouraging safer driving habits. The Wheatbelt Touring Circuit social media campaign engages young people who are particularly vulnerable to poor road safety choices.

Curtin University Teaching Excellence Award

Alycia Bermingham of Manjimup is a well respected teacher at Manjimup Senior High School. She has presented at numerous professional learning events up-skilling teachers in the areas of History, Geography, Humanities and Social Sciences. Alycia has completed her Masters of Arts History and Geography and was awarded the 2015 Gandel Holocaust Education Scholarship to study in Israel. Alycia has facilitated a range of curriculum, pastoral care and competition activities to allow her students to experience the world beyond their communities.

Garry Christiansen of Albany has developed a TAFE training program with clear guidelines of employer training requirements whilst providing apprentices with valuable work experience. The program assists 59 male and five female apprentice electricians in the region to become competent, skilled electricians. Garry has updated the apprentice skills assessment journal and developed a Competency Development Record with South Regional TAFE the first to implement the new Training Package. Garry wants to establish a Certificate IV in Electro-technology Electrical Instrumentation.

Jade Warrington of Withers teaches at Newton Moore Senior High School. She was influential in developing the Engineering Specialist and Science Horizons extensions programs. Jade coordinated robotics and bridge building workshops and her students competed in the state finals of the 2016 Auercon Bridge Building competition. With a focus on renewable energy she implemented the STELR program winning the Australian Regional Education Award. Jade was invited to co-present at the Society for Provision of Education in Rural Australia conference.

Suellen Kelly of Woorree has 22 years of veterinary experience and in 2006 became a lecturer at Central Regional TAFE. Suellen continues to also work in a Vet clinic to maintain skills and gives educational talks on animal care. She is passionate about TAFE programs for rural students and is developing an Indigenous Community Animal Health Program. Suellen won the 2014 Durak Lecturing Excellence Award and was a finalist in the 2015 WA Training Awards Trainer of the Year.

Worldwide Printing Solutions Sports Award

Chelsea Randall of Newman is a three time All Australian, Women’s AFL player. She has been awarded the WA Women’s Football League Best and Fairest twice and was drafted 3rd overall as marquee player of the Adelaide Crows in the national league. Chelsea volunteers on AFL, netball and soccer committees and develops youth in umpiring and coaching roles. As East Pilbara Regional Manager for the Swans Districts Football Club, she delivers football programs for girls to play football in regional communities.

Milton Chapman of Punmu Community has been Liaison Officer and Delegate for the Newcrest Mining’s Desert Sport Program for ten years. He was instrumental in the development of the Ngurra Kujungka Sports Council, which hosts a football, softball and junior basketball league. Ownership and management of Ngurra Kujungka has been transferred to the Maru people, providing employment opportunities and professional development for council members and volunteers. Milton volunteers by coaching, umpiring and driving people to participate in the Western Desert League Festivals.

Coby Green of Waterloo is a talented hockey player and has played in Western Australian state teams since he was 13. He has played eight state tournaments winning four gold and three silver medals. Coby captained the Under 17 Australian Team in Germany, where his team won gold, and has played for the WA Thundersticks, the Men’s open age team. He is currently completing year 12, and plans to attend University, as well as aiming to play senior hockey for Australia.

Jess Willsher of Carey Park is the Bunbury Surf Life Saving Club, Under 17 Champion. She achieved 14 medals at the WA Country Championships and six at the WA State Championships last season. Jess won silver at the Australian Championships and was first Under 18 female to complete the 2015 Anaconda Adventure race. She hopes to make the Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series and the next Olympic Games for Kayaking. She volunteers as a patrol member, a mentor and coach to younger athletes.

Prime Super Community Group of the Year Award

Lions Club of Waroona is a volunteer organisation, serving the community since 1969. Consisting of 37 members, they provide scholarships, coordinate driver education courses, help with disaster relief and fundraise. Donations in 2015 included to residents of Yarloop who lost everything in bush fires and to the local football club to develop a youth league. The Waroona Lions Club is establishing a Young Leos Club to encourage 12 to 18 year olds to get involved in their local community.

V Swans of Onslow delivers curriculum based learning programs at Onslow Primary School and broader community programs, impacting more than 5,000 young people and their families. The Shooting Goals program enables Year 12 students to complete a Certificate II in Sports and Recreation. Their JET program has seen improved behaviour and a 20% increase in primary school student’s ability to work with others. V Swans members volunteer 55 hours each school term to empower young people.

Earbus Foundation of Western Australia reduces the incidence and impact of chronic ear disease in Aboriginal and at-risk children in regional and remote areas. They deliver professional services to schools, kindergartens and women’s refuges. They fly 40,000km and drive 26,000km each year and treat 1,200 children at 22 locations in the Pilbara and Goldfields regions. Since 2014 Earbus Foundation has had substantial results in reducing the number of children with chronic ear disease and hearing loss.

Pingaring Christmas Tree - Progress Association supports, nurtures and enhances the small rural town. A huge part of Pingaring’s history, The Christmas Tree event began 90 years ago. Children receive a present from Santa and a free BBQ is provided. This year, members Lea and Fiona volunteered 160 hours to create a special 90th anniversary event to ensure the tradition would continue. The Christmas Tree brings the local community together and helps combat rural depression. 

Indago Solutions Agricultural Innovation Award

Advance Packing - Fresh Produce Alliance of Manjimup turns waste produce into value added products for domestic and export market. FPA introduced the first High Pressure Processing machine and Cryowave cryogenic machine and have invested five million dollars to build a processing facility. They developed a healthy food range for the elderly and are developing a baby food range. FPA’s mission is to connect responsible agricultural production with innovative technology to produce naturally healthy, delicious food.

Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation of Broome have developed an innovative trial project, utilising 17 hectares to develop a seed bank of native plant species. MAC is establishing a national Aboriginal-owned-co-operative for the propagation, harvesting and processing of native fruit. To date, 50 people have been involved and 100 young people will participate in activities and training over the next 12 months. Approximately 800 native trees have been established and 12,000 trees in total will be planted by June 2017.

Clear Grain Exchange is an innovative online exchange, allowing growers to take control and offer their grain to buyers at their own price. Since operations began in 2015, they have traded over 43,000 tonnes of grain across Western Australia. CGX present to grain growers at local grower updates and industry events and sponsor a local sporting team and local grower groups. They have averaged a $3.20 per tonne premium, adding over 100,000 dollars of value to grain growers.

Rinehart Development of Northern Regional WA Award

KBSS Engineering of Karratha is a locally owned and operated company employing local people and using local suppliers. KBSS specialises in the mining, oil, gas and marine sectors and are a leading Mechanical and Electrical service provider to the Construction Industry. Established in 2013 with 7 employees, the business has expanded to a workforce of 76. They employ 25% Indigenous staff, have trained over 20 locals and have students undertaking work experience.

Kooljaman of Dampier Peninsula is a remote wilderness camp owned and run for 20 years by the Indigenous Bardi Jawi Communities. They support their families whilst retaining their cultural belonging and sense of community. Kooljaman provides skills, training and development and last financial year, provided 12,400 nights of accommodation in family safari tents, log cabins, beach shelters and unpowered camping. They hold free community events and have just hosted the Inaugural Good Food, Good People Festival.

Marine Produce Australia of Cone Bay is Australia’s only sea cage Barramundi producer and has a strong commitment to world leading, sustainable aquaculture practices. Recipients of many Seafood Industry awards they have been producing premium Barramundi in the Kimberley region for 10 years. They employ local staff, tradespeople, suppliers and services resulting in millions of dollars of investment into local, regional and state economies. They provide employment opportunities and mentorships to empower local Indigenous people.

Onslow Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a not-for-profit group of 110 members, contributing to the sustainable and functional growth of the Onslow community. They create local employment, investment in town development and provide access to affordable goods and services. Onslow is booming, with over 30 billion dollars of investment in projects by Chevron and BHP Billiton. They have been instrumental in ensuring local business benefit from this unprecedented growth.

Horizon Power Leadership and Innovation Award

Sophie Telfer of Darkan is the founder and editorial coordinator of the Wheatbelt Local, an online blog showcasing interviews with inspirational residents and articles on travel, agriculture and health. Since launching in 2014, Sophie has developed the popular #lifeinthewheatbelt project, which allows locals to take over the Instagram account and share photos of their daily lives. She also organised the Wheatbelt Walking Challenge and was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Young Australian’s for improving local health and wellbeing.

Geoff Herbert of Onslow is President of the Onslow Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is passionate about improving the outcomes and opportunities of the Onslow business community. Geoff promotes local business contracts through OnslowConnect and hosts forums for networking and training opportunities. He is the driving force behind the Community Garden, an interactive and welcoming place to meet, work and eat. Geoff developed the Onslow Business Investment Guide, documenting the local businesses, opportunities, and potential business growth developments.

Andrew Outhwaite of Geraldton is the founder of Pollinators, an innovative social enterprise facilitating learning programs to innovators, entrepreneurs and start-up businesses. Pollinators is the first co-working space in regional Australia offering five private offices and 20 co-working spaces, as well as digital training to not-for-profits and small businesses. Also provided is a catalyst training program and a mentoring program. Andrew is a Director of StartupWA, Bendigo Bank and Geraldton Airlines and facilitator of an “Increasing Consciousness” group.

LandCorp Sustainability Award

Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation of Broome is a not-for-profit organisation established in 1985 to empower Aboriginal people. Over 17 hectares of land is being used to grow native trees to provide seeds for local land restoration programs. I collaboration with the Water Corporation, recycled water is being used to grow the trees. An expected 12,000 native trees will be planted. These trees will establish a seed bank of native and endangered plants to ensure their ongoing survival.

Wheatbelt Integrity Group of Newdegate is addressing the reducing number of Wheatbelt farmers due to debt. They raise awareness of the high suicide rate in regional areas and promote the transition from a chemical farming system to a biological one. The long term benefits of changing technology will drastically reduce the costs for farmers and will restore soil health and reduce emissions. By promoting sustainable farming and sharing knowledge, Wheatbelt Integrity Group hopes to restore the Wheatbelt farming industry.

South Coast Natural Resource Management of Albany works with community groups and government to improve the local environment. In six years, they have invested 23.7 million dollars on 250 projects, involving 7,000 farmers and volunteers. They have restored 1,400 hectares of revegetation, established 2,000 hectares of perennial pastures and installed 640km of fencing, protecting 5,000 hectares of vegetation. South Coast NRM’s projects foster community practice change, and are being addressed through media, education programs, workshops and field days.

RAC Volunteering Award

Robert Reekie of Busselton founded Mates Men’s Support Group in 2003. 24 hour support is provided to men struggling with domestic violence, depression, anxiety and homelessness. Accommodation is provided for 120 men each year and Robert has supported 2,000 men through his weekly anger management program. “Mates” is supported by volunteers and Robert commits 70 hours weekly and raises $80,000 annually to keep the charity in operation. Robert provides free counselling, support and training to enable men to turn their lives around.

Alice Rule of Albany has dedicated 60 years to numerous charities and organisations. She was Secretary of the Albany Primary School Canteen, Mothers Club and taught at Sunday School. She co-ordinated appeals for the Salvation Army, the Heart, Cancer and Arthritis Foundations and has donated over 100 litres of blood to Red Cross. Alice founded the Keep Albany Beautiful Committee receiving many litter prevention awards. Her long-term commitment to hockey has resulted in The Great Southern Carnival Trophy being named after her.

Sophie Telfer of Darkan developed the Wheatbelt Walking Challenge and the Wheatbelt Christmas Card Exchange. She is the founder and editorial coordinator of the Wheatbelt Local, an online blog and social media channel with a network of 4,000 people. Sophie works full time but dedicates 10 hours each week to the upkeep of the online sites. Sophie hopes to connect, inspire and provide local Wheatbelt residents with a voice and sense of belonging whilst promoting the Wheatbelt to the world.

Meg Boyle of York developed the York Early Years Hub to provide improved opportunities and coordination for children under five. She developed a program of events including workshops and guest speakers for early year’s families. Recently, Meg formed the York Early Years Network, incorporating input from High Schools and child care centres to provide further support and secure future opportunities for children. She is an active volunteer and is passionate about maximising the social and education benefits for children and their families.


2015 Finalists

Insurance Commission of Western Australia Regional Safety Award

East Narrogin Primary School, implements a whole of school approach to embed drug, road safety and resilience education in their curriculum. Students created decorative road safety posters which were displayed at community events, boosting student’s confidence and creating awareness of the school’s road safety culture. Working with police, local government and the health sector, the school provides road safety support for teachers and parents, online resources and take-home information. Initiatives include “Road Aware Kids program”, for 4 to 15 year olds, Newsletter tips on pedestrian and road safety and an infant and child car restraint program.

Onslow Road Users Group, was formed in 2013 to implement road safety initiatives, improve road safety and reduce road trauma. They work with a coordinated and proactive approach to educate both workforces and communities in the Onslow Region. The Group present trucking and motorcycle safety talks to schools, and conduct community education campaigns for Aboriginal driver training. Successful funding resulted in local training in Child Car Restraint checking, installation and education to new parents. Driver education tools such as Fatal Vision Goggles and drink driving are delivering positive road safety outcomes to the Onslow region.

Toodyay Community Safety & Crime Prevention Association, formed in 2010 responding to the need for a local Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan. A RoadWise Committee was established to develop projects embracing safe roads, safe road use, safe speeds, and young driver education. Outcomes included speed limit reduction, extension of 40km zones and increased solar lighting in public areas to reduce crime. The RoadWise Committee organised a motorcycle safety event, a road safety quiz for Toodyay Youthcare and promoted the ‘Drink Driving is Never OK’ and “Driving Tired Can Kill” messages at local events.

Wundowie Progress Association, are providing safe recreational spaces for members of their community, both young and old. The Progress Association have installed an undercover BBQ area with tables, seats and picnic facilities, outdoor Gym equipment and the Shire has provided a Skate park. These areas are to be linked by a proposed pathway suitable for prams and wheelchairs, with educational road signs, as well as CCTV being installed throughout Wundowie. The annual Iron Festival is also run by Wundowie Progress Association, with profits used to extend their efforts and influence on road safety awareness.


Horizon Power Leadership and Innovation Award

Megan Henry of Wagin, recently published and released 'Always On My Mind', her rural memoir sharing themes of shearing, Indigenous History and mental health. Always On My Mind brings awareness to and reduces the stigma and silence associated with Anorexia, and Suicide. Megan volunteers her time to speak about rural mental health, travelling to remote communities and raises funds for The Butterfly Foundation and Suicide Prevention Australia. Megan believes passionately that by sharing her ten year battle against Anorexia and Suicide, she can impact on those that attend her sessions and show that recovery is possible.

Melody Birrell of Dardanup, shows outstanding leadership and innovation in Suicide Prevention research, awareness, training and community education. Melody spearheaded the Greater Bunbury suicide prevention strategy in 2012-2013. She established a suicide prevention network and a regional awareness campaign with over 80 local businesses taking up their own RUOK Day events. Melody works tirelessly to provide training to over 300 community and frontline staff and has presented posters and her community action plan to two Suicide Prevention conferences. She is now working collaboratively with WA Police to further enhance their Trauma Resilience training and education.

Richard Wells of Port Kennedy, became the inaugural Officer in Charge of Burringurrah Multi-functional Police Facility, 1,063kms north of Perth in Burringurrah Aboriginal Community. Richard learnt to adapt his thinking by looking at how indigenous children learnt about culture, heritage and the land. Using this knowledge, Richard led the “Boss of My Body” DVD project to address issues such as child abuse prevention, suicide, alcohol and drug prevention. Richard engaged a songwriter and producer to collaborate with the children, allowing them to express what they had learnt about respecting themselves, others and being “Boss of their Bodies".

LandCorp Sustainability Award

Carbon Neutral, has achieved global recognition with the first Australian carbon emissions reduction project to receive Gold Standard certification. The establishment of the Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor reconnects remnant vegetation for birds and animals to transition through the landscape. Carbon Neutral have successfully developed world class direct seeding techniques using endemic native seeds across 10,000 ha of degraded farmland. Habitat, food, shelter and nesting areas for rare and endangered species has been restored. The unique biodiverse environmental plantings has enriched the region with measurable and positive social, economic and environmental outcomes.

City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder's vision is “To be a sustainable regional city of the future”. A cutting edge energy system at the Oasis Recreation Centre combines geothermal, solar thermal and solar PV technology, reducing natural gas consumption by 70%. The system saves $160,000 a year and reduces CO2 emissions by over 216 tonnes each year. The reticulation upgrade at the City's Administration Building saves approximately 2.5 million litres of water annually, resulting in a Water Corporation’s WaterWise Council accreditation. The School-to-Home Recycling Project provides Year 5 and 6 students recycling education and a 25Litre bin each for home recycling.

Katanning Land Conservation District Committee, has for 25 years worked with the community to improve the environmental and agricultural sustainability of the Katanning area. Achievements include more than 4 ½ million trees planted, 2000km of fencing erected, on-ground works to address salinity, erosion and habitat loss. Katanning Land Conservation Committee are well known for their active leadership in Landcare at local, state and national levels. Responding to an increased community desire to live more sustainably, the committee run year-round workshops and education events on home composting, keeping chooks and solar passive house design.

Moore Catchment Council of Moora, is a community driven not-for-profit organisation started in 1995 to maintain and improve the health of the Moore River environment. Committed to the conservation of endangered species such as the Malleefowl and Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo over 61,000 seedlings were planted to create additional birdlife habitat. Currently a block of remnant native vegetation is being conserved as a local asset where local Yued members are sharing Aboriginal knowledge of bush medicine plants and cultural stories of the site. To date 42 projects have been successfully completed to the value of $4.5 million.


Prime Super Community Group of the Year Award

Boddington Hospital Auxiliary
, over the last 15 years, has raised $500,000 worth of equipment for the Hospital from the running of the Boddington Op Shop. The Auxiliary in partnership with BHP Billiton have also created an Australian first with the introduction of CareAlert systems being free to all Seniors in the town of Boddington and surrounding areas. The Hospital Auxiliary purchases and installs the CareAlert’s and teach people how to use them. Worn around the neck, all Senior Residents have access to 24 hour emergency call-outs and assistance making for safer independent living.

Foodbank WA, commenced operations in 1994, and now has five regional distribution centres operating in Albany, Bunbury, Peel, Geraldton and Kalgoorlie-Boulder. 90 volunteers contribute to Regional Foodbanks operations, performing tasks ranging from administration, driving trucks and sorting food. Last year, regional Foodbank’s provided the equivalent of 2.3 million meals. Foodbank WA runs Australia’s largest School Breakfast Program, supporting over 420 schools and 17,000 students state wide, with 248 schools located in regional and remote WA. The dedicated Regional Strategy unit delivered healthy eating, education and nutrition programs to 32 regional schools last year.

Ninitirri Centre of Tom Price, is a community based not-for-profit centre supporting communities from the Pilbara Region. With 35 staff across five key services, the Centre is passionate about improving the quality of life for people in remote communities through connection, collaboration and partnership. Services include Early Years Education and Care, the Tom Price Community Resource Centre, Nintirri Neighbourhood Centre, Family Violence and Prevention Service and the Community Health and Well Being Service. Nintirri Centre is a best practice example of how localised service delivery and solutions best support regional and remote communities.

South Hedland Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service, has provided fire and emergency services to the communities of South and Port Hedland since 1975. The brigade is one of the busiest brigades in the state with more than 300 calls each year being responded to 24/7. Many young people have been trained as operational firefighters. A third generation of families are now dedicating themselves to the brigade and the community. Volunteers give 50 to 100 hours of their time each year with some of them having provided in excess of 15 years’ service.


Rinehart Development of Northern Regional WA Award

Dadaru of Wyndham
, is an Indigenous owned and operated Australian company. They deliver effective Aboriginal engagement and capability in marine, civil and mining projects to the oil, gas and mining industries in WA. Dadaru is the Aboriginal name for the Cockburn Ranges signifying local Aboriginal people’s connection to land and sea. Dadaru works collaboratively with community, industry and government to address specific skills shortages. They have developed a successful commercial and community participation model for Indigenous employment, training and retention. Dadaru have built a skilled, experienced and reliable workforce with over 70% being Aboriginal employees.

Magabala Books of Broome, is Australia's leading Indigenous publishing house and is Aboriginal owned and controlled. Magabala is respected nationally and internationally for its quality titles, its commitment to the development of Indigenous literary talent and the preservation of cultural heritage. Over 28 years Magabala Books has released more than one hundred and fifty titles from a range of genres, contributing to the richness of Australia’s cultural fabric. Magabala’s titles have received many prestigious literary awards including the Prime Ministers’ and various Premier’s awards. In 2013 Magabala Books established a philanthropic Indigenous Creator Scholarship Program, as a commitment to nurturing young and emerging Indigenous writers and illustrators.

Signswest of Karratha and Port Hedland, is a multi-award winning, full service Sign Company whose goal it is to produce high quality products - priced competitively and produced locally. Operating since 1997, Signswest has grown from a small home based business to now employing 10 local people working in the Karratha and Port Hedland workshops, servicing the wider Pilbara region. Keeping on top of new and innovative ideas and industry trends has been vital to success, such as unique custom paint and airbrush signage for cars and boats. Signswest provide local donations and sponsorships, giving back to their community.


Curtin University Teaching Excellence Award

Jacky Cheng of Broome
, is a visual arts lecturer at the Kimberley Training Institute and adapts her teaching style and programs to student needs. She moves art classes from hot classrooms to shady trees and engages Indigenous students by swapping knowledge about her Chinese heritage. Jacky also introduced the use of Facetime and Skype to communicate with remote students. 2013 VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year, Jacky delivers courses in remote indigenous communities. She assisted in the set up the Bidyadanga Art Centre, a self-funded centre providing sustainable income and jobs for the community.

Dr Sharon Ross of Northam, is Principal Lecturer at C.Y. O’Connor Institute. Her teaching practice focuses on involving and empowering students and building their new skills. Creating innovative modifications in delivering the New Opportunities for Women program, Sharon has been a key figure in enabling women in the Wheatbelt to return to study. She designed an online teaching toolkit to assist lecturers with vocational courses for remote students. Her e-learning strategies have enhanced access and participation for Indigenous, remote and disadvantaged learners struggling with literacy, numeracy and employability skills.

Suellen Kelly of Wooree, has been a veterinarian for 21 years. She lectures at Durack Institute of Technology and actively shares her knowledge to benefit the community. Suellen gives educational talks on animal health care to community groups such as adult riding groups, local pony clubs and animal shelter groups. She developed an Indigenous Community Animal Health Program. Suellen promotes Indigenous health by improving the health of their pets and fosters good relationships between Indigenous communities and local rangers. She was a finalist in the 2015 WA Training Awards and winner of the 2014 Durack Lecturing Excellence Award.


Worldwide Printing Solutions Sports Award

Adrian Dodson-Shaw of Broome
, is an award winning member of the Indigenous Marathon Project Squad. Adrian has run in the New York Marathon, Sydney City2Surf and the Gold Coast Half Marathon. He has been selected as one of only 45 runners for the 2015 North Pole Marathon and will be the first Aboriginal to participate. Adrian is a role model within his community, inspiring others to live a healthy lifestyle and encourages running as a way to do so. He is also the ambassador for the first IMF Warriors Father’s Day run, a project of the Indigenous Marathon Foundation.

Arthur William Hutchins of Busselton, has been the Head trainer of the Busselton Football club for over 40 years. With over 2,210 games under his belt, Arthur, or ‘Hutchy’, is often called to assist other clubs with their injured players. He is also President and a coach of the Bunbury Basketball Club and Association. In 1973, Arthur won the Dick Pettit Memorial Award as “clubman of the year”, and a Life Membership to the Magpies and the South-West Football League. He is also one of three Hall of Famers at the club.

Coby Green of Waterloo, has been playing hockey since he was four years old, making his first WA team in 2011, and then every state team since. As captain of the Australian team, Coby won Gold at an international tournament in Germany, making a total of two gold medals, two silver medals and the ‘Player of the Tournament’ award. Coby is extremely motivated, training every day, sacrificing time with family and friends. He has coached a junior hockey team, umpired for three years, and also travelling to Perth as a volunteer handing out free soup and bread to the homeless.

David Horsley of Northam, has been involved in State, National and International hockey and cricket since the 1950's. He currently represents WA in both sports and is active in administration, coaching and umpiring. David spent more than 25 years coaching junior hockey players in Bunbury and Kalgoorlie, including many going State representatives. David served two years as President of the Australian Branch of the 'International Fellowship of Cricketing Rotarians', and from 2010 to 2012 was World President. David is President of WA over 60s/70s cricket and will host the Australian over 60/70s Cricket Championships in Perth in 2016.


Perth Airport Events and Tourism Award

Cinefestoz of Busselton
, was launched in 2008 by a community-minded committee with a vision to develop an iconic cultural event to attract global visitors. CinéfestOZ showcases extraordinary Australian and French films over five days, with 18,000 attendees and an estimated six million dollars in tourist revenue last year. The festival offers a $100,000 Film Prize, awarded to an outstanding Australian film, the biggest film prize in Australia. Add to the mix the great food and wine on offer in the South West region, CinéfestOZ is the must-attend event of the year for filmmakers and film lovers. 

Country Music Club of Boyup Brook, began 30 years ago on an oval in Boyup Brook with 600 country music lovers. Held annually, it is the premier Country Music Festival in Western Australia, attracting upwards of 15,000 people. The Festival caters for all ages and demographics and features Concerts, a Ute and Truck Muster, a Carnival, Workshops and Art Exhibition. In a community of only 1,500, the Club is supported by 60 local organisations and over 250 volunteers. This community spirit enriched by the festival, fosters social cohesion, cultural identity and belonging. 

HMAS Sydney II Memorial in Geraldton, provides a focal point for the nation to remember and recognise the 645 service men who lost their lives in Australia’s largest maritime disaster. The Memorial precinct is based on a circular plan, symbolising totality, wholeness, infinity and eternity. Maintenance has been undertaken by the Rotary Club of Geraldton for the last 17 years and the Geraldton Voluntary Tour Guides Association runs a 30 minute daily walking tour. Last year, 14,000 visitors visited the Memorial and it is ranked number eight by Trip Advisor as Australia’s Top Ten Landmark. 

North Eastern Wheatbelt Tourism Association, was formed in 1995 by local community volunteers across nine communities wanting to increase the tourist numbers to their region. The development of the Wheatbelt Way Self Drive Trail aimed to increase tourist numbers and length of stay, thereby supporting local accommodation, restaurants, retail and service providers. Key investment was put into developing the Trail, upgrading community and tourist facilities, a free 50 page Trail Guidebook and audio CDs with dramatised stories to guide visitors on their four day journey.



2014 Finalists

Horizon Power Leadership and Innovation Award
• Camp Kulin 
• Patrick Green - Fitzroy Crossing
• Robyn Gulliver - Millars Well 

LandCorp Sustainability Award
• Ashoil - Tom Price 
• Durack Institute of Technology - Geraldton
• Goldfields Oasis Recreation Centre - Kalgoorlie
• Karratha Enviro Group - Karratha

Prime Super Community Group of the Year Award
• Hands up 4 Kids Volunteers - Bunbury
• Miriwoong Language Nest Team - Kununurra 
• Paupiyala Tjarutja Aboriginal Corporation - Kalgoorlie
• Rotary Sail into Life - Bunbury

Rinehart Development of Northern Regional WA Award
• B Visual Media - Kununurra
• Dadaru - Wyndham
• Leedal - The Fitzroy Crossing Trust
• Maxx Engineering - Wedgefield

Curtin University Teaching Excellence Award
• Hubertus Vink - Derby District High School
• Kendall Hill - Waggrakine Primary School
• Shona Andrews - C.Y.O'Connor Institute 

CSBP Environment Award
• Care for Hedland Environmental Association - Port Hedland
• Karratha Enviro Group - Karratha
• Moore Catchment Council
• South Coast Natural Resource Management - Albany

Perth Airport Events and Tourism Award
• Boyup Brook Country Music Festival 
 Cinefest Oz - Bussellton 
• Truffle Kerfuffle - Manjimup
• Koomal Dreaming - Dunsborough

Western Areas Community Service and Volunteering Award
• Adrian Egan - Bunbury
• Alison Comparti - Bunbury
• Harvey Community Radio 96.5FM


2013 Finalists

Department of Aboriginal Affairs Indigenous Service Award
• Follow the Dream Partnerships for Success - Esperance Senior High School
• Honouring Indigenous War Graves
• The City of Greater Geraldton

LandCorp Sustainability Award
• Fairview Green Team - Collie
• Geographe Catchment Council - Busselton
• Men of the Trees - Peel

Curtin University Teaching Excellence Award
• Merrilyn Jones and the staff of North Dandalup Primary School
• Robert Carter- Northam
• Carlene Smith - Broome

Keystart Home Loans Primary Producer of the Year Award
• Dandaragan Organic Beef
• The Albany Farmers Market
• Barry Green - Donnybrook
• David Leyland - Beechina

Horizon Power Leadership & Innovation Award
• Bunbury Respect Inc
• Patrick Green - Fitzroy Crossing
• Jimmy O’Rourke - Bunbury

Prime Super Community of the Year Award
• Geraldton Dog Rescue Inc
• Jerramungup Community
• Seniors Recreation Council - Peel Branch
• The Goldfields Indigenous Housing Organisation - Kalgoorlie

Perth Airport Events and Tourism Award
• Avon Valley Gourmet Food & Wine Festival
• Event Assist Inc - Mandurah
• Busselton Festival of Triathlon

CSBP Environment Award
• Eyre Bird Observatory - Cocklebiddy
• Roebuck Bay Working Group - Broome
• North Dandalup Primary School

Rinehart Development of Northern Regional WA Award
• Bright Stars Family Day Care - Geraldton
• MG Corporation & Leighton Contractors - Kununurra
• REFAP Pty Ltd - Karratha

Department of Local Government and Communities - Community Group of the Year Award
• Alternatives to Violence Project Kimberley
• Chefs Long Table Lunch Inc - Bunbury
• Go Narembeen Progress Association Inc
• Saving Animals From Euthanasia (SAFE) - Karratha

2012 Finalists

LandCorp Sustainability Award
• Eyre Bird Observatory
• Moora-Miling Pasture Improvement Group
• North Dandalup Primary School

Horizon Power Leadership and Innovation Award
• Choose Respect Bunbury
• Rural Community Support Service

Rinehart Family Volunteering Award
• Wayne Clarke
• Sue Hedley 

Curtin University Teaching Excellence Award 
• Vicki Thompson
• Hayley Holland 

Prime Super Community Group of the Year Award
• The Soup Kitchen
• Growing Towards Wellness Pty Ltd

Perth Airport Events and Tourism Award
• Toodyay Moondyne Festival Committee
• Nameless Festival Organising Committee

CSBP Environment Award
• Kimberley Toad Busters Inc.
• Roebuck Bay Working Group

Department of Indigenous Affairs Indigenous Service Award
• Muway Constructions
• Goldfields Indigenous Housing Organisation
• Honouring Indigenous War Graves Inc.

Country Housing Authority Primary Producer of the Year Award
• Dandaragan Organic Beef
• Nick and Jane Trethowan

2011 Finalists

Business Enterprise Award 
• D & R Machining
• The Williams Woolshed

Community Group of the Year Award
• Dandaragan Fundraisers
• Mandurah Offshore Fishing Club Youth Maritime Project
• The Kununurra Community Library and Kimberley Writers Festival Committee

Environment Award

• Merle Bennett
• Men of the Trees - Peel
• Shire of Collie

Indigenous Service Award
• Albany Heritage Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation Inc
• City of Greater Geraldton - Reconciliation Committee
• Karalundi Aboriginal Education Community Inc

Leadership and Innovation Award
• Rural Community Support Service
• Shire of Moora
• Youth Involvement Council

Local Government Best Practice Award
• Denmark Youth Centre
• Shire of Plantagenet

Sustainability Award
• 4WD and Lakes
• Friends of the Cape to Cape Track Inc

Teaching Excellence Award
• Sarah Stone
• James Paxman

Volunteering Award
• Samantha Connor
• John Matten

2010 Finalists

CSBP Environment Award
• Esperance Regional Forum Inc
• Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee

Curtin University Teaching Excellence Award
• Athena Hain-Saunders
• Suzanne Mitchell
• Amanda Silvester

Department for Communities Community of the Year Award
• Karratha Community House Inc
• Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku

Department of Indigenous Affairs Indigenous Service Award
• Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku
• YMCA Perth - Swim for Life (Hedland Program)

Department of Local Government Local Government Best Practice Award
• Shire of Dalwallinu
• Shire of Mullewa

Horizon Power Leadership and Innovation Award
• Sarah Brett
• Rob Prestage

LandCorp Sustainability Award
• Durack Institute of Technology
• Green Skills Inc

Prime Super Community Group of the Year Award
• Fix My Ride - Mt Magnet
• Foodbank South West
• Volunteering WA: Better Connections in Corrigin, Jurien Bay and Koorda

RSM Bird Cameron Business Enterprise Award
• D & R Machining
• Piacentini & Son Pty Ltd

Water Corporation Water Conservation Award
• Durack Institute of Technology
• Shire of Cranbrook


2009 Finalists

RSM Bird Cameron Business Enterprise Award
• Ahead of Time Hair and Beauty Spa
• Sweeter Banana Co-Operative

Australia Post Community of the Year Award
• South West Animal Rescue Inc
• Youth Focus Inc

CSBP Environment Award
• Esperance Regional Forum Inc
• Kalgoorlie-Boulder Urban Landcare Group

Department of Indigenous Affairs Indigenous Service Award
• Avon Catchment Council Inc
• Indigenous Sport Program, Eastern Goldfields YMCA

Horizon Power Leadership & Innovation Award
• Robert Reekie
• Christopher Shedley PHD

Department of Local Government Local Government Best Practice Award
• City of Mandurah - Surfing Together Project
• Shire of Carnarvon

Curtin University of Technology Regional Service Award
• Narelle Brook
• Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club Inc - Youth Maritime Project

LandCorp Sustainability Award
• Shire of Augusta-Margaret River
• The Carnarvon "Fruit Loops"

Water Corporation Water Conservation Award
• Dean Morgan
• Greenbushes Primary School

2008 Finalists

Australia Post Youth Leadership Award
• Sarah Stanley
• Bands@Manjimup
• Liam Turner

CSBP Water Conservation Award
• Geraldton Grammar School
• Shire of Mingenew
• Shire of Merredin

Curtin University of Technology Regional Service Award
• Damian Dixon
• Sarah Stanley
• Jane Hyden Progress Association
• Andrew Eyden

Department of Indigenous Affairs Indigenous Service Award
• Wamba Nilgee Burru Ngardu Aboriginal Corporation - Derby's Men's Centre
• Youth N Motion (City of Geraldton)
• Kevin and Rose Davis
• Annette Hanson

DLGRD Local Government Best Practice Award
• Shire of Augusta-Margaret River
• Morawa Education Alliance
• Shires of Mingenew and Three Springs

Horizon Power Leadership & Innovation Award
• Andrew Eyden
• Fairbridge Western Australia Inc
• Robert Reekie
• Lex Fullarton

Kleenheat Gas Community of the Year Award
• The Chefs Long Table Lunch Inc
• Balingup Progress Association
• Foodbank Geraldton

LandCorp Environmental Sustainability Award
• Best Farms Enviromental Management Systems
• LandCorp Environmental Sustainability Award Solex Carnarvon Solar Farm
• Kalgoorlie-Boulder Urban Landcare Group

RSM Bird Cameron Business Enterprise Award
• Carr Civil Contracting P/L
• Hotweld Fabrication
• Smart Burn Pty ltd
• Sweeter Banana Co-Operative Pty

2007 Finalists

Australia Post Youth Leadership Award
• Youth Involvement Council Inc.
• Halls Creek Youth Services
• Eyes Wide Open Project

CSBP Environment and Sustainability Award
• Care for Hedland Environmental Association Inc.
• Clive Malcolm
• BestFarms Environmental Management System

Curtin University of Technology Regional Service Award
• SOS Supporting our Seniors & Disabled Inc
• Elizabeth Parker

Kleenheat Gas Community of the Year Award
• Kimberley Toad Busters Inc.
• Boyup Brook Telecentre Inc.

Racing and Wagering Western Australia Events and Tourism Award
• Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival
• Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster

RSM Bird Cameron Business Enterprise Award
• Smart Burn Pty Ltd
• Willie Creek Pearls