WA Regional Achievement & Community Awards

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
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
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.