WA Regional Achievement & Community Awards

2018 Winners

Rinehart Development of Northern Regional WA Award

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.

Prime Super Employer Excellence in Aged Care Award

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.


RAC Volunteering Award

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 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.

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.

Harmony Agriculture and Food Co Agricultural Innovation Award

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

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



Community TAB Community Service Award

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.

Prime Super Business Achievement Award

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.


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.