WA Regional Achievement & Community Awards

2016 Finalists


Community TAB Community Service Award

• Kim Gentle – Port Hedland

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 – Manjimup

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 – Geraldton

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 & Family Support Association – Kalgoorlie

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 – Harvey

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 – Claremont

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 – Geraldton

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 – Bunbury

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. Regional Programs

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 – Kimberley

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

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 Inc – Northbridge

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 – Manjimup

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 – Albany

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 – Withers

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 – Woorree

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 – Newman

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 – Punmu Community

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 – Waterloo

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 - Carey Park

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

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 – Onslow

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 – Wembley

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

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 – Manjimup

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– Broome

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 - Victoria Park

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 – Karratha

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 - Dampier Peninsula

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 – Cone Bay

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

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 – Darkan

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 – Onslow

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 – Geraldton

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 – Broome

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 – Newdegate

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 – Albany

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 – Busselton

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 – Albany

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 – Darkan

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 – York

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.