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e-Newsletter March 2014

Leaving a legacy 

leaving a legacy

We've been thinking a lot about the future of our region lately, especially in relation to how our South West Regional Blueprint will guide development of the South West to 2050.

But while we're looking forward, and working on projects that will make a big different to the South West in the coming years and decades, it's also important to pay the past a visit.

In this edition of our e-newsletter, you will find stories relating to the heritage of the region.

Heritage is important because it tells the story of our cities and towns, and how our region was shaped through the efforts of our earlier residents.

In decades to come, what will people look back on and see as our legacy to the region? We hope the Blueprint - and the transformative projects it highlights - is part of ours.

Pictured: SWDC chief executive officer Don Punch and Bunbury Timber Jetty Environment and Conservation Society president Phil Smith at the old Bunbury post office.

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Spotlight on our landscapes 

The South West region has some of the most stunning landscapes in Australia - and we're thrilled to see them get the attention they deserve.

Wildiaries, in partnership with Tourism Australia, has produced a collection of short films highlighting the connection between Australia's people, nature and places.

Among those who take centre stage in the series is South West local Josh Whiteland (pictured) from Koomal Dreaming Cultural Experiences.

Others include Vicky Bilney of the Yongergnow Australian Malleefowl Centre and Gary Muir from WOW Wilderness.

We are happy to have provided support to the Australia's National Landscapes Nature Series project as part of our representation on the Great South West Edge committee.

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Then and now 

The building of the Harvey River diversion in the Great Depression is a fascinating story involving some 2500 men, tent cities - and a lot of shovels.

Now that story is preserved in a new artwork and interpretive panels that pay tribute to the workers who lent their hands to the construction of the 22 kilometre drain.

The art piece, which is suspended over the part of the diversion close to Uduc Road, was officially launched earlier this month at a special ceremony.

We are proud to have played a role in ensuring that an important chapter in the region's history is kept alive. View our gallery.

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Preserving heritage 

Historic buildings offer a connection between the past and the present.

And with our support, one heritage-listed building in Bunbury will have a firm place in the future.

A grant from the Commission recently allowed maintenance work to be carried out to the roof of the old Bunbury post office.

The restoration and preservation works will help protect the structure from potential weed and weather damage in the years ahead.

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On the horizon 

What are the forces shaping our communities?

Find out by attending the next conference in our Critical Horizons series.

Called Communities of the 21st Century, the event will feature high-profile speakers such as Australian trend forecaster Bernard Salt (pictured) and US-based futurist Jim Lee.

Topics will include ageing populations, home ownership trends, people-oriented towns, and the future of families and relationships.

The event will be held at the new Cube Theatre at the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre on Thursday May 15. For more information or to book your seat, visit .

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Beyond the boardroom 

We're lucky to have the board we do.

Not only are they are a great group of people with skills, knowledge and experience that benefit the Commission and the region, but they are an active bunch as well.

Our board members make an effort to visit communities throughout the region to see first-hand the projects taking place and also to get an idea of the issues facing our cities and towns.

Last week, for instance, they took time out to visit the Warren-Blackwood region.

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Southern Forests jobs 

Do you have an employment opportunity to advertise? Or are you perhaps looking for a job?

The newly-launched Southern Forests Employment Hub website is the perfect place for employers and job seekers to exchange information.

The website, which is the brainchild of Manjimup Community Resource Centre coordinator Ranui Donaldson (pictured), has been designed to meet the region's employment and training needs.

To see the website for yourself, visit .

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Bunbury’s free wi-fi 

Did you know that Bunbury has a free wireless internet service in its city centre?

The Bunbury CBD Wireless Network was officially launched last month after being fine-tuned over the past few years.

It is now being actively promoted to visitors and is expected to give the city another edge in the tourism market.

The complimentary wi-fi is a result of a partnership between the Bunbury Chamber of Commerce and Industries, City of Bunbury and South West Development Commission.

The network was built by CipherTel, a locally-owned telecommunications business which has sponsored two wireless access points and will maintain the service.

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Airport update 

Could Busselton airport one day be able to accommodate interstate or even international flights?

Thanks to the work being done on a business case to see whether such a proposal is viable, we're closer than ever to answering that question.

We are pleased to report that the draft business case is being finalised now that all the studies have been completed.

The steering committee tasked with coordinating the business case for the proposal will meet to review the draft business case before Easter.

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Tee off for a cause 

Here's your opportunity to do a good deed while enjoying a round of golf…

Participate in the South West Academy of Sport's corporate golf day at the Sanctuary Golf Course on May 15 and raise money for talent development programs in the region.

For a registration form, visit . Registrations close April 21.

Pictured: SWAS program coordinator Valerie Ogoke and Sanctuary Golf Resort head golf professional Mark Parry getting ready to swing into action.

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Employment forum benefits locals 

We are pleased to have played a role in putting together an employment forum that is resulting in jobs for participants.

Held at the Carey Park Football Club on March 12, the South West Aboriginal Employment Forum was attended by 138 people, 83 of whom were job seekers.

The Gnarla Karla Booja Aboriginal Enterprise Development Agreement-event involved "speed dating" between employers and potential employees.

It was the third forum of its kind held in the past 12 months.

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Parks get a makeover 

We're working with the City of Bunbury to make the suburb of Withers even better.

Which is why we're pleased to see upgrades have been made to parks in the area.

Pictured is Des Ugle Park, which is undergoing a transformation and is currently having a flying fox installed.

View our gallery to see the results of some of the park makeovers.

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Easter and…apples 

Chocolate and hot cross buns aren't the only foods celebrated in the South West at Easter. Apples are too!

The Donnybrook Apple Festival will take place during the Easter break over April 19 and 20.

There will be tastings of local produce, stalls, exhibitions and entertainment. And thanks to a grant from us, children will be able to receive a special passport that will allow them to take a journey along the Pink Lady Trail.

For details about this SWDC-supported event, visit .

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Passport to the past 

Taking a road trip would have to be among life's great adventures.

And this Easter, many of us will have time to hop in our cars and take a journey.

Over the break, why not take the time to follow the Working Life Heritage Trail?

A link of heritage-themed attractions in the region, each stop on the trail offers a window into the region's past and the life of its early settlers.

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Behind the scenes 

If you've ever wanted to see inside a working art studio, here's your chance.

Artists and artisans are opening the doors to their studios and workshops between April 19 and May 4 as part of the inaugural Margaret River Region Open Studios.

The 16-day event will give people the opportunity to meet creators, as well as pursue and purchase artworks.

Our funding towards this trail of artistic discovery is one way we are supporting the growth of the creative industries in the region.

Pictured: SWDC chairman Stuart Hicks with Margaret River Region Open Studios vice chair and secretary Jillian Taylor.

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Fun day for grandfamilies 

The importance of grandparents in children's lives will be celebrated at a special event in Bunbury next month.

The City of Bunbury will hold a Grandfamilies Fun Day at the Bunbury Wildlife Park on April 16.

From 10am to 3pm, people will be able to enjoy a range of activities including pony rides, a climbing wall and face painting.

There will also be the opportunity to meet Constable Care at 11am and Chester the Times Tiger at 1pm.

For more about this SWDC-sponsored event, phone 9792 7216 or email .

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