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Around the region - March 2018

South West emerges as a creative hotspot 


It doesn't matter what you do for a job, tapping into your creative side is important - because creativity drives innovation and prosperity, helping to take businesses and communities forward.

Creativity matters. And that's why we are once again thrilled to have teamed up with the Creative Corner to play a key role in staging another Emergence Creative Festival last week.

The annual event highlights the region as a creative hotspot and gives attendees a chance to learn from and collaborate with creative minds from Australia and overseas.

This year's standouts included an opening address by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan, an interactive campaign session to develop a plastic free future, and opportunities for possible future screen and television content developers to be mentored by those in the industry.

Pictured: (Main) South West Development Commission acting assistant director industry and business Mat Lewis and Emergence Creative Festival director Erin Molloy sign the shirt of festival emcee Ben Akers as guest speaker Jimmy Niggles prepares to present. (Inset) Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan speaking at the conference.

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Regional innovation fund 

Want to be part of a Regional Innovation Partnership?

The groups will work to identify strategic projects that have the greatest potential to grow regional communities.

It's all part of the $4.5 million regional component of the New Industries Fund that was recently launched to supercharge innovation across regional Western Australia.

Up to $300,000 will be allocated to each of the nine regions for initiatives that build a regional innovation pipeline and drive job creation at a local level.

Organisations and businesses can click here to register to join a Regional Innovation Partnership.

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Congratulations to Iocal heritage champion 

The region is full of unsung heroes quietly working behind the scenes to make a difference. And it's always heartening when people who carry out good work are formally acknowledged for their efforts.

With this in mind, we offer our congratulations to South West Working Life Association chairman Ian Wilson who was celebrated at the 2018 Western Australian Heritage Awards in Perth earlier this month.

As the chairman of the South West Working Life Association, the Manjimup resident leads the Working Life Heritage Trail. The trail is a partnership between the Commission and Association.

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Co-sharing partnership to lead to closer ties 

We would like to introduce to you our new friend in the office - Angelique Fransen from the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council.

Together with WAITOC, we are leading by example when it comes to State Government and not-for-profit co-sharing arrangements.

We expect our new co-working arrangement will lead to closer ties and greater collaboration at a time when recognition of the Aboriginal tourism sector's potential is growing.

If you have some spare office space, why not consider offering it to a not-for-profit or charity?

Pictured: WAITOC southern region business development manager Angelique Fransen and chief executive officer Robert Taylor with SWDC acting chief executive officer Rebecca Ball.

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Class is in for students of Bunbury’s newest school 

Here at the Commission, we're big believers in empowering young people. And part of that is ensuring they have opportunities to pursue education.

That is why we are happy to have supported the establishment of the Bunbury Regional Community College - which is both a new school and a different kind of school for Bunbury.

Located at South Regional TAFE, the college gives students who have found it difficult to maintain attendance in a mainstream school a chance to reengage in learning.

Learning plans are tailored to the individual interests, needs and abilities of each student who are given the opportunity to develop a useful portfolio as part of preparation for life beyond the classroom. And regular excursions that support learning are part of school life.

The college - an initiative of JSW - currently caters for about 30 students in Year 10 and 11, with plans to expand to Year 12 next year.

Pictured: Teacher Armelle Chaussat, principal Jo Bednall, student Rhiannon Salleo and JSW chief executive officer Posy Barnes at Bunbury Regional Community College.

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Get snapping 

We are now accepting entries in our popular annual This South West Life photography competition, with winning entries to feature in a free 2019 calendar.

This year, we are asking people to turn their lenses to the landscapes and landmarks of the South West of WA.

Get creative when capturing the beauty of the region ─ why not try capturing local landscapes and landmarks in spectacular light, or show people interacting with them!

Pictured: One of last year's winning photos, taken by Julie Guthridge.

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Bunbury planning 

A committee which will help guide Bunbury into WA's vibrant second city has met for the first time.

The Bunbury Development Committee will provide strategic guidance for key Bunbury projects including

Transforming Bunbury's Waterfront and the redevelopment of Withers and Glen Iris localities.

The group will ensure cross-government and stakeholder co-ordination is delivered efficiently to create better community outcomes on transformational projects.

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Sound solutions to strengthen the local music industry 

We are partnering with regional stakeholders, including the Creative Corner, to develop a strategy to grow the South West's music industry.

The idea is to grow the industry in the region so there are more opportunities for local people to pursue a living from their passion.

An early initiative that is being rolled out via the Creative Corner is the Notes for Notes program, which encourages people to make a voluntary contribution to acts playing at live venues.

Pictured: Notes for Notes artist Emjay Angeni and local music producer Noah Shilkin with Rebecca Ball and Mat Lewis from the South West Development Commission at the music forum which formed part of this year's Emergence Creative Festival.

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A West Australian treasure safely guarded 

Hidden in a special storage room in the South West is a West Australian treasure - the Baudin maps that chart the coastline of the state.

The historic maps are owned by the South West Development Commission and are being safely conserved so they are around for future generations.

The documents, which date back to the early 1800s, are significant because they represent one of the first times many areas of the WA coast was officially chartered. Many place names originate from the French expedition.

Pictured: South West Development Commission business and industry development officer Mark Exeter and Bunbury Regional Art Galleries curator/registrar Caroline Lunel inspect the maps.

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Waterfront project to reach another milestone 

It's an exciting time to be in Bunbury and see first-hand the city's waterfront being developed.

Following the official reopening of the Koombana Bay Foreshore following a major makeover, it's the Dolphin Discovery Centre's turn to be revamped.

As part of the Transforming Bunbury's Waterfront project, the centre is in the process of being redeveloped into a modern tourist attraction.

The upgrade and expansion of the centre will hit a major milestone at the end of April when it temporarily closes to allow local contractor Perkins Builders to proceed with works.

And with just weeks remaining before the doors shut for a while before reopening in December as the state's latest must-see, now is the time to visit so you can say you've been to both the new and old versions.

Pictured: DDC general manager David Kerr in the current interpretative centre.

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Creating community 

In a tragedy, people often pull together. It was the case with the Yarloop fires, with people meeting at the Cookernup Community Hall in the aftermath of the blaze as part of recovery efforts.

Now, more than two years later, local people are still meeting at the hall - but for more positive reasons.

They are coming together simply to socialise and enjoy each other's company at weekly morning teas.

We're delighted to have supported upgrades to the premises, helping to make it an even better place for locals to spend time in.

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Workshop for exporters 

If you are an exporter or work in an export-related industry, you might be interested in attending a workshop taking place in Bunbury next week on Thursday April 5.

The workshop will focus on dynamic supply chains and network optimisation.

The seminar will highlight why efficient and effective logistical infrastructure and systems are important to an export-orientated state such as WA.

Guest speaker Dr John Gattorna will explain why businesses must design their own supply chain to meet the needs of their markets and build their competitive advantage.Click here to register.

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