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e-Newsletter July/August 2017

New leadership team takes charge 

Rebecca Ball

We are delighted to introduce you to our refreshed leadership team, with a new acting chief executive officer, chairperson and deputy chairperson now in place.

Rebecca Ball (pictured) has arrived in the South West to take on the role of acting chief executive officer.

Most recently an executive director at the Office of Multicultural Interests, Rebecca brings to the Commission more than 20 years' of senior advisory and management roles in both public and private sectors in Australia and overseas.

Meanwhile, Nick Belyea has been appointed to the position of chairman, and Jennie Franceschi has been named deputy chairperson.

We look forward to continuing to work with a wide range of stakeholders to further enhance the great region we share.

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Job and tender portal 

We're here to make the region the best place to live, work and invest.

Part of this means making sure there are enough job and business opportunities to support the growing number of people who choose to call the region home.

In addition to our usual efforts to stimulate economic growth, such as linking local businesses with trade opportunities, we are pleased to also support the State Government's new local content initiatives.

This includes positioning our website as a portal to WA Government job and tender opportunities.

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Industry in focus 

A showcase of local industry capability will take place in Bunbury later this year when Procure South West is held over two days in November.

From November 24 to 25, people will be able to attend the event in the automotive centre at the South Regional TAFE and meet face-to-face with representatives from business and industry.

The event will comprise a trade show, presentations from industry representatives, an information-sharing forum, and networking opportunities.

We are proud to be part of the committee behind this up-and-coming event from the organisers of the most recent South West Focus conference.

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Bunbury waterfront under transformation 

If you've travelled along Bunbury's Koombana Drive lately, you will have noticed the works under way to revitalise the foreshore as part of the Transforming Bunbury's Waterfront initiative.

A lot has been achieved over the past few months, including the building of a sea wall to protect the Dolphin Discovery Centre.

Excitingly, it's now possible to see a number of components of the City of Bunbury-managed foreshore revamp taking shape including the amphitheatre and new-look kiosk.

A total of 16 South West contractors are being engaged to deliver the foreshore makeover, with the value of local work being $7.85m, or 72 per cent of the total funds to be spent on the project.

Pictured: Phillip Rowley from the City of Bunbury and Ashley Clements from the South West Development Commission inside the kiosk that's being renovated.

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Milestone moment 

Margaret River is known worldwide as a wine region, so it's no surprise that its fiftieth anniversary as a wine region will be toasted far and wide.

This month, 18 local winemakers will travel to Singapore to host a series of events over August 30 and 31.

The events will include a degustation dinner featuring five courses matched by 11 award-winning Margaret River wines presented by the winemakers.

The Margaret River Wine Association has prepared the Singapore event series program in collaboration with the South West Development Commission.

Singapore is an important export market for the Margaret River wine region, and we are pleased to support this initiative.

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Taste of Margaret River 

Because there's nothing like visiting a place to gain a new-found appreciation for it, we welcome opportunities to showcase the region to delegates visiting from overseas.

Our most recent opportunity came when Singapore-based sommeliers were rewarded for their support of the recent First Class in a Glass campaign in Singapore with the chance to experience the Margaret River region first-hand.

The high-profile campaign, a partnership between the South West Development Commission and the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association, targeted the Singapore market between October 2016 and February 2017.

It was fantastic to have the chance to continue growing awareness of the Margaret River region as an exporter of premium wines and an outstanding holiday destination in the Singapore market.

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Cruise ships push for the region’s capital 

With a fantastic local café and restaurant scene, urban cool in a growing street art collection, and a transforming waterfront, Bunbury is only getting more attractive as a tourist destination.

To get the word out about the city's appeal as a cruise ship destination, members of the SWDC-coordinated Cruise Bunbury committee went along to the recent WA Cruise Exchange in Perth.

Attending the industry event gave the committee members a chance to promote the city directly to executives from cruise line companies.

The plan is to get Bunbury on the itineraries of more cruise ships in the near future.

Pictured: Bunbury Cruise committee members David Haoust and Dee Tucker with Bunbury Cruise acting chairman Mark Exeter from SWDC.

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New homes for local seniors in Dardanup 

Without suitable housing options, people in their retirement years can be faced with two options. Staying put and living in increasingly unsuitable housing. Or uprooting from the communities they call home to move to a city or bigger town where they are away from family, friends, regular service providers and the places they feel connected. Neither is ideal.

As a result we've been working with stakeholders to ensure there are housing options that allow people to stay living in the community they call home even as they become older.

With this in mind, we are pleased that there are now new housing options in Dardanup. Access Housing recently completed construction of 14 new seniors' villas at Dardanup.

The Dardanup units, along with new villas at Boyanup, are part of the South West Ageing in Place Housing Pilot made possible with support from the State Government's Royalties for Regions program.

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On the road to better health 

It's always fantastic to revisit projects we've helped to make possible. Even better when we see how well they are tracking.

Case in point: The Clinic on Wheels, which is run by the South West Aboriginal Medical Service.

Five years since we helped to get the mobile clinic on the road through an allocation of Royalties for Regions funding, we are pleased to report that the service is still travelling well and is having a positive impact on increasing health service accessibility for people living in regional areas who don't normally have access to such services.

So far this year, the Clinic on Wheels has attended Womens Wellness clinics and information sessions in Bunbury, Busselton, Collie, Harvey, Brunswick and Manjimup to offer health checks to local residents.

It has also attended general community events, as well as visited prisons and schools.

Pictured: South West Aboriginal Medical Service logistics officer Wade Garwood and chief executive officer Lesley Nelson.

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Nannup ready to bloom 

The town of Nannup will blossom once again when the Nannup Flower and Garden Festival returns for 2017 between August 17 and 20.

Come along and enjoy exhibitions, open gardens, workshops, market stalls and the Great Hall of Flowers.

There will also be appearances by celebrity gardeners like Sabrina Hahn and chefs including Anna Gare at this SWDC-supported conference.

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Region in the picture 

Thank you to everyone who submitted a photo in the annual This South West Life photography competition and calendar project.

We received more than 800 entries, and are now in the process of selecting which images will feature in the 2018 This South West Life calendar.

If you entered the contest, we wish you all the best!

Pictured: One of last year's winning pictures by Chris Tate.

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Film festival fever 

While it's tempting to keep warm by staying indoors and watching television when it's cold, an upcoming festival will give movie buffs plenty of incentive to get off the couch this winter.

The glittering CinefestOZ film festival returns for its tenth year from August 23 to 27, offering up star-studded movie experiences that the public is encouraged to attend.

Be part of this popular showcase of Australian and international film by attending one of more than 95 film and event options including seven world premieres, nine Australian premieres and 35 WA premieres.

There will be a diverse range of events taking place around the region, from cosy side bars to black tie, red carpet gala nights. There will also be community events including a free screening of Jasper Jones in Nannup.

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Filming location of choice 

Thanks to CinefestOZ, the South West is becoming known for being home not only to the country's biggest destination film festival but also Australia's richest film prize.

But did you know that the South West is also growing in recognition as a filming location?

The South West has served as the backdrop to a number of motion pictures including Drift and Kill Me Three Times.

The latest to feature the South West is the film adaptation of the Craig Silvey novel Jasper Jones, which was released last month on disc and digital.

If you want to see first-hand the locations used in the making of the Jasper Jones movie, download our handy guide and make plans to visit Pemberton.

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Will among many outstanding young people in region 

We believe all young people have the capacity to achieve great things. Especially when given a little extra support. Which is why we invest in local youth.

One of the ways we support the development of young people in the region is through our backing of the South West Academy of Sport.

The not-for-profit organisation nurtures the talent development of outstanding junior sports men and women.

One of the academy's athletes who is making the South West proud is sailing star Will Drew. The 14-year-old had the region cheering when he represented Australia in Italy earlier this month at the Open Bic World Championships - earning tenth place in his category and a team world title. Well done, Will!

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