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e-Newsletter October 2013

Exporting the region’s talent 

music exchange

Singaporean act Sezairi Sezali will perform his catchy pop tunes at the official Singapore WA Music Exchange program launch on Thursday November 7 in Perth.

The South West is home to creative talents who deserve an opportunity to shine on the world stage.

So we are pleased to be a partner in a new music exchange program that will provide musicians from Western Australia with professional opportunities in the growing Singaporean music marketplace.

Over the next nine months, six WA artists and their managers will be given the opportunity to travel to the South East Asian city-state to perform at events and venues.

Singaporean acts (including Sezairi Sezali, pictured) will be given similar opportunities in Western Australia, with three acts already lined up to play at the official Singapore WA Music Exchange program launch in Perth next week.

Along with important exposure and professional development, participants will be able to expand their network, potentially leading to future collaborations and market opportunities.

We are pleased to have a role in getting this initiative up-and-running and look forward to incorporating the program in to next year's Emergence Creative Festival in Margaret River, as well as a special event planned for Singapore next year.

Program partners include SWDC, WAM, Timbre Group and Music Matters, with funding support from the Department of Culture and Arts in WA and National Arts Council in Singapore.

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South West showcased in US 

For most of us, the closest we can get to a Drift store is watching the movie of the same name on DVD.

But Americans - and visitors to the US - can go one better by stepping inside a Drift shop in Venice Beach, Los Angeles.

The pop up store not only stocks surf wear and Drift merchandise but also displays a range of props from the South West-shot film including surfboards, cameras and clothing.

Drift filming location maps, produced by the South West Development Commission, are also being handed out at the store.

We are honoured to have the South West showcased as a surfing and tourism destination through this initiative by World Wide Mind Films.

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The Drift store is located at the World Wide Mind Films office on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach, Los Angeles.

Rush for events funding 

Our South West Events Program remains popular with groups wanting funding for events, with almost 70 applications received in this year's round of the scheme.

By the close of the round on Monday October 28, a total of 68 applications had been emailed, posted and hand-delivered to us.

Our team is now busy sorting through and filing the applications, ready for members of the assessment panel to begin their work.

We hope to be able to announce funding recipients in December.

Pictured is SWDC administration officer Adelle Kear sorting through the applications.

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Adelle Kear has been busy sorting through the applications for funding received through the South West Events Program.

Marine facilities push 

Often referred to as the City of Three Waters, Bunbury is an aquatic playground that's popular with both locals and visitors.

However, its marine facilities are ageing and not keeping up with population growth and demand.

As part of efforts to improve facilities, a steering committee facilitated by the Commission and chaired by Bunbury MLA John Castrilli has been established.

The committee will provide advice to the State Government on the marine and shore facilities needed in Koombana Bay and Casuarina Harbour.

On the committee's agenda will be the possibility of developing a marina and commercial marine hub.

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This picture, taken after a storm, highlights the need for improved marine facilities in Bunbury.

Shaping young brains 

The early years of life are critical for brain development.

Which is why we're pleased about a new program coming to the South West that aims to shape young brains in a positive way.

Called MindUp, the program teaches social and emotional learning skills to children.

Pictured is Annette Owen, the coordinator of a new community child and parent centre being built in Carey Park, and youth mental health development officer Louise Fischer from Investing In Our Youth.

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Annette Owen and Louise Fischer showcase the ‘brain hats’ they made with local children during Mental Health Week.

Event to serve up export opportunities 

The Margaret River Gourmet Escape will shine the spotlight on our region when it takes place next month.

And when it does, we're hoping the exposure will also encourage export deals for our producers.

To help things along, we will be taking a group of visiting buyers on a tour of the South West in the days surrounding the food and wine festival.

The buyers from Indonesia, China and Singapore will stop at a number of wineries and restaurants in the Ferguson Valley, Manjimup, Pemberton and Margaret River areas when they visit.

The Culinary Trail will give participants the opportunity to see first-hand where the region's food and wine is produced, and also put them in direct contact with producers.

We hope our efforts will help to unlock new markets for the region's producers.

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Mat Lewis from the South West Development Commission works to foster export opportunities for the region’s producers.

Building stronger communities 

Planning for the future growth and development of our towns and cities is important for ensuring that our communities are able to cater for the needs of residents in the years ahead.

Which is why we are delighted to have supported the Shire of Capel's efforts to put together a community facilities and services plan.

Adopted by council in September, the plan will be used to guide the future provision of community services in the shire up until 2031.

Pictured is Alan Cross from the South West Development Commission and Michelle Plume from the Shire of Capel.

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SWDC regional coordinator Alan Cross and Michelle Plume from the Shire of Capel go over the community facilities and services plan.

Heritage trail expands 

Journey back in time when you follow the newly-expanded Working Life Heritage Trail.

Now featuring even more attractions to explore, thanks to the addition of the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, the trail is a must for people interested in learning more about the history of the region.

People visiting Working Life attractions are offered a window into how the region was shaped by pioneers and workers in days gone by.

For more information about the trail, visit www.workinglife.com.au .

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The Cape Naturalise Lighthouse is now part of the Working Life Heritage Trail, a link of attractions around the South West which showcase the region’s fascinating past.

Growth in new homes approval 

We've always thought the South West is a great place to live.

And it seems many agree with us, with plenty of people wishing to set up home in the region.

Between the 2011/12 and 2012/13 financial years there was an increase in the number of building residential building approvals.

A total of 1544 new homes received the go-ahead, with 456 new homes given the green light in Busselton - the area with more new approvals than any other place in the South West.

For more facts and figures about the region, contact SWDC research officer Matthew Monisse by emailing matthew.monisse@swdc.wa.gov.au or phoning 9792 2000.

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Residential building approvals in the South West soared between 2011/12 and 2012/13.

Festival of lights 

A slice of Indian life will be enjoyed in the South West next month when Diwali is celebrated in Bunbury.

The South West Indian Group will hold a special Diwali event at the South West Italian Club on November 9 to mark the holiday.

The family event will feature Bollywood-themed entertainment, including singing and dancing.

For more information about this South West Development Commission-sponsored event, visit www.swig.org.au .

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India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year, Diwali, will be celebrated in Bunbury on Saturday November 9.

Southern Forests in focus 

There are exciting times ahead for the Southern Forests.

The Southern Forests Food Council, which aims to grow the region's agricultural sector and promote the area as a culinary food destination, is preparing to launch a regional brand.

The brand launch will take place on Friday November 8 - and we're excited to see what the council has in store for promoting the region.

The Southern Forests Food Council is supported through the Royalties for Regions-funded SuperTowns program.

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Nicole Giblett and Laura Bolitho are passionate about the future of the Southern Forests.