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Connect April 2015

Last updated: 25/02/2016 4:53 PM
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  1. From the Director General
  2. A kick start for National Youth Week
  3. Women trade up
  4. Gosnells’ garden blooms
  5. Gold star for Goldfields
  6. Young people speak out
  7. Netball scores a win
  8. Raising resilient kids
  9. Cultural cartography
  10. Tidy towns’ clean sweep
  11. Volunteers in the spotlight
  12. Budget preparation
Volume 02 | April 2015

From the Director General

Jennifer Mathews The Department of Local Government and Communities’ focus on supporting young people to engage in community life was highlighted this month when more than 80 events took place during National Youth Week.

The events were made possible by the $88,000 National Youth Week grants program, supported by DLGC and the Federal Government. Many of the events were run by local governments and community sector organisations in collaboration with young people.

Over the next few months we will continue to support the delivery of training for country councillors in partnership with the WA Local Government Association. Our Better Practice Review pilot program, funded by Royalties for Regions’ Country Local Government Fund, is also having a positive impact on the sector and is highlighting examples of local government best practice. Pilot programs have taken place at the Shire of Broomehill-Tambellup and Town of Narrogin, and programs are planned in the Shire of Irwin and the Shire of Toodyay. Country local governments interested in taking part should contact DLGC for more information.

The Community Development Roundtable, a high level forum comprising DLGC, WA Council of Social Service, WA Local Government Association and Local Government Managers Australia, convened earlier this month. Outcomes from the roundtable discussions have been positive, with a focus on enabling more responsive service delivery that meets the changing needs of WA’s local communities.

About one in three West Australians donate their time and effort to volunteering each year. As a supporter of National Volunteer Week (11-17 May), DLGC will be hosting a presentation next month on new research that highlights the economic, social and cultural value of volunteering to WA. The event will provide an opportunity for State Government agencies to join with the community and local government sectors to promote the benefits of volunteering at a local level. 

It has been a busy and productive start to the year and I am looking forward to the weeks and months ahead as new projects and partnerships take shape to deliver positive outcomes for the community.

I hope you enjoy this edition of connect.

Director General
Jennifer Mathews
Department of Local Government and Communities

A kick start for National Youth Week

Two teenage girls holding programs at the Kickstart festival in Perth From Esperance to the Kimberley, young people throughout Western Australia have taken part in planning and delivering National Youth Week celebrations.

National Youth Week is the largest annual celebration of young people in Australia and was launched in WA by Youth Minister Tony Simpson on 7 April at the WA Museum.

A feature event was the popular KickstART festival in the Perth CBD. KickstART delivered performances, live music, art clinics, discussion forums, special events and activities in the Perth Cultural Centre and surrounds, plus a market day in Northbridge on 11 April.

The theme of 2015 National Youth Week, ‘It starts with us’, reflected the involvement of young people in the planning and design of the activities and events.

More than 80 community events took place with funding from the Department of Local Government and Communities and the Federal Government. Events ranged from a battle of the bands in Karratha to an art-in-the-park workshop in Leederville and a youth issues forum in Bunbury. National Youth Week in WA was presented by Propel Youth Arts in partnership with DLGC.

Women trade up

A man talks to a woman working in a trade workshop The Department of Local Government and Communities is partnering in a new scholarship program that encourages women to undertake training in trades with low female participation.

The ‘Expanding career options for women’ scholarship program is a joint initiative of DLGC, the Department of Training and Workforce Development and the Construction Training Fund.

There are about 180 approved qualifications to choose from, which can lead to occupations in industries including agriculture, automotive, aviation, construction, food, electrical, engineering, maritime and telecommunications.

One hundred scholarships will be available in the first year of the program.

For training at an approved provider, which includes state training providers and registered training organisations, $3,000 will be available for women planning to enrol in a publicly funded training course in an approved qualification.

For apprenticeships and traineeships, $1,000 will be available for women planning to undertake an approved apprenticeship or traineeship; and employers will receive a $2,000 incentive payment.

Scholarship applications close on 15 May 2015.

To find out more, including eligibility criteria and approved training providers, visit the Department of Training and Workforce Development website, email or phone 6551 5947.

Gosnells’ garden blooms

Noah, a boy, and Beth-Ann, a woman, sitting amongst plants in the Southern River Community GardenNoah and Beth-Ann enjoying the Southern River Community Garden. Image courtesy of City of Gosnells
A City of Gosnells community garden is flourishing with help from a $20,000 grant from the Department of Local Government and Communities. 

The city received a community gardens grant from DLGC in 2014 for its Southern River Community Garden project, presented in partnership with Southern River College and the local community.

The project has transformed a 4,300sqm site at the rear of Southern River College into a place where people can come together, learn new skills and grow their own food. TV’s Garden Gurus team helped guide the community in developing the public space.

The grant was used for:

  • infrastructure to develop the garden as a site for the school community and residents
  • landscaping and materials for the development of an accessible garden space, meeting and education areas
  • steel for a gazebo to host workshops, reference group meetings, Aboriginal bush tucker yarns, and educational and other community events, and
  • raised garden beds to accommodate wheelchair and limited mobility access.

The city and its project partners have united local businesses, community organisations and schools to contribute to the garden’s growth and an inclusive community environment. For more information visit the City of Gosnells website.

Gold star for Goldfields

A toddler girl drawing on pavement with chalk, with a parent and older child’s hands drawing nearbyA new support service for families with children aged up to 18 years has started in Kalgoorlie-Boulder. 

Parenting Gold will be delivered in the Goldfields region to parents wanting to improve their parenting skills, develop support networks and access parenting resources.

The Department of Local Government and Communities has committed $350,000 over 21 months to the new service, which will be delivered by Wanslea Family Services.

There are about 4,000 families with children in Kalgoorlie-Boulder. An estimated 23 per cent of Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s population is aged 14 or younger, compared with 19 per cent for WA’s population.

Among the programs offered by Parenting Gold is a six week course called Bringing Up Great Kids. Parenting Gold will also enable parents to access parenting education, a referral service and mobile workshops in Laverton, Leinster, Leonora and Norseman. For more information contact Beverly Pack at Wanslea Family Services on 9000 3070 or

Young people speak out

Four young people having a meeting at a table with papers and a laptopA new partnership project in Perth’s south eastern corridor is supporting the local community's most vulnerable children and young people.

Led by Save the Children Australia, the South East Corridor Youth Partnership Project (YPP) is a collaboration between State, Federal and local governments and community sector organisations to deliver localised responses for at-risk young people. It is funded by the State Government’s Social Innovation Grants Program and supported by the Department of Local Government and Communities.

Young people provide advice to the project through the Youth Leadership Roundtable. The roundtable is made up of local young leaders, aged 16 to 25 years, predominantly from Aboriginal and refugee backgrounds.

A key project of the roundtable was the Speak Out for Change: Youth Voices on Youth Issues Summit held in April during National Youth Week. The summit involved a youth-to-youth consultation with 100 young people from throughout the region to identify the strengths, challenges and opportunities they face in the community. 

DLGC is a member of the YPP executive committee and is working with other members to explore the best ways to apply the summit’s recommendations.

Netball scores a win

Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Mike Nahan with competitors in Netball WA’s inaugural Multicultural Carnival.
More than 100 school students from 15 cultural backgrounds competed in Western Australia’s inaugural multicultural netball carnival recently.

The Office of Multicultural Interests contributed $5,000 to the Netball WA event, which is part of the national One Netball initiative dedicated to creating a positive environment for inclusive participation.

The carnival, which was attended by Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister Mike Nahan, promotes multiculturalism by offering interaction and supporting acceptance, openness and respect between different individuals and groups.

It aims to increase participation in sport for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Indigenous Australians, people with a disability, and for the marginalised and disadvantaged.

Six high schools from across the Perth metropolitan area participated in the carnival, which Netball WA is hoping will become an annual event.

Raising resilient kids

A toddlers face as their mother looks on in the backgroundHundreds of parents attended free Parenting WA seminars recently to learn about raising resilient children.

The seminars were facilitated by Triple P parenting expert Professor Matt Sanders who gave parents practical advice about how to help children recognise, express and accept their feelings and deal with stress.

Triple P is an Australian parenting program based on more than 30 years of research. It has reached more than seven million children and their families in 25 countries worldwide.

Triple P programs are available through the Department of Local Government and Communities’ Parenting WA service - an information, training, support and referral service for parents, carers, grandparents and families with children up to 18 years.

The seminars were hosted by DLGC and supported by the Department of Health, Department of Education and the cities of Bayswater and Rockingham. The Parenting WA hotline is 1800 654 432.

Cultural cartography

Church of St Constantine and St Helene
Walk trails to discover Perth’s sites of cultural significance have been mapped in a new project launched by the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI).

The Discover Multicultural Perth project involves three maps that highlight Perth’s cultural diversity and uncover the history behind some of the city’s best known landmarks.

The maps showcase areas of multicultural significance, as well as some hidden gems, in Northbridge, East Perth and the Perth CBD. They provide a walk trail of discovery through parks, monuments and places of worship, and past buildings, grocery stores and artworks. Each location has significance to WA’s cultural heritage.

Plans to expand the project to other areas, including the City of Fremantle and City of Swan, are underway. The online maps are available at the OMI website.

Tidy towns’ clean sweep

Volunteers Beth, Lee, Shelley and Vicki at Community (Bendigo) Bank’s  Northam-Toodyay Road rubbish pick-up
Toodyay and Ardyaloon have been recognised at Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Towns award ceremonies.

The Wheatbelt town of Toodyay scooped the pool when it won the Australian Tidy Towns Award. The town’s commitment to several related programs, its level of engagement with the community and strong partnerships formed between local government, local business and community members, including 870 volunteers, contributed to its success.

Toodyay won the Central Wheatbelt Regional Tidy Towns Award and the overall State Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities Award in November.

The Kimberley’s Ardyaloon community organisation was also recognised at the Keep Australia Beautiful (KAB) Tidy Towns State Awards.

Ardyaloon received a Special Commendation Award from the Department of Local Government and Communities for leadership in the remote Kimberley community also known as One Arm Point. The township of 300 people excelled at the State Tidy Towns Awards, winning three categories, including the overall Kimberley Regional Tidy Towns Award 2014.

The Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities Program of Keep Australia Beautiful Council (WA) inspires communities to strive for a litter-free and sustainable environment.

Volunteers in the spotlight

National Volunteer Week logoWestern Australia will celebrate the enormous contribution of volunteers during National Volunteer Week which runs from 11-17 May 2015.

The annual event celebrates the spirit of volunteering and the efforts of more than six million Australians, including one in three West Australians, who donate their time to the community.

The Department of Local Government and Communities provides annual funding of more than $1.25 million to support volunteering in Western Australia. This includes funding Volunteer Resource Centres, providing small localised grants, supporting research and recognising contributors.

DLGC also acknowledges long-serving volunteers with the WA Volunteer Service Awards. The awards recognise West Australians who have given 25 years and 50 years of continuous volunteering service. Nominations for the awards are open year round.

New research on the economic, social and cultural value of volunteering to WA will be presented by DLGC during National Volunteer Week. The research, by Dr Paul Muller from the Institute of Project Management, has found that the value of volunteering is far higher than previously estimated. To attend the presentation, contact For more information about volunteering, visit Volunteering WA.

Budget preparation

Suburban housesThe Department of Local Government and Communities is advising councils about determining differential general rates and minimum payments in preparation for the 2015-2016 financial year.

DLGC can also offer advice on providing supporting information to electors and ratepayers, including public notice deadlines, post-submission requirements and approval guidelines.

Circular 03-2015 - Ministerial Approval of Differential General Rates and Minimum Payments for 2015-16 has been sent out to all local governments.