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Connect August 2016

Last updated: 31/01/2017 7:47 PM
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Director General, Jennifer Mathews

From the Director General

There is a lot happening at present in the local government and community sectors.  I encourage you to share the information about the resources, events and opportunities to be found in this edition of connect.  

Country local governments are reminded of the range of programs being delivered by the Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC) through the Royalties for Regions Country Local Government Fund (CLGF). These include training workshops designed to assist local governments in conducting service delivery reviews. These informative two day workshops are free to local government service planners.

Other CLGF-supported initiatives include a program to attract and retain more young people into local government careers.  There is also a program of grants, scholarships and training workshops to assist local governments in achieving better community development outcomes in partnership with the community sector.

DLGC has been conducting a program of Better Practice Reviews with selected country local governments, working with staff to review activities and operations. Local governments have welcomed the opportunity these reviews provide to identify good practice and address areas needing improvement.

Reforms are underway to the parenting services funded by DLGC and delivered by the State's community sector. Recent workshops with service providers and parents have informed the department how these services will be procured over coming years. A new parenting model will ensure services are universally accessible, with a greater focus on Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse parents, fathers and male caregivers, regional needs and parents with teenagers.

Associated with this development, a new Centre for Parenting Excellence is being established. There will be a significant increase in funding for parenting services over the next four years, so it is important this investment is well targeted and responsive to community needs. The new centre will ensure the State's parenting services are coordinated, evaluated and achieve the highest possible standards.

The WA Seniors Awards are now open, providing the opportunity to acknowledge older people from around WA for their important contributions. There are six categories of awards, so if you know an exceptional individual or outstanding seniors' service provider, I encourage you to nominate them before the closing date of Friday 2 September 2016.

Finally I am pleased to note that DLGC has been selected as finalist in the 2016 Premier's Awards, for its work in strengthening local government accountability. Our nomination focused on the MyCouncil website and its links with our work in capacity building, community development and integrated planning and reporting. The awards will be announced in November.

We look forward to continuing to work with you in making a difference for local communities.

Jennifer Mathews
Director General
Department of Local Government and Communities

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Supporting country councils

Go to Supporting country councilsDLGC is supporting country councils

Country local governments can now apply to the Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC) for grants of up to $20,000 per initiative for community development projects.  Funding of up to $10,000 per individual is also available to country local government employees to participate in community development training.

The grants are part of the DLGC capacity building program, funded by the Royalties for Regions Country Local Government Fund.

DLGC is supporting a program of capacity building initiatives for country local governments over the next two years.

The program will assist country local governments to continue to build their capability in key strategic and operational areas as well as improve governance, transparency and accountability.

A key focus of the program is building partnerships with local community sector organisations to achieve innovative and integrated local solutions, improving service delivery and tangible outcomes for WA communities.

More than $5.4 million will be invested in the program over the two years.

Projects in the current round of funding include:

• support for local governments to develop closer links with community organisations and improve their understanding of community development

• a program to attract and retain more young people into local government careers

• provision of an online management information tool and the undertaking of a governance review

• a review of service levels to ensure community needs are met.

Since 2013, DLGC's capacity building program, through Royalties for Regions Country Local Government Fund, has provided more than $10 million in support for WA’s regional local councils.

The Community Development Grants and Scholarship Programs close on Thursday 8 September.

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Property management

Property management

As part of the 2016-17 State Budget, the Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC) will cease the management, maintenance and provision of buildings for community and childcare centres from 30 June  2018.

Thirty three community childcare services will be affected, along with 32 community and neighbourhood development centres.

Funding provided for the Community and Neighbourhood program has not been affected, with more than $6 million continuing to be provided each year for the program.

DLGC staff are meeting with every affected centre and building owner, in order to identify and explore alternative management options. The department will work with services, local governments and communities to ensure there is ongoing access to childcare and community and neighbourhood services.

Regular contact will be maintained with all affected services to assist them during the two year transition period. 

The State Government is committed to achieving strong child care and community and neighbourhood services for Western Australian families.

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Local governments’ impact

Go to Local governments’ impact2016 WALGA Convention and Exhibition

The Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC) took part in the 2016 WA Local Government Association (WALGA) Convention and Trade Exhibition, held earlier this month at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC).

There were more than 650 delegates and 250 local government officers in attendance and a record 118 exhibitors at the trade exhibition, including DLGC.

DLGC was represented on a discussion panel called ‘Finding a Better Way – Childcare in Regional WA’. The two day program also featured speakers including Sir Robin Wales who expanded on local government and local projects in London.  Australian of the Year Retired Lt General David Morrison spoke about diversity in local councils and domestic violence, while Tanya Dupagne spoke about Kulin Camp for Kids, which she founded and manages.

Former Fremantle Docker Peter Bell gave a breakfast presentation talking about the importance of local governments creating positive, inclusive living environments for young people. The convention concluded with a presentation by entrepreneur Michael Crossland.  

In addition, 47 elected members and local government officers were recognised as part of WALGA’s Honours Program. Former Kalgoorlie-Boulder Mayor Ron Yuryevich received the Local Government Medal. View the media release on award recipients

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Australian first project

DLGC is supporting an Australian first dementia-friendly project with a grant of $100,000.

Alzheimer’s Australia WA has been provided with a grant of $100,000 from the Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC) for the Dementia-friendly Communities project, the first of its kind in Australia.

The funding will go towards the second phase of the project, supporting the development of programs and resources to assist WA’s communities to address the needs of people with dementia.

The first phase of the project was supported through the State Government’s Social Innovation grants program.  It resulted in the development of ‘Guidelines for the Development of Dementia-friendly Communities’, launched in July this year.  

The project gave hundreds of participants an opportunity to provide an insight into what it is like to live with dementia, highlighting some of the challenges people with dementia and their families face.

The guidelines enable local governments and communities to develop community services, programs and facilities in line with dementia-friendly principles.

There are about 32,000 people with dementia in WA and it is the second biggest cause of death nationwide.

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Grants open

A number of Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC) grants programs are now open.

The Country Local Government Fund Community Development Program from Royalties for Regions provides funding of up to $20,000 for country local governments. 

The funding may be used to undertake projects demonstrating best practice in community development, partnerships with the community services sector and engagement with communities in the design of local services.

Youth Activities grants of up to $5,000 are available for community organisations and local governments to develop projects that encourage young people to engage in innovative and challenging local projects. Projects must benefit young people aged between 12 and 25 years.

Opening this week is the Community Gardens grants program where eligible groups can apply for up to $10,000 for existing community gardens and up to $20,000 for new community gardens.

See the DLGC website for more on grants programs.

Several new projects have received funding from the State Government in recent weeks.

The Carnarvon PCYC received $20,000 funding for the Drop In Girls Space program, which provides at-risk young women a safe and supportive meeting place.

Dismantle Inc, a mentor program using bicycle mechanic workshops to connect with at-risk and disengaged young people received a $26,000 grant to help the organisation and partners to measure the social impact of its BikeRescue program.

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Suite support

Minister Tony Simpson, representatives from DLGC, Anglicare WA and UnitingCare West at the launch of the Financial Counselling Network.

The Financial Counselling Network was officially launched in July offering a suite of services to people in financial need across Perth.

The Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC) funds the network which is made up of nine community organisations led by Anglicare WA and UnitingCare West.

It is expected to assist West Australians dealing with around $500 million in debt in its first year of operation.

Network partners include: UnitingCare West, Anglicare WA, Midlas, Blue Sky Community Group, The Spiers Centre, City of Cockburn, Gosnells Community Legal Centre, South Care and Mission Australia.

It is the first financial model of its kind to bring together nine organisations, operating across 14 metropolitan locations, under one set of principles to ensure consistency and quality of service.

The State Government will fund the Financial Counselling Network until 30 June 2018, with $1.7 million already allocated to November 2016.

​Funding the network is one way DLGC is working with the community services sector to enable individuals and families to become more financially capable and improve their ability to manage their finances.

State-wide services can be found using the funded services directory on DLGC’s website.

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Nominate now

Shire of Broome executive staff and BPR team members outside the Shire’s office in Broome2015 WA Senior of the Year Brother Olly Pickett

The WA Seniors Awards are open, and the community is encouraged to nominate an outstanding individual or organisation.

The awards acknowledge older people from around the State for their important contributions to WA communities.

Last year Brother Olly Pickett was named Juniper WA Senior of the Year for his work as the driving force behind the Wheelchairs for Kids project. The charity has now made and sent out more than 30,000 wheelchairs to children in 80 countries.

Nominations for the WA Seniors Awards are open for the following six categories in 2016:

• Community Service Award
• Arts and Culture Award
• Group or Organisation Award
• Business Award
• Age Friendly Community Award for a Local Government
• Deborah Kirwan Media Award

The 2016 Juniper WA Senior of the Year is chosen from the winners of the Community Service Award and the Arts and Culture Award.

Nominations for the WA Seniors Awards close Friday 2 September 2016.

The awards are presented by the Council on the Ageing WA in partnership with the Department of Local Government and Communities and supported by Lotterywest.

For more information about the awards visit the Department of Local Government and Communities website.

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Seniors get sporty

Kwinana Golf Club Manager Linda Borrell, Orelia local John Joynes and City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams promoting the SilverSport program. Image supplied by City of Kwinana.

An exciting new program is being trialled to support seniors who want to participate in sport and active recreation.

SilverSport is funded by the Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC) and the Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR).  It covers costs associated with sport club memberships or physical activity program fees of up to $200 per senior.

The program started 1 July this year, and runs to 30 June 2017 in the Cities of Belmont, Kalgoorlie-Boulder (including Shire of Coolgardie), Kwinana and the Shire of Northam.

Eligible seniors residing in participating local government areas can get SilverSport funding for a range of sport or active recreation activities delivered by clubs, community organisations, businesses and recreation centres. Examples of activities include masters swimming, bowls, gym memberships, yoga or pilates.

The program has had a very positive response with 412 applications from 401 seniors received to date.

The average age of applicants is 73 with the most popular activities so far being bowls, fitness (gym membership), swimming, golf and group fitness classes.

To be eligible, residents need to be 60 years or over and have a health care card or pensioner concession card.

More information on SilverSport is available at Department of Sport and Recreation website.

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Pledge for women

An online pledge to drive support for women in science, technology, engineering and maths-oriented (STEM) careers and trades has been launched by the Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC). 

By taking the pledge, organisations and individuals can commit to supporting women in STEM and trades.

Female participation in STEM training courses and careers is substantially lower than that for men, particularly in non-health, engineering and related technologies, and information technology fields. This is despite evidence showing that the number of jobs requiring STEM skills is increasing. 

To promote the initiative, DLGC partnered with volunteer organisation TradeUP Australia at the Skills West Expo in August.

DLGC’s exhibit provided visitors with information on careers in STEM and trades as well as the opportunity to experience a number of trades Womens Pledgefirsthand.  DLGC also hosted three seminars at the expo which showcased the benefits and options for women wanting to pursue STEM and trades careers.

More information on the Women in STEM and Trades pledge is available at the Department of Local Government and Communities website.


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Calling creative youth

DLGC’s Steph Jackson and Kate Waylen at the 2016 Mentors & Aspiring Leaders Conferenc

Nominations for the National Youth Week 2017 Ambassador role are now open.

Open to people aged 18 – 25 years, it is an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic and motivated individual to showcase their creative flair and inspire other young people.

As a volunteer, the ambassador will play an important part in guiding and promoting National Youth Week 2017 events and will also chair the National Youth Week 2017 planning committee.  

To be eligible, candidates must be readily contactable by phone and email and available for National Youth Week meetings and media activities.

The successful applicant will be required to attend National Youth Week events where necessary. They will also be given the opportunity to assess applications for the National Youth Week grants program, administered by the Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC). 

Applications may be made online, with a brief resume or CV attached, before Friday 16 September 2016.

With more than 100 events taking place in across the State, National Youth Week is the largest annual celebration of the positive contributions of young people in WA.

National Youth Week 2017 is presented by Propel Youth Arts in partnership with DLGC.

For more information contact Sue-Ellen Middleton on (08) 6552 1555 or email

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Youth lead the way

Four local councils have partnered to deliver a youth-led conference for young people in Perth.  

The 2016 YACtivate! Conference, organised by the Youth Advisory Councils (YACs) of Mosman Park, Subiaco, Kwinana, Rockingham and Augusta-Margaret River, took place on Sunday 14 August.

More than 100 enthusiastic young people turned out to network, share ideas and common issues between YACs, celebrate their achievements and empower young people through leadership development.

DLGC provided $5,000 to support the conference and gave a presentation about the department’s youth initiatives and grants programs.

Other recent youth initiatives by DLGC include the recent update of the Youth Participation Kit, a publication designed to provide practical advice to organisations and young people about getting involved in the community.

Minister for Youth, Tony Simpson opened the conference and launched the publication.

The inaugural YACtivate Conference was held in 2015, coordinated by the Town of Mosman Park.

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Language learning

Grants totalling more than $566,000 have been awarded to 41 Western Australian community language schools, teaching 30 languages, via the State Government's Community Languages Program (CLP).

Managed by the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI), the CLP supports not-for-profit community organisations to teach languages other than English.  

Around 4,350 language students will benefit from grants awarded over three categories:

  • New school grants, which provide operational grants of up to $3,000 for schools that are less than 12 months old.

  • Per capita grants, which provide operational grants of $100 per student to schools that are more than 12 months old.

  • Program development grants, which provide up to $10,000 to schools for special projects that will improve the quality and delivery of language education.

The CLP has recently been redeveloped to ensure that it is relevant and responsive to the current and future needs of WA's multicultural community and is providing the greatest possible social and economic benefit.

Languages funded by the program include Somali, Bengali, Russian, German, Sinhala, Hindi, Greek, Madi, Swahili, Chinese and Japanese.

For further information about the CLP, visit the OMI website or telephone 08 6552 1603.

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Youth sharing their voice

A new youth leadership program for 18–25 year olds from refugee and migrant backgrounds living in WA, is helping multicultural youth share their voice.

The pilot program, called Shout Out, provides a platform for young people to improve their public speaking skills so they can share their stories and perspectives on issues important to them.

Over two intensive weekends in May and June, 17 participants were trained in public speaking, handling interviews, writing media statements and how to get their voices heard by a wider audience.

The initiative came about as a response to the observation that young people need to be empowered to speak out. Shout Out training connects young people to speaking opportunities and equips them with skills to be active citizens. It also helps increase the respect and knowledge of young people in the community.

Shout Out participants will now feature on a 'speaker's bureau', which can be accessed by the media and organisations, including businesses, community groups and schools, looking for professional speakers. The target for the pilot year is to secure 25 speaking engagements and to reach an audience of 2,000 people.

The program is an initiative of the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network WA (MYAN WA), auspiced by the Youth Affairs Council of WA and supported by the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI) through their Community Grants Program. 

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African leaders initiative

An African Leadership Initiative has been developed to empower participants to achieve their potential and address the complex needs of WA African communities.

Launched at the Mirrabooka Multicultural Centre on 7 July 2016 by  Citizenship and Multicultural Interests Minister, Dr Mike Nahan, the program will develop the leadership skills, capacity and knowledge of African community members to address and represent community needs. 

The three-year initiative will receive up to $70,000 per year in State Government funding through the Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI) and its Multicultural Partnerships Program (MPP) 2015-2018

Through the MPP, the State Government has invested $810,000 to strengthen social cohesion, increase workforce participation and build leadership in WA’s culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) communities.

Delivered in partnership by the Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre and South Metropolitan TAFE, each year emerging and established community leaders will participate in the program to receive an accredited Certificate II in Leadership, as well as ongoing mentoring and support.

Currently 33 participants are enrolled in the inaugural leadership training program, which is being delivered in Mirrabooka and Victoria Park.

To get involved in the African Leadership Initiative, contact the Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre:

Violet Arre

African Leadership Program Coordinator

Email or telephone 08 9345 5755.


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