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Connect October 2016

Last updated: 19/12/2016 9:17 PM
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From the Director General

Jennifer MathewsDirector General, Jennifer Mathews

Once again, much has been happening across the local government and community sectors in Western Australia.

Last month the Premier appointed the Hon Paul Miles, MLA for Wanneroo, as Minister for Local Government; Community Services; Seniors and Volunteering; Youth.

Mr Miles has a long-standing interest and practical experience in community service and local government. The Department looks forward to working with the Minister across his portfolios.

Earlier this month, the Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC) hosted a group of young people from Hong Kong, as part of the State Government’s International Youth Exchange.

This exciting program provides delegates with the opportunity to develop a real understanding of different cultures and develop their career networks. Seven young people from Western Australia, including two from Broome, will travel to Hong Kong in February on the return trip.

If you are a country local government employee then I encourage you to take part in one of the upcoming free DLGC workshops. 

The workshops on Community Development for Local Government Leaders are not just for community development officers. 

All country local government employees and elected members will benefit from them, finding out how working effectively with the community sector improves service delivery. 

Two-day workshops are planned for Mandurah in November and Karratha in December, with more to follow.

DLGC has also commenced a series of Youth Development Program workshops. These are an excellent opportunity for local government employees under 30 years of age to plan their careers and build skills in leadership and community engagement.

Both programs are supported by Royalties for Regions’ Country Local Government Fund. They are the result of work undertaken by the Community Development Roundtable, which facilitates stronger partnerships between State and local government and the community sector in WA. 

Another important initiative for DLGC is the Centre for Parenting Excellence, due to open on 23 November. The centre will provide facilitation and coordination parenting services delivered by community sector organisations.

It will promote quality and ensure that programs are well targeted to areas of greatest need.

DLGC’s 2015-16 Annual Report was tabled in State Parliament on 22 September. It records the department’s achievements over the past 12 months, showcasing the range of programs delivered to WA’s local governments, community sector organisations and individuals. The report can be found here.

Finally a reminder that, as part of the State Government’s commitment to responsible pet ownership, all cats and dogs must be registered with their local government. Registrations expire on 31 October each year, unless the animals have lifetime or multi-year registrations. Local governments are encouraged to disseminate information about this expiry date to their communities.

I hope you enjoy this edition of connect, and take the opportunity to share the information in this newsletter with your colleagues and communities of interest.

Director General
Jennifer Mathews

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Taste of Asia

Hong Kong Youth Exchange PerthHong Kong Youth Exchange Students with WA delegates

Seven young people will travel to Hong Kong in February 2017 to represent Western Australia, as part of a State Government international youth exchange program.

Some members of the group of 18-24 year olds met with their counterparts earlier this month, when the delegates from Hong Kong arrived in Perth for a week-long series of events.

Activities got underway with a video presentation by the Hong Kong delegates, along with a paper cutting and tai chi demonstration.

During the week, Hong Kong delegates took part in a forum with key youth agencies, undertook a tour of Parliament House and saw a presentation from participants in this year’s Youth Parliament.  

In WA the youth exchange program is delivered in partnership by the Department of Local Government and Communities and the Youth Affairs Council of WA.  It is supported by the Office of Multicultural Interests, and it is anticipated that the program will build ties between Western Australia and Hong Kong.

The exchange provides both sets of young people with an exciting opportunity to develop an understanding of a different culture, create international networks and build self-confidence.

It will also enable them to create a base for future education and career goals.

The WA delegates selected to participate include Samuel Kitchen from Crawley (24); Sara Shengeb from Wellard (22); Brittany Smeed from Kondinin (19); David Castelanelli from Dianella (18); Rapheal Parvin from Jane Brook (24); and Emma-Lee Foy (21) and Tehani Savu (23) both from Broome.

Both sets of delegates were chosen based on their past achievements and leadership abilities.  

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Seniors finalists

Mary Cowley, WA Seniors Awards Finalist 2016 WA Seniors Award finalist Mariette Cowley

The finalists in this year’s WA Seniors Awards have been announced.  They include Mariette Cowley, an Aboriginal elder who works to improve health, social and justice conditions for Aboriginal people.

Also named is specialist art teacher Lynne Tognolini, who on retirement joined a special project to assist children in South Africa who have been affected by HIV and AIDS.

The WA Seniors Awards recognise the important contributions of seniors to the community, particularly those who challenge the stereotype of seniors, as well as organisations that work to improve the lives of older West Australians.

The winners across six categories will be announced at an award ceremony at Crown Perth on Sunday 6 November 2016.

Categories include: Group or Organisation Award; Age Friendly Community Award for a Local Government; Business Award; Arts and Culture Award and the Community Award.

The Age Friendly Community Award acknowledges a local government that has delivered an innovative service for older people, ensuring they are valued members of the community.  It is sponsored by the Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC). 

Positive portrayal of seniors in the media is acknowledged with the Deborah Kirwan Media Award.  

The WA Seniors Awards are presented by Council on the Ageing WA in partnership with DLGC. The sponsors are Juniper, Lotterywest, Have a Go News, 6PR, the Flight Centre and Crown Perth.

See the WA Seniors Awards for the full list of finalists. 

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Local government training

Broome CLGF workshop participantsYouth Development program participants: Paige McMillan, Nicole Peet, Taryn Dyer

Country local government employees are invited to attend a free two-day workshop to help shape their communities.

The workshops will be delivered at various locations throughout regional Western Australia and will feature innovative teaching methods and practical activities to address four key modules. Participants will:

  • learn how partnerships between local governments and community sector organisations can improve service delivery
  • identify methods for effective community engagement and collective impact
  • hear from experts on best practice and innovation
  • identify opportunities to use facilities better to improve local government efficiency.

Councillors and local government managers are welcome to attend. As places are limited, it is recommended to book early to avoid disappointment.

The workshops are presented by the Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC) through the Royalties for Regions Country Local Government Fund (CLGF). 

The interactive workshops will be delivered by Creating Communities Australia and are part of a broader capacity building program administered by DLGC. Upcoming workshops include:

28–29 November 2016
Register at:

5–6 December 2016
Register at:

Additional workshop dates and locations will be announced shortly.

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STEM in the pipeline

Women in STEM RoundtableAttendees at the Women in STEM Roundtable at Government House

Attracting and retaining women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers was the focus of a roundtable at Government House earlier this month.

Twenty professionals came together at the invitation of Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC Governor of Western Australia for the Women in STEM Roundtable on 11 October.  Among the fields represented were engineering and technology, mining, oil and gas, construction, astronomy, mathematics, health sciences and robotics.

The community and government sectors, business and higher education were also represented, with the aim on all sides to identify opportunities for collaboration.

Discussion focused on the spectrum of women’s experiences in STEM careers, including ‘the empty pipe’ - young women choosing not to pursue STEM careers - to the ‘leaky pipe’ - women leaving STEM careers.

Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC) Director General Jennifer Mathews spoke about DLGC’s work to improve girls’ and women’s participation in STEM careers and leadership roles. This included the collaborative framework and strategies developed at the first Women’s Consultative Forum last year, funding scholarships for women and the ‘techtrails’ program.

Also discussed was DLGC’s online ‘Pledge’ which encourages organisations and individuals to openly support increased opportunities for women in STEM fields and trades. 

The Women in STEM Roundtable was organised by Women in Technology WA (WiTWA), with funding from DLGC.

Professor Lyn Beazley, neuroscientist and WA’s former Australian of the Year chaired the discussion along with the Women in Technology WA’s Marjolein Towler. The group agreed to continue to collaborate to drive initiatives that could achieve real change in WA. 

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Volunteer feedback

WA Volunteer Service AwardsMr Kelvin McKenzie JP has served RAJWA and Western Australia for 46 years as sitting Justice of the Peace

Feedback is being sought by the Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC) to inform the development of the State Government's new volunteering strategy.

The strategy will guide the community towards better recognition of and support for volunteers in Western Australia.

A volunteering strategy discussion paper has been developed that identifies possible areas of focus and highlights contemporary volunteer trends.

DLGC welcomes comments from volunteers, volunteer-involving organisations, Volunteer Resource Centres, Local Government Volunteering Coordinators and anyone else with an interest in volunteering. 

A feedback session is being held on 27 October 2016, from 2.00pm - 5.00pm Royal Park Hall on 180 Charles Street, West Perth. Afternoon tea is provided. Registrations can be made online and RSVPs are required by 25 October 2016.

Regional sessions are taking place in Manjimup on Thursday 3 November (RSVP closes on 27 October) and Northam Tuesday 15 November (RSVP closes 7 November). To book or for more information contact Jo Brooker via email or telephone (08) 6551 8320.

Feedback can also be provided by completing an online survey or downloading a feedback form and returning it to DLGC by close of business on 28 October 2016 or emailing

DLGC recognised more than 50 long serving volunteers at the WA Volunteer Service Awards on 28 September 2016.

The State Government program recognises West Australian volunteers who have provided 25 or more and 50 or more years of service to one organisation.

Nominations for the awards are ongoing and can be submitted at any time throughout the year. See the WA Volunteer Service Awards page. Volunteers who have dedicated 50 or more years will be recognised at a ceremony to be held on Thank a Volunteer Day on 5 December.

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Celebrating children

Children's Week

The Department of Local Government and Communities has funded regional community groups and local governments in Western Australia to host Children’s Week events.

Delivered in partnership with Meerilinga Young Children's Foundation the inaugural Children’s Week Grants program delivered $20,000 in grants, shared between 11 organisations.  

A further $3,000 in State Government grants was also provided to enable Meerilinga’s six centres in Perth to hold their own events, taking place during the 22-30 October celebrations. 

Funded events for the week include a superhero themed community fun day, a circus and dance workshop, a teddy bear’s picnic and a Hallowe’en disco.

Children’s Week is an opportunity for WA’s communities to engage in a variety of activities that facilitate, support and encourage children and their families to play, learn and grow together. For more information visit the Children’s Week website.

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Centenarian’s first

Corrie Toneman, first WA Seniors Card CentenarianWA Seniors Card Centenarian Corrie Toneman and family

A Menora resident became the first recipient of the new WA Seniors Card centenarian lapel pin in recognition of her 100th birthday, on 6 October.

Corrie Toneman, who moved to Perth from the Netherlands in 1953, was presented with the pin by Seniors and Volunteering Minister Paul Miles surrounded by her family.

She lived in her own home until the age of 98.  She now lives at a Juniper residential care facility, and has four children, 10 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

Corrie enjoys crocheting blankets and has made several donations of her blankets to local charities, which she continues to do today.  There are more than 370,000 Seniors Card holders in WA, who are eligible for a range of State Government concessions and business discounts.

About 540 WA Seniors Card holders are aged 100 years or older, with more than 200 reaching their milestone birthday this year.  

All WA Seniors Card holders turning 100 will now receive the WA Seniors Card commemorative centenarian pin as a token of appreciation from the State Government for their contribution to WA communities.

For more information visit the WA Seniors Card website.

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Swiss role model

Jasmin Porter, 2016 WA Cultural Diversity Award winnerJasmin Porter has been presented with the WA Cultural Diversity Training Award for 2016

A Moora resident with a passion for educating children to benefit their wellbeing, learning and development, has been presented with the 2016 WA Cultural Diversity Training Award.

Jasmin Porter, originally from Switzerland, has worked as a speech pathologist, and an early childhood educator. She was among 12 winners of individual and organisation categories at the awards, chosen from a competitive field of 42 statewide finalists.

Presented by the Department of Training and Workforce Development, the WA Training Awards provides an opportunity to celebrate the success stories of individuals as role models for others. It also provides the chance to recognise important contributions to the vocational education and training sector.

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Carers Week

Carers Week

National Carers Week 2016 (16 – 22 October) events took place around WA to raise awareness and support for carers.

It is estimated that there are 320,000 carers in WA, providing unpaid personal care, support and assistance to a person who needs help with daily life. 

Carers WA hosted a Carers Week brunch at Frasers Function Centre on Wednesday 19 October, sponsored by the Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC).

The event brought together a range of stakeholders including government, community organisations, support groups, carers, and family members to acknowledge and recognise the vital role carers play.

A short film, ‘Time to Care’, from the three part series ‘On Richard’s Side’ was screened at the brunch.  The film features the story of a young man with disability, and the journey he and his family make from birth through to transition to residential care.

The State Government recognises the significant role of carers, investing $850,000 in carer support services this financial year. This funding goes towards supporting the work of the carers sector and building better opportunities for carers.

DLGC is working with Carers WA and other agencies to implement the WA Carers Strategy.

The strategy, launched in April this year, is a first for Western Australia. It acts as a guide for government agencies, the community sector and private organisations, with clear strategies and actions they can follow to ensure carers receive the recognition and support they deserve.

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Successful women connect

DLGC women's networking sundownerAlex Atkins, Deloitte; Jennifer Mathews, DG; Yvonne Fahey, Alcoa; Megan Williams, Ignition scholarship recipient (speaker); Danelle Cross, Curtin Centre for Entrepreneurship

More than 40 women who have received scholarships from the Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC) attended a networking sundowner in the library at Parliament House on 22 September.

The event provided an opportunity for the recipients to network with the Deputy Premier and Minister for Women's Interests, Liza Harvey, Members of Parliament and others in Perth's business community.

DLGC offers a number of scholarships each year to encourage women who aspire to success in business, or to provide mentoring support for women in the mining industry.

In the past 12 months, 10 women have secured scholarships from DLGC attend the Curtin Growth Ignition program, and three have secured Women in Mining WA mentoring scholarships.

Attendees at the sundowner heard from recipient Megan Williams who completed the Curtin Growth Ignition program, a course that helps aspiring entrepreneurs develop their business ideas.

Since 2013, DLGC has provided 62 scholarships for women. A LinkedIn group has recently been established for the group of recipients to network, share ideas, news and events and other relevant industry information.

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CaLD dementia project

CaLD dementia project

In a Western Australian first, a dementia project has been designed to benefit diverse communities.

The Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) Dementia Friendly Project, funded by the Office of Multicultural Interests, aims to raise awareness and understanding of dementia among CaLD communities.

Developed by Alzheimer’s Australia WA, the project will involve providing appropriate information and working with service providers for CaLD communities to develop knowledge and skills of support staff and their carers.

Some communities may incorrectly label dementia as ‘mental illness’ which is highly stigmatised and then becomes taboo. Stigma may then mean families are isolated within their cultural group.

Information about the CaLD Dementia Friendly Project will be provided in more than 32 languages and there will be teams working directly with CaLD communities to increase awareness and understanding.

For a copy of the language resources available to support a person living with dementia, their communities, carers, friends and family visit the Alzheimer's Australia website.

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