Media releases

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River invites locals to celebrate the diverse heritage of Western Australians as part of Harmony Week 2021, with several events happening in the community including a free moving screening.
Harmony Week runs from 15–21 March every year and encourages people to experience, explore and appreciate WA’s wealth of cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic diversity.
On Monday 15 March 2021 from 11.30am to 1pm, the Shire of Augusta Margaret River is showing a special screening of the documentary Inventing Tomorrow in recognition of Harmony Week 2021.
The free screening at the Margaret River HEART, follows the true story of six young scientists from Indonesia, Hawaii, India and Mexico as they tackle some of the most complex environmental issues facing humanity today – right in their own backyards.
Coordinator Community Planning and Development Jason Cleary said the free movie screening provided a relaxed way for people to acknowledge and celebrate Harmony Week.
“Inventing Tomorrow is a great documentary and a brilliant way to reflect on the many social, cultural and economic benefits of diversity,” he said.
“I encourage the community to book a free ticket to come along to the movie and to acknowledge Harmony Week by celebrating diversity at a local level.”
Bookings are essential for the free screening of Inventing Tomorrow and can be made by calling the Margaret River HEART on 08 9780 5294 or online at
If you’re more of a foodie than a movie-goer, the Margaret River ‘World Food’ Night Market will also provide a great opportunity to celebrate Harmony Week, featuring foods from around the world on Friday 19 March from 5.30pm to 8.30pm at the Margaret River HEART sound shell.
For those keen to carry on their Harmony Week celebrations, Intercultural Action Group’s Building Bridges Intercultural Cooking Class will be held on Monday 22 March from 10.00am to 1pm at the Margaret River HEART. The free cooking class is part of a series of events run by the local group, which was funded through a Shire Community Development and Events Grant. At this class Leonardo Cerda will be providing a hands-on lesson on how to create delicious Venezuelan food such as Arepas con queso, Cachapas de jojoto and Caraotas Negras. For bookings, contact Yen Hawkes @ 0458 945 221 or email [email protected] by Friday, 19 March.
The Shire of Augusta Margaret River acknowledges that we are on Wadandi and Pibelmen Country and pays respects to elders past and present.

Vehicles can expect to drive through the new Festival Precinct, with a tentative date of Monday 15 March set for the one-way road to open.

Access through the one-way street from Bussell Highway into Fearn Avenue was temporarily deferred until retractable bollards arrived, which were delayed due to global supply chain issues.

A speed limit of 10 kilometres an hour will apply through the area.

Shire Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Addison-Brown said the Festival Precinct was designed as a shared use space as part of the Margaret River Main Street Makeover.

“Pedestrians have been able to enjoy exclusive use of this space on account of the delay in retractable bollards arriving," she said.

“Now the bollards have been installed, vehicles will be allowed to drive through as originally intended and the area can be temporarily closed for special events."

Ms Addison-Brown acknowledged calls by some members of the community to permanently keep the space pedestrian use only and said traffic modelling was needed to understand impacts of any potential future change.

 “We know a number of people would like the Shire to keep this area for pedestrians only after having experienced the space free of cars," she said.

“However, this view is not shared by all segments of the community, especially businesses in the direct vicinity who have been impacted by lack of vehicle and delivery access.

“Traffic modelling is required to understand the impacts of a permanent closure including the potential for congestion at other intersections and to enable planning for future intersection treatments.

“An informed decision can then be made around any potential changes.

“We ask drivers to keep to the speed limit, and for people to give way to cars in this area as the town gets used to the one-way street."

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River is set to sponsor a South West-based PhD student to investigate climate change responses and help the Shire maintain its position as a climate leader, with a scholarship opportunity via Edith Cowan University (ECU) now open.

Late last year, the Augusta Margaret River Shire Council voted to appoint a PhD student from ECU over three-years to research and report on opportunities for mainstreaming responses to climate change.
The project outcome is to determine changes that need to be made throughout the local government organisation in order to transition to a zero-carbon future and adapt to a changing climate.
ECU is now seeking Expressions of Interest for the position, with applications set to close on 15 March 2021.

Manager Planning and Development Services Matt Cuthbert said the student would build on research already undertaken in other areas and would explore ways to implement climate action into day-to-day Shire activities.

“The Shire is dedicated to leading the charge on climate change and this will provide a great opportunity for a local PhD student to examine the issues and opportunities present in our region,” he said.

The move will help the Shire fulfil one of the Corporate Business Plan 2020-24’s KPIs, which is to “maintain the Shire as a leader in climate change mitigation and adaptation improving our scores across the ten WA Local Government Area climate excellence categories”.

Mr Cuthbert said to achieve this goal, it would require an examination of all local government areas including waste, vehicle fleets, civic buildings, procurement, investment and more.

"The PhD student will be working on this alongside Shire staff allowing for two-way communication, but with the added benefit of being able to provide independent research and reports," he said.

"This avenue makes for a cost-effective alternative to appointing a full-time employee or outsourcing the work, while also providing great opportunity for a local student."
For more details about the project and to apply visit

For media queries, please contact [email protected] or call 9780 5239.

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River and Mindful Margaret River have this week commenced the search for a Project Lead as part of their innovative partnership.
Mindful Margaret River is an association of mental health professionals, government agencies, community representatives and the Shire of Augusta Margaret River, working together to promote mental health and wellbeing in the Shire.
The not-for-profit group, in association with the Shire, secured an impressive $176,000 of Lotterywest funding earlier this year to support the delivery of community-led initiatives that improve health and wellbeing in the Shire. As part of this, Mindful Margaret River are seeking a Project Implementation Officer (PIO) to take the lead in the delivery of its action plan.
Mindful Margaret River Chairperson Stuart Hicks said the organisation is hoping to find ‘someone special’ to take on the role.
“This is a unique opportunity for someone with a thorough understanding of the intricacies of mental health to really make a difference in our community,” he said.

“An ability to forge relationships with local health and mental health agencies and networks will be key, as well a proven track record in mental health community engagement and education.”   
Successful implementation of Mindful Margaret River’s action plan would see the group progress towards achieving its objectives to deliver a mental health awareness program, a Heath Hub for professionals and an ongoing community mental health collaborative that will include existing health practitioners as well as sporting and community groups, to support connection and increased resilience.
As part of the partnership between Mindful Margaret River and the Shire, the new incumbent will be employed by the Shire and based at the Shire’s offices alongside the Community Development Team but work exclusively for Mindful Margaret River’s Board of Management.

This innovative partnership model will support Mindful Margaret River’s focus on progressing its action plan supported by the Shire’s organisational human resource capacity.
Anyone with a tertiary qualification in social services or mental health, proven experience in community engagement and the drive to make a difference is encouraged to see the full position description on the Vacancies page at
For additional information about the Project Implementation Officer role, please contact Shire of Augusta Margaret River’s Coordinator Community Planning and Development Jason Cleary on 08 9780 5260.

Applications close at 10am on Monday 15 March 2021. 

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River’s new $1.1m grant funding package launches today Tuesday 2 March 2021.

The new package consists of a range of funding programs across the key areas of Community, Culture, Sustainable Economy, Environment and Sustainability, and Events as follows:

  • Community Development and Events Grants
  • Major Events Grants
  • Margaret River HEART Grants
  • Environmental Management Fund Grants
  • Community Organisation Operating Grants

Shire Corporate and Community Director James Shepherd said he was pleased to share the further good news that total budget allocation for external funding increased by $127,000 in 2021/22. 

“There has always been such competitive demand for funding support from Council and some great initiatives have missed out in the past,” he said.

“This budget boost will enable more money to be distributed to more applicants to make our region an even better place to live, work and play.

“The application process creates considerable efficiencies for staff, provides much more planning time for applicants and is timed to enable support for grants from the start of each financial year,” he said.

“I think previous applicants will find it a far more user-friendly system. 

“I am grateful for the significant time and effort both Shire staff and Councillors have put into developing this revised funding program which creates opportunities that the whole community will benefit from.”

Multi-year funding options are also available in several categories.

Council endorsed the provision of up to 5% of the annual rates for grant funding when they unanimously voted to adopt the Community, Economic, Environmental and Events Funding Policy at the 27 January 2021 Ordinary Meeting.

To find out more about the grants, or to apply, visit

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