Media releases

Residents are invited to have their say on a proposal to give a portion of land between Gracetown and Burnside the namesake of local Aboriginal hero, Samuel (Yebble) Isaacs.

The proposal has been put forward by Undalup Association with support from Dr Robert Isaacs AM OAM JP PhD (Hon) and would see the approximately 2,700ha portion of land renamed Yebble – the name given to Mr Isaacs by his Aboriginal mother.

“Submissions on this proposal are open until 12 February 2021 and will be tabled for a Council decision around March,” Shire of Augusta Margaret River CEO Stephanie Addison-Brown said.

“If successful, a recommendation for approval will be made to the Minister for Lands, who is responsible for excising the portion of land from the existing localities of Gracetown and Burnside."

The proposal aims to honour Mr Isaacs, who famously helped rescue 54 passengers from a shipwreck on 1 December 1876.

After seeing the stranded vessel in Calgardup Bay, he rushed 20kms on horseback to Wallcliffe House, recruited 16-year-old Grace Bussell, and spent the next four hours bringing passengers to shore.

For their efforts, Ms Bussell received a Silver Medal and gold watch from the Royal Humane Society, another gold watch from the British Board of Trade, and the towns Gracetown and Lake Grace went on to be named after her.

In contrast, Mr Isaacs received a Bronze Medal from the Royal Humane Society and a parcel of land near the Margaret River.

“The proposed locality of Yebble is not far from the land Mr Isaacs was gifted in 1887,” Ms Addison-Brown said.

“It’s on the north side of Margaret River and also includes the Ellensbrook Homestead and Meekadarribee Falls, which are both of historical and cultural significance to the local Noongar people.”

The plans are available online at or at the Shire Administration buildings and libraries, or can be posted or emailed on request.

Feedback can be provided via YourSay at, by emailing or in writing to the Shire of Augusta Margaret River, PO Box 61 Margaret River WA 6285. 

The closing date for submissions is 4pm on Friday 12 February 2021.

For further information, please contact Shire technical officer Doug Sims on 9780 5287 or

Samuel (Yebble) Isaacs, photo courtesy of Greg Bussell. More images here.

Margaret River Recreation Centre will host a “virtual swim” next month as part of the South 32 Rottnest Channel Swim 2021.

The event will coincide with the annual open ocean swim at Rottnest on Saturday, 20 February and offers an alternative to swimmers unable to participate in-person on the day.

“We have a passionate cohort of swimmers in our region, but it’s not always possible for everyone to make it to these iconic events,” Shire of Augusta Margaret River Manager Sport and Community Recreation Dylan Brown said.

“That’s why we’re joining a raft of other pools across Australia and hosting a virtual swim with three different ways to participate.”

The main swims include the Individual/Team Event, geared towards serious swimmers and open to individuals, duos and teams of four, as well as the Novelty Event, which caters to social swimmers and is open to teams up to 10.

Or for swimmers unable or unwilling to swim the total length in one day, an alternative option is to accrue 20kms between now and 20 February.

The accrued swim is available to individual swimmers over the age of 14.

“Whether you can’t get to Rottnest that day, aren’t able to travel or don’t want to swim in the ocean, you can still join the fun by registering for the virtual swim,” Mr Brown said.

To register, go to or for more information, contact the Recreation Centre on 9780 5620 or email

Picture: Local swimmers, like Kate Cawse, are invited to take part in the virtual swim. High resolution image available to download here.


The Shire of Augusta Margaret River welcomed two trainees and an apprentice to its team this month continuing a long legacy of creating opportunities for young people in the community.

Shire CEO Stephanie Addison-Brown congratulated Shannon Walker, Darcy Burton and Nyvahna Busby on their new positions within the Community Development and Works departments, and said the Shire was pleased to help launch their burgeoning careers.

“We’re proud to continue contributing to the education and upskilling of young people by creating local opportunities for high school graduates,” she said.

"Shannon, Darcy and Nyvahna are welcome additions to the team, and I look forward to seeing their growth over the course of their employment.”

Shannon joins the Shire as Trainee Community Development Officer, succeeding previous trainee and fellow Margaret River Senior High School Councillor Hope Sortras.

Shannon said she hoped the year-long traineeship would expose her to new experiences while helping determine her education goals for the future.

“I look forward to learning new skills and working with the community,” she said.

Darcy joins the Works department as Amenity Gardener Trainee and plans to use the year-long opportunity as a launchpad to continue working in the field.

“It’s a good chance to learn new skills while staying local and being involved in the community,” he said.

Fellow Works employee, Nyvahna Busby, joins the team as Apprentice Mechanic.

His position will take four-years to complete and will culminate in a trade certification.

“I’ve always been interested in heavy diesel mechanics and spent a year working at Margaret River Motors,” he said.

“So when (Shire employees) Brad and Tyson came to the school and spoke about the position, I jumped at the opportunity.”

For more information, contact

Pictures: Shannon Walker and Hope Sortras, Darcy Burton, Nyvahna Busby. High resolution images here.

The Cocoon Gallery at Margaret River Library is now exhibiting the latest works of emerging artist Rudy Selmes.

The exhibition, titled ‘1+1’, is on display from 8 January to 27 February and showcases the artist’s works, which merge his love of art and skateboarding.

The talented artist, who is just fourteen years old, said he creates art on skateboards using posca pens and spray paint and enjoys seeing the results of merging his two passions.

“I hope anyone who loves skateboarding and art comes to the Cocoon Gallery to check it out”,” he said.

“I also enjoy drawing, screen printing, photography and audio-visual editing and hopefully this will be the start of something even bigger."

Rudy’s skills have been highly commended by his art teachers in and out of school and his drawing was awarded the ‘Best Drawing in Show’ at the Margaret River Agricultural Show in 2017.

The young artist continues learning about art and design with his mentor Stu McMillan and hopes to build on his skills to make a living from design, art and skateboarding.

1+1 by Rudy Selmes is on display from 8 January to 27 February at the Cocoon Gallery for Emerging Artists and will be officially launched at 5.30pm on Thursday 14 January 2021, with the community invited to attend.

The Cocoon Gallery is the library’s exhibition space and is used to showcase emerging artists during library opening hours.

To RSVP to the 1+1 launch event or to find out more about Rudy Selmes’ artwork, please contact

Image: Artist Rudy Selmes pictured at the Cocoon Gallery for Emerging Artists at the Margaret River Library, where his exhibition '1+1' is currently on display. High resolution image here

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River is inviting everyone to Margaret River’s town centre later this month for a free roundabout-to-roundabout event celebrating the completion of the Main Street Makeover.
The event is taking place Friday 29 January 2021 from 3-9pm, and will include live music, alfresco dining, late-night trading, roving entertainment, kids’ activities, art activations and more.
Shire President Ian Earl said the event was to mark the completion of the much-needed Main Street Makeover while bringing everyone together in a celebration of all things local.
“We’re not only proud of the extensive upgrades that have taken place, but we’re proud of how the community came together and showed patience and support while these necessary works were taking place,” he said.
“You’ll find some of the best local food, drink and entertainment offerings in a street-wide event aimed at celebrating the community and boosting the local economy.”
Venues such as Morries, Settlers Tavern, Elkamo and Margaret River Tuckshop will be extending services onto the footpath allowing for alfresco dining and serving street-style meals designed for eating and wandering.
The event will also feature an impressive line-up of local musicians to keep the party pumping into the early evening, other food venues featuring food and drink specials, and late-night trading to 7pm.
The Main Street’s musical line-up will include Blackwood Morris, Beeva Feeva, and more.
“We’ve engaged highly-experienced event organisers, Ahoy Management, who have a number of high-calibre events under their belt to run this event,” Mr Earl said.
“Our intention is to make this a fun, family-friendly event that celebrates all things local while providing a big economic boon for local businesses.”
Several zones along the street will come alive with different entertainment.
Undalup Association will be running a number of children’s workshops in the Urban Bean carpark next to the cockatoo mural, including making wooden boomerangs and fabric frisbees.
The Fearn Avenue Festival Precinct will host the Youth Chillout Zone, with live music and DJ’s and other activities as well as ample comfortable seating.
Two more stage areas on the Main Street will feature live music from the likes of Blackwood Morris, Beeva Feeva, Salt Tree and Bunnyjuice.
Reuther Park will be a great place to settle in and enjoy food from nearby Main Street venues or pizza from Salento Catering Van (owned by Pizzica) while listening to the tunes of Doghouse Collective, and Burke and Wise.
“Last year put a lot of people to the test, but we want to kick off 2021 with a bang and hopefully get the year off to a good start,” Mr Earl said.
“So mark 29 January in your calendar and join us for this great event."
Margaret River’s Main Street Makeover was funded by the State Government of Western Australia and the Shire of Augusta Margaret River.
The event will be officially opened by the Hon. Alannah Mac Tiernan, Minister for Regional Development.

South West Development Commission Chief Executive Officer Mellisa Teede said the event marked an exciting new stage for Margaret River.

“The upgraded street and new infrastructure provides a state-of-the-art precinct that furthers the town’s reputation as a world-class tourism industry,” Ms Teede said.

“It has been great seeing local contractors engaged in this project, supporting local jobs”.
The street will be closed to vehicles from 11am – 11pm on 29 January 2021, and no parking in bays from 6am on the day to allow for event setup and pack down. Attendees are encouraged to carpool to the event where possible. Even better, walk or ride to town if you live nearby.
For further information about the event visit the Margs Street Party event page on Facebook.
If you are a Main Street business wanting to get involved contact

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