Media releases

Local homeowners who are interested in making their homes more environmentally-friendly can ‘speed-date’ a sustainability expert at a special residential design event on Thursday 1 August  2019 at the Margaret River Library.
Event attendees can meet up to four sustainability experts for 10 minutes each, and use their ‘date’ time to ask questions about sustainable design, waste water treatment or solar power, get feedback on prospective plans, or seek inspiration for a future project with no obligation to see the expert again.
Participating sustainability experts include:

  • Tom Dowling – Dowling Architects
  • Paul McDonald - Matthews McDonald Architects
  • Michael Sorensen - Sorensen Architects
  • Paul O'Reilly – Archterra
  • Anthony Smith – Water Wally and Eco Wastewater Solutions
  • Steve Best – Low Carbon Energy Solutions

Sustainable design advocate and volunteer event organiser Susan Elton encouraged all prospective homeowners and renovators to attend the free event.
“There’s a perception that sustainable design is expensive and is really only ever applied for bigger budget homes,” she said.
“My hope is that this event shows people how small, simple changes can reduce the environmental footprint of the home, reduce running costs, reduce build cost and make for more comfortable living.
“We hope people who wouldn’t necessarily engage an architect pop in a have a quick conversation on their new home, renovation or future project.
“It will just put them in a position to consider advice about sustainability, design and functionality from industry professionals and hopefully adopt some of the recommended measures.”
‘Dating’ timeslots start from 6pm and bookings to be made at (link removed) 
‘Speed-dating’ an architect is the second of six monthly sustainability workshops to be held at the Margaret River Library, that focus on different ways we can each live a little lighter on this earth.
Other sessions topics include:

  • Make your own cleaning and beauty products
  • An introduction to beekeeping
  • What to grow, how to grow it, and how to preserve it
  • Christmas sorted – low impact style

This is a community initiative proudly supported by the Shire of Augusta Margaret River.
For further information please contact Susan Elton on

The Shire’s Library Service is pleased to announce that it has been successful in obtaining a second Be Connected: Building Digital Skills grant from the Federal Government.
The grant is administered by the Good Things Foundation, and aims to encourage over-50s to build on their digital skills.
A Shire spokesperson said the libraries have been offering free one-on-one digital tutoring for over-50s since January with the first program delivery grant.
“The program has been extraordinarily popular, resulting in a waiting list of people who are keen to increase their digital participation and waiting to access a tutor,” a Shire spokesperson said.
“This second grant allows us to continue to offer the program for another 6 months.
“We’re now working through the waiting list, and we continue to welcome requests from anybody over 50 who would like to participate.”
The grant requires that all learners complete at least 30 minutes of online learning using the Be Connected self-learning portal.
A tutor is allocated to help each learner to do this, and then a one-on-one session can be scheduled which is directed by the interests of the learner.
“It’s important to have some general digital literacy, but most people then have very specific areas of interest that they want to pursue,” the Shire spokesperson said.
“Some want to learn about social media, while others might be solely interested in exploring the functions of their mobile devices.
“By combining the initial structured lesson with an unstructured, learner-directed session to follow, we hope to meet the varied needs of our older community, and encourage greater digital inclusion.”
Sessions are available at both the Margaret River and Augusta Libraries, and can offer assistance with PCs, laptops, tablets and mobile devices.
Anybody who is interested in learning more is invited to contact the Margaret River Library on 9780 5600 or email

Nearly 200 local primary students will meet award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Frané Lessac on Wednesday 7 August 2019 as part of Children’s Book Week celebrations.
The meetings will take place at the Shire libraries in  Margaret River and Augusta with Frané to present to the students on a range of topics including where ideas come from, how authors do research, and the process of creating picture books.
Every year the Shire libraries participate in Children’s Book Week, during which Children’s Book of the Year awards are announced, by hosting author events for local school students to attend. Children’s Book Week celebrates all the fantastic children’s literature created in Australia, which includes author and illustrator Frané Lessac’s beautiful books.
Schools participating in the visits include Margaret River Primary School, St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, Rapids Landing Primary School and Augusta Primary School.
The ‘Meet the Author/Illustrator’ event is grant-funded by the Children’s Book Council of Australia (WA branch), Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Lotterywest and Healthway and the Go for 2 & 5 message.
More information about Frané Lessac’s work can be found at
Further details on Children’s Book Week and Book of the Year awards can be found at

Local community, volunteer and service-based organisations have until 4pm on Friday 30 August 2019 to apply for a 2019-20 Community Development Grant of up to $2000.
Requests can be made for projects or initiatives in the categories of community development; youth development; and community inclusion, with funding to be prioritised for applications that enable the Shire to be more a welcoming, inclusive and healthy place.
A Shire spokesperson said that the 2019 grants program has been expanded from previous years. This means that the Shire is able to support a larger number of community groups and organisations to deliver stronger outcomes for the community.
“The new categories of youth development and community inclusion enables the Shire to target some of its support to focus on areas such as youth support and access and inclusion,” they said.
“This year the grant funding cap has been increased from $1000 to $2000, meaning successful applications have the ability to broaden their project scope to benefit more people.”
Community groups and organisations are eligible to apply for funding, and are encouraged to contact the Shire for help or advice on the Shire’s application process.
In the event the proposal doesn’t meet Community Development Grant funding criteria the Shire may be able to assist in directing applicants to alternative funding opportunities.
For further information, or to schedule a meeting to discuss your project ideas and application please contact the Shire on 97805255 or email
Grant information and application forms are available on the Shire's website. 

New Shire CEO welcomed aboard

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River’s new Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Addison-Brown officially took over the leadership reins today, starting with a full schedule of project planning meetings, introductory meetings and briefings.
Ms Addison-Brown, who succeeds retired CEO Gary Evershed, comes to the Shire from the City of Bunbury where she served as the Director of Corporate and Community Services for seven years and the Director of Planning and Development for one year.
She brings with her a host of local government experience including managing ‘Smart Cities’ initiatives, Bunbury Wildlife Park, Bunbury City Library, Withers Library, Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre, Bunbury Regional Art Gallery, Bunbury Visitor Centre, and the South West Sports Centre.
Ms Addison-Brown said it was great to finally step into the leadership role after doing several months of handover since awarded the role back in April.
“It’s feels good to walk through the front door today and start meeting more of the staff, more of the community, and our local stakeholders and partners.
“There is a lot of appetite and enthusiasm within both the Shire and the local government area to positively progress key projects and organisational priorities.
“These include the Main Street redevelopment, the new HEART centre operations, environmental management projects, social equity projects and supporting Council’s circular economies objectives.
“I am excited to work with Council on bringing these major projects and important initiatives to fruition.
“I am looking forward to getting out into the community and meeting with, and working with, local businesses and residents.”
Shire President Pam Townshend welcomed Ms Addison-Brown to the helm on behalf Council and staff.
“We are very confident in Stephanie’s appointment and can see we will stand to gain great benefit from her knowledge and experience in both private and public enterprise,” she said.
“We welcome her aboard and feel she is a great fit for our organisation and the community in which we live and work.
“She has hit the ground running today and we move forward with great positivity.”
Ms Townshend thanked Dr Dale Putland for serving as the Acting CEO in the changeover period.
Dr Putland has returned to his substantive role at the Shire as Director of Sustainable Development.

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