Media releases

US bestselling author Annabel Smith will next week host two free writing workshops designed to bring out the best in would-be local authors.

Smith – the author of Whiskey Charlie Foxtrot, digital interactive novel and app The Ark, and A New Map of the Universe – will host workshops at Margaret River Library and Lesser Hall, adjacent to Augusta Library, on 5 and 6 November respectively.

Shire Coordinator Library Operations Kerry Darnell said the workshops provided an excellent opportunity for locals of all writing abilities to learn from a highly-accomplished author.

“These workshops are designed for everyone and are a great way for people to establish effective writing habits, build their writing ‘toolkit’, and break free of negative thought-patterns,” she said.

“Annabel is an accomplished and passionate author with a lot of experience and wisdom to share, so I’d encourage anyone looking to get motivated or be inspired to RSVP now.”

Smith holds a PhD in writing from Edith Cowan University, had a US bestseller with her book Whiskey Charlie Foxtrot, and was shortlisted for the WA Premier's Book award with A New Map of the Universe.

She has also been chair and panellist at many national and international writers’ festivals, is an Australia Council Creative Australia Fellow, teaches creative writing for the Australian Writers Centre, and regularly runs workshops at libraries and writers’ centres.

Ms Darnell said the Margaret River session (5 November, 1-4pm) would explore “how to read like a writer” and the Augusta sessions (6 November, 9.30am-12.30pm) would focus on “overcoming self-doubt and procrastination”.

“In Margaret River, Annabel will be helping people develop their expertise and confidence by reading extracts and analysing techniques from some of the world’s best writers, while Augusta will explore how to build confidence and tools for overcoming self-limiting beliefs,” she said.

Both sessions are free, open to people of all writing abilities, and will include light refreshments.

RSVP to or 9780 5600 by 5 November.

Further queries can be directed to

High-resolution image available for download here.


The Shire of Augusta Margaret River is pleased to announce the most recent community-based organisations to receive funding under its Easy Grants initiative, including the Witchcliffe Vintage Fair.

Witchcliffe Vintage Fair is an annual, community-based event which brings locals and visitors alike flocking to the town in search of retro, vintage and antique treasures. This year’s event will be held in the Witchcliffe Hall from 9am to 2pm on Saturday 7 November 2020.

The event, which has been running since 2012, not only showcases local goods and vintage finds but also has delicious food and raises funds for local and much-loved cancer support group River Angels.

Event organiser Jo Bregazzi said the Shire’s Easy Grant funds would assist with the delivery of the much-loved event. “These funds will greatly help us to cover some of the general running costs of the event including promotion” she said. “The best part about having this grant to help cover costs is that there will be more proceeds for River Angels as a result”.

Ms Bregazzi said she was grateful to have the support of the Shire and the community at large and she hoped to see some familiar faces there on the day as well as welcoming newcomers who may not have experienced the joyful fair before.

Recipients in the latest round of Easy Grants funding included Witchcliffe Vintage Fair for the delivery of their event ($1,991), Brookfield Connect Inc for the recently held Brookfield Spring Garden Market ($554), Headspace Margaret River to support the delivery of the Youth With HeART project ($470), AMR 2 Oceans Poultry Club Inc for the purchase of large poultry cages ($1,000) and St Vincent de Paul Society WA Inc for the purchase of shelves for the community food pantry ($745).

The Shire’s Easy Grants of up to $2,000 support the delivery of projects and events that foster community resilience, connection and wellbeing. To see the full list of Easy Grants recipients, please visit

Those interested in holding a stall at the Witchcliffe Vintage Fair can contact Event organiser Jo Bregazzi by emailing

Organisers of the Witchcliffe Vintage Fair hope to see some familiar faces on the day as well as welcoming newcomers who may not have experienced the joyful fair before.

A new distributed energy battery built by Tesla was turned on yesterday, improving the quality and security of energy distribution across the local area.

The battery was installed behind the Margaret River Recreation Centre several months ago as part of a State-wide community battery trial being run by Western Power over five years.

It marks the first time Tesla’s Opticaster software has been applied in Australia, which was just recently configured for Australian conditions.

The technology will allow energy to be distributed across Shire sporting facilities, reducing costs and reliance for the high-demand services in peak times.

Sustainability Planning Officer Katie Biggs said shifting grid usage to off-peak times would significantly reduce the Shire’s annual energy bills and carbon footprint.

“The battery and intelligent software enables power to be stored during off-peak times and will discharge when there is heavier usage of the local network’s power,” she said.

“By increasing grid stabilisation, more residents will be able to utilise solar technology on the local network.

“This is a very exciting step in terms of sustainability and shifting to renewable energy sources.”

Ms Biggs said the battery also served educational purposes, allowing the community to see how the technology could be implemented locally with minimal risk, potentially paving the way for further installations.

“We have the opportunity to trial the technology and learn about it, with Western Power sharing the costs and carrying most of the risk,” Ms Biggs said.

“The ability to store energy could allow the Shire to install additional solar panels at the site and opens doors for us to investigate additional renewable energy technologies on a wider platform.”

Distributed energy batteries have been popping up throughout WA as part of the Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap (DER Roadmap).

The DER Roadmap, released in April, is an effort to clear a path toward more successful integration of resources like energy storage. 

Full details of the DER Roadmap are available here:

If you would like further information about how this project will benefit the Augusta Margaret River community please contact Sustainability Planning Officer Katie Biggs on (08) 9780 5255 or

Picture: Councillor Pauline McLeod, Councillor Julia Meldrum and Sustainability Planning Officer Katie Biggs.

High resolution image available for download here.

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River is reviewing its long-term strategic focus and calling for a community-wide conversation.

By Law the Shire is required to conduct a major review of its Strategic Community Plan every four years. This was last completed in 2016 with “Your Vision 2036”.
This time around the review coincides with the Shire’s consultation on the redrafted Local Planning Strategy, which sets out how the Shire intends to manage the many challenges associated with land use and population change over a 15 year period.
The Shire will focus its consultation approach at the townsite level, enabling community members to share their aspirations for the place they live.

Shire CEO Stephanie Addison-Brown said the community’s input was critical to ensure the Shire could adequately adapt and respond to what would be needed heading into the future.
“The Strategic Community Plan is our principal document which details how we lead the local government area, including how we allocate ratepayer funding and how we develop local services,” she said.
“Feedback is sought to shape our future across social, economic and environmental themes, and we will be doing this across all townsites and places in our Shire.
“We’ll be holding a series of workshops in different townsites to better understand what our communities want, recognising aspirations may be different for the Karridale community compared to Prevelly or Cowaramup for example.”
“Feedback will directly shape the Strategic Community Plan 2040 and the reviewed draft Local Planning Strategy.
“We ask for community members, residents and visitors to please take some time to share your views: what  do you love about the Shire, and what you want to see improved or enhanced.”
The re-drafted Strategic Community Plan 2040 is expected to be finalised and presented back to the community in June 2021.
For more information, contact Strategic Community and Corporate Planner Stacey Hutt at
Choose your way to give feedback:
In Person
RSVP to a workshop by emailing  

  • Margaret River - 5.30pm to 9pm, Monday 9 November 2020 at the Margaret River HEART
  • Witchcliffe - 5.30pm to 9pm, Tuesday 10 November 2020 at the Witchcliffe Hall
  • Prevelly and Gnarabup, 5.30pm to 9pm, Thursday 12 November 2020 at the White Elephant Cafe
  • Cowaramup, Gracetown and surrounds - 5.30pm to 9pm, Friday 13 November 2020 at the Cowaramup Hall
  • Karridale, Kudardup and surrounds, 5.30pm to 9pm, Thursday 26 November 2020 at the Karridale Tavern
  • Augusta and surrounds, 5.30pm to 9pm, Friday 27 November 2020 at the Augusta Hotel

Pop by to get more information and to provide your feedback:

  • Margaret River Main Street Pop-Up 8am to 1pm, Sunday 8 November 2020
  • Augusta IGA Pop-Up 8am to 1pm, Saturday 28 November 2020
  • Cowaramup Hall Carpark Pop-Up 8am to 1pm, Saturday 14 November 2020

Place boards
Have your say via a place bulletin board at the Margaret River or Augusta Shire Office and Library, Recreation Centre, with other locations throughout the Shire.
Have your say on the draft Local Planning Scheme before 20 December 2020 at: 
Have your say to inform the Strategic Community Plan before 28 February 2021 at:

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River is calling for nominations for Volunteer of the Year and Youth Volunteer of the Year awards.

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River’s Volunteer of the Year awards seek to recognise the dynamic and vital role that volunteers have in enriching the community across a diverse array of areas spanning the arts, community events, wildlife care, emergency services, sport, environmental causes and so much more.

Community Development Officer Kim Rosenfeld said that the awards play a significant role in recognising the invaluable contributions volunteers make to our community.

“Many people work tirelessly and quietly behind the scenes making a real difference to people’s lives in our community” she said.

“This is a chance to recognise and celebrate their achievements. I encourage community members to nominate a deserving friend or colleague who has generously donated their time and passion for the greater good of the community,” she said.

Nomination forms, which include full details and eligibility criteria, are available via the ‘Volunteering’ page on the Shire’s website at and from the Shire of Augusta Margaret River Libraries and the Civic Administration Centre.

Nominations close 4pm on Friday 6 November 2020. The winners will be announced as part of International Volunteer Day celebrations to be held on Thursday 10 December 2020 from 6pm to 8pm at the Margaret River HEART.

For further information about Volunteer of the Year nominations or the event, please contact Community Development Officer Kim Rosenfeld on (08) 9780 5233 or email

Hosting this celebration is an initiative of the Shire of Augusta Margaret River, as recognised in the Community Strategic Plan 2036 aim of promoting welcoming, inclusive and healthy communities through supporting and valuing volunteers and community groups across the region.

Image: A volunteer and her little helper at the Margaret River community garden. Credit: Russell Ord. 

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Postal Address

PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285

Margaret River

41 Wallcliffe Road
Monday to Friday
Ph 08 9780 5255
Fax 08 9757 2512


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