Media releases

Margaret River is set to become the state’s third dementia-friendly town following selection by Alzheimers WA to participate in an 8-month long enablement and empowerment project.
Margaret River Lions and Margaret River Rotary have committed significant funding towards the project, last week confirming $15,000 each.
The Shire of Augusta Margaret River is support the project and hosted the first community consultation on 28 November 2018.
Shire President Pam Townshend said she looked forward to developing initiatives to help local people living with dementia to live active and meaningful lives.
“Dementia is the leading cause of death of women in Australia, and the second leading cause of death of all Australians,” she said.
“We need to embrace this project and ensure people living with dementia can feel safe and supported in their local community.”
The 8-month project, led by Alzheimers WA, will involve a local coordinator and working group. Aims for the project include:

  • Engage with people living with dementia to shape the community around their needs and aspirations;
  • Increase social participation and volunteering opportunities for people living with dementia;
  • Support local businesses to provide accessible services for people living with dementia. Including having staff who understand and know how to communicate effectively; and
  • Create environments that are enabling and easy to navigate.

Margaret River Lions Club President Dorothy Yeoman said both Rotary and Lions club members were proud to be associated with this initiative.
“The first two WA towns to become dementia-friendly, Manjimup and York, used a whole-of-town approach which resulted in some very positive changes,” she said.
“I feel really passionate about bringing this project to our community.”
This project is supported by the WA State Government through the WA Country Health Service.
For more information about this project or to get involved please contact Alzheimer’s WA Senior Project Officer Layla Riley at or 9388 2800.

Over 100 volunteers and their friends and family members attended the 2018 Thank a Volunteer Day celebration at the Margaret River Civic Administration Centre last night (Wednesday 5 December 2018).
Hosted by the Shire of Augusta Margaret River, the annual event is an opportunity to celebrate the work of the 230 active local volunteer organisations, whose members dedicate countless hours to support the community.
The event was also an opportunity to announce the winners of the annual Volunteer of the Year awards, as judged by Shire President Pan Townshend, Deputy Shire President Julia Meldrum and 2017 Volunteer of the Year co-winner Stuart Carrick.
Recipients were as follows: 

Volunteer of the Year – Winner:

  • Colin Fox

Volunteer of the Year -  Certificates of Appreciation:

  • Beth Carlessi
  • Denis Ogden
  • Karl Zdunic
  • Kellene Harvey
  • Lynda Donovan
  • Wendy Shearwood

Youth Volunteer of the Year – Winner:

  • Tenille White

Youth Volunteer of the Year - Certificate of Appreciation:

  • Brenton Tebbutt
  • Brigit McKenzie-Rae
  • Taj Thomas

Shire President Pam Townshend expressed her gratitude towards the volunteers, saying they were instrumental for many projects, groups, services and facilities to function.
“Volunteers are the backbone of our community,” she said.
“Every day I see and hear about the dedicated efforts of community members working across our Shire to assist others and to make our Shire stronger.” she said.
The Thank a Volunteer Day event coincides with International Volunteer Day, which was established in 1985 by the United Nations General Assembly and is celebrated on 5 December each year.
The Department of Communities who provide a small event grant to assist the Shire acknowledge the dedication of our local volunteers.
The Shire thanks our event supporters:

  • Department of Communities
  • Artzability Margaret River
  • Margaret River Flower Farm

Thank you to businesses who donated more than $3000 worth of refreshments and gifts for the event:

  • Arlewood Estate
  • Brown Hill Estate
  • Coles Margaret River
  • Cullen Wines
  • Colonial Brewing Co
  • Cowaramup Brewing Co
  • Dale Alcock Homes
  • Grace Farm
  • Heydon Estate
  • Howard Park Wines
  • Huna Massage
  • Riverfresh IGA
  • Johnno B Biscuit
  • Leeuwin Estate
  • Margaret River Hemp Co
  • Margaret River Home Timber & Hardware
  • Providore
  • Stella Bella Wines
  • Swings and Roundabouts
  • The Candy Cow
  • The Foodroom
  • The Margaret River Chocolate Company
  • Vasse Felix
  • Victory Point Wines
  • Voyager Estate
  • Watershed Wines
  • Woolworths Margaret River

Consultants managing the recruitment process for the Shire of Augusta Margaret River’s new Chief Executive Officer last week released the role for public advertising.

The vacancy was created by the departure of Chief Executive Officer Gary Evershed, who is taking a period of leave before officially retiring on 25 January 2019.

Shire President Pam Townshend said Councillors worked with WA Local Government and a consultant to review the position description, scope the required recruitment process, consider the legal requirements for the appointment and identify priority skills sets for the incoming officer.

“This is obviously very significant role for the organisation, but it’s also an important appointment for the whole community,” she said.

“This person needs to have the right skill sets to manage a range of competing priorities, and have considerable experience in, and knowledge of, environmental issues.

“We are aiming to ensure we are advertising the position to the right people and that we receive strong interest from highly-qualified candidates.

“We are taking the process very seriously and we are being very thorough and considered in our approach.”

An excerpt of the job advertisements, placed by consultants Lester Blades, reads as follows:

“Council is interested in applicants who can demonstrate the full suite of competencies normally expected of someone working at CEO level in an organisation of this size and complexity.

“Equally important will be the CEO’s skills in developing a positive, meaningful and ethical organisation culture, one which reflects Council’s vision for connected communities, social justice and climate action, together with a strong focus on the natural environment.

“We seek a CEO who is perceptive to, and can accurately assess, community expectations and proactively engage with our diverse community in positive and meaningful ways.

“Commitment to sustainability (balancing environmental, social, cultural and economic values) and protecting the fragile natural environment are critically important. The CEO must also understand climate change and the need for urgent climate action at a local level.”

A condition of employment will be that the CEO must resides within the Shire.

People interested in considering this position should contact Geoff Blades at Lester Blades on 08 9221 0744 to obtain a copy of the Position Description.

Confidential applications should be made in Word format to Lester Blades at Reference LB302195.

Applications close Monday 17 December 2018 at 5.00pm WST.

Eleven local community, volunteer and service-based organisations have been awarded a total $10,000 in grant funding from the Shire of Augusta Margaret River to help with community activation initiatives.

The recipients, who could request a maximum of $1000, were selected from 18 competitive applications for their ability to deliver events, activities and programs that would help to make the community a better place to live and work.

The successful recipients, and their funded initiatives, are:

  • Augusta Community Radio 2oceansFM - 2oceansFM 10th Birthday Celebration event ($1000);
  • Augusta Margaret River State Emergency Service (SES) - SES Open Day ($790);
  • Augusta Playgroup - Augusta Playgroup, Continue the Growth program ($800);
  • Christine Pillage - Christmas ‘Boxes of Joy’ ($1000);
  • Community Home Care Busselton - Volunteer Dementia Awareness Course (in Margaret River) ($1000);
  • Margaret River Community Garden – ‘Gather’ community garden project ($1000);
  • Margaret River Concert Band - Spring Swing Dance event ($410);
  • Margaret River Playgroup - Margaret River Playgroup Family Open Day 2019 ($1000);
  • Natural Learning Centre - Wadandi Cultural Awareness Training ($1000);
  • WA PCYC ICE breakers Bunbury - PCYC ICE breakers program (in Margaret River) ($1000); and
  • Scott River Charity Ball Committee - Scott River Charity Ball event ($1000).

Shire Community Development Officer Jessica Black congratulated the successful recipients and thanked them for their work they put in into each of their initiatives.

“Often the grant funding will just cover some costs and there is a lot more work and resourcing that goes in by volunteers,” she said.

“Thank you for all the time and effort you put into your initiatives and the Shire is pleased to be able to offer you funding support for your valuable contribution to the community.”

Community Development grant funding rounds are held annually, with the next round opening in July 2019.

Priorities for this year’s funding went to initiatives that:

  • Contribute to the wellbeing and quality of life of the local community;
  • Encourage increased membership/volunteerism in local community groups or organisations;
  • Upskill volunteers;
  • Increase community involvement in arts and culture;
  • Activate the Shire’s community halls and facilities; and/or
  • Create accessible opportunities for all community members, including people with disability (and their carers), people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal Australians, seniors, youth, LGBTIQ+ people, and people experiencing financial hardship.

For further information please contact Jessica Black, Community Development Officer on (08) 9780 5276 or


Surfers living the Shire of Augusta Margaret River are invited to enrol for a free, half-day board rescue, CPR and first aid training course in Gracetown this November.
The Surfers Rescue 365 course, which is delivered as by Surfing WA and provided funding support by the Shire of Augusta Margaret River, aims to upskill members of the community to perform initial rescue and medical response in a coastal environment.
Shire Recreation Operations Manager Dylan Brown said while the highly-valued beach lifeguard service would continue at Rivermouth in Margaret River this summer, the Surfers Rescue 365 program will help to provide opportunity for year-round first response at unmonitored beaches.
“We are fortunate to live in a place where we have access to beautiful and vast stretches of coastline, but unfortunately accidents and injuries can happen at these locations,” he said.
“We know that first few minutes of response are the most critical in ensuring favourable outcomes for people who experience trauma or illness.
“This program will provide some of the most frequent water users with the skills to save lives and minimise impact for patients until further emergency response help can get there.”
Program details are:
Date: Sunday 11 November 2018
Time: 9am – 12pm
Place: Swimmers Beach, Cowaramup Bay
Register: until places book out
“I encourage all local surfers to make the most of this free opportunity,” Mr Brown said.
“As well as positioning you to help our community members and our visitors, it helps protect yourself in the event you are faced with a precarious circumstances to which you may need to respond.”

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PO Box 61
Margaret River WA 6285

Margaret River

41 Wallcliffe Road
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