Media releases

The newly upgraded courts at the at Margaret River Recreation Centre have now re-opened following a temporary closure during December.

The upgrades focussed on renewing the timber sports floor on the three existing courts to provide for safer and better playing conditions.

Shire of Augusta Margaret River Recreation Operations Manager Dylan Brown said the courts both look good and function beautifully.

“We are pretty excited with how they’ve come up and have already had community feedback noting the vast improvement of the playing surface,” he said.

“The dead spots have been improved, the surface is tackier and feels better underfoot and balls bounce with greater consistency.”

Mr Brown said the timber courts were laid over the previous asphalt courts in the late 1980s and early 1990s and the bearers and spacers had moved over time impacting on the flex and bounce back of the boards during play.

“The courts were usable but this upgrade puts Margaret River to industry standard,” he said.

“It means there is now potential to attract higher tier events to the centre.

“It’s also means our local up and coming athletes are able to train and practice on high standard facilities, enabling better opportunity to progress through the playing ranks.”

The court upgrades included drum sanding the courts, replacing and fixing damaged boards, remarking court lines, and resealing the courts with a hardwearing floor sealer.

The backboard systems on Courts 1 and 2 will be brought into alignment to the new court markings, which now reflect the standard court size.

These final modifications will be finalised before the basketball season recommences.

For court bookings, or to find out more about court sports competitions please contact the Margaret River Recreation Centre on 9780 5620 or email

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River this week sees a handing over of the reins of the Community Development Trainee role with Kate Mann departing the position and Hope Sortras taking the helm.  
The trainee role is a 12-month long position filled annually by a Year 12 graduate who works with Shire staff on projects around youth development, community engagement, event planning and communications.
Kate says while it’s sad to leave the relationships she’s built in the position, she is looking forward to moving to Bunbury to continue her studies and experience living and working in a larger metropolitan centre.  
“I have really enjoyed my time as the 2019 Community Development trainee,” she said.
“It’s provided me with some useful skills and unique opportunities to work with a broad range of community members.
“I’ve learnt the importance of establishing strong relationships and partnerships.
“If I could pass on any departing message it would be that we need to keep empowering young people, giving them opportunities to grow outside the boundaries of our small community.”
Kate counts her memorable moments in the role as

Coordination of the Drug Aware MRSAMM19 youth event for the Shire with the Margaret River Youth Advisory Council (YAC), focused at showcasing the talent of young people in the community as well as providing them with a variety of mental health and drug awareness resources

Planning and running of the Djeran Youth Week Festival in partnership with the Undalup association, encouraging awareness connection to indigenous culture with young people and community

Youth MC for the Community Climate Action summit which involved facilitation of discussion surrounding community action in making sustainable changes

Coordination of the Councilor for a day and Youth Climate summit events  with MRSHS and surrounding Primary Schools

Creation and Implementation of R U OK awareness: Yellow bench project, which saw staff and community awareness of mental health in colleagues

Planning and Assistance with Surfing WA Healthy Habits youth event

South West Mudfest trip coordination, establishing partnership between YAC and Yeah the Boyz youth group

Kav Temperley Songwriting workshop for young musicians in the community

Variety of training opportunities: Media, Cultural Awareness, Access and Inclusion, Mental health, first aid

Coordination of Youth services and activities out of the Youth Precinct in Margaret River.

Incoming trainee Hope says she is excited to start the role, which she applied for with the goal of wanting to know her own community better.
“Working in a local government position at such a young age is nerve racking to me, but I am ready to take on any challenge that this role will show me.”
“Providing learning opportunities and events for young people is something I want to focus on this year,” she said.
“I’m from Augusta so I am hoping to create exciting opportunities for local youths in the south of the Shire and encourage young people to get more involved with the community they live in.”
Hope, who has a range of interests including swimming, music, and environmental and animal welfare, says she wishes to broaden her horizons and learn new life skills.
Community Development Officer and trainee supervisor Jessica Black wishes both girls well for the year ahead.
“Kate has made an invaluable contribution to our Shire and our community’s youth programs,” she said.
“She certainly has a very bright future and we are very proud to be a small part of her journey.
“We warmly welcome Hope and are excited to have such a wonderful asset on our team.
“She has an interesting and diverse background that will stand her, and the Shire, in good stead to deliver some fantastic outcomes for the whole of the community.”

The community is invited to welcome in the Chinese New Year from 3pm to 6pm on Wednesday 29 January 2020 at the Margaret River Library.

The event celebrates the start of the Year of the Rat with a range of family-friendly activities on offer including mask and paper fan making, lantern decorating, Chinese Spring Couplet painting, and photography in the onsite photo booth.

Coordinator Library Operations Kerry Darnell said community members can enjoy sharing Chinese food, watching a dragon dance performance, and learning about Chinese Zodiac signs and New Year traditions.

“We invite everyone to bring a Chinese dish to share, set up a picnic rug, and enjoy all that the event has to offer,” she said

“It would be great if people wanted to come dressed up to take advantage of the photo booth that will be set up in the library.

“It’s going to be a hive of colour and activity and an opportunity to appreciate the diversity of our culture in our local community.”

“We’ve expanded on last year’s event to include the garden area so there is ample space for everyone to come along.”

Event organiser Sean Hsu said he was looking forward to the celebration which was an important time of the year in Chinese culture.

“We see it as a time for both adults and younger family members to come together and welcome in the New Year with fun and good fortune,” he said.

“I’m very excited to be able to share Chinese culture and traditions into the local community.

“There’s a lot for people to enjoy learning about including art, activities, food and language – including learning to write in characters.”

It is suggested to bring a picnic rug to spread out and to BYO a water bottle and reusable plate if you have one.

It is requested that attendees RSVP to attend and nominate their dish to ensure minimal double ups and to be issued with food safety information.

RSVP is requested before Tuesday 28 January 2020 to or 9780 5600.

Please contact library staff if you have access requirements as this event is in the library and the lawn area outside.

Shire of Augusta Margaret River Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades have again provided support to State firefighting efforts with local Brigade members participating in a Lower South West Taskforce that is currently assisting with the Norseman Complex fires.

The Lower South West Taskforce was formed at the request of the Department of Fire and Emergency Services who is managing these complex of fires and includes brigade members from the local government areas of Manjimup, Harvey as well as the Shire of Augusta Margaret River.

Eight members from the Karridale, Witchcliffe, Kudardup and Wallcliffe brigades participated in the contingent that drove to Norseman on Wednesday 1 January with the Witchcliffe 2.4 appliance and a Manjimup appliance.

The original crews returned on Monday 6 January after being replaced by a fresh taskforce crew which included four local members from the Wallcliffe, Rosabrook, and Witchcliffe brigades.

It is expected that this crew will return later this week with the Witchcliffe appliance, however there is the possibility of a further need for new crew members if the fires continue to burn. 

Shire Community Emergency Services Manager Adam Jasper said the crews assisted with a range of tasks including back burning along the Coolgardie-Esperance Hwy, which was vital to be carried out to allow the reopening of the road.

“Due to the diligence and hard work of these crews and others, the highway from Esperance to Kalgoorlie was able to be reopened on Tuesday,” he said.

He commended the efforts of the volunteers representing our Shire, saying it was important for both the Norseman and Augusta Margaret River communities.

“Thank you to these members who have taken time away from their friends, families, and workplaces at a very busy time of year,” he said.

“The Norseman community is deeply grateful for your efforts and your service lends itself well in the event the Shire ever needs to ask for assistance.”

Additional to the support being provided within the state, the Shire Deputy Chief Bush Fire Control Officer Brett Trunful has also been deployed to New South Wales to assist with the devastating fires currently being experienced across much of the East.

He left early Wednesday morning with a contingent of volunteer and career firefighters from around Western Australian.

Mr Jasper reminded locals while the Shire has been fortunate to avoid any major fires this season so far, the risk was still very real with hot and dry conditions set to continue for several more months.

“Please maintain your properties to standard and ensure you have a fire plan in place,” he said.

“If you do not have a fire plan I urge you to please take five minutes to draft one now using the DFES firechat website at







The Shire of Augusta Margaret River has today announced the new Margaret River HEART Venue Manager as departing Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre Sales and Business Development Coordinator Nicky Hansen. 
Ms Hansen brings to the Shire 10 years of high level strategic sales and marketing experience gained during her time at Mackay Regional Council, where she was successful at attracting visitation to the Mackay Region with arts, performance, and business events. 
Shire Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Addison-Brown congratulated Ms Hansen and expressed her confidence in the appointment. 
“Nicky has a fantastic skill set and has directly applicable experience for managing a venue such as the HEART,” she said. 
“She’s a great fit for team, a safe set of hands, and we are very much looking forward to her getting started with us at the beginning of February 2020. 
“The venue is already attracting significant interest from interest event organisations, community groups, exhibitors, partners, sponsors, suppliers, and businesses so she will be hitting the ground running.”
Ms Hansen shared her excitement at commencing with the local Shire and moving to Margaret River where she will be close to family and friends. 
“I’m delighted to be appointed to the role and can already see so much potential for what we can deliver at the venue,” she said. 
“I have a strong grassroots focus and am committed to ensuring arts, culture, performance, cinema, and business events remain accessible for the wider community to enjoy while achieving financial sustainability for the venue.”
While Ms Hansen comes with interstate background in entertainment centre management, she offers the benefit of having local knowledge due to having visited frequently. 
“I’ll be over at Christmas for a pre-planned visit and will take time to catch up with as many people as I can at that time,” she said. 
“I then look forward to moving over, getting settled, meet the wider community and enjoying this wonderful region.”


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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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Ph 08 9780 5255


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