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Her Excellency visits the Wheatbelt on final regional visit as Governor

Tuesday, 13th March 2018

During a visit to the Wheatbelt last week, Her Excellency visited Quairading, Hyden (including Wave Rock), Kulin, Kukerin, Narrogin and Williams.

Her Excellency had previously visited the Wheatbelt region on her first regional visit as Governor in March 2015.

“The importance of regional Western Australia is something I learned at an early age from my father who was born in the Wheatbelt town of Kunjin. This understanding has been enhanced by the regional visits I have undertaken over the past three years as Governor, as well as my own experiences.

The Wheatbelt is Western Australia’s agricultural powerhouse and contributes significantly to our State. It was fantastic to tour the impressive yabby processing establishment at Cambinata Yabbies during my trip and learn more about the world-class produce which is exported to some of the finest restaurants around the world from this family-owned business in Kukerin established by Mary and Michael Nenke.

I was also pleased to see first-hand the wonderful work being done by Tanya Dupagne at Camp Kulin, and privileged to again visit Wave Rock and the very impressive Wave Rock Ampitheatre. I also saw the impact of the provision of new residential aged-care facilities at both the Narrogin Cottage Homes and the Jam Tree Lane Units at the Williams Aged Housing project. The units help older members of the community to continue enjoying the benefits of regional based living with the appropriate support.

I was honoured to share International Women’s Day with local women from Quairading and surrounds at the 2018 Women’s Business Forum hosted by Quairading Community Resource Centre. There are so many outstanding women who contribute to their communities in the Wheatbelt creating positive role models for our younger generation and overcoming perceived barriers.

I wanted to highlight the importance of nominating these women who go above and beyond for recognition through systems like the Rural Women’s Award, or for an award within the Australian Honours System, because their work is important and deserves wide recognition.”

Day One photos

Day Two photos


‘Governor has message of hope on Wheatbelt’, Countryman 

Thursday, 8th March


Her Excellency joined local women in Quairading to mark International Women’s Day at the Quairading Community Resource Centre’s 2018 Women’s Business Forum, focussing on rural women’s economic independence.

Her Excellency shared her leadership journey and learnings in a keynote address and enjoyed meeting with Forum attendees afterwards. 


In Hyden the Governor undertook the following activities:

“Collinsseum” Wave Rock Amphitheatre

Her Excellency was pleased to again meet with Valerie Mouritz (Founder of Wave Rock Tourism) and Sheenagh Collins (Resort co-owner), and to see the very impressive work undertaken to develop facilities for visitors to Wave Rock. She also unveiled a commemorative plaque to honour the volunteer Vietnam Veterans who, with the support of Wave Rock Tourism and the community, helped to construct the amphitheatre over the course of more than six years.

The Amphitheatre is an extremely impressive facility which is dedicated to the memory of Brigadier Denis Owen Magee (Army Engineer under whom some of the volunteers served) and Denis Collins (after whom the Amphitheatre is also named).

It is envisaged to host community events including concerts and performances.

Community dinner in honour of volunteers

Hosted by Wave Rock Tourism, Her Excellency joined  with Valerie and Sheenagh as well as Shire of Kondinin and community representatives and volunteers at a dinner at The Sandalwood Restaurant in Hyden, and heard presentations on the value of veteran volunteers and the history of Hyden. She was amazed with the extent of the facilities developed to ensure that tourists visiting Wave Rock got the most out of their visit.

The Lace Place

Visited The Lace Place which has a very impressive display of lace from various countries and met with internationally recognised lacemaker Ms Olwyn Scott to learn more about lace making, accompanied by Wave Rock Tourism owners Valerie Mouritz and Sheenagh Collins.

Friday, 9th March


Tour and morning tea at Camp Kulin

Her Excellency met with Camp Manager and Founder Tanya Dupagne and toured the Camp. After this she shared morning tea volunteers, staff, school children and campers as well as with Shire President Cr Barry West and Shire CEO Mr Noel Mason.

Her Excellency wrote a message for the Camp’s Wall of Inspiration.

Tanya Dupagne was the Rural Woman of the Year 2017. Tanya founded the award winning Camp Kulin in 2013 after moving from Perth. Camp Kulin has gained national and international recognition for its pioneering work, particularly in helping children and teenagers who have survived trauma, and now includes general and scholarship camps for children from over 180 towns across WA including a leadership development program involving over 200 volunteers, corporate and school camps and mental health support/mentoring programs in three schools.


Cambinata Yabbies

Her Excellency was shown  the yabby processing establishment by Paul Nenke and shared a light lunch with Manager and Joint Proprietors Mary Nenke and Michael Nenke and their family, Shire of Dumbleyung Shire President Cr Jacki Ball, Shire of Dumbleyung CEO Matthew Gilfellon, and Wheatbelt Development Commission CEO Wendy Newman.

Cambinata Yabbies is a family owned and operated company that supplies Australian and export markets (in Asia, Europe and the US). The product is valued for its quality and the majority of their production is now destined for the export market, either live or frozen. They also have an agri-tourism venture known as Mary’s Farm Cottages.


Narrogin Cottage Homes – Karinya Residential Care

Her Excellency toured the facilities with long serving Chairman Narrogin Cottage Homes Mr Rob Maxwell, Board Member Mrs Helen Maxwell, and CEO Mrs Julie Christensen.

Narrogin Cottage Homes (NCH) operates a 35 bed aged care facility, known as ‘Karinya’ and 74 self-contained units in Narrogin.  In August 2015, NCH received Royalties for Regions funding  to construct a 14 bed dementia wing. The new wing now accommodates 12 permanent dementia residents and 2 respite care residents. The facility is the only of its kind in the Southern Wheatbelt.


Jam Tree Lane Units (part of the Williams Aged Housing project)

Her Excellency toured units accompanied by tenants Bob & Lyn Baker, Shire of Williams President Cr John Cowcher, Shire of Williams CEO Geoff McKeown, and Economic Development Officer Shire of Williams Mrs Heidi Cowcher.

Afternoon tea at RSL Hall with community representatives and Shire Officials.

The Well Aged Housing Project was an initiative of the voluntary regional organisation of council ‘to work together as a region to provide seniors focused housing solutions that complement current and future aged care and health services, while addressing the identified needs of the individual communities’.

The Shire of Williams was the lead Shire in a group of seven local governments who have worked collaboratively in the delivery of a $15m aged housing project (independent living) from 2009-2018. The seven local governments included the Shires of Dumbleyung, Kent, Lake Grace, Wagin, West Arthur, Williams and Woodanilling.