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Governor’s South West Regional Visit

Friday, 10th November 2017

Her Excellency embarked on a week-long tour of the South West region on Monday 30th October, visiting Bunbury, Busselton, Margaret River, Augusta, Pemberton, Manjimup and Yarloop.

Part of the Regional Visit Program ,the tour helps the Governor to learn more about what is happening in the region and is an opportunity to engage with and express appreciation to community and local government representatives, volunteers, school students, health professionals and local business and many other people that make up the fabric of our rural communities.

“The South West region of Western Australia is home to spectacular natural beauty and precious environmental resources from coast to forest.

On my official visit to the region I was delighted to meet with local community and government representatives, small business, volunteers, not for profit organisations and school students and teachers and have the opportunity to hear from them about living in this unique region in our State.” Her Excellency said.

“Experiencing the diversity of the South West’s local produce, from world-class abalone to premium quality food, dairy products and wine, and its natural attractions including the Jewel Cave and Gloucester National Park, reinforces how lucky we are to live in a State which is blessed with such rich resources and people who care passionately about them.

Meeting with the people who call the South West home was the highlight of my trip and it was pleasing to hear about the area’s recent achievements and plans across all areas in industry, arts and culture, education and local government.”

View photo gallery

Media articles:

Augusta abalone ranch gets VIP visit from Western Australian Governor, Margaret River Mail

Governor visits city, The West Australian Regional WA

The Governor of WA visits Busselton, Busselton – Dunsborough Mail


In Bunbury Her Excellency visited:

Djidi Djidi Aboriginal School
Located amongst natural bushland and adjacent wetlands in Glen Iris, Bunbury, the promotion of Aboriginal language and culture in assisting Aboriginal children to accept and value themselves and their culture is central to the learning program at Djidi Djidi.

City of Bunbury
Met with Mr Gary Brennan, Mayor, City of Bunbury.

Presented an Australian Honours Award to Boyanup Recipient Mr Laurence Sanders OAM who was unable to travel to Perth for the September investiture. Mr Sanders received the award for service to the community of Boyanup.

Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre
Lunch hosted by the City of Bunbury with local community representatives, volunteers, City of Bunbury Mayor, Councillors and invited guests.

Manea Senior College
The only specialist co-educational senior college for Year 11 and 12’s in the South West region with currently 450 students enrolled at the College.

Maker + Co
Met with Maker + Co Staff, Ms Debra Bennell and staff from the Noongar Boodjar Language Cultural Aboriginal Corporation and Mr Troy Bennell (Ngalang Wongi Aboriginal Cultural Tours).

Maker and Co works across the creative industries, education, mining, and local government with some of the State’s leading minds. Maker + Co are delivering major projects focused on Innovation and New Technology; Noongar Arts and Culture (including how to use the newest forms of technology to create engagement with the oldest continuing culture in the world); Public Art; STE(A)M; Regional Economic Development/Diversification and Enterprise Development.

Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre
Seated dinner for the Setagaya delegation from Japan hosted by the City of Bunbury with the Mayor, Councillors and invited guests. The Sister City relationship between Bunbury and Setagaya enables a developed understanding of two very different cultures and celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

Bunbury waterfront
View progress of works on the Transforming Bunbury’s Waterfront Project.

Multiple Sclerosis WA
The new $1.5 million MSWA Centre opened its doors in December 2016, providing an upgrade in the  support and services to those living with multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions in the South West region.


Georgiana Molloy Anglican School
Established in 2003 Georgiana Molloy Anglican School (GMAS) is an Anglican co-educational day school for students from 3 year olds to Year 12.

Busselton Margaret River Regional Airport
The City of Busselton is in the process of upgrading the existing airport facilities in preparation for Regular Public Transport air services to interstate destinations including Melbourne and Sydney and international destinations in South East Asia and China.

Busselton Jetty and Foreshore
The Jetty is the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. A train takes visitors out to a fascinating iconic Underwater Observatory and Interpretive Centre.

City of Busselton
Short tour of the new administration building following a standing lunch with the Mayor, Councillors, local community members, volunteers, schoolchildren and other invited guests.

Margaret River 

Creative Corner, Margaret River
Brief tour of the TAFE facilities. Creative Corner is a collaborative network of creatives in the South West, covering film, music, communications, design, technology and the arts. 

Elkamo Restaurant
Dinner with the Shire of Margaret River Augusta and the South West Development Commission.

Augusta-Margaret River

Augusta Boat Harbour
Boat tour of Augusta Boat Harbour and Ocean Grown Abalone’s operations. Ocean Grown Abalone (OGA) has developed the world’s first commercial abalone ranching business in the pristine waters of Flinders Bay, Augusta. The $36.47 million Augusta Boat Harbour was officially opened in November 2014 after almost three years of construction.

Jewel Cave
Jewel Cave Tour and Cave conservation discussion. Jewel Cave is the biggest show cave in Western Australia, with three massive chambers. It is also home to one of the longest stalactites found in any tourist cave in the world.

Working Lunch, Margaret River
Discuss the work of Nature Conservation Margaret River Region and the role of Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (MRBTA) in nature conservation. Hosted by Voyager Estate who are strong supporters of conservation local initiatives.


Gloucester National Park
Late afternoon bush walk in Gloucester National Park and visit to Gloucester Tree.


Bannister Downs Dairy Farm
Bannister Downs Dairy Farm was founded in 1924 by Edith and James Daubney. The farm is now run by Mat Daubney and his wife Sue and is home to more than 2,200 Holstein Fresian cows, especially chosen to create premium quality milk. It is an award winning dairy farm which produces fresh milk, flavoured milk, cream and ice cream. It is up-grading its facilities to include a state of the art dairy and a café with wonderful views and heated floorboards.


Shire of Manjimup
Lunch with Shire and Community Groups including Keep Australia Beautiful, the Returned and Services League, Red Cross, Men’s Shed, the CWA, Food Bank, St John’s Ambulance, Volunteer Marine Rescue, and the local Netball and Cricket Association as well as other volunteers and members of the local community.

Advanced Packing and Marketing Services
Leading players in WA’s booming avocado industry opened a high-tech processing centre in Manjimup to meet overseas demand and guard against an oversupply on the domestic market. The facility is truly amazing and its General Manager Jennie Franceschi was recently awarded the Telstra WA Businesswoman of the year.

Southern Forests Food Council
The Southern Forests Food Council (SFFC) was founded in 2010 by a group of passionate local producers who recognised that the wealth and abundance of produce grown in the region made it perfect for food tourism. The SFFC represents local producers, culinary and agri-tourism operators who live and work in what is WA’s premier food bowl, aiming to ultimately establish the Southern Forests region as an internationally-recognised top culinary tourism destination. It developed the well-known premium food label for local products ‘Genuinely Southern Forest’.


Yarloop Primary School
Students returned to the school at the beginning of 2017 after the devastating Yarloop bushfire on 7 January 2016. Currently there are 38 students enrolled at the school. The school has a Thankfulness wall which gave an insight into their emotions and the whole school sang a beautiful song about being Yarloopians. The CWA catered for a morning tea and it was good to meet them over morning tea.

Yarloop Police Station
Met with Police Officers, including District Superintendent Mick Sutherland APM, and viewed the Police Station..