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Wheatbelt winners … part of the Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Route team at the awards.

Regional Achievement and Community Awards.

The award is sponsored by DLGSC and recognises collaborative efforts by local governments to ensure positive outcomes for WA’s regional communities.

The Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Route of Brookton project aims to provide as much access as safely achievable on low-traffic roads in the Wheatbelt region, which largely depends on its agricultural and transport sectors.

The pilot project successfully engaged 42 local governments — most of which lack the resources and capacity to maintain sections of the network — into an efficient, sustainable freight network with 80 connecting routes covering more than 4400 km of roads.

This led to a $70-million funding commitment from the Federal Government through its Roads of Strategic Importance initiative.

Other finalists

The other two finalists in the Making a Difference category were:

The Kimberley Remote Area and Wheatbelt Rural Health Placement Program

This program involves nine shires in a rural and remote area health education program for medical students from the University of Notre Dame.

The first- and second-year medical students re billeted with families, where they learn about country life and rural health issues. The families and workplaces that billet the students are not paid.

Many of the doctors working in the Kimberley are graduates of the program which they credit as the spark that ignited their passion for rural and remote area health.

The Shire of Laverton Youth Services

The Youth Services team provides a structured program of interactive and cultural activities for children and young people to maintain their culture and connection to country.

The service operates every day after school and selected weekends. Laverton has no high school, yet many young people remain to contribute to the community.

The Youth Services team has partnered with groups such as Pakaanu Aboriginal Corporation, Leonora Cross Cultural Association, Goldfields Aboriginal Language Centre, and Community Elders.

Some of its initiatives include “Keeping Language Alive”, aimed at helping retain heritage; and “Out Bush” trips, which encourages children to share their culture.

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Page reviewed 30 July 2019