Regional Migration Director November Update
My trip to Western Australia in October has been a highlight of the last few months and I only managed to see a fraction of this incredible part of the country.
I was thrilled to be invited to present at a Multicultural Communities Forum, hosted by the Western Australian Local Government Association, and attended by local councils and other stakeholders from around the State.
There was a great range of speakers and I learnt a lot hearing about some innovative and inspiring initiatives designed to make WA communities inclusive and welcoming. I met also with State Government representatives from a few different departments to get a better context and understanding of some of the issues around migration in WA.
Then, off to Kalgoorlie-Boulder, a place I always thought sounded so exotic and remote. It is definitely remote and is very, very beautiful. I arrived just in the short window when the jacaranda trees are bursting with purple flowers. This photo barely does it justice!
The Goldfields Economic Development Commission (GEDC) organised my visit and thanks to Sarah Fletcher for all her hard work to make the visit a success. I had a number of one-on-one meetings with stakeholders, and then a ‘migrant forum” an open invitation to migrants living in Kalgoorlie to meet one evening in the local library, to share their positive and negative experiences. This is a great way to better understand migrant attraction and retention issues.
In between meetings I squeezed in what sightseeing I could: a trip to the Super Pit (a must do in Kal!) which is a massive open working gold mine; a stop into the charming Federation-built Boulder Town Hall with its unique painted curtain; a quick drive up to Kalgoorlie’s water reservoir which gives an incredible panoramic view of the town as well as really fascinating history markers on how water gets to Kalgoorlie from Perth.
The trip culminated in a 4-hour workshop which was hosted by the Kalgoorlie Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Industry and which I facilitated. We had a number of local speakers, talking about their projects and involvement in migration and then split into focus groups, each discussing what Kalgoorlie-Boulder could do better in its quest to increase population and attract migrants and other workers to the area. There were so many great ideas and I’m looking forward to seeing how they can be now implemented.
I was hoping very much to get to Dalwallinu before leaving WA. It’s a small town and service centre about 3 hours drive from Perth. Concerned about the declining population, its community has actively sought to attract migrants, to ensure that their town remains viable and thrives. There are about 16 nationalities living there and the town has increased its population by 15%! Unfortunately, I had run out of time…it’s definitely on the list for my next visit!
Until next month!
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