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February 2015


Shop Regionally

“” is an innovative online regional website showcasing the online business presence across the region. 
The “ ” offers local/regional businesses the opportunity to promote their online presence, marketing to a broader global audience, while enabling local residents to access regional business information from the one place.


Settlement Grant Program

I am very pleased to advise that WDA has been allocated a further contract under the Settlement Grant Program, by the Federal Government. The program targets humanitarian entrants and some migrant classes for the first five years in Australia, providing settlement support and advocacy.


Wimmera Development Association has been contracted for a further three years. Given that the region has low numbers of the target clients, the allocation of this contract is testament to the work by Robyn Murphy as the regional settlement officer.


The contract is for $50,000 per annum, an increase on the previous contract of $40,000. In 2014-5 WDA received an additional $40,000 to specifically service the Nhill community (a one off response to Hindmarsh Shire Council advocacy). Discussions with Council will investigate other options for funding.

Leadership Wimmera PechaKucha Evening

The Leadership Wimmera Graduate Network Committee invites you to be a part of our PechaKucha evening on Monday 23rd March at 7.30pm at the Wimmera Business Centre.

Topic for the evening is: ‘My Wimmera’ 
Presentations will cover anything that our Graduates are passionate about in the Wimmera.  It may be a place, an activity, a hobby, a group, a job.  Whatever they are passionate about, and want to share with others.

Some background information:
PechaKucha 20x20 is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically with a pre-recorded sound track.
PechaKucha Nights are informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts, holiday snaps -- just about anything, really -- in the PechaKucha 20x20 format.
Find out more and view some PechaKucha presentations


Regional Living Expo

2015 Regional Victoria Living Expo – May 1-3 Melbourne Exhibition Centre

Do you have a position vacant that you just can’t fill?
Are you trying to sell your business?
Do you have commercial / industrial land available for rent or sale?

The Wimmera Development Association is compiling a list of the above items for promotion at the 2015 Regional Victoria Living Expo.

There is no cost to be a part of this great initiative that has the potential to reach more than 10000 people looking to relocate out of Melbourne to regional areas.

Please register your interest in participating in this regional initiative with Tammy McDonald, Wimmera Development Association Project Officer on 5381 6503 or 

Homework Program

The Homework Program of 2015 is about to re-commence on Wednesday February 18th and will this year be called the After School Activities Program. 

The program is funded by Wimmera Development Association – Wimmera Settlement Program and the Centre for Multicultural Youth.  Programs in both Horsham and Nhill will commence on the same date.

The program is free for all participating students.

The program is run by a Coordinator who is a trained teacher with the assistance of numerous volunteer tutors.

Although the funding bodies are keen to target migrant and refugee students, the program is inclusive of all who wish to come along and participate.

It would be appreciated if readers of the newsletter could assist with distribution of the details of the program to potential participants and also to people who may be interested in becoming volunteer tutors with the program.
Horsham After School Activities Program
Nhill After School Activities Program

Citizenship Testing

WDA and Councils are working with Member for Mallee Andrew Broad to advocate for regional citizenship testing to be scheduled in the Wimmera Southern Mallee.

The table indicates the numbers of citizenship ceremonies held in the region – this is a healthy sign of migrant activity – committing to long term residency.



Governance Mentors Program

Volunteering Western Victoria is seeking to recruit people with governance experience, who wish to become mentors and matching them with not for profit organisations in order to assist and guide them to develop new or more effective ways of working together and achieving better outcomes for their community organisation.


Grains to Asia Trade Mission

The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources is leading a Grains Mission to Asia 10th – 20th March, to investigate drivers of demand in emerging markets.

The program will commence with the Global Grains Conference in Singapore followed by a visit to the emerging market of Singapore. This will be followed by travel to Seoul in South Korea to link with an Austrade event on grains logistics and finalising in China with a visit to China's largest feed manufacturer, Yanjing Beer Company and a visit to China's 4th largest port, Tianjing Port.

The department's role will be to link with government in these markets and allow participants to gain a first-hand look at the major factors driving demand in these markets. Time will be allowed for participants to arrange their own meetings with customers.

For further information please contact Brian Kearns (Horsham) or 0417 112 528

Growing Business with China

Opportunity Number 1:

The Australia China Business Council, in conjunction with Regional Development Victoria, would like to extend an invitation to our Growing Business Opportunities with China forums in the Grampians region this March. The forums aim to provide industry expertise, enhance knowledge and lend support to local rural businesses already doing business with China or those seriously considering to enter the China market.

The forums are FREE TO ATTEND and will take place on March 12 in Ballarat and March 13 in Horsham.

Tailored specifically to the commercial interests of the Grampians region, Growing Business Opportunities with China is a must for enterprises seeking to gain an edge in the thriving China market.  

For further information and registration, please click on the link below:
Ballarat Forum
Horsham Forum

Opportunity Number 2:
CHINA BUSINESS TOUR April 19th - 26th 2015
Visit Yiwu, the consumer goods capital of China.  Attend two trade fairs and the huge permanent wholesale market, then a few days in vibrant Shanghai.

A great trip if you are a serious buyer for an established business, an entrepreneur looking for the next big thing, an eBay trader or a business person that wants to get a possible tax deductible trip to China.   Expressions of Interest are NOW open.
More information


Mapping the Wimmera's Agricultural Knowledge

WDA will be conducting research over the next month to gain an insight into the knowledge and skills of agricultural producers and agribusiness professionals. With so much change taking place in the industry, we need to make sure local education opportunities match producer’s needs.

We will be asking farmers and people working in agribusiness to complete a quick survey online. We will also be talking to education providers, employers, grower groups and other stakeholders who can help us map out the existing knowledge and skills base and identify areas where development will be needed in the future.


The survey will ask people to think about how they learn new skills, where they seek information from, a self-assessment and some ideas on what they think they will need to change in their own business or job in the future. You can find the link to the survey on our website:

Federal Industry Skills Fund

The $476 million Industry Skills Fund is a programme that provides Australian businesses with access to training so that they are better placed to succeed in a rapidly changing economy. The Fund will deliver 200,000 training places and training support services over four years, starting January 2015.

Businesses that apply for funding under the Industry Skills Fund must financially co-contribute to the proposed project.
The Fund primarily targets Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), including micro businesses (0 to 4 employees), which plan to upskill and reskill their workforces to better position themselves for growth opportunities. Large businesses are also eligible for the Fund, but they will be required to make a higher contribution to the costs of training.

Help is available in the following categories:
Skills Advice
Help identifying skills opportunities and maximising training outcomes.
Training Grant
Co-investment for businesses looking to improve the skills of their workforce for an identified growth opportunity.  
More information 

Introducing Rachel


 Rachel Mills started as a trainee with WDA
  in January this year.
  After completing year 12 at Horsham College
 last year, Rachel has decided to take a gap
 year before commencing further studies.


Jo Bourke
Executive Director

Wimmera Development Association
62 Darlot Street, Horsham VIC 3400
Phone: (03) 5381 1744