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  • RDA Pilbara

Famous faces, business celebrations and airport excitement

Each week, RDA Pilbara compiles a wrap of news that's important to industries and communities in the region and also the highlights of our activities on the ground.

Read on for what's been happening from September 15 to September 22.

Famous faces and a local government focus This week RDA Pilbara Chair Nerida Kickett and CEO Tony Simpson were delighted to attend the WA Local Government Association (WALGA) Conference in Perth, where they had the privilege of meeting and hearing from Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Michelle Payne.

Michelle’s story is truly an inspirational one and she is a great role model for anyone in the community hoping to get the best out of themselves.

Beyond this brush with a famous face, the conference offered a great opportunity for Nerida and Tony to engage with some key stakeholders from the local government community and beyond – including WA Liberal Party leader Libby Mettam.

Working productively with local government is an integral part of RDA Pilbara’s daily business and events like this which showcase best practice across a wide range of topics are invaluable.

Thanks again to WALGA for putting on such an excellent conference.

More local businesses celebrated It’s definitely the season for local business awards, with the Newman Business Excellence Awards from a couple of weekends ago being followed by the Port Hedland CCI and Onslow CCI Business Excellence Awards.

Local businesses are such a lifeblood of our communities and it’s vital that we take the opportunity to celebrate their achievements whenever possible.

Congratulations to the winners and finalists and also well done to the relevant chambers for hosting these events. There are often a lot of moving parts but it is very rewarding!



A great job opportunity at RDA Pilbara An exciting opportunity is on offer for the right candidate to join RDA Pilbara as a Contract & Program Manager and manage our West Pilbara Communities for Children Program.

RDA Pilbara is a Facilitating Partner for the Department of Social Services' Communities for Children Facilitating Partner (CfC FP) program, which is a place-based model of investment supporting children and families in disadvantaged communities across Australia.


If you enjoy a busy and rewarding role and have experience with contract management and procurement and grants, please consider applying.

The role makes important contributions to strengthening Pilbara communities and comes with a range of benefits, including flexible working arrangements, five weeks' annual leave and professional development opportunities.

Read more: https://bit.ly/450iIMk


Hedland airport upgrade open There were smiles all round at Port Hedland International Airport on Friday, with the opening of a major upgrade that will provide a significant boost for travellers.


The upgrade could pave the way for more international flights and includes:

▪ an expanded checking area

▪ two additional dedicated departure gates

▪ a new cafe and space for additional retails

▪ 10 parking bays for 737 planes.

Welcome educational announcements for regional WA A couple of State Government announcements this week that caught our eye and which have the potential to have good impact in regional WA.


The first, which delivers on a 2021 election commitment, opens an expression of interest to assist small community-managed, not-for-profit early childhood education and care (ECEC) services in regional areas.


The $4.1 million fund will be allocated to support the viability of regional early childhood education and care services by working with regional providers to deliver:

  • advice, support and resources to services or,

  • a model that creates a backbone organisation that smaller centres can roll into.

Early childhood education and care is an area of great need in the Pilbara and it’s fantastic to see it getting this kind of government support.

Read more: https://bit.ly/3t2rBb0

The WA Government also announced $15.49 million to assist more schools in regional and remote areas in 2024 with the recruitment and retention of staff.

Again, this initiative targets key concerns for regional WA and could have significant impact.

Read more: https://bit.ly/3PMtVMg

Emerging Minds Australia workforce survey

The Emerging Minds Australia 2023 National Workforce Survey for Child, Parent and Family Mental Health is now open.

It's an extremely important tool to help shape child mental health policy, and the team at Emerging Minds wants to hear from anyone working in health, social or community services to better understand workforce needs and practice challenges.

Participation offers the chance to win 1 of 5 iPads and the survey can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/3DUZxIL

RDA Pilbara Grants Hub is now open

A reminder that RDA Pilbara’s Grants Hub is now open and ready to act as a one-stop shop for all local businesses, community groups, not-for-profits and individuals who are considering applying for a grant.

You can see what grants are available, register to receive alerts when new opportunities arise and access tips to help you apply for grants.

The Hub is live and ready to go, so please visit it here: https://bit.ly/3QB9oei


More than $100,000 raised for a good cause Congratulations to the Hedland Well Women’s Centre and all its supporters for an absolutely outstanding fundraising effort this week.

The annual Pink Pilbara Breakfast was held at the Esplanade Hotel in Port Hedland, raising a massive $115,000 – comfortably eclipsing last year’s total of $90,000.

Established in 1991, The Hedland Well Women’s Centre provides a free service that offers support for women in all aspects of their lives.


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