03 5381 6500
info@wda.org.au

Fit for Business Retail Skills Webinar Series

Wimmera Development Association and the Wimmera Business Centre with support from the Victorian State Government

proudly present

RDG FFB

The Retail Doctor - Retrain for the Retail Revolution Webinar Series

This regionally focussed webinar series will include;

  • Managing inventory to sales forecasts
  • Driving worth/value for your business
  • Understanding your numbers, cashflow and margins
  • Understanding who you customer is
  • Training and coaching staff

and discuss how to build your local market brand including web and social media, merchandising (windows and instore) displays, a more valuable business and your point of difference.

SESSION DATES & TIMES

  • Session 1 - 10 March 8-9am
  • Session 2 - 17 March 8-9am
  • Session 3 - 24 March 8-9am
  • Session 4 - 31 March 8-9am

TWO WEEK BREAK

  • Session 5 - 21 April 8-9am
  • Session 6 - 28 April 8-9am
  • Session 7 - 5 May 8-9am

For further information contact Vernetta Taylor 0419 114 274 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CLICK HERE to go to our bookings page

Fostering local leadership

2021 BLG Roses Gap a

 

February 23, 2021

LEADERSHIP Wimmera’s 2021 flagship programs have officially begun. 

More than 30 Wimmera Southern Mallee people will take on formal and experiential learning opportunities across the next 10 months – learning more about themselves, others and the region and unlocking new avenues to provide leadership and contribute effectively andpositivelyin their workplace, community and personal lives. 

Eighteen people have accepted an offer to complete Leadership Wimmera’s Business Leaders program, designed for people who own or run a business, lead a team and have influence in their workplace. They spent the weekend at Roses Gap on an opening retreat. 

A further 1people will complete the Regional Skills program, designed for people wanting to build skills to enhance participation in workplace, community and personal arenas. Participants apply their learnings through development of a community project as part of their program year. The group’s retreat was delayed due to the COVID-19 Circuit-Breaker Lockdown and was scheduled to March. 

Leadership Wimmera program manager Jessica Grimble said 20 Wimmera Southern Mallee workplaces, and many more community groups, were represented among this year’s cohort.

“Leadership Wimmera offers this region a unique opportunity for personal and professional growth, in a local setting and with like-minded locals who become an important network during and after programs,” she said. 

“Our flagship community leadership programs have very strong support from many local businesses and organisations, who recognise an opportunity to invest in their people and grow and develop skills locally. 

“Including discussion and education about regional challenges and opportunities, along with more program days, are exciting additions to our long-running programs this year

Then, through the Leadership Wimmera Graduate Network, people and businesses can seek specific skills and advice that will apply to businesses or community groups – or everyday life. Last year these initiatives ranged from best practice community engagement and change management, to building resilience in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, to sought-after governance courses with the Australian Institute of Company Directors.” 

Ms Grimble welcomed confirmation that the Victorian government would continue supporting community leadership programs in 2021. 

“The state government’s support helps Leadership Wimmera to offer subsidised opportunities for people to participate in a range of opportunities that will boost their knowledge of community leadership – including our year-long program and other initiatives to support local leaders and learning locally,” she said. 

Major sponsor ACE Radio will continue its sponsorship of Leadership Wimmera. 

Financial and in-kind support from Leading Teams Australia, Agriculture Victoria, the Minerals Council of Australia, The Hugh Williamson Foundation, Robyn and Des Lardner, Wimmera Business Centre, Horsham Rotary Club and Wimmera Development Association enables individuals to participate in the program; and ensure Leadership Wimmera’s offerings are robust, timely and relevant. 

Leadership Wimmera began in 2002 and has supported the development of almost 600 emerging leaders in the Wimmera Southern Mallee through its flagship programs alone. 

Leading Teams will facilitate theprograms and Wimmera Development Association is the auspice organisation.

Wind farm generates grants opportunity

February 24, 2021 

A NEW community grants fund opens for applications next month. 

The Murra Warra Wind Farm Sustainable Community Grants Fund will provide financial support to promote social and environmental sustainability initiatives for the benefit of communities within the Horsham Rural City, Hindmarsh and Yarriambiackshire councils. 

It is part of the wind farm’s community investment program

Wimmera Development Association project manager Vernetta Taylor said $55,000 was available across the three municipalities. Not-for-profit groups or organisations can apply for small grants of up to $5000 or large grants of up to $20,000. 

“The fund aims to provide an opportunity for community groups and organisations to develop innovative and sustainable environmental projects; and to provide an opportunity for improved health and education across the community by developing long-term partnerships and cohesive community projects,” Mrs Taylor said. 

“It also aims to strengthen community connections and social wellbeing in developing projects focusing on long-term sustainability; to develop projects that enhance and encourage healthy and active communities; and to develop projects which enhance cultural diversity, creative community activities and projects.” 

Applications open on March 1 and close at 5pm on April 12. Conditions apply. 

All projects must be completed by June 30, 2022. 

Applications forms are available via www.murrawarrawindfarm.com or www.wda.org.au

Hard copy application forms are available on request. 

People wanting more information should phone Mrs Taylor on 0419 114 274.

Murra Warra Wind Farm Community Grants Program

wwwwWind farm generates grants opportunity  

A NEW community grants fund opens for applications next month.   

The Murra Warra Wind Farm 1 Sustainable Community Grants Fund will provide financial support to promote social and environmental sustainability initiatives for the benefit of communities within the Horsham Rural City, Hindmarsh and Yarriambiack shire councils.  

It is part of the wind farm’s community investment program.  

Wimmera Development Association project manager Vernetta Taylor said $55,000 was available across the three municipalities. Not-for-profit groups or organisations can apply for small grants of up to $5000 or large grants of up to $20,000.  

“The fund aims to provide an opportunity for community groups and organisations to develop innovative and sustainable environmental projects; and to provide an opportunity for improved health and education across the community by developing long-term partnerships and cohesive community projects,” Vernetta Taylor said.  

“It also aims to strengthen community connections and social wellbeing in developing projects focusing on long-term sustainability; to develop projects that enhance and encourage healthy and active communities; and to develop projects which enhance cultural diversity, creative community activities and projects.”  

Applications open on March 1 and close at 5pm on April 12.  

Applications forms are available via www.murrawarrawindfarm.com or www.wda.org.au  

Hard copy application forms are available on request.  

For more information please phone Vernetta Taylor on 0419 114 274.

PROGRAM GUIDELINES - DOWNLOAD HERE

LINK TO ONLINE APPLICATION - CLICK HERE

LINK TO PRINTABLE APPLICATION - CLICK HERE

Showcase has festive ‘flavour’

November 20, 2020

SHOWCASING Wimmera Southern Mallee produce is the aim of a new initiative for the festive season.

Wimmera Development Association is co-ordinating A Taste of the Wimmera.

Project manager Vernetta Taylor said at least 10 producers of oils and dressings, salts, coffee beans, preserves and honey and pulse products would supply items for a range of gift boxes.

“This initiative is not for profit; simply a way to celebrate and give people a chance to sample what the region has to offer. As they are mystery boxes, you won’t know what you’re sampling until they are gifted or unboxed at home,” Mrs Taylor said. “The response from food producers has been extremely positive – people are so excited to showcase their products to the region in this way.”

Axis Works will pack the gift boxes, which will be available at the Horsham and Grampians Visitor Information Centre, located at the Horsham Town Hall, from December 1.

“Wimmera Development Association has made a commitment to support Wimmera food producers through its Seeds of Growth program, supporting people with existing or budding ideas and maximising the potential of their produce,” Mrs Taylor said. “As part of that, we wanted to offer an opportunity for food producers in the region to showcase their product so the community can be more aware of the amazing and diverse range of products made locally. What better time than Christmas to offer a gift – particularly for that hard-to-buy-for person – that gives people a ‘taste’ of the Wimmera to share with family and friends.”'

Wimmera Development Association supports businesses, promotes economic development opportunities to investors and is a key link between industry and governments, lobbying for improved infrastructure and for regional priority issues.

Leadership celebration

November 23, 2020

LEADERSHIP Wimmera's 2020 graduates have marked the end of their program year. 

Graduates of the Regional Leadership Skills and Business Leaders programs celebrated a year of self-development and leadership learning when they gathered in Horsham on Friday and Saturday night. It came after graduates shared their experience by way of prepared speeches last month, via Zoom. 

Leadership Wimmera program manager Jessica Grimble said 28 people from 19 organisationshad developed skills to contribute effectively and positively in workplaces and community. For many, the weekend’s dinners were their first in-person meeting since the program began in February.

“Our 2020 participants have spent most of their year-long program online – and it would not have been the year they expected, but one that likely brought many opportunities to learn and grow that were totally unexpected back in January,” Ms Grimble said. 

“Participants in a program such as Leadership Wimmera will get as much out of it as they put into it. 

Completing the program during the COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly posed challenges for everyone – from participants to facilitators and those behind the scenes – and we don’t take away from that. But it also offered people a support network and chance to learn new ways to navigate the challenges that came their way.” 

Leadership Wimmera is auspiced by Wimmera Development Association. It began in 2002 and has supported the development of almost 600 emerging leaders in the Wimmera Southern Mallee. 

The Victorian government is the major financial contributor to Leadership Wimmera. Philanthropic and business support also assists in delivering subsidised learning opportunities to Wimmera Southern Mallee residents. 

Expressions of Interest for Leadership Wimmera’s 2021 program are open now. People wanting more information can visit www.wda.org.au/leadership-wimmera or phone Jessica on 0429 811 744.

Expressions of interest sought for Leadership Wimmera program

October 6, 2020

Leadership Wimmera is preparing a reinvigoratedcommunity leadership program for 2021. 

Expressions of interest for the program open this week and organisers say there is no better time to invest – in yourself and the community. 

It comes after a challenging 2020 year. Not immune to the challenges and changing nature of the COVID-19 crisis, Leadership Wimmera quickly transitioned participants to online learning and ensured that supporting the development of emerging leaders continued during a vital period. 

“Strong community leaders are vital – especially during a crisisand there is none more poignant than COVID-19,” program manager Jessica Grimble said. 

“Participants in our 2021 program can equip themselves with the tools they, and their communities, need to navigate the impacts of COVID-19 – by rallying others, building resilience and with innovative thinking.” 

The 10-month Leadership Wimmera program will offer blended and experiential learning opportunities. 

Participants will put learned leadership fundamentals into practice through working on co-designed community projects. The program weaves education about the region and regional priorities into program sessions and project development. 

Leadership Wimmera has a proven record for excellence in leadership development – and plans for 2021 take the program to the next level,” Ms Grimble said. 

Participants will learn more about themselves and their communities and from different perspectives. By investing in their own learning and development, they can become effective, impactful and innovative leaders.” 

Learnings through Leadership Wimmera’s community leadership program continue following the initial 10-month program – with graduates becoming members of its Graduate Network and accessing opportunities that supportlifelong learning. 

These have included training in governance, communications and public speaking, and seminars on topics such as resilience, community leadership, engagement and change management throughout 2020.

Leadership Wimmera is auspiced by Wimmera Development Association. It began in 2002 and has supported the development of almost 600 emerging leaders in the Wimmera Southern Mallee. It is one of nine community leadership programs across regional Victoria. 

With support from Regional Leadership Australia, Leadership Wimmera and its sister programs collaborated to host learning opportunities such as a virtual Federal Parliament education session with ministers and key staffers last monthThe collaboration – which has grown during this year’s pandemic response - also opened opportunities to share ideas among executive officers and program managers and promote learning opportunities for the benefit of local programs. 

Business growth opportunity

November 19, 2020

AN OPPORTUNITY to participate in a Wimmera Southern Mallee food innovation program remains open to existing and hopeful producers

“Seeds of Growth” – a 12-week program that will equip participants with the skills to transform an idea into a revenue-generating business – is due to start in February.

The Wimmera Development Association and Food Innovation Australia-lead initiative will help businesses commercialise new revenue streams and adopt new technology. 

Wimmera Development Association project manager Vernetta Taylor said people would benefit from the program – regardless of their circumstance. 

“Participants can be at different stages of their food production journey – that being an idea or already being a player in the industry wanting to escalate and expand,” she said. 

“Delivered virtually, the weekly workshops give participants a chance to hear from business people already working in the industry. It also means people can work together and strengthen relationships with other food producers in the Wimmera Southern Mallee

“An e-learning platform is available for participants to drive their own learning, and weekly challenges will give participants an opportunity to put their learning into practice.” 

Innovation agency Beanstalk Ag will deliver the program. 

food1

Participation fees are largely subsidised through Food Innovation Australia, Wimmera Development Association and Wimmera Southern Mallee councils. Participants pay a $100 fee; each place is worth about $4000.

Mrs Taylor said businesses identified as ready to take their idea to the next level would be offered one-on-one mentorship for 12 weeks following the initial program. 

“The Wimmera Southern Mallee is very diverse and we have a lot of untapped opportunity. We want to give producers in the region the support to take their ideas and their produce to the next level and showcase what the region has to offer,” shesaid. 

“The program will offer networking and support for those working, or wanting to work, in this area.” 

Mrs Taylor said Expressions of Interest would close on November 30, with participating businesses finalised in December. She said people wanting more information could contact her on 0419 114 274 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Housing plan welcomed

November 17, 2020

WIMMERA Development Association has welcomed a state government cash boost for social housing in the region. 

At least $15 million is allocated to Horsham Rural City as part of the government’s four-year, $5.3 billion Big Housing Build initiative announced this week. 

Mark Fletcher, the association’s regional development project manager, was hopeful neighbouring shires would also benefit from the initiative to increase social housing properties and replace old public housing units; build new affordable and low-cost homes tohelp low to moderate income earners live closer to where they work and provide options for private rental; and to upgrade and maintain existing housing. 

“Our region is experiencing significant shortages when it comes to housing access and availability, and this funding is a step in the right direction to ease those stressors,” Mr Fletcher said. 

Wimmera Development Association supports businesses, promotes economic development opportunities to investors and is a key link between industry and governments, lobbying for improved infrastructure and for regional priority issues.

It has conducted the Wimmera Southern Mallee Housing Study throughout this year, to gain a greater understanding of available housing for rent and purchase at entry, mid-range and executive leveldocumentingemergency housing and properties held by businesses in the region that might be underutilised; and identifying future investment opportunities.

Mr Fletcher said the study showed demand for emergency housing remained so high that agencies would utilise caravan parks and motels to provide assistance to those in need. He said people could wait many months, and up to more than a year, to access ongoing housing solutions – depending on their circumstance. 

Caravan parks would often be used for emergency housing – but during the COVID response and with shared amenities, this became an issue,” Mr Fletcher said. 

“Other times, people are living in homes that are not suited to their individual circumstance, adding pressure tothe bigger picture demands.” 

Mr Fletcher said private rentals were hotly contested, often receiving numerous applicants for one property. 

“This leads to constraints for employers wanting to attract and retain staff, due to a lack of affordable and fit-for-purpose accommodation in the region,” he said. 

Mr Fletcher said the initiative would create an average of 10,000 jobs statewide across a four-year period. The homes will meet a seven-star energy efficiency rating. 

“WDA is looking forward to potential opportunities for local trades to become involved in this project - whether for new builds or maintenance work as standards are raised,” he said. 

“There is a lot of movement from the Victorian government in relation to housing this week.” 

A new government agency, Homes Victoria, has been established to work across government, industry and the social housing sector to deliver this record housing growth and to manage existing public housing.

“Eighteen regional areas are highlighted for this work – and Horsham municipality is one of them,” Mr Fletcher said. 

“Homes Victoria will develop a 10-year strategy to manage the housing stock to meet demands, and will work with local government to learn about those demands. The WDA report will feed directly into that.” 

Results of the association’s housing study will be available soon.