24 Sep

Quick action, collaboration and communication: These are the three principles that one small community group is applying to make their community a safe and vibrant place to live.

The Withers Progress Association Inc. (WPA) aims to connect people and enrich lives.

“Little groups can’t do a great deal on their own, but if they pull together it makes it easier to achieve things - that’s our aim,” WPA Chair Mary Dunlop said.

Mary and other members have been involved on a number of different levels, from the original Withers Action Group (WAG), and the Withers Advisory Committee (WAC) to Bunbury City Council and currently the Withers Community Reference Group.

“There was not much happening around Withers for twenty years or so, prior to us receiving some government funding,” she said. “That then evolved into the revitalization of Withers.”

The WPA Inc. have been involved in projects such as getting CCTV cameras in streets, lobbying for public toilets in parks, closing troublesome path access ways, and getting refuge islands and crosswalks put in. They have worked to get footpaths in some areas with busy streets, which had parents and children walking on the roads.

“Whatever is front and centre for normal folk in the suburbs, we take the action that’s required as quickly as possible to resolve any situation,” Mary said.

The WPA Inc. also run a successful craft group at Hudson Road Family Centre and auspice for and help to coordinate the annual Friends of Des Ugle Park Christmas Fair.

Their latest venture is a pot luck dinner at Hudson Road Family Centre on the first Thursday of each month. “That’ll start picking up now because of the change of weather and school holidays. The soup van comes to HRFC, and they’ll promote us as well because we support them, hopefully bringing more people in to enjoy the meal.”

The WPA Inc. have been busy over the past few months with all their projects, whilst trying to attract new members, with a summer special of $5.00 to join.

For the coming months, the group has made it their mission to keep the community updated on the activities of the WPA Inc and the great changes coming to Withers.

The next community consultation will take place on Wednesday November 29 at Hudson Road Family Centre.

“It’s an open public forum for the Withers Urban Renewal Strategy and Local Area Plan,” Mary said.

“Roberta Lee, a concerned community member, has just completed the online neighborhood watch for every street of Withers. She’s done a sterling job, and she’ll be at Des Ugle Christmas Fair to sign up more people,” Mary said.

“We have a very positive community-minded group that works well together and with other groups. We support each other and do the best we can.”

Next year the WPA Inc. will continue onward and upward with our first meeting scheduled for Thursday February 8th at Hudson Road Family Centre, time TBA.

“We’re getting ourselves out there more, so that people know we’re here and willing to assist anyone who asks,” Mary said.

The WPA Inc. welcomes community involvement and is currently seeking volunteers to help with the set-up of the Des Ugle Christmas Fair on Saturday November 25 from 11am-4pm at Des Ugle Park in Withers. If you would like to help out or learn more, call 0421 441 443 or email admin@withersprogress.com.au


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