South West leaders on what Western Australian means to them ahead of WA Day this weekend

South Western Times
Bunbury MLA Don Punch
Camera IconBunbury MLA Don Punch Credit: Shannon Verhagen/Shannon Verhagen

The WA Day long weekend gives a chance for West Australians to stop and reflect on what it means to live, work and play here.

For many, WA has been home forever, while others have found it later in life — this State means something different to everyone.

Confined mostly to our own patch for the last 18 months, our relationship with WA might have changed, or strengthened as we regain touch with our home.

This week, the South Western Times spoke to a number of leaders from different areas around Bunbury and the South West to find out what being Western Australian means to them.

Kristy Gillian - Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive

Kristy Gillian
Camera IconKristy Gillian Credit: Jackson Barrett

I consider myself incredibly fortunate to be a West Australian.

For me, WA Day allows time to reflect and celebrate with our families and friends on who we are as West Australians.

We have a lot to be proud of and we should absolutely celebrate the cultural diversity and lifestyle we enjoy today.

With the impacts of COVID-19 ravaging the world, WA is considered by many as one of the safest places on the planet to live.

Sarah Stanley - Collie Shire president

Collie Shire President Sarah Stanley.
Camera IconCollie Shire President Sarah Stanley. Credit: Michael Wilson/The West Australian, Michael Wilson

On WA Day, I always like to reflect on how lucky I am to get to live in Collie — the best town in the best region in the best State in the best country in the world.

Our people are fabulous, our lifestyle is enviable and our potential is limitless. Happy WA Day to all.

Gary Brennan - Bunbury City Mayor

City of Bunbury mayor, Gary Brennan.
Camera IconCity of Bunbury mayor, Gary Brennan. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The Sunday Times, Daniel Wilkins

WA Day is a day of celebrating everything we enjoy about being West Aussies, and thanking those who are no longer with us that made a contribution to ensure what we have now.

This applies to our Indigenous community with 50,000 plus years of history through to our most recent new citizens arriving from many parts of the world.

It is also important to recognise and help where we can to alleviate the social and mental health challenges that many people confront on a daily basis.

We are all West Australians, let’s not forget that nor take it for granted as it is a privilege.

Nola Marino - Member for Forrest

Nola Marina.
Camera IconNola Marina. Credit: PAUL WEBSTER/Paul Webster

Our South West is a very special part of Western Australia — please stay safe on our roads and be patient while enjoying the WA Day long weekend.

Simone Nani - South West Football League general manager

Simone Nani.
Camera IconSimone Nani.

WA has so much to offer and is without a doubt, the best place to live.

Our State is full of opportunities, has fabulous places to visit and the best coast- lines in the world.

It is always great to visit other States and countries (when we could), however there is nothing like coming home to WA.

After the last 18 months we now know it is also among the safest places to live.

This weekend we should all be proud of this wonderful State we live in and celebrate the achievements and commitments made by everyone who has contributed to the growth and safety of our home.

Don Punch - Bunbury MLA

Bunbury MLA Don Punch
Camera IconBunbury MLA Don Punch Credit: Shannon Verhagen/Shannon Verhagen

There is no doubt in my mind WA is the best place to live in Australia.

The challenges we have faced and overcome in the past year or so show what a fantastic community we are and how we can achieve great things when we come together.

I am very proud to be a Western Australian.

We are a State of amazing natural beauty but it is the people and the communities that make WA the place we all are proud to call home.

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