It’s almost the end of 2013, so here’s a look back at our local news and highlights as I saw them this year.

Boundary maps 1

Council amalgamations

A hot topic for those in the City of Vincent and residents of Mount Lawley, Inglewood and parts of Dianella.  Whereas the City of Vincent Councillors and residents appear to have successfully lobbied to stop the original proposal to split the council and amalgamate with the City of Perth, elsewhere it seems politics, rather than preservation of heritage or natural boundaries, has prevailed.  The City of Stirling now looks like it will get back Mount Lawley  & Terry Tyzack Leisure Centre (in the seat held by Liberal Michael Sutherland and previously due to be lost to the new Morley super council) but still lose its other heritage suburb, Inglewood (held predominantly by Labor MLA Lisa Baker). Make sense? Of course not. Let’s see what pans out in 2014.

Everyone's favourite - the Dog Show

Everyone’s favourite festival event – the Dog Show

Fetes & festivals

Perth College held its huge triennial event and many other local Primary School P&C’s, including Inglewood, Mount Hawthorn and Bayswater, hosted successful local Fete’s this year.  To my mind School fete’s do more than raise much needed funds – they bring together the local community and represent a microcosm of not just the culture and ethos of the school, but of their broader suburbs.  We’re blessed with great local schools and should never underestimate the role they play in attracting people to our area (and our house values!).

This years Beaufort St Festival was the biggest yet – attracting a reported 120,000 people with its largest ever line-up of entertainment, art, stalls and events.  The festival took on board community feedback to include more events for kids this year and introduced a popular food stage, a business incubator area for local small businesses as well as more art and street performances.  A great event that does much to encourage people to visit The Strip throughout the year and one that I love being a part of.

Kids Festival

Free concerts and events

Our local Councils – Vincent, Stirling and Bayswater – are to be congratulated on the number of free local concerts, events and performances that have been offered to residents throughout the year.  Stirling’s Summer Arts Festival, Bayswater’s Autumn River Festival & Avon Descent event and the City of Vincent’s Summer Concert Series and Youth Events are all great examples.  Add to this the ongoing community events they each host at their respective local libraries and recreational centres, and you have a popular and diverse range of (mostly) free activities for all ages that help to grow and nurture our sense of community spirit and contribute to our local lifestyle.


Public art

One of the blogs that I was most proud of this year was Public art: cultural necessity or fiscal foolishness?  I think the explosion of public art, especially around the City of Vincent, and many local council’s moves towards including a percentage for public artworks in larger scale development applications is a brilliant initiative. Our office is just across the road from Tandem (pictured above) and not a day goes past without people stopping to take a pic or interacting with the piece.  If you’d prefer your community spaces to have plain walls and paving – live somewhere else I say!


Fostering community

There was something in the water in North Perth this year, which played host to a number of projects that all reached out to the local community.  North Perth Primary School did a remarkable Olive Oil fundraiser, there was the launch of the North Perth Community Garden and Men’s Shed and the commencement of the Kyilla Community Farmer’s Markets.  All of these initiatives have people and community at their heart, and it was inspiring to see them and share those stories.

Unfortunately the plans for the Maylands Markets, originally hoped to open in September, have been put on hold, but locals are working on alternate ideas for bringing residents and visitors together.

If you’ve got similar stories of local initiatives that you’d like promoted and shared please let me know – I’d love to help.

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Yokine Open Space

The great outdoors

One of the things I’ve tried to do with my blogs this year has been to highlight the great public spaces we have locally.  There is certainly no shortage of ovals, parks and playgrounds and its great to see individuals and families utilising them and councils spending money to upgrade  facilities – Hyde Park, Yokine & Dianella Playspaces have become immensely popular since being installed or upgraded and the free outdoor concerts and events held in the parks or ovals seem to attract larger crowds each year. Now is the perfect time of year to pack a picnic or bbq and head out to one or more of these great spots.

Bayswater Tennis Club

Clubs and sport

As a mother of two active boys I’ve come to appreciate how many great sporting clubs and facilities we have locally and how many wonderful and dedicated people there are who volunteer their time to run them.  This year I profiled our local Tennis and Cricket Clubs, next year I’ll be adding some new ones. With initiatives like KidSport, which provides financial assistance where needed towards club fees, there really is no excuse for kids spending their entire weekend in front of a screen.

Swallow back

Eating, drinking and shopping locally

It’s no secret that I like to eat, drink and shop and I enjoy nothing better than doing that locally.  There’s been a plethora of new restaurants, cafes, small bars and retail outlets that have opened this year (as well as some local institutions that have closed due to increasingly high rents, but that’s another story…) and the more established   places continue to deliver and keep up with their newer competition.

The activation of one or more main streets in each of our local suburbs I think is critical to maintaining a vibrant community and it’s great to see the development of Maylands, Beaufort Street in Mt Lawley and Highgate and Angove Street in North Perth as destinations for locals and visitors alike.

bamBOO Outdoor Cinema copy

And finally, Beaufort Street gets a (licensed!) cinema

Whilst I’ve loved the metamorphosis of the Astor Theatre, I do miss having a local cinema that’s a bit more interesting (and cleaner) than the multiplexes.  Enter bamBOO Outdoor Cinema at the bamBOO Lounge behind the Luxe Bar in Highgate! Yay! This is the perfect way to cap off a great year locally, I think and really adds to Beaufort Street as a destination strip. I can’t wait to hang out there.

How about you?!

So what was your favourite new local restaurant, cafe, or retail outlet to open this year?  Which events did you most enjoy? And what other highlights locally do you think there were in 2013? Leave a comment below – would love to hear from you.