Growing Winchelsea Inc. is an advocacy and leadership group which facilitates and promotes business and community development throughout the Winchelsea Ward of the Surf Coast Shire. Volunteer community leaders help provide the town with a united voice.
RV Friendly Winchelsea
Growing Winchelsea developed an RV Friendly submission and worked with the council until after the riverbank below the swimming pool opened. If you would like to know more about RV Friendly Camping in Winchelsea, please click here.
Partnership with Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism (GORRT) led to the development of a website including the I Am Winchelsea website. After several workshops, Winchelsea is now included with their own tourism page, which you can find here.
Working in partnerships grows more fruitful outcomes. Observing that the noticeboard needed upgrading, Growing Winchelsea applied to the Bendigo Community Bank for funds that enabled the purchase of a brand new lockable and weatherproof noticeboard. This is now managed by volunteers of four different community groups. Along with this generous grant, an application was made to assist with payment of storage for accumulated community assets which had been scattered in farm sheds. These items include Christmas decorations, the market trailer with outdoor seating and art display frames for public use.
Adventure Playground and River Walk
An outsourced project, run by the Surf Coast Shire, engaged with the community to identify a vision for Winchelsea's future growth, both short and long term. This resulted in the 'Shaping Future Growth Report 2015', which is an active working document for the Surf Coast Shire, and a reference document for Growing Winchelsea.
The report outlined the importance of an adventure playground. We helped identify a playground destined for Beal Court could be better positioned within the town. The main playground in Barwon Terrace is due for refurbishment in this current budget, and we identified that an exciting new adventure playground would be fantastic for children in the town and for visitors alike.
Footpaths continue to be on the drawing board, looking at how they might be improved and where they might be required. With the full circuit of Barwon River inaccessible to foot traffic, this was another positive to come out of the report. Growing Winchelsea continues to keep this vision alive.
Traffic Management Planning
Negotiating with council, Growing Winchelsea helped draw attention to the need for improved road access and parking at the Barwon Terrace & Willis Street Corner. We successfully applied for a budget of $199,000 for traffic management in this area.
Another major project coming from the 'Shaping Future Growth Report' was town beautification and recently we have seen an upgrade of the streetscape with new furniture, footpath and bins, and more to follow.
Growing Winchelsea is continuing to lobby Surf Coast Shire for the purchase of a second oval in the sporting precinct, identifying the land at the corner of Stephenson and Witcombe Streets.
At the Public meeting organized by Growing Winchelsea in October, there was an announcement from the Shire that the land had been purchase and progress can now be made for development of the sporting precinct.
Recognition of Veterans
With the increased interest in the community attending Anzac Day services, assistance was required for catering and morning tea. We successfully achieved a grant for continued funding for catering. Town beautification included Anzac Park, where the World War 1 cairn was completed. We have supported the Surf Coast Shire with a letter to State and Federal governments for funding for the remaining two cairns.
Forums & Fundraisers
Early this year, a forum was held by Growing Winchelsea identifying the issues of elderly people as they require more assistance in maintaining a mobile and independent lifestyle. This was wonderfully successful, resulting in partnerships with Surf Coast Shire, the Bendigo Community Bank, Winchelsea Star, The Lions Club and Hesse Rural Health.
In 2016, Shutting the Gate was a response to concerns about the potential development of coal seam gas extraction in the district. Growing Winchelsea presented a forum with Jon Faine as MC and five speakers. 300 people packed the Eastern Reserve Hub to hear the reasons for and against the proposals.
The Eastern Reserve Community Bank Room also came to life at a fundraising dinner with Greg Champion of the Coodabeens where 150 enjoyed the night.
Following concern in the community regarding land identified in the Future Growth Report for a proposed school site, was being sold to developers, Growing Winchelsea organized a Public meeting in October 2018. Guest speakers included Richard Riordan MP for Polwarth, Simon O’Brien Principal Winchelsea Primary School and three officers from Planning Department of Surf Coast Shire.
Questions were not restricted to the future of the school but remained relevant to the town and planning department. The meeting was hugely successful with 130 people in attendance. Requests for more sessions like this were noted.
Following the success of the Dressmaker exhibition at Barwon Park and the showing of the film, a movie club was set up by Growing Winchelsea. It is membership based and ten movies are shown every year. Everyone is invited to join. Enquiries at email@example.com.
Winchelsea Historical Society and Growing Winchelsea partnered with the Wathaurong, presenting Koenig Aboriginal artefacts to the community. These artefacts need a home, and are currently in safekeeping with the society.
Town Entry Sculptures
VicRoads and Surf Coast Shire donated money to Winchelsea during the major roadworks for the town entry sculptures. This project is still active, and we look forward to seeing it proudly signifying the town's entrance in the near future.
In 1978, a Winchelsea strategy plan identified a need for child care in the town. Over the last ten years, Hesse Rural Health, Winchelsea Community Bank, Growing Winchelsea and Surf Coast Shire have been in discussions to develop community child care. Last year, a private developer was approved by Surf Coast Shire to build a centre. These works are still in progress.
With markets becoming the place to go on a Sunday and Winchelsea now having magnificent bluestone pedestrian bridge, it was the obvious location for the Makers and Growers Market. This will be run during the warmer months on the first Sunday of October, December, February and April from 9 am to 1 pm. For more information, please email the Secretary of Growing Winchelsea.
Growing Winchelsea also facilitates community events, including Great Southern Field Days and other festive occasions.
Restoration of the Common
Surf Coast Shire developed the Regional Trader Group Collaboration, of which Growing Winchelsea have representatives attending regularly with other community groups from the Shire.
The Department of Land, Water and Planning approached Growing Winchelsea prior to the closure of the Common and the current restoration of the landscape to a more natural state.
These and many other projects can be attributed to interested community volunteers who are members of Growing Winchelsea Inc. Membership is free. You are invited to attend any meetings on the second Wednesday of every month, 7.30 pm at the Hub.
For further information, or if you have items for agenda, please contact the secretary of Growing Winchelsea here.