More than 100 people gathered for a sell-out social inclusion forum under the stars in the idyllic grounds of Smirk’s Cottage on 15 March.
Kwinana Connect shared inspiring and very personal stories of belonging, cohesion, and community pride from Kwinana locals Cr Barry Winmar and Claire Cardew, as well as former Telethon General Manager and Channel 7 producer Marie-Anne Keeffe.
Attendees travelled from as far as Yanchep to attend this event, with plenty of Kwinana residents turning out as well, for a special evening filled with food, laughter, stories and connection.
The feedback was outstanding with one resident even saying she preferred the Kwinana Connect event to her own wedding.
“What a night. The City have really done a spectacular job - so much so that I would say with confidence that this was the single best event I have ever been to in my 62 years. I include my own wedding in that too - this was even better than my wedding. Just so special and thanks for having me,” she said.
The City of Kwinana partnered with Inclusion Solutions to deliver the event, with support from Lotterywest.
The purpose was to promote the great stories of inclusion and belonging in Kwinana, and help people to connect with others in their community.
Cr Barry Winmar opened the evening with a beautiful and moving Welcome to Country, also sharing his story of growing up in Kwinana and the importance of culture and community in creating a community for all people.
Local hero Claire Cardew shared her entertaining story of getting to Kwinana, her journey co-founding a local Town Team, and the joy of giving back to community through volunteering.
Marie-Anne Keeffe (below) had the crowd on the edge of their seat with her emotional and captivating story of adoption, identity, and her journey finding her family.
Mayor Carol Adams was the closing speaker for the event and hoped the event would help to inspire the community.