Rural Aid’s ‘Community Builders’ program aims to empower Wheatbelt locals to grow their towns and regions together. Rural Aid is a charity that represents Australian farmers. Their aim is to help farmers by providing disaster relief where needed and running community programs to create more sustainable communities and build strong futures. Over the past five months, Rural Aid has run a series of ‘Cluster Muster’ workshops with representatives from towns across the Wheatbelt attending. The workshops were held in Kulin, Dumbleyung, West Arthur, Cuballing and Pingelly where the program graduation was also held. Workshops helped locals learn about tourism opportunities, regional collaboration and marketing strategies. Clancy White from Wagin said the program was practical and insightful. “We’re getting a toolkit of skills on how to take some of these lessons and use them to activate our own towns,” Mr White said. Rural Aid’s Community Programs Coordinator, Jen Curnow-Trotter, said the program was a resounding success. “It was fantastic to see the locals forming strong bonds and learning new things - even about their neighbours - throughout the course,” she said. “We are so grateful to have had amazing guest speakers attend and share their knowledge. “This program would not have been possible without small-town expert Peter Kenyon from the Bank of I.D.E.A.S sharing his endless insights.” The teams will reconvene in February to finalise their plans for 2023.