Westonia, Western Australia
Westonia is old, in relative terms, but it’s not big. It now has a population of about 250 people but in the time since gold was discovered there in 1910, there have been times when the population has swelled to more than 2000 people. It’s also a fiercely proud community – winning its category in the State-wide Tidy Town competition in 2010.
Over the decades the town’s two mines have opened and closed various times but in 2009 Westonia was back in favour, with Catalpa Resources announcing it was reopening the Edna May Gold Mine.
As mining communities go, it’s pretty close to the capital. It’s a little over 300km from Perth, in the Wheatbelt farming region. It’s about halfway to Kalgoorlie as you head inland from the coast. There are lots of other agricultural communities nearby, including the major centre of Merredin, where you will find any of the facilities you might find Westonia is lacking. It has a lot more shops and services, as you’ll see from the town’s website.
That’s certainly not to suggest Westonia is the end of the earth. It has its own local council and a strong local community. It has sporting groups, recreation facilities, a library, a community resource centre, a primary school (the high school is in Merredin), they Royal Flying Doctor which visits monthly (the hospital is in Merredin), an ambulance service, bush fire brigade and nearby police services.
It’s also in a beautiful setting. The town, being a century old and sometimes almost abandoned during its history, has some lovely old buildings that give the place a very Australian feel. There are beautiful nature reserves (these are especially stunning during the wildflower season) and gorgeous granite outcrops that help to give this whole region its character.
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