COMMENT

Local Leaders: David Doepel on the Peel region's identity

David Doepel is the Peel Development Commission chair. Picture: Supplied.
David Doepel is the Peel Development Commission chair. Picture: Supplied.

TedxMandurah will be back for a second outing at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre on May 28th. It will be a full day of 'ideas worth sharing' with twelve local speakers exploring the concept of identity and how they have integrated this idea into their lives.

I recently did an interview with the local organiser of the event, Jackie Campbell about the Commission's support of the event. The theme and our conversation got me thinking about the Peel regions' identity. Probably the first thing to say we have multiple identities, all of which can be celebrated, embraced, and promoted to the world.

Pinjarra: I love the historic town and the fantastic work being done by local government in preserving and activating the historic precinct.

Serpentine-Jarrahdale: The Byford rail extension represents vibrancy and growth in the region and will connect residents to the Perth CBD and still enjoy a rural lifestyle.

Dwellingup: Our very own WA Top Small Tourist Town for 2021 with Dwellingup Adventure Trails attracting new visitors to the region with quality services and infrastructure that leverage the stunning and unique forest ecology. One that we must be responsible stewards of.

Mandurah: The iconic waterways and the City's commitment to getting the balance right between natural beauty and a cityscape that kisses the estuary.

Our abundant regional produce is becoming available to more people locally, across the state and internationally thanks to investment in agri-food innovations being developed here in Peel both at the WA Food Innovation Precinct and the rural productivity of Waroona and surrounds.

We participate in Western Australia's mining economy including gold, bauxite, and mineral sands. Collectively a massive driver of economic strength for the region and the state.

And importantly Peel overlaps with the Gnaala Karla Boodja and the rich and enduring Noongar culture which is an integral part of our holistic identity.

But beyond the economic, natural world and our built forms what do we want to be known for? What is our identity around being a region with a culture of care? What does that look like for our community? What are we doing to support our marginalised residents? How do we develop, support and keep the region's talent?

TedxMandurah's event will speak to all these questions and the Peel Development Commission is excited to be a partner with them for the second year running.

More broadly, our identity in terms of regional resilience is a conversation that we're committed to having all the time.

The Peel Development Commission's work focuses on investment attraction, diversifying our economy and making it resilient by partnering to identify and support projects that benefit the region. Facilitating and activating those partnerships and opportunities is at the heart of our role in developing our region.

We support events and initiatives to help Peel's workforce to be highly skilled and adaptable to structural and technological change to support an economy that is strong, diverse, and high performing.

But this is not about unlimited growth in the Peel region or growth at all costs, rather it is sustainable development to extend the benefits to as many people as possible.

We want economic resources and space to provide schools, hospitals, and job opportunities so people can grow up in the region and have great aspirations and have a community where those aspirations can be realised. Above all, we want to be proud to say we are from here.

  • David Doepel is the Peel Development Commission chair