Buloke Shire Council Friendship Alliance

Representatives from Buloke Shire Council and Hobsons Bay City Council signed the Memorandum of Understanding in May 2006. The aim is to break down the urban-rural divide between councils and communities in Victoria.

The alliance has seen many visits and exchanges and includes the promotion of joint initiatives involving local service organisations and clubs.

If you'd like to become involved in the friendship alliance and develop relationships with the Buloke community contact Council on 1300 179 944. To find out more about Buloke Shire www.buloke.vic.gov.au

How it started: Buloke Friendship Alliance           

Through an existing informal friendship between Hobsons Bay Councillor Peter Hemphill and Buloke Shire Councillor Robyn Ferriar, the Hobsons Bay community became aware of the plight of residents including farming communities in Buloke impacted by what was an ongoing drought.

Council staff members and local residents responded to needs, and this acted as the catalyst for formally establishing the friendship alliance.

The two councils signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) confirming their commitment to the partnership, with a specific focus on education, arts and culture, environment and business.

In addition to sharing resources and expertise, the friendship has extended to the wider communities, bringing together trader associations, churches, schools, community groups, sporting groups and residents.

The friendship alliance is an innovative project that the councils and communities of Hobsons Bay and Buloke are committed to. There are opportunities for continued learning and sharing of information and both parties plan to continue their involvement in this successful and beneficial partnership.

Themes and areas of interest include; 

  • exchange programs between schools
  • support for the local economy of each area
  • promotion of tourism opportunities
  • sharing of information and resources
  • linking of arts and sporting events
  • environmental programs

About Buloke Shire                

Buloke Shire is situated in Victoria’s rural north west, in the heart of the state's wheat belt. It covers an area of over 8,000 kilometres with a population of 7,900 residents. The traditional owners of this area are the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagalk and Dja Dja Wurrung.

Agriculture, especially grain and sheep production, is the major industry, although other important sectors include retail trade, health and community services and education and increasingly arts and culture and the visitor economy.

The main townships within the shire are Birchip, Charlton, Donald, Sea Lake and Wycheproof. Find out more at www.buloke.vic.gov.au

In contrast, Hobsons Bay is situated ten kilometres from Melbourne in the inner western metro region. The city covers an area of 66 kilometres with a population of more than 99,500.

Projects & events

Photography tours, members of the Williamstown Camera Club and the tour to Buloke to photograph the night sky.

An ongoing annual bowling tournament between clubs in Buloke and Hobsons Bay; clubs alternate the host duties.

An engagement program between the Altona Village Traders Association and trader and business associations in Buloke.

A number of exhibitions and expos at Louis Joel Arts and Community Centre in Altona.

Steam Rail Victoria in Newport hosted the Steaming Up Broadway festival launch, a celebration of 125 years of rail in Wycheproof.

Hobsons Bay City Council staff have contributed to emergency relief and related work required following flood and drought conditions.

Seaworks in Williamstown hosts the Paddock to Port exhibition about Victoria’s agricultural history and the wheat and wool production in the Mallee and Wimmera in the 1800s-1940s and its relationship to the port of Williamstown.

In 2008, the unique friendship alliance won a Local Government Professional (LGPro) Awards for Excellence in the Corporate and Community Planning category.

Hobsons Bay traders associations of Altona, Laverton, Newport and Williamstown funded the children’s entertainment at the annual Donald Christmas celebration, contributing to the hire of rides and musical performances.