Busselton Jetty Inc semi finalist in state awards

Busselton Jetty operations manager Christy Thodey with the Environment Minister Stephen Dawson. Image supplied.
Busselton Jetty operations manager Christy Thodey with the Environment Minister Stephen Dawson. Image supplied.

Busselton Jetty Inc was presented as a semi finalist in the prestigious RAC Volunteering Award, by the Honourable Stephen Dawson at the 2017 WA Regional Achievement and Community Awards.

The awards celebrate regional WA’s high achievers and community contributors.

BJI has 85 volunteers and provided 5367 hours to stop the demolition of the jetty and raise funds for its restoration.

The heritage tourist icon attracts 400,000 visitors annually, the second highest visited attraction in WA after Perth Zoo.

The application was submitted on behalf of the volunteers that have served Busselton Jetty year after year, as they approach the 30th anniversary of BJI.

For 30 years, BJI has been responsible for the ongoing operation of the heritage listed 152 year old Busselton Jetty.

It has raised funds and implemented initiatives that contribute to the conservation, protection and enhancement of the jetty and its marine environment for the enjoyment of many generations.

In 1972, the Jetty officially closed as a port, once it was closed to shipping, government maintenance stopped.

Following the decline of government funding and the crippling effects of Cyclone Alby in 1978, BJI was formed by local businessmen and fishermen to raise funds for much needed restoration and maintenance.

The community group was incorporated in 1987.

Many of the BJI volunteers have been involved with the jetty for years and have been passionate supporters.

BJI chairperson Jenny Sheehan has volunteered at the jetty for over 12 years and a has been a board member for nine years.

Jetty host coordinator Doreen Bailie has volunteered with BJI since 2004. In 2011, Doreen planned and organised the Jetty host volunteer program and in 2014 she was elected to the board of management.

Under Ms Bailie’s guidance the number of volunteers have increased from 11 foundation members to over 85 volunteer jetty hosts currently.

Eight of the foundation volunteers are still active jetty hosts today.

In the last financial year, the total number of jetty host hours came to 5367 which equated to $128,809 in kind labour.