Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days office moves to town centre
It’s a big move for a little office, from the Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days oval to the heart of town.
Dowerin Events Management has shifted from its office at the local hockey and footy oval to 30 Stewart Street, in the heart of the community it serves.
The new office is home to the organisation’s event co-ordinators Nadine McMorran and Tracy Jones, who have settled in and are busy planning next year’s event on August 25 and 26.
The pair started in their new roles in April, after Ms McMorran stepped down from the chair role that month.
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Ms Jones has been involved in the organisation for more than two decades, after working as the assistant event co-ordinator in 1998-2000.
She has volunteered in the field days office during the week of the annual August event nearly every year since.
Ms McMorran said moving to a paperless system had made the relocation of the office considerably easier.
“The move has been discussed over the years to give us a connection with the community, while the event is not on,” she said.
“Especially this year, with having no event, it was a great time to trial the move.
“We have moved to a paperless system, so it is a matter of picking up the laptop and moving wherever.”
Ms McMorran said while it was not the first time the office had been located on the main street of Dowerin, it was the first time in at least 20 years.
The former office at the local sports oval, where the event is held each year, was refurbished in 1996.
Ms McMorran said it took four volunteers just an hour, and herself four hours, to move the office equipment to the new site on the main street.
She said the move had been a hit among the community and tourists.
“The main benefits are that we feel like a part of the main street and a central hub of the community, with lots more interaction with visitors than we would have had on site,” she said.
“Lots of visitors from out of town have been stopping to grab things from the bakery and walking the street.
“Our local community have given us great feedback and enjoy our snippets we place in the window each week.”
While the big office move is just a tentative trial at this stage, Ms McMorran said she hoped to make it a permanent arrangement.
She and her colleague, Ms Jones, have been sharing bathroom and kitchen facilities with the Dowerin Community Resource Centre, and sharing resources with the visitors centre.
The organisation will decide whether to keep the office in town or move it back to the oval at its board meeting at the end of October.
Dowerin GWN7 Machinery Field Days was cancelled in April due to COVID-19, but plans are in place to hold next year’s event on August 25 and 26.
The event began in 1964 with 20 exhibitors as a way to raise funds to water the town’s ovals, and has grown into WA’s biggest regional field days event, attracting about a 20,000-strong crowd.
It celebrated 55 years last year with a five-year crowd record on day one of the event, with more than 13,000 people coming through the gates the first day, and more than 11,000 on the second.
Local farmers Ashley Jones and Josh Ward have been appointed chair and deputy chair of the committee.
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