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As we eagerly leave 2020 behind and cautiously step into 2021, Senior Consultant, Sarah-Jane Dabarera, reflects on the themes in community relations for the year ahead. Culture and heritage   2020 has set the scene for an increased focus on culture and heritage in 2021. The Black Lives Matter movement, Australian deaths in custody and the destruction of sacred sites at Juukan Gorge have resulted in increased focus and scrutiny on genuine engagement with Traditional Owners. The recently released amendments to the Aboriginal Heritage Act, issued by the WA Government, will require renewed effort in making agreements and strengthening relationships with Traditional Owners. Black

For the McGowan State Government, WA’s economic recovery from COVID-19 is all about infrastructure. Accelerated programs to build roads, rail and bridges are expected to bring about jobs and assets for the future. But what will these expedited projects mean for the communities where they will be built?   Our stakeholder engagement experts explain why avoiding tick-box engagement, and developing a strong consultation program, is more important than ever when timeframes for delivery are crunched. How many projects have been fast tracked? More than 80 major rail, road, coastal and cycling projects over the next two years. A streamlined process for contract awards

As we embark on 2021, the world finds itself at a major turning point – politically, economically, technologically and socially. What’s next? It’s never easy to predict, and especially so this year! For businesses and communication experts, the best way forward is to reflect and learn from the year that was – the lockdown; the economic and social impacts; the devastating bushfires; the disruption of everyday life. The events of 2020 transformed how we communicate. We asked some of Perth’s best communication experts to look back on 2020 and give us their predictions for 2021. A purpose-driven focus With lots of social justice issues

Engaging – it’s the word most often used to describe great content on the internet. Readers who are engaged keep their eyes on website pages for longer, and engaged customers feel compelled to act and purchase products. Length of time on site and customer conversion are two of the most common goals for content strategies. Video and podcasts have become popular ways of creating content, but the written word remains an important pillar of content strategies. Writing for the web, or indeed any public medium, can feel intimidating for those unfamiliar with it – but the best strategy is to prepare and keep

Zak Leading the WA Liberal Party First-term MP, Zak Kirkup is the new leader of the WA Liberal Party, after being elected unopposed following Dean Nalder pulling out of the contest. Mr Kirkup is the party's youngest leader since Matt Birney's short stint in the mid-2000s. He was elected as Dawesville MP in 2017, and replaces Ms Liza Harvey, who resigned as Leader on Sunday morning. Mr Kirkup assumes the role just 109 days out from the March State election. Ms Libby Mettam Voted as Deputy Leader Former Journalist turned Vasse MP, Ms Libby Mettam, was also voted in unopposed as Deputy Leader. The Bench

Unfiltered, unguarded and sometimes unconventional, The Bench shows WA’s politicians as you’ve never seen them before. Cannings Purple’s Peter Klinger caught up with the Member for Mount Lawley, Simon Millman to discuss a wide range of topics, including his childhood in Melbourne, moving to Perth, getting involved in UWA’s Student Guild and taking his first steps into the legal world. Who Is Simon Millman? Simon Millman is a proud long-term resident of Mount Lawley, where he lives with his wife, Tara and their two sons. Simon shares a brief summary of his life, including his life before politics - heading legal firm, Slater and Gordon's Industrial Relations

As Australia faces record levels of debt and deficit in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Western Australian Treasurer Ben Wyatt today bucked the trend to post a $1.2 billion surplus in the State Budget, followed by surpluses in the range of $363 million in 2021-2022 to $1.5 billion in 2023-2024. Buoyed by high iron ore prices, which enabled Western Australia to bank $8.4 billion in royalties in 2019/20, the coffers are well placed to support the State’s economic recovery and combat the ongoing threat of the coronavirus. The Budget assumes that Western Australia’s borders will remain closed until April 2021. Importantly,

International Access to Information Day is held on 28 September every year and recognises the community’s right to access government-held information. This year, the focus will be on the right to information during times of crisis and on the advantages of having constitutional, statutory and/or policy guarantees for public access to information to save lives, build trust and help the formulation of sustainable policies throughout and beyond the COVID-19 crisis. The community’s right to access government-held information is a multi-faceted and complex issue, so we have enlisted Cannings Purple's Director, Design and Digital, Jamie Wilkinson and Associate Director, Government Relations, Jennifer Kirk

Negotiating the COVID-19 pandemic is currently a major focus for the WA Government. The good news for business is there will soon be opportunities to be involved in the recovery. Staff in Ministerial offices have spent recent weeks keeping pace with daily decisions to implement the Government’s response to the pandemic. But as the curve continues to flatten the Government has an eye to the future and is keen to hear about projects that will inject valuable income and jobs into our communities as part of the recovery from COVID-19. Treasurer Ben Wyatt has made it clear that initiatives to boost the