As individuals and businesses, we are navigating through the toughest times we may ever experience with the coronavirus pandemic, and now more than ever we have needed to come together.

This has led to an incredible show of collaboration in the South West, with the South West Alliance Response and Recovery Team being formed. BSW Connect is proud to be an integral part in forming this group, along with the Bunbury Geographe Economic Alliance (BGEA), Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Local Governments and more than 40 community minded stakeholders, organisations and business owners from the public and private sectors. The SW Alliance has been established to provide a whole of region approach for helping businesses receive the support and information they need to adapt and survive this pandemic by overcoming the challenges it is posing.

We are focused on providing businesses with a collective, coordinated response, and identifying options and opportunities for businesses to promote regional recovery in the coming months and years ahead.  This is being done through four key areas of focus:  business support and assistance, business mentoring, resilience and well-being support, and Industry & Associations along with  collating accurate, relevant and timely information, all available online and from one website the South West Smart Hub (, and being a conduit to and from all tiers of government in raising our SW region’s business issues and needs.

Underpinning this central source for information and support, are 6 working sub-groups on the following key areas:

Business, Family & Personal        Resilience & Well-beingDevelop and access online tools to support business owners and their staff, communities, and families in maintaining their mental and emotional health, and to build business resilience.Gary Hodge – The Pacific Institute

Justin O’Hehir – Inspired Results

Dom Marzano – Marzano Consulting Psychologists

Wil Massara – Youth Leadership Academy Australia

Business Support & AssistanceTo collectively develop practical strategies for supporting and assisting businesses in responding and recovering from the COVID-19 crisis.Damien Chalk – IPS

Alisha Fenn – AF Accountancy

Lyn Farrell – ECU South West/BGEA Board

Louise Barkle – BSW Connect

Business MentoringDevelop a South West business mentoring network that business owners can access through the portal to support and assist them in staying on track with their business response and recovery action plans.Dr Robyn Morris – BSW Connect

Amanda Yip – Ahoy Management & City of Bunbury Councillor

Claire Anderson – IPS/BASWP

Iain Massey – Upland Consulting and SW Leaders


SW Industry & AssociationsTo work with industry associations and businesses to gather information on and monitor the region’s business issues and needs and to present these to the relevant tiers of government.

Industry Associations ‘Spark’ program.

Steve Down – AMD Chartered Accountants

Mark Seaward – Bunbury Geographe CCI

Michael Smart – Busselton CCI

Jennifer May – City of Busselton

Mat Lewis – SWDC

Tony Fletcher – SWDC

Tracey Hodgkins – Southern Dirt South West Agriculture

Natalie Peterson – Totally Sound Business Owner

City of Bunbury Economic Development

IT Technical & PlanningDevelop a single go-to south west portal for aggregating and disseminating information, and online upskilling training resources tailored to region business needs.Peter Griffyn – SWCCI/Creative Corner

Darren Berson – BSW Connect

Michael Smart – Busselton CCI

Media & CommunicationsDevelop and roll out a communications strategy including branding and messaging for the COVID-19 response and recovery.James Hayward – Firey Productions

Jon Ricciardone – Bureau42

Sam Fotu – Southern Cross Austereo

Sarah Stanley – Shire of Collie/Gumfire Marketing

We are incredibly grateful to all involved, who came together at lightning speed, all volunteering their time and expertise to help the South West get back on its feet.