Home / Projects / South-West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub

South-West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub

The South-West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub (SW WA Hub) is harnessing the power of collaboration to enhance drought resilient practices and accelerate innovation and adoption.

Funded by the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund, the SW WA Hub has begun implementing activities such as the collaborative $4 million WaterSmart Dams initiative, funded by the FDF and the State Government.

Led by the GGA, the Hub is utilising and leveraging the power of the GGA grower group network ‘hub and spoke’ model to facilitate greater innovation from ‘the ground up’.

Grower groups are among the Hub’s more than 50 consortium Partners, which represent all sectors of the WA agricultural supply chain and are providing cash and in-kind co-contributions.

This focus on collaboration will enable the SW WA Hub to make agricultural research impactful and accessible, increasing innovation and commercialisation opportunities.

The Australian Government has expanded the remit of the SW WA Hub beyond drought resilience to agricultural innovation. However, drought resilience remains a core priority.

Vision: Thriving producers and communities adapting to our variable environment

Mission: Be a connected and trusted partner building pathways to accelerate innovation and adoption

Coming Events

In-person SW WA Hub Science to Practice Forum Workshop

In support of this year’s Science to Practice Forum, the SW WA Hub will host a free-of-charge face-to-face workshop at the Manjimup DPIRD Research Institute on 8 June.

The SW WA Hub Science to Practice Workshop will showcase FDF-supported projects on the themes of precision agtech and water management, and provide applicable and practical outcomes for producers.

The event is supported by the SW WA Hub’s Manjimup and Bunbury Regional Node Leads – the Southern Forests Food Council and the South West Catchments Council.

2023 Future Drought Fund Science to Practice Forum

The 2023 Future Drought Fund Science to Practice Forum will be held on June 6 to 8.

The online forum brings together farmers, researchers, government, industry, and the community to explore innovative tools and practices helping our farmers and regions prepare for future drought.

Award-winning television journalist and presenter of ABC TV’s Landline, Pip Courtney, will hosting this year’s three-day forum.

View the program here.

Extension & Adoption Training program

Delivered by the SW WA Hub adoption team, led by Julianne Hill, with Theo Nabben, Alison Lacey and Maddison McNeil between May 18 to June 29.

Aimed at grower group staff or volunteers, this six-part program involving two face-to-face events and four online events is open to industry, GGA members and Hub Consortium partners.

Industry will be $50 per session, with GGA members and Hub Consortium partners having FREE access. Participants can choose any or all the offered workshops.

Current Opportunities

Application Deadline: 9 June, 2023

Nuffield Drought Resilience Scholarships

Keen to travel overseas to bring home new drought resilience tools and practices from international leaders in the field?

The Future Drought Fund and Nuffield Australia are partnering for the first time in 2024 to offer at least five Australian farmers overseas study scholarships in drought resilience.

Each scholarship is valued at $35,000. If you work in food and fibre and are aged between 28 and 45, apply now.

Hub video

Situational Analyses

The SW WA Hub has produced the following situational analyses for its four agro-ecological zones: Southern Rangelands, Mid West & Gascoyne Coastal, Wheatbelt and South West.

The purpose is to provide baseline knowledge of drought-related agricultural initiatives that have occurred in recent years and to identify ‘gaps’ where new opportunities could enhance outcomes in a hotter, drier climate.

The situational analyses and priority project topic lists are draft, ‘living’ documents.

Download each below.

Priority Project Topics

The four situation analysis reports have identified topics for drought resilience projects (addressing RD&E gaps).

These topics were workshopped with the Hub’s Regional Advisory Committees (RACs), which each prioritised topics. These topics are being groundtruthed with farmers through Regional Node Leads.

Download the priority topics lists here.

Projects Already Underway

The SW WA Hub has helped to attract investment into the State that directly benefits producers and the agricultural industry. This has included providing information, guidance and co-design opportunities to many stakeholders that have applied for Australian Government Future Drought Fund (FDF) grant rounds. The SW WA Hub has also successfully applied for capacity building positions that will benefit farmers and their communities.

As at October 2022, the SW WA Hub was involved with 22 projects in South-West WA worth $19 million, including co-contributions. The Hub’s involvement in these projects ranges from the Hub being the lead organisation through to investing funding into projects or maintaining contact with project representatives and communicating outcomes.

Background information about these projects is available here or view a summary of the projects in the table below:

Project NameLead
WaterSmart DamsGGA/SW WA Hub
Kondinin Group Resilience for Agriculture Research Extension & Adoption Aspermont Limited
A Sustainable Weather Certificate Industry projectArquus Pty Ltd
Wheatbelt Drought Resilience Small to Medium Enterprise PlanningWheatbelt Business Network (Inc)
The Benefits of Shelter BeltsMurdoch University
Revitalising the Drought Resilience of WA’s Southern RangelandsDPIRD
Making Every Drop Count Mingenew – Irwin Group
Sowing opportunities for farm resilience in a changing climateCSIRO
Drought resilience with profitable natives & legumes ~ southern Aust.CSIRO
Modern soil moisture monitoring to improve irrigation managementGGA/SW WA Hub
Managing rangelands for drought resilienceNorthern Hub
Fast tracking WA & NT to align nutritional feed base mapping tech.Northern Hub
Value added lupin exportsDPIRD
Digital EdgeCurtin University
Avondale First People’s Traditional Produce Innov. & Manufact. HubNoongar Land Enterprise Group
Agtech decodedLiebe Group
Paddock Level Carbon BenchmarkingFarmanco
Reducing technical barriers for malting barley market accessAEGIC
Improved vineyard floor management for premium grape productionUWA
Drone-Mounted Feral Species Recognition SystemSouthern Rangelands Pastoral Alliance
Automated technology to assess natural capital on pastoral leasesSouthern Rangelands Pastoral Alliance
Biodegradable mulch in vegetable & perennial fruit enterpriseDPIRD

Hub Geographical Area

The geographical area of the SW WA Hub extends far beyond what many Western Australians know as our South West region. Within this national project, the Hubs are organised into regional areas that broadly reflect the key agricultural and climatic zones across the country. The SW WA hub is essentially everything south of the Pilbara, and includes what those in the agricultural industry know as the entire southern agricultural growing region of WA.

Enlarge Hub map

Regional Node Leads

The South-West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub has appointed Regional Node Leads, which will provide guidance on priority issues impacting the drought and climate resilience of farming systems, their industries and communities. Through nominated managers, the Regional Node Leads will help link the Hub to end users by gathering and sharing knowledge, coordinating local activities and support Hub activities. Node Lead positions are aligned with Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development office locations

MerredinMerredin and Districts Farm Improvement Group (MADFIG) Michelle (Meg) Gethin droughthub@madfig.com.au
0428 128 153
EsperanceSouth East Premium Wheat Growers AssociationMichelle Handleyeo@sepwa.org.au
0447 908 311
WickepinFacey GroupMaree Dougallinnovation@faceygroup.org.au
0448 103 747
AlbanyStirlings to Coast FarmersKathi McDonaldkathi.mcdonald@scfarmers.org.au
0408 418 531
ManjimupSouthern Forests Food CouncilJennifer Riseleymarketing@southernforestsfood.com
0438 984 292 or 08 9772 4180
BunburySouth West Catchments CouncilJeisane Acciolyjeisane.accioly@swccnrm.org.au
0403 327 216
GeraldtonNorthern Agricultural Catchments CouncilKane Watsonkane.watson@nacc.com.au
0437 928 136
CarnarvonRangelands NRM Co-ordinating GroupSarah Jefferysarahj@rangelandswa.com.au
0427 626 222

Regional Advisory Committees

The South-West WA Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub has appointed Regional Advisory Committees (RACs), which comprise skills-based representatives of agricultural industries for each of four agro-ecological zones covered by the Hub.

Through their knowledge and expertise, they will provide guidance to the Hub on priority issues impacting the drought and climate resilience of farming systems, their industries and communities. Download priorities identified to date below.

Southern RangelandsMid West & Gascoyne CoastalWheatbeltSouth West
Laurene Bonza (Chair)
Kari-Lee Falconer
Rob Sudmeyer
Amanda Day
Ashley Bell
Alan Peggs
Phil Vercoe
Esther Jones
Richard Marver
Greg Brennan
Margi Weir
Paul Shain (Chair)
Annie van Blommestein
Christine Zaicou-Kunesch
Candy Hudson
Bronwyn Walsh
Zora Singh
Michael Considine
Dan Kuzmicich
David Timmel
Amir Abadi
Neil Lantzke
Doriana Mangili
Manus Stockdale
Rod Birch (Chair)
Vanessa Stewart
Andrew Fletcher
Jo Wheeler
Karl O’Callaghan
Rob Grima
Nik Callow
Heidi Mippy
Bronwyn Clarke

Julia Easton (Chair)
Kelly Hill
Neil Lantzke
James Bowie
Dean Thomas
John Ruprecht
Megan Ryan
Bruce Mullan
Esther Jones
Zora Singh
Catherine O’Keefe
Larry Jorgensen
Bronwyn Walsh


Hub Operations Team

Contact us at swwadroughthub@gga.org.au

Hub Steering Committee

GGA has a steering committee to oversee the SW WA Hub project governance. This comprises two GGA representatives and two industry representatives chosen for their experience and broad understanding of the WA agricultural context.

National Hubs at a Glance

The eight Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs are:

  1. Southern NSW Hub, Wagga Wagga (hub lead, Charles Sturt University)
  2. Tropical North Queensland Hub, Cairns (James Cook University)
  3. Southern Queensland/Northern NSW Hub, Toowoomba (University of Southern Queensland)
  4. Victoria Hub, Dookie (University of Melbourne)
  5. Tasmania Hub, Hobart (University of Tasmania)
  6. South Australia Hub, Roseworthy (University of Adelaide)
  7. South West WA Hub, Merredin Dryland Research Institute (Grower Group Alliance)
  8. Northern Hub, Darwin (Charles Darwin University)

Each Hub will service a broad area and will respond to the needs and opportunities in their region. A hub and spoke model will see drought resilience shopfronts across every region.


If you missed out on the 2022 Future Drought Fund Science to Practice Forum in June, you can now view recordings of the two day event via Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry here.

The annual forum brought together farmers, researchers, government, industry and community members to explore innovative tools and practices helping our regions prepare for drought.

SW WA Climate Context

Extract from BOM State of the Climate Report 2022: There has been a decline of around 15 per cent in April to October rainfall in the southwest of Australia since 1970. Across the same region, May to July rainfall has seen the largest decrease, by around 19 per cent since 1970

Source: BOM State of the Climate Report 2022

Media Releases

17 May 2023 – Australian Government media release: Register now for the Future Drought Fund’s 2023 Science to Practice Forum
10 May 2023 – Producers encouraged to register for free Manjimup workshop
5 May 2023 – Australian Government media release: Finding farming solutions to climate volatility
18 April 2023 – Hub extension and adoption bursaries awarded to students
17 January 2023 – Australian Government media release: $40m to support drought resilience research
24 November 2022 – Australian Government media release: Solid progress through the Future Drought Fund
21 November 2022 – South-West WA Hub bursaries on offer for university students
16 November 2022 – South-West WA Hub collaborating to drive drought resilience investment
20 October 2022 – South-West WA Drought Hub announces innovation projects
23 September 2022 – New project will arm horticulturalists against a drying climate
5 September 2022 – Extension leader to join Grower Group Alliance as Adoption Manager
5 August 2022 – Expanded team places GGA and Hub at forefront of extension and adoption
30 May 2022 – Regional Soil Coordinator aims to protect and improve soils
20 May 2022 – Register now for Future Drought Fund Science to Practice Forum
11 April 2022 – GGA Media Release – Drought resilience ‘knowledge network’ kicks off
8 April 2022 – Australian Government Media Release – Future Drought Fund: $4 million for Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs
5 April 2022 – Australian Government Media Release – Future Drought Fund continues delivering drought resilience for regional Australia
1 April 2022 – Australian Government Media Release – $23 million for landscape practices that build drought resilience
1 April 2022 – Australian Government Media Release – Digital the future of farming
21 March 2022 – Australian Government Media Release – FDF: $9 million for drought resilience experts
7 March 2022 – Making dams work again? That’s damn smart
31 January 2022 – Regional hubs to deliver soil science excellence
31 January 2022 – Australian Government Media Release – Innovation expansion for drought hubs
12 January 2022 – Applications sought for new drought resilience roles
11 October 2021 – Australian Government Media Release – Agricultural Innovation Statement released
7 October 2021 – GGA Media Release – GGA welcomes significant expansion of South-West WA Drought Hub
6 October 2021 – Australian Government Media Release – South-West WA Drought Hub to broaden its focus
6 October 2021 – Australian Government Media Release – Drought Hubs to broaden their focus
19 August 2021 – GGA Media Release – GGA appoints Director to Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub
19 April – Australian Government Media Release 2 – More Information on Program
16 April – GGA Media Release 1 – GGA to lead SW WA Hub
16 April Australian Government Media Release 1 – GGA wins SW WA Hub

South-West WA Hub Newsletters

19 May 2023
21 April 2023
17 March 2023
20 February 2023
13 January 2023
16 December 2022
21 November 2022
21 October 2022
9 September 2022
5 August 2022
17 June 2022
19 May 2022 (FDF Science to Practice forum)
6 May 2022
18 March 2022
18 February 2022
14 January 2022
19 November 2021
15 October 2021
17 September 2021
20 August 2021

To receive project updates and details of upcoming Hub events, sign up to the Hub newsletter in the below form.


SIGN UP TO OUR HUB NEWSLETTER We’ll send you a monthly newsletter with the latest news from our Hub



FAQ about the Future Drought Fund and the Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs may be answered at these sites or in the media releases further below on this page:
* Australian Government – Drought Resilience Research and Adoption Program
* Subscribe to “Have Your Say” the main Federal engagement point for Hub activity
* Read the Future Drought Fund Annual Report 2021-22, that details the achievements of the Fund in its foundational year.


Posted on

24 May 2022