Where the Money Goes
Woolorama, since 1972, is an annual event run for the benefit of the community of Wagin.
Woolorama benefits Wagin in many ways, one being money ploughed back into the town and community, but where do the dollars go?
This document was prepared to help answer that question.
Three times in recent years the Society has done a reality check on its stance as being an organisation for local benefit. The close examination is summarised here:
The sources of information are Minutes of the Society, financial records of the Society and legal contracts entered into by the Society.
This document should be read in conjunction with the Society’s document, WAS – History of Buildings and Grounds: 1985 - 2011.
Financial Benefit to Wagin Community – 2010/11
After the 2011 Wagin Woolorama $226,514.46 was contributed just to LOCAL beneficiaries in Wagin. As an example of the broader social benefit of Woolorama to the town, the data below gives the allocation of funds from Woolorama to the district in the 2010/11 financial year.
85 businesses, individuals and community groups benefited from the funds, including $38,210 donated directly to local community groups and service clubs for work they provided.
Some clubs performed specific tasks to facilitate the show by manning gates, the bars, the trade fair, providing security, etc. for which they were paid.
Many local business houses benefited from Woolorama. Almost $40,000 went to Wagin businesses in 2011 for the construction of the new entry gate (Gate 2) alone. In addition, hardware, catering supplies, stationery, sewerage pumping, electrical services, plumbing services, radio advertising, print jobs, accommodation for exhibitors, meals for some of the 20,000 visitors to the town, data and telecommunication services, trophies, sign writing and fuel for motorists were all purchased in Wagin.
Other organisations, such as the Golf Club, CWA, RSL and the Tennis club raise funds at Woolorama, with their profits not going through the Society’s accounts.
This year a donation of $1000 was made to Wagin YouthCARE appreciative of the chaplaincy services at the local school that goes to build resilience into the students. A donation of $1700 was made to the Pony Club for the purchase of equipment they need for their games throughout the year and during Woolorama. In other years there have been one-off donations made to many groups. Woolorama usually makes an annual donation to the RFDS.
An out of town not-for-profit group raised $2200 for orphans and vulnerable children in Cambodia by cleaning the gourmet areas, vacuuming, mopping, grounds clean up, etc. at the 2011 event. This was to help lighten the load of all the locals what are committed to their organisations and not able to give the hours this necessary job requires.
Prize money, rewarding exhibitors and competitors, totalled $43,000 in 2011, some of which was won by local exhibitors.
Woolorama spent nearly $45,000 on staging the 2011 event, plus building improvements, the set up and running of the various sections; this figure includes all maintenance and repairs, trade services and local hire.
Over the last decade more than $575,000 from the Ag Society has gone into buildings and facilities on the show grounds for the enjoyment of all community members. (See the accompanying document WAS – Buildings and Grounds 1980-2011, which shows that since the showground land was vested in the Shire in 1961 more than $1.7 million has been contributed by the Society to the sports ground facilities.)
What is true for local business people is true for Woolorama as well! It is getting harder to make a profit. In the last ten years profits have been lean, as low as $2000 on an annual expenditure of $500,000. In the years the Society hasn’t made a profit, the community groups still get paid.
The single event that has turned the financial viability of the show around has been the Saturday rodeo, which has brought more people in through the gates.
The Committee is parochially pro Wagin! The organisation exists to promote, celebrate and showcase agriculture and the rural lifestyle, as well as to bolster community spirit and its sense of well-being. The Society’s ethos is to support Wagin businesses, charities and interest groups in order to build strength into the people of the district. The Society aims to be transparent and welcomes open enquiry.
Total expenditure in 2011/12 was $536,668, 42% ($226,514) of which was spent within the Shire of Wagin. In summary, this is where the money went locally in 2010/11:
Message of Welcome from the Woolorama President.