Update (with photos) from the Chairperson

What a month this has been. Our iHempWA Awards Gala Dinner, The AGM and the iHempExpo all in one weekend. And all successful thanks to the involvement of some amazing people: David Chick, Sharlene Mavor, Sophia Moermond, Colleen Roberts, Alison Rogers, Georgie Wilkinson, Jessie Smith and the many many people that supported the aforementioned people.
The iHempWA Award Gala Dinner was a celebration. Most of us don’t do what we do for awards. We work long hours to make a living and in our spare time we research, post on social media or talk and promote hemp wherever we can. We are passionate about what we do. It is however important that we all recognise the achievements, big or small, that all add to the growth of the industrial hemp sector. Finalists and winners should be proud of their achievements and we all recognise that these achievements have not come easy. Keep going, you are amazing!
The dinner produced by Valley Social was fantastic. All the courses, from canapes to desert showcased hemp ingredients from local businesses. Special thanks to Hemp Brothers, Margaret River Hemp Co and Vasse Valley Hemp Farm for donating their products for use in the food.
20230911_012919824_iOS.jpg20230911_012916570_iOS.jpgThe awards and medallions were also something special. Produced by Zeoform from 100% hemp micro pulp, they featured the new iHempWA logo. It is another showcase of what you can do with hemp! To reflect the growth of the association we have updated the logo to better represent our vision to be the centre of all things hemp. Check out ihempwa.org for the meaning behind the new logo.


The night concluded with announcing the Champion of Champions, Georgina Wilkinson of Margaret River Hemp Co.
At the AGM we had a look at the year gone by and what we are looking forward to doing in the coming year. Last year iHempWA went through a ‘reset’. The first part of the last year was challenging where committee members carried out multiple roles. In February 2023 the strategy day set the tone for the future of the association. I joined the committee shortly after as chairperson. My reasons for joining were twofold. I want industrial hemp to succeed in the many applications because I believe it has so many positive impacts for the future generations. The second reason is more egocentric; I own a business that uses hemp as its main ingredient. Having a successful association that can promote the growth of the industrial hemp sector will have positive impacts on my business. Joining the committee has been challenging and rewarding. The team members complement each other and each individual has unique skills and strengths.
Some achievements to note:
We have a 5 year plan that has achievable goals and some stretch targets. It gives direction to the association.
We have introduced a new membership structure, including an increase in the membership fee.
We have improved financial reporting (Thanks Alison)
We have increased our membership by 25%
We have stated a refresh of the visible component of the association. We have a new logo, purpose, vision and mission.
Some points to note;
Alannah MacTiernan retired from politics. Alannah has been a fierce advocate of industrial hemp and her support will be missed. Continued support for the new minister, Jackie Jarvis, has been verbalised, however we need to build new relationships to improve bi-directional support.
We have some amazing corporate members and sponsors, who have stepped up and supported the increase in corporate membership fees.
Sophia Moermond from the Legalise Cannabis Party joined our committee and together with Dr. Brian Walker has contributed greatly to iHempWA.
Future activities:
The new committee will meet on 13/9/2023 to discuss some of the future initiatives. The association will however focus on the following areas:
Education – Widening of the education on industrial hemp to remove the ‘hippie’ stigma will be developed and implemented
Engagement – Meaningful engagement with members and government to assist in development of policy that grows the hemp sector
Web of Knowledge (WoK) – Website revamp and refresh to make information easier to find.
Marketing – It is important there is knowledge of industry representing associations that can support business and government in a sometimes challenging environment.
Administration – Investigation of possible headquarters and permanent presence for the association in the south west of WA.
The association is moving up into the next phase of being the trusted voice for all things hemp.
The committee stepped down and new committee members and office bearers were elected. We have not changed much, and the committee is looking forward to continuing the path we started taking.
The new committee (vltr: Charley Cannon (Committee member), Sharlene Mavor (Committee member), Sophia Moermond (Committee member), Jessie Smith (Committee member), David Chick (Secretary), Georgie Wilkinson (Vice Chairperson), Colleen Roberts (Assistant Secretary), Alison Roberts (Treasurer), Iggy Van (Chairperson))
The iHempWA hemp expo was also hosted by Valley Social. A variety of hemp products were on display, and kid friendly activities made sure parents could browse at their leisure. We even had a trapeze artist (Charley Cannon) who educated the audience on cannabinoids (teaching the kids how to spell it!).
Attendance of about 500 people throughout the sunny day created a beautiful atmosphere and the opportunity to have engaging conversations with people who came to have a look.



The committee will now debrief and focus on our next tasks in education, marketing and government engagement.

Hope to see you at our next event.