Hyden, in the Shire of Kondinin, is a thriving town situated in the central-south wheatbelt area of Western Australia, 330 kilometres east of Perth.
Population statistics for Hyden and its neighbouring town of Karlgarin reveal a small but stable community. Hyden town has 50 residences with a townsite population of 200, and 30 other buildings for businesses and community facilities. The district population for Hyden, Karlgarin and surrounding areas is approximately 600.
Hyden town also services wheat, sheep and cattle farms, and mining interests up to 100 km eastwards and is considered the nearest centre for medical facilities, school, sport and social activities, and personal and business services and supplies for a wide community of interest encompassing some residents of the shires of Kondinin, Kulin, Yilgarn and Narembeen.
Hyden's geographical location is a significant factor in regard to its renowned community spirit and development potential, as there are no towns further east or south-east until Norseman and Esperance, or north-east until Kalgoorlie. Also the existing regional centres of Narrogin and Merredin are over 200ks south and north of Hyden and it is not economical or practical for many businesses to service Hyden from that distance.
At least 99% of the people are in employment, with most involved in or employed by privately owned small business operations. With the exception of a few school teachers, there are no public service employees living in our towns. During seasonal peaks in tourism and farming there is often a severe shortage of employees. Our town needs more people!
The other main industries that support Hyden are farm-related businesses such as crop spraying, rural supplies, machinery and transport, and mining supplies and transport for the gold and nickel mines east at Forrestania. A growing number of hospitality and tourism businesses are also very important in Hyden as our community caters for about 110 000 visitors who come to enjoy the unique Wave Rock, that is situated just 3ks east of Hyden. 60 people are employed in local tourism industries, full, part-time and casual.
Hyden has only once weekly part-time banking and police presence and visiting doctor, and service personnel such as Western Power, Water Authority and Telstra only travel out to Hyden when servicing is required.
Hyden's relative isolation has meant local residents stay in the area, rather than travel to the city on weekends. As locals make their own fun, sporting and social clubs have strong memberships comprising all age groups and the town boasts strong sporting team representation in a number of association competitions. There are at least 12 sporting clubs in Hyden catering for more than 60% of the population, and over the years our community has raised funds and provided the labour to established very good sporting facilities in the town.
Hyden also has another 15 community organisations that support the social and welfare infrastructure of our district. These community volunteer run groups include Hyden Silver Chain, Hyden Primary School, Tourist Promotion Committee, St John Ambulance, Hyden CRC, Young Singles Community Housing, Hyden Districts Landcare, Hyden Occasional Childcare and various churches. The Lions Club of Hyden and the Hyden Progress Association also are very active and play an integral part in managing developments and provision of needed services in the community, including housing. Again it has been Hyden's isolation, coupled with out of town local government, that has led the community to "do it yourself" when new facilities/projects are needed and also when counselling, mentoring and emotional support is needed.
Hyden-Karlgarin has excellent inter-community communication with a weekly householder newsletter (Hyden-Karlgarin Householder News) and a monthly locally produced magazine (Waveline News).
To nurture teamwork, local leadership, positive vision and initiative to improve community resources and facilities for community residents of all ages, and to work cooperatively with determination and hard work to ensure that existing and new rural based businesses, tourism, and agriculture, are modern and productive and will have a thriving and sustainable long term future within Hyden's small but vibrant and forward-looking community.