Amidst the verdant hills and rich history of Northcliffe, anticipation swells as the community eagerly prepares to commemorate a century of resilience and progress with a grand celebration weekend.

Northcliffe’s life began as a consequence of an agreement between the Western Australian, Commonwealth and British Governments after World War 1, to resettle returned soldiers and their families in the south west. Northcliffe was the last and the most remote of the West Australian Group Settlement Schemes, and in our case, it was to develop a dairy industry to reduce reliance on Eastern States imports. At the time of its conception, there was no infrastructure in place for the Northcliffe scheme – the roads, the townsite, shops, services and facilities were all being built at the same time as the first settlers were arriving.
By the end of the scheme 26 “groups” had been established in the Northcliffe district, each of which consisted of approximately 20 families who were expected to work together in what were truly primitive conditions to clear the forest and establish farms. Clearing land, establishing pasture, building basic living structures and growing food were all required in order to survive. Schools were placed on most groups.
In the town, houses, shops, a hospital, a town hall were established to service the surrounding groups. It was a very different environment from what the settlers had been led to expect, and many did not cope and left. Others persevered and survived that initial trial to set the wheels turning on what would become a vibrant and sustainable community.
A community that will be 100 years old in 2024.

Program for the weekend
The programme of events planned for the weekend of celebration has many highlights. On the Friday we start with a welcoming afternoon tea in the Town Hall and an evening unveiling of the light show, “Northcliffe Lights Up”, that will run over the weekend. Saturday will see a grand parade in the morning, led by a pipe band along with cars and machinery from the past 100 years. Market stalls, food vans, street performers, musicians and many other activities throughout the day including a log chop event and blacksmithing demonstrations. Bus tours and transfers will operate throughout the day. Munro Group House, relocated to the Museum precinct, will be officially opened in the afternoon and we hope to have completed an historical walk around town featuring a series a plaques commemorating key sites. We will also be recognising ten valued citizens, past and present, who have helped promote the values of our town and its history through the “Recognition Plaques” project. An evening cabaret come old time dance at the Town Hall rounds off a busy day. Sunday will start with a combined churches service followed by a sporting extravaganza at the Recreation ground. Exhibition matches, fun games and challenges for all, and a massive Easter egg treasure hunt are a few of the attractions on offer. Finally, we make it to Monday and conclude events with a farewell breakfast and a much anticipated “Poets & Balladeers” gathering. The poets will also be delivering the work throughout the weekend at various locations.