Proud of its diversity, Katanning is the most ethnically diverse regional centre in WA.

Story Hannah Siemer  Photo Shire of Katanning 

In the heart of the Great Southern region of WA sits the most ethnically diverse regional centre in the state. Katanning, 287km south-east of Perth, is a sheep and wheat town brimming with cultural backgrounds. Among its 3700 residents, more than 40 nationalities and 50 language groups can be found.

Katanning is fiercely proud of this diversity, as evidenced in the 20 flags that fly high over the entry to town. Since the Fly Your Flag Project started in 2016, the flags have been rotated several times a year to ensure every nationality in Katanning is represented, no matter the size of its community. 

For a lot of migrants, WAMMCO International (WA’s largest sheep and lamb processing facility) is the reason they land in Katanning. With 350 employees, WAMMCO is the biggest employer in town and has attracted overseas workers since it opened in the early 1970s. Facility workers and their families integrate into the community, attending local churches or mosque, sending their kids to schools and establishing small businesses. 

This story excerpt is from Issue #147

Outback Magazine: February/March 2023