Hindmarsh, Victoria

About the community

Hindmarsh shire is situated in North West Victoria about 350 kilometres north-west of Melbourne. It covers an area of 7,527 square kilometres and has a population of 6,200. Hindmarsh Shire is the sixth largest municipality in Victoria in area and has the fifth smallest population so there is lots of space to grow and enjoy country life. The shire’s major industry is agriculture, with 62% of all business enterprises being in this sector.

Hindmarsh and the Let's Read program

Let’s Read Hindmarsh (est. 2014) has been created and delivered through a collaborative partnership led by the West Wimmera Health Service and the Wimmera Southern Mallee Local Learning and Employment Network.  The program covers the entire shire, including the towns of Dimboola, Jeparit, Nhill and Rainbow.  We aim to provide support, encouragement and Let’s Read resources to every family of early year’s children across the shire.

Community stories


Let’s Read Hindmarsh is delivered to all communities within the shire, including Dimboola, Nhill, Jeparit and Rainbow.  The Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN partnered with the Nhill Lutheran Primary School to develop a second series of dual English/Karen children’s books. These books have been developed to support the Karen refugee families, which now make up 10% of the town’s population.

Nhill Lutheran Primary School students wrote eight books in both English and Karen. The books have been professionally published and are distributed to the Karen families, along with their Let’s Read bags, when they visit the Maternal and Child Health Nurse for their children’s health checks. The books are a great resource for children and adults alike, as they develop their literacy and English skills in their new home in the Wimmera.  Parents are encouraged to read daily to support their children’s literacy development.  Reading the dual language books also supports the parents to improve their English.

Cr Deb Nelson, Hindmarsh Shire Councillor, officially launched the books on Friday 24th August 2018. It was a great event and wonderful to see the strong community attendance at the launch.  The books have been sent to both the State and National Libraries to add to their collections. The students received framed certificates acknowledging their work and ‘published author’ status.  The launch concluded with the proud authors signing their books for their newfound fans.

November 2019


Pop Up Library Success

The Wimmera is at the forefront of a global ‘pop-up’ trend with the creation of libraries pop-up across the region.  Let’s Read Hindmarsh has set up 31 pop-up libraries in five communities across the Hindmarsh Shire.

The Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN has worked with Dimboola Memorial Secondary College, Dimboola Primary School, Jeparit Primary School, Nhill College and Rainbow P-12 College to collect, sort and label more than 1,500 books.  Year 9 students and VCAL students have taken on these tasks as part of their studies and their desire to promote Let’s Read in their communities.  Our thanks also to the Wimmera Regional Library Corporation for their donation of books.






These books have filled 31 pop-up libraries which are then placed by students in places frequented by families.  Pop-up library locations include playgroups, cafes, shops, Maternal and Child Health centres and waiting rooms.  Children and families can take a book, enjoy reading it and then return it to any pop-up library in the town.

The first pop-up libraries were successfully set up in Warracknabeal in 2016 by the Warracknabeal Oral Reading Development Strategy (WORDS) group.  There are now more than 108 pop-up libraries situated in 15 Wimmera communities.  The Wimmera wide pop-up libraries are an initiative of the Let’s Read programs set up in the Hindmarsh, Horsham, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack Shires.  Pop-up libraries increase community awareness of the importance of literacy development, make books accessible to all families and support the creation of literacy rich environments in our communities.

September 2018


Rainbow, 2016

Rainbow is a small rural community situated in the north of the Hindmarsh Shire. The Rainbow P-12 College implemented a new programme in October 2015. “Shake, Rattle & Read” is a fun pre-school pre-reading program aimed at supporting and engaging families with young children. The purpose of the programme is to support parents, grandparents and caregivers through the sharing of rhymes, songs, and storybooks with kids.

The program teaches rhymes for parents to use daily with their child/children from birth to kinder age in a fun and interactive way. The program is a great success with regular attendance of 10-15 children and their parents (and carers) shaking, rattling, singing and having lots of fun.

The program is continuing strongly in 2016 and builds the pre-reading literacy skills of our kids, engages young families, and establishes transition links for the children.

The Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN funded the purchase of a Literacy kit, books and props (monkeys, ducks, a rug, musical instruments etc) for Shake, Rattle and Read

Let’s Read Hindmarsh has stimulated a number of exciting initiatives in towns across the Hindmarsh Shire. The Let’s Read Hindmarsh program will continue to bring a wide range of stakeholders together to work towards improving literacy levels of children across the shire.

Tim Shaw, Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN

Let’s Read Hindmarsh Launches, December 2014

The official launch of Let’s Read Hindmarsh was held at Nhill Library and Dimboola Maternal Health Centre on 4th December and at Rainbow Primary School on 5th December 2014. Representatives from schools, kindergartens, playgroups, local government, Wimmera Regional Library Corporation, Wimmera Southern Mallee Local Learning and Employment Network (LLEN) and health services attended the launches.

A feature of the launches was the attendance of a large number of babies and young mums.  Prep students from Nhill P-12 College, Dimboola Primary School and Rainbow School also attended the launches in each town.  ‘Story time’ was a key part of each event and the children enjoyed listening and participating in an interactive book reading session.

Hindmarsh Shire councillors, Wendy Robins (Nhill), Debra Nelson (Deputy Mayor, Dimboola) and Ron Ismay (Rainbow) officially launched the Let’s Read Hindmarsh program at each town.  More than 170 people, in total, attended the launches.

‘The Let’s Read program will encourage and support all Hindmarsh families to read to their kids.  Our Maternal and Child Health Nurses do a fantastic job in supporting our young families’ said Tim Shaw, Executive Officer of the Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN.  ‘The evidence is clear – reading to children should be done daily and start from birth.  Children are born with 100 billion neurons and babies’ brains are ready and primed to make the essential connections required to develop their language and literacy skills.’

The Wimmera Southern Mallee region is leading the nation in an effort to improve literacy.  The Let’s Read program has been implemented across the region throughout this year.  This is the first time that the program has been rolled out in every community across four shires.  The program will support all families across the 28,500 km2 covered by the Hindmarsh, Horsham Rural City, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack shires.

Colleen Petschell, Principal of the Rainbow Primary School, reads a story to students, young mums, and babies at the Let’s Read Hindmarsh launch at Rainbow

Tim Shaw | Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN |


West Wimmera Health Service

Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN

Wimmera Regional Library Corporation

Hindmarsh Shire

Dimboola Primary School

Dimboola Memorial Secondary College

Jeparit Primary School

Nhill P-12 College

Rainbow P-12 College

St Peter’s Lutheran Primary School – Dimboola

Nhill Lutheran Primary School - Nhill

Department of Education and Training

Department of Education (Federal)

Wimmera Uniting Care

Horsham Sports and Community Club  

Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal        

Key contact

Tim Shaw | Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN


P 0427 810 122