Horsham, Victoria

About the community

Horsham is a comfortable 3 ½ hour drive from Melbourne and 4 ½ hours from Adelaide on the Western Highway.  Horsham Rural City has a population of 19,540, and is the major service centre for the Wimmera Southern Mallee region.  Horsham is centrally located just 30 minutes from the Grampians National Park, Little Desert National Park and Mt Arapiles State Park making it the ideal base to explore these natural wonders.

Horsham and the Let's Read program

Let’s Read Horsham (est. 2014) has been created and delivered through a collaborative partnership led by the Horsham Rural City Council, Horsham schools and the Wimmera Southern Mallee Local Learning and Employment Network.  The program covers the entire shire, including Horsham, Natimuk, Dadswells Bridge and Jung. 

Community stories


November  2019

Trees Tell Tall Tales

The Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN works with partners to deliver Let’s Read Horsham to all communities across the shire.  The Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN partnered with the Art is festival, Horsham Library, Raising Literacy Australia and other partners to develop an innovative new literacy experience for this year’s Art is Festival.

The Trees Tell Tall Tales Trail is a wonderful project which encourages families to enjoy stories whilst exploring the outdoors environment.  Families are invited to take their children on a walk, following a map, to a series of trees located along the Wimmera River.  At each signposted tree families can use a smart phone to access a recording of a children’s story, plus learn some interesting information about the tree.

Stories have been read by Horsham community representatives including our local Member of Parliament, Emma Kealy.  For the duration of the festival there is a treasure hunt for children to find an animal at each of the trees.  Once the children have identified at least four animals, completed maps can be returned to Horsham Library where children can win a free book.

The Trees Tell Tall Tales project is a collaborative project aimed at improving early year’s literacy whilst providing meaningful outdoor experiences. The inaugural trail features seven books and trees, but there are already plans underway to expand the project to other communities and to add to the number of trees in future years.

Tim Shaw Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN  



November 2015

The Let’s Read Horsham program has been boosted by significant sponsorship commitments from the Horsham Rural City Council, Horsham Sports and Community Club and the Horsham Apex Club.  More than 250 children and their families have received Let’s Read bags, books and resources since the program began in November 2014.  The program is delivered by a collaborative partnership of local organisations, including Horsham Rural City Council (Maternal and Child Health Nurses), Wimmera Regional Library Corporation, Horsham schools, kindergartens and playgroups, Wimmera Uniting Care, Wimmera Health Care Group, Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN, playgroup and community members.

Let’s Read Horsham has recently undertaken a book drive.  We have been overwhelmed by the donation of 745 children’s books.  The books will be distributed to families that don’t have many books and will be also used in ‘pop up’ libraries.  This great initiative was created by Let’s Read Yarriambiack and involves labelling pre-loved and new books with Let’s Read stickers and putting them in clear plastic tubs around the town.  The books will be situated in doctor’s waiting rooms, playgroups, shops and other locations that families visit.  Families can borrow a book and keep it for as long as they like.  They can return the book to any ‘pop up’ library in the town.  The ‘pop up’ libraries will take the books to the families and promote a higher awareness of literacy throughout the town. 

Our wonderful Maternal and Child Health Nurses report that families are very receptive to the Let’s Read message and the kids love the books.  The program continues to be a great success and we look forward to working with our partners to ensure that every child and family gets the support, encouragement and resources to give them the best start possible.

Tim Shaw, Executive Officer, Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN

March 2015

The Wimmera Southern Mallee region is showing great leadership in their effort to improve literacy.  The Let’s Read program has been implemented across the region throughout 2014.  The program will support all families across the 28,500 km2 covered by the Hindmarsh, Horsham Rural City, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack shires.

Cr Mark Radford, Mayor of the Horsham Rural City, officially launched the Let’s Read Horsham program at Horsham Library on Tuesday, 2 December. Representatives from schools, kindergartens, playgroups, local government, Wimmera Southern Mallee Local Learning and Employment Network (LLEN) and health services attended the launch.  A feature of the launch was the attendance of over 50 children, including babies, Prep students from St Michael’s and St John’s, and students from Horsham Special School.  The children were entertained by an interactive book reading session delivered by Mary Dalgleish, Horsham Librarian.

The Let’s Read program was developed by the Centre for Community Child Health at the Murdoch Childrens Reasearch Institute and the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. Horsham Rural City Council, Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN and local stakeholders have partnered with The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and The Smith Family to implement Let’s Read with communities across the Horsham Shire.  The program supports the work already being done by Maternal and Child Health nurses by providing books and resources to families at 4 different child age points.  Families receive the resources and support for their babies at 4 months, 12 months, 18 months and 3½ years.

 ‘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 good literacy skills,’ said Tim Shaw, Executive Officer of the Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN.  ‘The Let’s Read program will support all families to read to their kids.’

Tim Shaw Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN


Horsham Rural City Council

Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN

Wimmera Regional Library Corporation

Holy Trinity Lutheran School

Horsham Primary School

Horsham College

Horsham Special School

Horsham West – Haven Primary School

Laharum Primary School

Natimuk Primary School

St Brigid’s College

St Michael’s and St John’s Primary School - Horsham

Department of Education and Training

Wimmera Uniting Care

Key contact

Tim Shaw | Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN


P 0427 810 122