The Shire of Northam is located within the Avon sub-region of the WA Wheatbelt. The western boundary of the Shire of Northam is situated approximately 50 kilometres from the Perth metropolitan area, and covers an area of close to 1,443 square kilometres.
The Shire is home to more than 11,730 people (ABS 2013) with approximately 62% located in Northam. Population growth across the Shire since 2006 has averaged at 1.49%.
Northam is the largest townsite, 96 kilometres from Perth, and set in the picturesque Avon Valley. Other localities within the Shire of Northam include Bakers Hill, Clackline, Grass Valley, Spencers Brook, Seabrook and Wundowie.
Northam is the regional service centre of the Avon Valley and Central Wheatbelt. Farming communities (which primarily produce wheat, barley, oats, sheep, wool and cattle) use Northam for their everyday banking, retail, shopping and government servicing requirements. The town has been established by the State Government as a regional centre, resulting in many government departments maintaining a strong presence.
In 2011, Northam was identified as one of nine 'SuperTowns' by the Department of Regional Development and Lands under the Royalties for Regions, Region Centres Development Plan. The 'SuperTowns' were identified as offering opportunities to diversifiy and decentralise Western Australia's projected growth.
The town of Northam is home to a number of public facilities that include a library, hospital, senior citizens’ centre, recreation centre, three major sporting grounds and an olympic swimming pool. There are other recreation facilities throughout the Shire including a library and swimming pool at Wundowie, and a sports pavilion at Bakers Hill.
Northam has a Senior High School, the CY O`Connor College of TAFE, Muresk Institute of Agriculture (division of Curtin University), three Primary Schools and St Joseph`s School, which provides education to Year 10. Bakers Hill and Wundowie also have primary schools.
The Northam townsite was first gazetted in 1836 and is the focal point for important rail and road links to Eastern Australia. It was a centre for Post-War migration and many of the residents have strong links to Eastern Europe. The Mundaring to Kalgoorlie pipeline also passes through Northam. Outside of Fremantle, the Northam Townsite has the highest number of heritage buildings in the State.
Council is committed to developing the Shire and encouraging growth through new investment and tourism, whilst maintaining a warm country feel and friendly community.