2007 Ringwood Historical Society AGM

By September 25, 20076 Comments

The Ringwood Historical Society serves to preserve and promote the history of Ringwood and includes extensive archives of documents and photographs and other content relating to Ringwood’s history at Norwood Hall in Warrandyte Road.

I was invited to officiate the AGM, which marked the retirement of the Society’s President Richard Carter after ten years, as well as the Secretary Sandra Smart, who provided twelve years of service to the society. Ringwood is poised to undertake significant changes over the next few years and while this will transform Ringwood into a vibrant suburb, it is crucial that we preserve the historical integrity of Ringwood through highlighting and promoting its history.

Maroondah Council needs to ensure it works alongside organisations such as the Ringwood Historical Society to ensure that Ringwood’s transformation strengthens our links to our local history.

The meeting also included discussion around Alan Robertson, former Chief Executive Office and City Engineer, who served the former City of Ringwood for over 40 years, after beginning his career in local government as a cadet engineer.  Alan shaped much of Ringwood throughout his professional life and oversaw a number of major projects, including the construction of Eastland and the relocation of the Clocktower to its current site. Alan Robertson also saw the growth of Ringwood into the fully fledged suburb it is today.

Alex Makin

Alex Makin

Alex Makin is a councillor for the Mullum Ward in the City of Maroondah. Alex has been a councillor since 2005, representing ratepayers, businesses, community groups and residents. I aim to continue making a difference and welcome any thoughts you may have in regard to life, community and business in Maroondah. Phone: (03) 9870 8202 or 0408 311 645 Email:


  • Damian Petruccelli says:

    We are new to the Ringwood Area after living in the North (Rosanna) for 5 years and prior to that being brought up in the East (Vermont South).

    My wife Sarah and I have been pleased to experience the nearby surrounds such as Schwerkolt Cottage, Mullum Mullum track and Yarran Dheran and have a feeling that we will belong to the community for years to come.

    Being familiar with nature garden surrounds such as Ceres of Brunswick, Collingwood Childrens Farm, St Kilda Veg Out Farm we would like to know how the Schwerkolt Cottage and land works in the way that it gives to community in a positive, educational sense.

    I suppose the question I would like to ask is how can this area become more naturally indulging than just a museum and parkland.

    We would like to know if there has been are can be an opportunity for us to put forward a plan that entertains the idea of creating a farm style setup for children, disabled and elderly people to enjoy the area and learn to appreciate the natural surrounds a little more on a regular basis.

    Simply put if our ideas can be put forward we would love to have a say.

    Thanks for reading this.

  • Alex Makin says:

    Hello Damian and Sarah,

    Thank you for your comments and for taking an interest in promoting community sustainability.

    Schwerkolt Cottage is located within the City of Whitehorse (the boundary between Maroondah and Whitehorse is the Mullum Mullum Creek) meaning a proposal specifically relating to Schwerkolt Cottage would need to be addressed by Whitehorse Council.

    Schwerkolt Cottage is part of Springfield Ward in the City of Whitehorse and if you would like, I am happy to forward your email through to Whitehorse Councillor Chris Aubrey so he can follow this up.

    In regard to Maroondah, I am familiar with Ceres and am certainly interested in your concept.

    Maroondah City Council is currently exploring a partnership between neighbourhood houses and volunteer centres to investigate a sustainability project.. While this is at the preliminary stage it does have the potential to be expanded into a concept similar to Ceres.

    In the interim, I’m certainly happy to receive any ideas you may have to help advance this concept.

    Please feel free to contact me on 0408 311 645 or email if you would like to discuss this further.



  • Damian Petruccelli says:

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks so much for your reply.

    Its great to hear that action is being taken in some form or another.

    I suppose from my perspective is that we would like to get involved with other parties with the same ideas and goals.

    Last night I attended a talk by Guy Pearce at the Ringwood Uniting Church and have been enlightened even further by this communities endeavours to get Ringwood and surrounding areas to the cutting edge of environmental sustainability.

    Talk is good but action speaks more than 1000 words, and I look forward to acting more with councils and the like in the future.

    If Chris Aubrey would be interested in having a chat, I can put together some ideas on how this could work at Schwerkolt Cottage area and lets take it from there. The freeway may be a mistake in some respects but creating a link to other communities in Blackburn, Box Hill, Waverley and the like (through biking and other recreational means) could offer a perfect link to a peaceful, educational locale for our neighbours to enjoy.

    I look forward to meeting one day soon.

    Damian Petruccelli

  • Alex Makin says:

    Hi Damian,

    Great to see your interest in sustainability. I did attend the Guy Pearse meeting and had I have known you were there I would have tried to introduce myself!

    I’ve forwarded your email to Councillor Chris Aubrey of Whitehorse. Chris has a strong environmental interest and his ward covers Schwerkolt Cottage. I’ve also left a message for Chris to let him know about your email.

    Given that your proposal seems to include the Mullum Mullum it may be worth organised a combined meeting between you, Chris and myself so that we can develop the concept further.

    I certainly agree that action is required and sustainability is an issue I have been pursuing through council. Council is planning an energy conservation workshop in late November and I am planning to pursue further initiatives around water, energy and transport over the next year.

    Given your interest in the environment it might be worth contacting the Croydon Conservation Society. The Croydon Conservation Society has a strong interest in policy issues and as such may be a suitable ally in promoting your concept.

    I’m certainly happy to have a meeting with you to discuss this further. Let me know when you hear from Chris Aubrey and we can arrange a combined meeting.



  • Damian Petruccelli says:

    Hi Alex,

    I would very much like to attend the Croydon Conservation Society
    meeting next week (if possible) just to understand what its all about.
    If a contact could be provided I would really appreciate it.

    It concerns me that the Schwerkolt heritage site is being preserved for
    very few people, where as for the masses this site could be preserved
    environmentally, educationally and socially as the original family would
    have wanted. This site should be occupied daily and not just an empty
    patch of green on most days.

    As mentioned previously Ceres is a great model
    to work around and what I believe could happen in the future is
    establish ties with CERES in as far as promoting its ideology, methods,
    perhaps sponsorship at the Schwerkolt site.

    Of course we need commitment, funds, some good management from local
    people, but the basis of a plan is already established.

    I would appreciate your advices on whether I can attend a Croydon
    Conservation Society meeting in the future.

    Many thanks again for your time.

    Damian Petruccelli

  • Alex Makin says:

    Hi Damian,

    The Croydon Conversation Society meets on the second Thursday of each month. I have copied Sandra Hardiman, the Secretary of the Croydon Conservation into this email.

    The CCS meets at 2 Mount View Street (on the corner of Main Street) in Croydon on the second Thursday of each month – the next meeting is on Thursday the
    8th of November from 8:00pm.

    Further details are available on their website at

    I certainly agree that Ceres is a great model. In fact I have been discussing the Ceres model with North Ringwood Community House who are partnering with Maroondah City Council, Eastern Volunteers, Park Orchards Community House and Manningham Council to expand this concept further.

    The Community House has received funding to develop the concept further and to develop an action plan for the project which will be developed over the next 18 months.

    I am on the North Ringwood Community House Committee of Management and will be a part of the working group that is established to expand the concept. I am planning on providing an update to the CCS at the next meeting – since North Ringwood Community House are looking for community partners to also be part of the project.

    Hope to see you at the next Croydon Conservation Society meeting.



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