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Delegates' Report: community inclusion, appreciating local history and recognising our many volunteers

By November 17, 2008No Comments

Thank you, as per previous months there are a few items I will be reporting on this evening:

On the 23rd of October I had a meeting with the Maroondah Skylarkers. The skylarkers is a group that delivers musical performances for senior citizens centres, nursing homes and retirement villages. The skylarkers are already booked out for their 2009 season, but are on the lookout for new members, so if anyone has musical and performing talents and would like to entertain our senior citizens please do consider speaking to the Maroondah Skylarkers.

Later on that afternoon I attended the Monkami Annual General Meeting. Monkami is a non-profit service provider for people with an intellectual disability. Monkami is unique in that is has an emphasis on community inclusion and the centre funds a community inclusion officer to ensure strong connections with the community.

Monkami is involved in a number of community projects, including the highly successful Monkami Drama Group, which has performed two seasons of its Titanic Resunk production, as well as partnerships with Croydon Secondary College and Arts Out East, which includes an exhibition from a number of community groups and will be held between the 21st and 23rd of November.

In addition Monkmai has developed an office administration course, which includes customer service, administrative and computer skills. Through this course, Monkami is exploring the possibility of work placements for these students to demonstrate the capabilities of their students. Two of the students showcased the presentation skills they learnt and their computing and PowerPoint skills were exemplary. Centres like Monkami prove that all people have abilities and it is important that we provide opportunities for these skills to be valued and acknowledged with our community.

On the 6th of November I attended the Eastern Access Community Health Annual General Meeting. EACH is a community based health provider that continues to go from strength to strength.

The guest speaker was human rights advocate Julian Gardiner, who spoke about the need to break down the systemic human rights inequities. Systemic inequities prevent people from recognising their full potential and hamper the delivery of an inclusive society. Organisations like EACH, through its holistic approach to health and wellbeing, as well as Monkami help address this disadvantage.

On the 8th of November I attended the Ringwood and District Historical Society’s bus tour of Ringwood East. The tour included thirteen stops highlighting the history of Ringwood East and explaining the stories behind locations such as Burnt Bridge and the region’s early mining and brick manufacturing industries.

The historical weekend continued through the 9th of November where I attended the Launch of Ringwood East Collections. The book captures some of the memories of Ringwood East through the retelling of thirty-five stories. The book is available for purchase through the Ringwood and District Historical Society and the group is already planning the recollections of Ringwood North, which is due in 2010.

On the 13th of November I was invited, as the Deputy Chair of the Eastern Transport Coalition, to participate in a panel discussion as part of the Victorian Transport Infrastructure Summit. The discussion provided an opportunity to highlight the strong support for better public transport in the eastern suburbs, where the majority of respondents surveyed through the ETC believed that governments were not giving sufficient priority to the provision of public transport.

On the 14th of November I attended the annual performance of Enjoying Planned Retirement’s Spotlighters. I spoke about Spotlighters last year and it was great to see at least one other councillor attending this year’s performance. EPR’s Spotlighters mixes music, singing, acting, tapdancing, comedy and theatre into an extremely polished musical production. Spotlighters is an entertaining event and I do look forward to the 2009 season.

On the 13th of November I attended Maroondah’s Volunteer Recognition Evening and I would like to commend the many people that devote their time to creating a better and more inclusive community. Volunteers are the strength of any society and it is great to see an ongoing interest in people wanting to devote their time to volunteer and community activities.

Lastly, I would like to thank the many community groups and individuals that I have met over the past three years. It is wonderful that we have many committed people within Maroondah and I do wish each and everyone well.

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:

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