I would like to sincerely thank my colleagues for their support and confidence in me as we enter the 2010 Council Year and I begin my term as the Mayor of Maroondah.
It is indeed an honour and a privilege to be able to serve with such distinguished colleagues, all of whom have such a wide range of skills and experience. I look forward to this year as we strive to deliver the very best for the Maroondah community. We need to harness the collective experiences and skills of the people around this table and our community as we consider the decisions we will make in the oncoming year and beyond.
The challenge we need to set ourselves is to ensure that the decisions we make today are not regretted by future generations or future councils. We need to ensure that the decisions we make today are the ones that ensure the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of our community into the future. We must not leave a legacy where in people in 10 or 20 years or beyond wonder about the choices we made today.
Tomorrow is the International Day for People with Disabilities and this serves as a reminder of the need to create a society where everyone can fully participate in civic, commercial, recreational and residential opportunities.
We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to ensure that we get things right with the transformation of Ringwood into a vibrant, sustainable and accessible urban centre. I look forward to working with all levels of government to achieve this vision. Our community expects government to work in cooperation so that we can achieve the best outcomes for our municipality. It is through a collective vision that we can harness the full potential of governments working together to achieve positive outcomes for the community.
I’ve lived in Ringwood since I was two years old, so my memories of growing up are centred around Ringwood and Maroondah, to be in a position where we can shape the future is one that is humbling and I want to ensure that our future generations respect the decisions that we make today.
While the transformation of Ringwood is obviously an exciting project, the City of Maroondah covers many suburbs and we need to ensure that all of our communities and their aspirations are heard and considered.
We also need to be mindful of the many community organisations that are in need of additional accommodation within Maroondah. The strength of a municipality can be measured by the vibrancy of the community organisations within it and we need to ensure that our actions take into account the need for community organisations to grow and develop so they continue to meet the needs of our municipality.
I am truly appreciative of the many community organisations that are present this evening, many of you have been with me during the highs and lows of council and I thank you for your ongoing support and for celebrating that occasion with us. Likewise, I extend my ongoing appreciation to my family who are here tonight and have stood by me during election campaigns and years of council. While the experience of being on council has been extremely positive, there have been times where it has been difficult; and it has been this support from my colleagues, family and the community that has kept me going.
Approximately a fortnight ago the Ringwood Miners Cottage was tragically destroyed by vandals. We need to stop and reflect on the values of our community and work towards creating a civic pride that collectively demonstrates that such malicious destruction will not be tolerated.
We can only do this if we discuss the values that the Maroondah community holds true and I ask each of us to reflect on what it means to live within this municipality. We need to begin a narrative and a discussion about these values and ensure that we hold these principles true to ourselves and to others. I ask each of you to let me know how you would describe the values of Maroondah.
Many people know about my passion for technology. Let us embrace new technologies to lead this discussion and to encourage people to contribute to our community. Please send me your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook, my website or via phone.
These values will not be defined overnight but we should start this discussion and lead in creating this narrative and ensuring we have an inclusive and welcoming society.
In coming weeks I will be asking my colleagues to discuss their visions for Maroondah over the next twelve months. I want to ensure that we have a council that is focused on outcomes and on the wellbeing of our community.
I look forward to achieving these outcomes with my colleagues, as well as the corporate management team and staff of this council.
In closing I would like to thank our outgoing Mayor Peter Gurr for serving the City as Mayor over the past twelve months. I look forward to the future and I look forward to working in harmony with my colleagues, staff and the community as we plan and deliver for the future.