There are several items I’d like to discuss this evening:
On the 23rd of March I attended the North Ringwood Community House annual general meeting, which coincided with the graduation ceremony of their Certificate III and IV students.
North Ringwood Community House is the only community house in Maroondah that has Registered Training Organisation status, meaning that they are able to offer Certificate level courses. As part of the AGM the House discussed its new business plan and it is great to see that they are planning on expanding their accredited courses into the future.
On the 29th of March I attended the first meeting of the Maroondah Partners for Community Wellbeing Committee along with Cr Ann Fraser. This committee is tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the implementation of Council’s Community Wellbeing Plan and incorporates a number of different agencies, including Eastern Volunteers, Eastern Access Community Health, the Primary Care Partnerships and others.
So what is Council’s Community Wellbeing Plan, it’ll be discussed later in this report.
On the 13th of April, I attended a community meeting hosted by Common Equity Housing Limited (CEHL), the managers of the 80 unit affordable housing development in Larissa Avenue. While Council and the community were understandably concerned about the State Government overriding Maroondah Council as a planning authority, it is encouraging to see the CEHL holding discussions with the community to help explain and demystify this development.
On the 15th of April I had the pleasure of opening two exhibitions, Konrad Winkler’s Moments of My Life and the Ringwood Art Society’s Artist of the Year. Konrad’s work highlights the changing nature of photography and the Art Society’s exhibition showcases the talents of one of Victoria’s oldest and largest arts societies.
The Artist of the Year was judged by an independent adjudicator but the community also has the possibility of providing input, through the Community Choice Award.
As part of the proceedings I had the privilege of announcing that Council will be utilising the Mayoral Art Fund to acquire one of the artworks that was exhibited by a member of the Ringwood Arts Society and I look forward to formalising this announcement once it is finalised.
The two exhibitions are hosted at Maroondah Art Gallery at the Maroondah Federation Estate and are on display until the 8th of May.
On Sunday the 18th of April I attended the Anzac March in Croydon hosted by the Croydon RSL. I would like to commend the Croydon RSL for holding such a welcoming and friendly event, it was great to see them involve the wider community, including local Primary and Secondary Schools and I believe it reinforces the community atmosphere that is so prevalent at the Croydon RSL.
This morning I had the pleasure of launching Maroondah City Council’s Community Wellbeing Plan. The plan, which was adopted by Council in December in last year, identifies the key wellbeing priorities over the next four years, including:
- Healthy Minds Healthy Choices
- Engaged Resilient Communities
- Accessible Safe Community
- Lifestyle Opportunities and Choices
- Targeting Equity and Social Inclusion
- Healthy Sustainable Environments
The plan was developed through the former Maroondah Partners in Health, Safety and Wellbeing Committee of which Cr. Nora Lamont, Cr. Rob Steane and myself were members.
In addition, Council undertook extensive community engagement in the development of its Community Wellbeing Plan including a survey in the Maroondah Focus, where we received over 1000 responses.
This was a tremendous result given that there are 44,000 households within the municipality. These responses provided quantitative information and Council also undertook extensive consultation with community organisations and discussion sessions at locations such as Eastland.
The end result is a plan that was developed in partnership with the community and which will be overseen by the Maroondah Partners in Community Wellbeing Committee, which includes community organisations, Council staff, as well as two Councillors, Cr. Ann Fraser and myself.
I would like to commend the many people who were involved in the development of the plan. The implementation of the Community Wellbeing Plan depends on community partnerships and I look forward to this collaboration as we improve the health, safety and wellbeing of our municipality.