Ringwood Rotary meeting – the student ambassador program

The ambassadorial scholarship program is one of the many initiatives that are organised by Rotary, a worldwide organisation of over 1.2 million members.

The program enables dedicated students to study abroad and further their education. Today’s speaker was Cindy, who was an ambassadorial scholar through district 7750 in South Carolina in the United States. Cindy is studying postgraduate qualifications at Monash University and aims to begin a career in international diplomacy.

Throughout the past three weeks, Ringwood Rotary has presented a range of speakers discussing various community initiatives. Organisations like Rotary demonstrate the positive community impact that can be achieved when members of the community work together towards common aims.

Media Release: Green thumbs used for National Tree Day

In support of National Tree Day, held on Sunday 27 July, Maroondah City Council staff brought their green thumbs to work and planted 250 trees.

Councillor Alex Makin said National Tree Day is one of Australia’s largest community tree planting event, with over 290,000 volunteers taking part last year.

“Community tree planting took place on Sunday 27 July at four sites throughout Maroondah, and Council staff did their bit at Croydon Town Park at lunchtime on Tuesday 29 July,” said Cr Makin.

“Maroondah City Council plants 30,000 trees and shrubs every year, and if you combine the number of trees in public and private land, you’ll find there are more than 500,000 trees in Maroondah,” said Cr Makin.

“There are numerous reasons why we need trees, not least that they are the earth’s lungs, inhaling carbon dioxide and removing greenhouse gas from the atmosphere then exhaling oxygen for humans to breathe,” said Cr Makin

“In addition, trees provide habitat and food for the many different species of wildlife that we are fortunate to enjoy in Maroondah,” said Cr Makin.

Council staff planted Eucalyptus radiata and cephlacapa as well as Dianella and Lomandra grasses in an area 200 square metres of Town Park in Croydon, to improve and extend the natural bush in the western end of the park.

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Maroondah Leader: Council walks the walk

In 2006 Maroondah City adopted its first Integrated Transport Strategy, this document highlighted the need for a pedestrian strategy, which was completed by council last year. Following from this strategy, council has now produced the principal pedestrian network, which indicates the streets that require footpaths within Maroondah.

The principal pedestrian network is now available for public comment and the Maroondah Leader has reported on the opportunity for public comment:

Cr Alex Makin said the plan would identify “missing links” to ensure all roads considered part of the network had at least one footpath. He said walking played an important role in encouraging participation in the community.

The construction of new footpaths to link shops, schools, hospitals, public transport stops and community facilities, would improve the accessibility and sustainability of Maroondah by encouraging walking and making our streets safer for people with mobility aids.

“The development of the network will go along way to improving walking options through local neighbourhoods,” Cr Makin said.

It is clear that the Maroondah community values sustainability and wants footpaths to ensure that walking is an option within our community. The community response in regard to council’s attempt to sell a laneway in Great Ryrie Street, which linked residents in Heathmont Road to bus stops for routes 670 and 367, demonstrates that the community expects council to deliver improvements to the pedestrian network.

Cr Makin said there had been a “lot of community anger” about the council’s plan to sell off the land. He said it was “ironic” that the council discussed selling off a walkway at the same meeting where its walkable communities plan was adopted.

It is important to preserve walking paths that assist in linking our community and encouraging sustainable transport. I would like to thank the residents that assisted in efforts to preserve this path and demonstrating that the community expects council to create a sustainable and safe environment that encourages and supports walking.

Maroondah Journal: Footpaths set for upgrade

The Maroondah principal pedestrian network has reached draft status and was placed on public exhibition at the council meeting held on the 21st of July, This means that the community can now comment on the document and identify any additional parts of Maroondah that require footpaths.

The Maroondah Journal has reported on the document and the opportunity to further refine the network through community submissions:

Cr Alex Makin said walking played an important role in encouraging people’s participation in the community. “The principal pedestrian network will go a long way to improving walking options through local neighbourhoods for Maroondah residents.”

The principal pedestrian network aims to identify the locations within Maroondah that require footpaths. The areas that have been identified include streets that link public transport stops, schools, shopping precincts, health centres, as well as sporting and community facilities.

Once the final plan is adopted, council will implement a funding program to construct footpaths in these areas to assist in encouraging walking as a sustainable and accessible form of transport.

Copies of the principal pedestrian network are available from customer service centres or the Maroondah City Council website.

Eastern Volunteers board of management meeting 2008

Eastern Volunteers is a not-profit organisation that provides volunteer assistance, as well as community transport for the frail aged and people with disabilities. The organisation aims to strengthen volunteering by providing training services and assistance in recruiting and placing volunteers within other community based associations.

Eastern Volunteers is also heavily involved in community transport solutions and provides a range of transport services for home and community care (HACC) eligible clients to assist in enhancing social inclusion and reducing isolation. The organisation is also involved in programs which aim to look at how community transport can augment public transport and taxi services. Eastern Volunteers is also one of the partners of the Sustainable Living Space initiative, which aims to investigate the potential for an environmentally sustainable community centre in Melbourne’s outer east.

Eastern Volunteers was formed in 1976 and has 14 part-time staff with approximately 100 volunteers to assist in service delivery. A voluntary board of management oversees the policies and strategic direction of the organisation. I was co-opted onto the board of management in July 2008.

For further details on Eastern Volunteers please visit www.easternvolunteers.org.au.

Ringwood Spiders victorious against the Maribyrnong Bulldogs

The Ringwood Spiders, based in Jubilee Park in Ringwood, is a football team for people with disabilities and is one of the fourteen teams that form the Football Integration Development Association (FIDA) league.

Today’s game marked the final home match for the season, with the Ringwood Spiders facing the Maribyrnong Bulldogs. It was great to see some impressive football from the Spiders and their fantastic display of teamwork, leading them to a spectacular victory against their opponents.

The Ringwood Spiders played some of their best football this afternoon and it was amazing to see just how much the team had developed throughout this season. The Spiders will be playing in the first round of finals next week and I wish them well in these matches.

It is great to see the football community rallying around the Ringwood Spiders with umpires from the Eastern Football League offered to umpire the game. In addition the Ringwood Football Club has been an ongoing source of support by offering the use of club facilities at Jubilee Park for training, games and functions.

The Ringwood Football Club, known as the Ringwood Redbacks, has an impressive Ringwood based history and was formed in 1897.

Rotary Club of Ringwood 2009 Changeover Dinner

Positions on Rotary Clubs are generally appointed on an annual basis and a changeover function is held around the middle of the year to welcome the incoming administration.

Tonight the Rotary Club of Ringwood held its annual changeover dinner at Rosebank Reception Centre in Ringwood North. The function provides an opportunity to reflect on some of the projects the club has been involved with over the past year.

This year the Rotary Club of Ringwood provided considerable assistance to people affected by the bushfires, through fundraising endeavours and the establishment of a tool library for the people of Marysville.

The club has also assisted new communities through supporting a soccer tournament for the Sudanese and Burmese communities and heard from a range of speakers covering many different community causes.

I am the Fellowship Coordinator for the oncoming year and plan to use this role to encourage members to attend community events and meet the many groups that exist within our community. This will help strengthen the Club’s commitment to providing Service Above Self and highlight the many needs that exist within our broader community.

Monkami – Titanic the Untold Story: Resunk

Monkami is based in Croydon and aims to provide skills for people with intellectual disabilities to empower their participants to live with the greatest degree of independence within their own community.

This evening I attended Monkami’s performance of Titanic the Untold Story: Resunk at the Karralyka Centre. The performance is the sequel to their debut stage production, Titanic the Untold Stories and featured more characters, video effects and audience props like paper Titanic hats.

Where else can such a diverse range of characters, like James Bond, Judge Judy, Ridge Forrester, Clint Eastwood, Wolverine and Caption Jack Sparrow, meet but in Titanic the Untold Story: Resunk? The performance was followed by a question and answer session, where it was explained that the actors themselves chose and developed their characters.

The plot followed the attempted capturing of the Titanic by Napoleon, only to be foiled by James Bond and sentenced in Judge Judy’s courtroom. While the drama unfolds, the Titanic crashes into the iceberg and the audience and castl sing the hokey pokey to make sure that everyone escapes!

The enthusiasm and participation from the audience was fantastic and reinforced the creativity of the performance. With such a positive reception, there is only going to be bigger things around the corner for the Monkami Drama Group!

The performance also displayed the remarkable video talents of the Ringwood Movie Makers and was also supported by the Ringwood Ballet Group and it was great to once again see other community groups supporting the performance.

For details on Monkami please visit www.monkami.org. Information on Ringwood Movie Makers is available from www.ringwoodvideo.org.au and details for Ringwood Ballet can be found at www.ringwoodballet.org.au.

Media Release: Creating better connections

Maroondah City Council has developed the draft Principal Pedestrian Network to give priority and consideration to the improvement and provision of quality footpaths throughout the municipality.

Councillor Alex Makin says the draft Principal Pedestrian Network is a key recommendation from Council’s Maroondah Pedestrian Strategy adopted in June 2007.

“Council recognises that walking plays an important role in encouraging people’s participation in their community, and the development of the Principal Pedestrian Network will go a long way to improving walking options through local neighbourhoods,” said Cr Makin.

“The aim of the Principal Pedestrian Network is to establish the principal pathway networks throughout Maroondah with a view to identifying the missing links. This will enable council to improve accessibility through providing at least one footpath along all roads that are considered part of the network,” said Cr Makin.

“The completion of the Principal Pedestrian Network will enhance access to public transport, community services, shopping precincts, and sport and recreational facilities by providing better connecting footpaths. This will assist in creating an accessible municipality and make walking a convenient and appealing transport choice,” said Cr Makin.

“Council is now seeking feedback on the draft Principal Pedestrian Network to ensure that it is meeting community needs. I would encourage interested members of the community to take the time to view the plans and provide comment,” said Cr Makin.

A copy of the draft Principal Pedestrian Network is available from www.maroondah.vic.gov.au.

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Maroondah Journal: People with disabilities can have their say

The upcoming Forum for People with Disabilities and Carers provides an opportunity to discuss accessibility issues within Maroondah and also provides an opportunity to speak to service providers, such as Invicta Bus Company and Connex.

The Maroondah Journal has reported on the upcoming forum to assist in publicising the event:

Cr Alex Makin said the People with Disabilities and Carers event aimed to ensure people with a disability had plenty of available opportunities to take part in an active community life.

The forum will also provide feedback on the workshops held earlier this year and provide consultation on Maroondah’s Disability Policy and Action Plan. This policy will underpin Maroondah’s approach to accessibility over the next four years.

“This forum will build upon the community feedback received at our workshop earlier this year. This feedback will assist the council to remain responsive to community needs.”

The Forum for People with Disabilities and Carers will be held from 10am on Tuesday the 5th of August at Maroondah Federation Estate.