Maroondah Journal: No rail cash – funding uncertainty for station upgrade

One of the most important community issues within Maroondah is the much needed redevelopment of Ringwood Station. The station fails disability compliance standards and is perceived to be unsafe by the wider community.

While the State Government has committed $39 million over four years to redevelop the Station forecourt and bus interchange, the current funding omits any works to the station itself.

The Maroondah Journal has reported on the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Ringwood due to the lack of a full funding commitment towards Ringwood Station.

Cr Alex Makin said the station’s update was a critical part of the Ringwood Central Activity District Project. He described the station as an eyesore and in urgent need of attention.

Ringwood has been designated as Central Activity District by the State Government, meaning it is supposed to be a priority for urban revitalisation and transport projects.

“The upgrade is required to ensure an accessible and safe means of public transport for the community. It fails in regard to safety requirements and fails disability standards thus preventing people with a disability from using the station.”

Ringwood Station currently fails disability standards, as designed by the Commonwealth Government’s Disability Discrimination Act of 1992, which established guidelines for the width and gradients of ramps and accessways.

This means that efforts to encourage sustainable transport and inclusiveness within Ringwood are hampered due to the fact that Ringwood Station does not meet these standards.

Cr Makin said Ringwood was one of the busiest stations outside Melbourne’s CBD, adding that there was “all the more reason for it to be upgraded.”

Ringwood is a major transport hub of regional significance within Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. The station serves as the junction of the Belgave and Lilydale lines and provides access to the community facilities within Ringwood.

The full redevelopment of Ringwood Station is needed to ensure that the vision of a vibrant future for Ringwood can succeed.

2009 Staff Milestone Function

This evening Maroondah Council held its annual Staff Milestone Function, recognising staff that have worked for Maroondah (or the former Cities of Ringwood or Croydon) over the past ten, twenty and thirty years.

While Councillors are responsible for establishing policies for the City of Maroondah, it is the staff that implement the decisions that council makes. Among the many recipients of the milestone awards, were several crossing supervisors some of whom who have been serving the City for thirty years.

Ringwood Spiders – Home Game Victory at Jubilee Park

The Ringwood Spiders is a football team for people with disabilities and is based at Jubilee Park, sharing facilities with the Ringwood Football Club.

The Ringwood Spiders compete in the Football Integration Development Association (FIDA), a league of 14 teams, located in both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Team development is always one of the strengths of the Ringwood Spiders and the results of this often become evident during the course of the season. Today the Ringwood Spiders achieved a tremendous on-field victory and were enthusiastically supported by its cheerleading squad.

Today’s match also included a sponsors day to provide acknowledgement to the many businesses and individuals that support players within the team. Sponsorship costs just $150 per year and helps fund uniforms and other accessories for the players.

It was great to see support from the Eastern Football League Umpires Association, with members umpiring the game. The support from associations such as the Eastern Football League and Ringwood Football Club reaffirms the aim of providing opportunities for people with disabilities.

The next Ringwood Spiders home game will be held on Sunday the 26th of July from 11am at Jubilee Park in Ringwood.

Literature Lakeside with Kate Holden

Literature Lakeside is a community event organised through Eastern Regional Libraries in conjunction with Lakeside Cafe in Ringwood. The event features an author who discusses their books and writing backgrounds, as well as brunch at Lakeside Cafe.

This morning’s Literature Lakeside featured Kate Holden, a new writer who recently wrote her first book ‘In My Skin’ and was awarded the prestigious Judy Duffy Award for literary excellence.

In My Skin, retells Kate’s personal experiences with addiction and life on the streets. Kate spoke candidly about her experiences as she discussed her background and motivation for writing her first book.

Literature Lakeside is part of an ongoing initiative to link libraries with the wider community and to provide a variety of community based literature events. The next Literature Lakeside will be held on the 26th July at 10am and will feature crime writer Shane Moloney.

Review of Bus Services – Second Community Workshop

The State Government is undertaking a series of bus service reviews across Metropolitan Melbourne and is currently reviewing services within Maroondah, Knox and the Yarra Ranges.

These reviews consist of two community workshops, the first which was held back in February and provided an opportunity for participants to raise their concerns. Issues that were discussed included the need for additional routes to cover gaps in network coverage, as well as the need for more frequent and longer running services.

Tonight’s workshop provided an opportunity to respond to the first draft of recommendations that will be made into the bus network covering Maroondah, Knox and the Shire of Yarra Ranges.

The recommendations were largely positive and included a number of improvements from the written submission I made to the bus review process.

These improvements included a proposed new bus service along Canterbury Road from Camberwell through to Ringwood, a new bus service along Mount Dandenong Road providing accessible and direct access to Karralyka and Maroondah Hospital and improving the directness of routes to make it easier for people to use public transport.

Unfortunately, there was an omission of new services for the Warranwood area and some of the changes for Ringwood North, which included a telebus service operating in a loop to Ringwood Station needs further refinement to provide better connectivity and to ensure quick travel times.

In addition, there was a lack of detail over service frequency and operating span improvements, although there was the recognition that more frequent services were required particularly along main roads such as Maroondah Highway.

Overall the recommendations were largely positive, although these initiatives will only come to fruition if government funding is forthcoming.

The review of bus services has been a positive initiative and it would be a shame if funding was not made available to use this opportunity and demonstrate a serious commitment to providing fast, frequent and readily available bus services across Melbourne and its outer suburbs.

Tour of the Monkami Centre

The Monkami Centre is located in Croydon and provides services for adults with intellectual disabilities living in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Monkami’s mission is to provide opportunities and skills for their clients and has a strong emphasis on community development.

This afternoon I attended a tour of Monkami’s facilities to view the range of programs that they offer. These programs include developmental skills, independent living skills, recreation and leisure, as well as pre-vocational training.

Often these programs cover a range of areas, such as the Monkami Drama Group, which not only provides enjoyment but also assists in skills development and fosters stronger connections with the community. Monkami also provides a nursery, woodwork and office administration skills providing their clients with a range of skills and the potential for employment.

This year Monkami is furthering its community connections, through developing a program where their clients will volunteer within the local area and assist our community just like the many other volunteers within Maroondah.

These programs further strengthen Monkami’s connection within the community and it was great to see the Centre during one of its working days where I could meet several of the participants and hear about their experiences.

Organisations like Monkami help remove the barriers that unfortunately still exist for people with intellectual disabilities and ensures that their capabilities are recognised within our community

For further information on Monkami please visit

Ringwood Historical Society – Melbourne's early history

Tonight’s Ringwood Historical Society meeting discussed Anne Lister and her role in the early women’s suffrage movement for Australia. In 1893 Anne assisted in the formation of the United Council for Women’s Suffrage and began giving public lectures on the movement from 1895.

While she is currently not as well known as other women involved in the suffrage movement, Anne was extremely prominent in the campaign for women’s voting rights and gave an extremely well regarded address at the National American Convention on Women’s Suffrage in Washington DC in 1904.

The second speaker at tonight’s meeting discussed Melbourne’s early water infrastructure, which consisted of lead piping and concrete. The techniques required in repairing and constructing these pipes were discussed, as was the history of the former Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works, which oversaw the maintenance and delivery of this infrastructure.

Eastern Transport Coalition – Bus reviews and transport priorities

The Eastern Transport Coalition, as a regional body consisting of Melbourne’s seven outer eastern councils provides the opportunity to advocate for better public transport across Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

Tonight’s meeting discussed the bus service review process, with the second round of workshops being announced. These workshops will provide an opportunity for the community to respond to proposals that will be considered by the State Government and the Department of Transport.

It is imperative that the this process leads to better bus services within Melbourne’s outer east and the State Government must provide funding to ensure that the recommendations are implemented.

In this regard, the Eastern Transport Coalition is calling on Members of Parliament to undertake an inquiry into public transport to ensure that it meets the needs of our community and to provide economic, social and environmental sustainability for Melbourne.

Given the regional importance of Ringwood, the redevelopment of Ringwood Station is one of the priorities for the group. Ringwood Station must become an accessible and integrated transport interchange to ensure that it is usable by all members of our community.

The Eastern Transport Coalition will be planning several events throughout this year to demonstrate the need for public transport improvements.

Maroondah Journal: Move on the cards as users outgrow house

North Ringwood Community House, located at the rear of the Holy Spirit Primary School at 120 Oban Road Ringwood North requires a new location so that it can expand its services and continue to meet the needs of the community.

The Maroondah Journal has reported on its successful application to the State Government for $25,000 to commence a feasibility study into identifying a preferred site.

Combined with a council grant of $5,000 the funding marks the first step towards North Ringwood Community House achieving its objective of creating an accessible and sustainable community centre in Ringwood North.

Cr Alex Makin said the community house needed to be relocated to better meet the needs of the Ringwood North community in an accessible and prominent location.

North Ringwood Community House is not situated on council owned land, which limits its access to grants. In addition, the house is unable to expand to meet increasing demand and its location lacks street frontage making it difficult for the community to access.

“The North Ringwood Community House is the only community house within Maroondah that is not located on council land [and] this has limited the house’s ability to apply for grants. As a result, the house has outgrown its current location and the buildings do not meet current accessibility standards.”

The feasibility study is a critical step in achieving the vision of a new community centre for Ringwood North. The funding provided through the State Government has enabled the house to begin this process.

Cr Makin praised the State Government for recognising the importance of the house to the Maroondah community.

The study is expected to be completed by early next year and will identify a preferred location for North Ringwood Community and the potential for co-location with other community organisations.

Book Launch – "A Quiet Painter" by Shirley Jones

Shirley Jones is a local Ringwood East resident, historian and artist who has published several books about art and history. This evening Shirley launched her latest work entitled a ‘Quiet Painter’, a biography on the life of James Alfred Turner, an early Croydon resident and renowned painter.

James Alfred Turner was born in 1850 and migrated to Australia from Yorkshire in the United Kingdom when he was 22, with his brother Charles who was 23 at the time. At this time James was already a dedicated art student and quickly became an artist seeking commissions.

The rail line through to Lilydale was completed in 1882 and made the townships along the rail corridor, such as Croydon much more accessible for people in Melbourne. James had already visited the Croydon and Kilsyth area from the mid 1870s and purchased a property opposite the intersection of Colchester Road and Mount Dandenong Road in Kilsyth.

The 20 acres he purchased had a small dwelling surrounded by bush and natural bush landscapes were a prominent feature of James’ paintings.

James was a prolific painter and regularly exhibited his works. In 1903 James’ rural landscapes were re-produced for postcards and became extremely popular, resulting in reproductions well into the 1930s.

Throughout his 36 years in Australia, James produced at least 600 paintings until he suffered from a heart attack on the 15th of April 1908. James’ wifeMary Ann passed away on the 10th of October 1950 at the age of 87.

While James’ artwork fell into obscurity shortly after his death, interest in his works was renewed in recent years and the JA Turner Artist Trail in Croydon, as well as the JA Turner Room in the Maroondah Art Gallery at Federation Estate bear his name.

Shirley’s book a ‘Quiet Painter’ encapsulates the life of James Alfred Turner and the significance of this early colonial painter. Copies of the book are available for purchase through either the Ringwood or Croydon Historical Societies.