Media Release: Creating a safe community

Community Safety Month 2009 kicks off in October and there are a number of supporting events planned for the Maroondah community.

Councillor Alex Makin said the month aimed to promote awareness about a broad range of safety matters including crime prevention, personal safety, safe work practices, staying safe during emergencies, and improving the perception of safety.

“Community Safety Month is celebrating its 13th year in 2009 and it’s proven to be a valuable tool in raising community awareness of safety matters,” Cr Makin said.

“This October Council will be hosting several events to showcase the activities it is undertaking and supporting to address community safety issues in a variety of ways,” Cr Makin said.

Some of the activities planned for Community Safety Month include:

  • Portraits of Positive Seniors – a project that aims to break down the negative stereotypes of the older generation while addressing the broader issue of safety by profiling local citizens and focusing on the positive outcomes of community engagement. The project aims to inspire the older generation to keep moving physically, mentally and socially by providing peer-based examples that are realistic, achievable and identifiable. Portraits will be on display at various Council facilities in the second half of October. Phone Council’s Community Safety Officer on 9294 5745 for further details.
  • Launch of Monkami Army in Main St, Croydon – a group of individuals from disability service provider Monkami will embark on a gardening project in Main Street, Croydon from 10.30am on Monday 26 October. The volunteers will help plant and maintain the garden in a bid to further enhance perceptions of safety and wellbeing in the area. Look out for the Monkami Army volunteers the next time you’re in Croydon.
  • Responsible service of alcohol – Council and Good Sports are subsidising a Responsible Serving of Alcohol course on Wednesday 21 October at Richard Silcock Pavilion, Croydon. The course, normally $100 per person, is just $15 for Good Sports members and $30 for non-members. Gain the knowledge and awareness to serve alcohol responsibly.

Community Safety Month is coordinated by the Victorian Safer Communities Network (of which Maroondah is a member), and supported by Victoria Police.

To find out more about Council’s community safety initiatives visit Council’s website at

For further information on Community Safety Month in Maroondah, phone Council’s Community Safety Officer on 9298 4212 or email

Ringwood Spiders Civic Reception

The Ringwood Spiders, a football club for people with disabilities, competes within the Football Integration Development Association (FIDA) league and recently won the 2009 Grand Final, the club’s first premiership in 14 years.

Tonight, Maroondah City Council held a Civic Reception to congratulate the club and its members on their successful season.  The reception provided an opportunity for council to recognise the growth of the club, both on and off the field.

The Ringwood Spiders, now have a successful cheerleading squad and are considering entering a second football team for next year’s season.  The Club is also preparing a range of activities during its off-season to further strengthen its team and community.

Eastern Volunteers 2009 AGM

Eastern Volunteers is a not-for-profit community organisation that provides volunteer referral services and transport for people with disabilities and the frail-aged within Maroondah, Whitehorse and parts of the Yarra Ranges.

This morning the organisation held its annual general meeting to elect board members for the next twelve months.  I have been re-elected to the Eastern Volunteers Board and Management and will continue to Chair the organisation’s event working groups.

The guest speaker was Phil Turner, the Director of Major Projects and City Development, who discussed the Ringwood Central Activity District and the Council’s vision for Ringwood. This vision will only be successful if it incorporates community facilities for the centre of Ringwood.

Eastern Volunteers is continuing with its goal of purchasing its own premises to facilitate its continued growth and provide a hub for other community organisations.  While this is a longer-term vision Eastern Volunteers has already begun to raise funding for its vital project.

For further information on Eastern Volunteers please visit

Rotary Club of Ringwood: Assisting international organisations

The Rotary Club of Ringwood, while being a local community group, forms one of the many Rotary clubs that are part of Rotary International with its 1.2 million members worldwide.

Tonight’s guest speaker discussed the Fistula Foundation and its work in Africa, where doctors assist women who had complications during childbirth.  The Hospital was founded in 1974 within Ethiopia to prove treatment for women who experienced complications giving birth.

Fistulas caused by giving birth are largely unheard of in developed countries but are common in the developing world, due to a lack of nutrition and education.  In recognition of the work undertaken by the foundation, The Rotary Club of Ringwood donated financial assistance to provide support for the organisation.

Ringwood Historical Society – 2009 AGM

Tonight’s Ringwood Historical Society meeting consisted of the 2009 AGM, to elect officebearers for the next twelve months. The club has had a successful year, with the meeting schedule increasing to monthly and a diverse range of speakers and presentations.

Tonight’s meeting included a presentation on the history of Fraternal Societies within Ringwood and Maroondah. Ringwood was originally home to five fraternal societies, each of which had their own symbols, rituals and membership. These societies formed a significant part of Ringwood’s history, with membership including prominent businesspeople, community members and local councillors.

The Ringwood Historical Society meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 8pm at Maroondah Federation Estate for further information please visit

Maroondah Journal: A celebration of seniors

The Maroondah Journal has reported on Maroondah Seniors Week, part of the Victorian Seniors Festival, which will be held between the 4th and 11th of October.

Cr Alex Makin encouraged senior residents to “get and have a go” at the diverse, exciting and enjoyable events organised by Maroondah Council and community organisations.

“All you need is your Victorian Seniors Card, the program of events and a willingness to get involved. Two day trips have been planned.”

The Maroondah Seniors Week program of events is available from Maroondah City Council’s website at

Delegates’ Report: Environmental Sustainability and Achievements by People with Disabilities

On the 23rd of August I attended the launch of the North Ringwood Tennis Club’s water sustainability project. The club, through a combination of Federal and Council grants, has installed water tanks to assist the watering of its courts and reduce dependence on our limited water supplies.

Like many of our sporting clubs, North Ringwood Tennis Club is committed to environmental sustainability and it was great to hear their members discussing the ongoing need for sustainability, including the investigation of potential energy conservation projects.

I commend the club for its ongoing foresight and commitment to sustainability.

I attended the Ringwood Spiders Trophy Presentation Night on the 28th of August.

The atmosphere was understandably jubilant given the strong success of the team, including winning the Premiership Cup for the first time in 14 years, with the club already planning for next year’s season. Each year the number of attendees at the Ringwood Spiders Trophy Presentation Night increases, so much so that they had outgrown the clubrooms at Jubilee Park and instead held their function at the Ringwood Bowls Club.

With the football season drawing to a close, the Ringwood Spiders are preparing a range of off-season activities, including partnerships with other sporting clubs such as the Ringwood Bowls Club.

The Ringwood Spiders demonstrates what can be achieved within our community and it is fantastic to see the ongoing partnerships that have been formed within the Club, including the Ringwood Redbacks, the Ringwood Bowls Club and businesses such as Lakeside Cafe.

Lastly, this morning I attended a combined meeting of Scoot Wheel n Move and the Maroondah Disability Action Group. The two groups are both focused on accessibility, with Scoot Wheel n Move having a particular interest on mobility aids and the Disability Action Group focusing on advocacy.

This morning the groups were at a joint meeting to hear Bill Shorten, the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children Services, who attended the meeting at the request of the Disability Action Group.

It is quite an achievement for any community group to secure the presence of a senior Government Member and it is great to see an example of a community group advocating on behalf of its community.

The discussion this morning was productive and I commend the two groups for their advocacy within the community.

Maroondah Disability Action Group and Scoot Wheel n Move – Joint meeting with the Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities

Scoot Wheel n Move and the Maroondah Disability Action Group, are two local community groups focused on improving the accessibility of Maroondah and the outer east. Scoot Wheel n Move is particularly focused on accessibility for people with mobility aids, while the Maroondah Disability Group is concerned about advocacy and achieving systemic change.

While the two groups have a different core focus, there is much in common and combined meetings are held when there is discussion or speakers of interest to the two groups. Today’s meeting, which involved the two groups, included a visit from Bill Shorten, the Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities.

Bill Shorten who was accompanied by Mike Symon, the Member for Deakin, discussed the Federal Government’s approach to disabilities including the need for streamlining information and assistance. Bill also discussed initiatives designed to encourage the employment of people with disabilities to improve equity and demonstrate capabilities.

The Maroondah Disability Action Group and Scoot Wheel n Move have both been undertaking constructive advocacy through working in partnership with other community groups and highlighting the need for greater accessibility within Maroondah and the outer east.

The ability of the Maroondah Disability Action Group to secure the attendance of the Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities demonstrates the ongoing effects of the group’s advocacy and its ability to represent concerns held by people with disabilities.

Ringwood Historical Society meeting

The Ringwood Historical Society aims to collect, promote, preserve and document the history of Ringwood, from its early origins in antimony mining and orchards through to its suburban expansion and beyond. As Ringwood undergoes another transformation the importance in documenting its history cannot be underestimated.

The Ringwood Historical Society meets ten times a year at Maroondah Federation Estate on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Meetings often include guest speakers who are available to discuss prominent people, families or events that helped shape the history of Ringwood. Members of the community are encouraged to attend and share any knowledge they have on Ringwood’s history.

For further details on the Ringwood Historical Society please visit

Eastern Transport Coalition – strengthening the bus service reviews and community advocacy

The Eastern Transport Coalition represents approximately one million residents, through its seven members council and advocates for public transport improvements within Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs.

Tonight’s meeting further discussed the State Government’s lack of progress in regard to the bus service reviews, with the final recommendations for Monash, Whitehorse and Manningham’s review still being unreleased. Given that these three councils had their reviews completed prior to Maroondah, it raises concerns as to the level of commitment from the State Government towards completing and implementing the bus service reviews.

Melbourne’s bus network largely consists of infrequent services, which have limited operating spans and follow convoluted and confusing routes. The bus service reviews provide an opportunity to improve the level of confidence in Melbourne’s bus network, through services that are direct, frequent and readily available.

The State Government’s bus service reviews provide an opportunity to improve Melbourne’s bus network, which is critical in areas like Melbourne’s outer east, since many residents reside beyond walking distance to rail stations. This will only be achieved however if the State Government commits to implementing the findings of these reviews in a timely manner.

Tonight’s meeting also discussed the Eastern Transport Coalition website and the need for integration with social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. As a council-led advocacy group, the Eastern Transport Coalition should be harnessing these tools to strengthen its ability to advocate on behalf of Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs.

Local Government has typically been slow to adapt to the Internet so it encouraging that the Eastern Transport Coalition has agreed on the importance of its website and the need to use its site to further its advocacy and reach to our local communities.