Croydon Library events at the 2009 Maroondah Festival

The new location for the Maroondah Festival, which will now be held at Town Park in Croydon will assist in connecting the Festival with community facilities.

The Croydon Library is holding a series of events during the Maroondah Festival, including Richard Galbraith at 11am inside the Croydon Library and
Leigh Hobbs at 2pm at the front of the library.

Book signings by local authors will also be available at the Croydon Library, including Ray Smithies at 1pm and Shirley Jones at 3pm. In addition, Youth Services Librarians will be holding storytime sessions at 10:30am, 12 noon and 1:30pm.

Maroondah Festival will be held on Sunday the 8th of November from 10am through to 5pm.

Maroondah Leader: Residents face local backlash

One of the more controversial issues facing Maroondah at the moment is a planning application for an eight storey residential social housing development in Larissa Avenue, Ringwood.

This issue has become controversial, not because it involves social housing, but due to the fact that State Government has enabled this project to bypass council planning requirements. This means that neither council, the community or residents had the opportunity to provide binding comments on this planning application.

Normally, a planning application is lodged with a local council, who assesses the application against its planning scheme and other guidelines. During this process, local residents and the wider community are able to lodge submissions in regard to the application, which are then considered by Council.

Once the submissions are heard, the Council then has the option of rejecting or approving the application. If the application is approved, it will often be subject to a number of conditions, to ensure that community concerns are addressed.

This process ensures that local communities and residents are able to provide input into planning decisions, which then results in better outcomes for the community.

As an example, this has often resulted in the preservation of significant trees and a higher standard of development, such as centralised waste management (thus reducing the number of bins required), footpath constructions and bicycle facilities.

This process ensures we balance the needs of the community with development so that the best outcomes can be achieved.

Unfortunately, the State Government has enabled any developer that uses Federal Social Housing funding to bypass local council requirements meaning the Minister for Planning is the sole determinant of these applications.

As a result there is no opportunity for the community or residents to formally submit their thoughts in regard to these applications.

The Maroondah Leader is following the progress of this issue, which was discussed at last week’s council meeting.

Cr Alex Makin said the State Government had marginalised residents by fast-tracking a planning permit for an eight storey development at Larissa Avenue, effectively sidelining the council and stifling community debate.

The planning process enables local communities and residents to express their thoughts on a planning application that is being assessed before council. In almost all cases the people that lodge submissions do so, not of their own self-interest, but to ensure high standards for their local community.

Cr Alex Makin told colleagues at last week’s council meeting that future residents would be faced with “resentful” neighbours.

“There was no opportunity for residents to have their say so people moving there will have a stimga attached to them, Cr Makin said. “It will create a situation where people, who are already disadvantaged, will be worse off.”

One of the primary objectives of social housing should be to provide people with a sense of community and shelter, so that they can be provided with opportunities to become part of their local community and partake in educational, employment and recreational activities.

Creating a situation of animosity, whereby residents have been denied the ability to provide input, does not create a welcoming atmosphere for people who are already experiencing disadvantage.

It is imperative that local communities are able to provide input into local planning decisions to ensure a welcoming atmosphere for all residents of Maroondah.

Rotary Club of Ringwood – 40th anniversary

This afternoon I attended the 40th anniversary of the Rotary Club of Ringwood, which celebrated the organisation’s presence within the Ringwood and Maroondah community.

The Rotary Club of Ringwood was chartered on the 27th of October 1969 with 26 initial members. The club was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Box Hill, which supported Ringwood in its formation and early years of existence.

It is timely that Rotary’s theme for this year is the Future of Rotary Is In Your Hands, reflecting the ongoing community service provided by clubs, as well as the need to continually strengthen the organisation’s presence and membership recruitment. The usage of the Internet in particular, has the potential to shape Rotary and how it interacts with the wider community. While the presence of Rotary will always remain within communities, strengthening its Internet presence will help communicate the purpose and aims of the organisation.

The Rotary Club of Ringwood has been involved in a significant amount of community projects over the past 40 years, including its ongoing support for Maroondah Hospital and initiating the Save Water Save Lives project, which installs water tanks to provide fresh water in developing nations.

The Future of Rotary is dependent on the ongoing involvement of clubs within their local communities. The Rotary Club of Ringwood continues to be involved within Maroondah and projects that benefit local, national and international communitities.

For further information on the Rotary Club of Ringwood please visit

40th anniversary of the Rotary Club of Ringwood

The Rotary Club of Ringwood was founded in 1969 after being sponsored by the Rotary Club of Box Hill.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Rotary Club of Ringwood and celebrations were held this afternoon to celebrate the occasion. Several foundation members spoke about the origins of the Club and its activities over the past 40 years.

With this year’s Rotary theme being the Future of Rotary Is In Your Hands, it is rather timely to reflect on the successes of the Club and its plans for the future.

For further information on the Rotary Club of Ringwood please visit

Maroondah Mayoral Art Show

The Maroondah Mayoral Art Show is an annual event, which showcases the talents of local artists at the Maroondah Art Gallery at Federation Estate.

The proceeds of the show were donated to the Bone Marrow Donors Institute through the local branch in Croydon. Entries into the show are judged and the winner was awarded a prize, supported through the Ringwood East Branch of the Bendigo Bank.

The Mayoral Art Show provides an opportunity to showcase the artistic skills of the Maroondah Community and is on exhibition until the 14th of November.

Monkami – Fifty-third Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meetings have continued this month, with Monkami holding its fifty-third AGM this afternoon. Monkami, is a not-for-profit provider of services to people with an intellectual disability and is governed by a voluntary committee of management.

Today’s annual general meeting confirmed committee members for the upcoming year and featured the Manager of Volunteering Services at Eastern Volunteers as the guest speaker.

Monkami has always had a community focus and is planning to launch the Monkami Army, a project designed to demonstrate that people with disabilities can contribute to our local community. Likewise Eastern Volunteers, through providing volunteer recruitment services, is keen to encourage people with disabilities to volunteer within our community.

The Monkami Army will be officially launched on Monday and while I will unfortunately not be in attendance, due to a board meeting at Eastern Volunteers, the volunteers have already been assisting Main Street Traders in Croydon and have generated positive results.

Organisations like Monkami demonstrate the abilities of people with a disability, whether it be within employment, education, sports, the arts or our community.

All members of our community have something to offer, regardless of their ability and Monkami has demonstrated this with tremendous results.

Media Release: Ringwood CAD Stage 2 Parking Strategy adopted

Maroondah City Councillors on Monday night adopted the 13 policies outlined in the Ringwood Central Activities District (CAD) Stage 2 Parking Strategy Report.

Councillor Alex Makin said the strategy would be an important tool in addressing many of the potential parking challenges in the Ringwood CAD by providing a range of principles and policies that will guide the direction of both the provision and management of parking in that area.

“The accommodation and management of future parking demand within the Ringwood CAD will present many challenges and will play a fundamental role in both transport and land use planning,” Cr Makin said.

“Council understands that parking cannot be viewed as a stand-alone issue, which is why it has developed the Ringwood CAD Stage 2 Parking Strategy. The strategy includes a range of policies and actions that address the future parking needs of residents and visitors to the Ringwood CAD,” Cr Makin said.

The strategy, which contains 13 strategy policies, has four main aims:

  • Improve management of on-street car parking to achieve optimum use and turnover of car parks.
  • Maximise the availability and awareness of existing parking by better managing demands and encouraging alternative transport modes such as walking, cycling and public transport.
  • Manage the provision of off-street parking for new and existing land uses.
  • Encourage good design principles to minimise the amount of land used by car parking at ground level.

Stage 2 of the Ringwood CAD Parking Strategy Report was completed in September. It follows the completion of the report’s first stage, which provided a snapshot of existing parking within the CAD, established occupancy levels, assessed commuter parking, identified areas to tackle and manage parking as the CAD develops, and provide the platform and direction for the development of a parking strategy.

Ringwood is one of six designated CADs in the State Government’s strategy, Melbourne 2030: Planning for Sustainable Growth. The CAD program aims to create a vibrant and sustainable town centre encompassing retail, commercial, residential, leisure, entertainment and community activities, which will be accessible from surrounding areas by an integrated transport network.

For more information on Ringwood’s transformation into a CAD, visit

Monkami Performance – Picnic at Hanging Rock

Monkami is a not-for-profit organisation that provides services for people with intellectual disabilities. The organisation has a strong emphasis on community involvement and in proving an holistic approach to care, through encouraging their clients to participate in educational, employment and creative opportunities.

An example of this creativity is the Monkami Drama Group, which is now in its third year of performances. This year the Drama Group presented Picnic At Hanging Rock, a performance loosely based around the book and film, but with creative input from the actors, who are clients of Monkami.

As a result, the audience in the Karralyka Theatre was entertained by a creative script and cast. The actors choose the character they wish to play and work that character into the overall script of the performance.

The resulting performance was highly entertaining, with characters that included the Riddler, Doctor Who, Goldilocks, Dorothy and Dexter and concluded with the audience participating in the Time Warp.

At the end of the performance the actors and director participated in an open forum proving an opportunity for the audience to ask questions about the show. This helped provide an insight into the creative processes involved in delivering the performance.

The Monkami Drama Group demonstrates the capabilities of people with disabilities and planning is already underway for next year’s performances.

Delegates’ Report: Annual General Meetings and Seniors Week

This month has marked the beginning of the Spring season for Annual General Meetings, and I had the pleasure of attending the Ringwood Historical Society AGM on the 22nd of September.

The Society documents the history of Ringwood and it is great to see renewed interest in our local history. The Ringwood Historical Society previously met on a quarterly basis, but now meets monthly covering a diverse range of topics within our community.

The Eastern Volunteers Annual General Meeting followed on the 24th of September and I was joined by Cr. Lamont and Cr. Macdonald in attending this event. Eastern Volunteers is continuing to grow strongly and is planning three major events over the course of the next year, its annual Fun Run for March, the return of its community conference in July and a Multicultural Festival planned for October.

The Ringwood Diving Club Annual General Meeting was held on the 11th of October and is a sporting club that encourages participation in diving based at the Ringwood Aquatic Centre.

Several special weeks all seemed to converge in October, including Mental Health Week, Maroondah Business Week and the Maroondah Seniors Festival.

On the 8th of October I attended a presentation on the National Seniors Association. The National Seniors Association is unique in that while it provides a social connection, it also provides significant policy advice and advocacy.

On the 9th of October I attended the Ringwood Bowls Club 80th anniversary and season launch. The Ringwood Bowls Club is a successful sporting club and has a strong community focus. The club has had an emphasis on environmental sustainability through the installation of a water retention system and is also focused on social sustainability, through developing partnerships with community organisations.

One of the partnerships the Bowls Club has developed is with the Ringwood Spiders and is great to see that the Club mentioned the Ringwood Spiders Trophy Presentation Night as one of its highlights. The Club is planning further community events including a jazz evening in November and partnerships with Eastern Volunteers.

Lastly, I attended a combined Ringwood U3A, North Ringwood Seniors and Enjoying Planned Retirement Luncheon on Saturday the 17th of October.

It is great to see the members of each group supporting each other and I would like to commend the committee members and members for the holistic view of the facility. In addition, I would also like to commend the council officers that have supported these groups and responded to the concerns that they have raised.

Norwood Hall Users Luncheon

This afternoon I was invited to a luncheon for the committees of the groups that utilise Norwood Hall, located at Norwood Park along Warrandyte Road in Ringwood North.

Norwood Hall is one of Maroondah’s most highly utilised community buildings and houses several groups including Enjoying Planned Retirement, North Ringwood Seniors and Ringwood U3A. In addition, the Ringwood Arts Society and the Ringwood Historical Society are also located within the facility.

Ringwood U3A, Enjoying Planned Retirement and the North Ringwood Senior Citizens share the main facilities between themselves and with such a large number of users, it is important that the groups are able to cooperate and share facilities.

The luncheon, which is organised in turn by each of the groups, provides an opportunity for committee members to get to know one another and to discuss the aims of each groups. This year’s luncheon was hosted by Ringwood U3A and was extremely successful with each of the three groups speaking about the cooperation that exists within the facility.

While each of the groups do have a different focus, there are shared goals between the groups and it is encouraging to see this cooperation between them.