2011 Australia Day celebrations

Maroondah celebrates Australia Day with community festivities at Ringwood Lake, which also include a citizenship ceremony and the nomination of Maroondah’s Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year and Event of the Year.

The Australia Day celebrations is one of Maroondah’s largest community events at Ringwood Lake and includes entertainment, music and food. The event also provides an opportunity to congratulate people who have dedicated their time to volunteering within the community through recognising the contributions of volunteers and community events.

I would like to congratulate the many nominees for the Awards and to thank them for their dedication to the Maroondah community.

Media Release: Putting wetlands on the map

Residents are being urged to get to know their local parklands to celebrate World Wetlands Day on 2 February.

Maroondah Councillor Alex Makin said Maroondah has various wetlands that attract an array of flora and fauna.

“Wetlands play such an important role in creating ecosystems that support various populations of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates. These animals are often not found anywhere else,” Cr Makin said.

“Wetlands also help to absorb pollutants which can be washed off our roads and roofs into the storm water system, which leads to improved water quality for our rivers and creeks,” Cr Makin said.

“Ringwood Lake is probably one of the best known wetlands in Maroondah, but there are other hidden treasures worth taking the time to explore,” Cr Makin said.

“Candlebark Walk Reserve in Croydon Hills is an important link in the habitat corridor that extends from Warranwood Reserve to Yarrunga Reserve,” Cr Makin said.

“For the keen bird watchers, the reserve is home to the Purple Swamp Hen, Australian Wood-duck, Little Pied Cormorant and the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, to name a few,” Cr Makin said.

“If you’re lucky you may even spot a koala, wallaby or echidna in the area,” Cr Makin said.

Other wetlands in Maroondah worth exploring are Yarrunga Reserve, Settler Orchard Reserve and Narr Maen Reserve, all of which are in Croydon Hills.

New wetlands are also being constructed as part of residential development sites in Maroondah including The Range in Croydon and Bayview Rise in Bayswater North.

World Wetlands Day was first celebrated in 1997 to mark the signing of the Convention on Wetlands which took place in 1971 in a small Iranian town called Ramsar. The Convention is now commonly referred to as the Ramsar Convention.

“During the time of the signing there was concern from many countries about the declining number of wetlands and waterbirds. It was hoped the international treaty would help to prevent further loss of wetlands by providing countries with a framework for action and establish an international cooperation aimed at the conservation and wise use of wetlands,” Cr Makin said.

“For the past 40 years the annual World Wetlands Day has provided an opportunity for all levels of government and community groups to raise public awareness of the critical role wetlands play in maintaining our natural environment,” Cr Makin said.

The theme for World Wetlands Day 2011 is “wetlands and forests – forests for water and wetlands” in celebration of the United Nations International Year of Forests.

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Media Release: New tobacco laws introduced

Maroondah City Council is reminding residents of new tobacco laws which came into effect on 1 January 2011.

Councillor Alex Makin said only State approved registered tobacconists can display tobacco products or packaging in their store. All other retailers must store tobacco products out of view.

“While outlets are still able to sell tobacco, the new regulations mean that no tobacco products can be visible from anywhere inside or outside the outlet,” Cr Makin said.

“Prior to the law changes tobacco was one of the most visible and widely accessible products on the market, which gives the impression that smoking is more popular than it actually is,” Cr Makin said.

“Reducing the visibility of the product will further protect young people from exposure to tobacco marketing and promotion, and hopefully lead to fewer people adopting the habit,” Cr Makin said.

“It is also hoped that removing the products from display will make it easier for those wanting to quit smoking,” Cr Makin said.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of illness and death in Victoria, claiming around 4000 lives, causing 80 per cent of lung cancer cases and costing Victorians around $5 billion every year.

Retailers are permitted to display an A4 sized prescribed sign which indicates that tobacco products are available, and one prescribed price board.

To become a certified specialist tobacconist, 80 per cent of the retailer’s gross turnover must be made from the sale of tobacco products.

This is not the first change the State Government has made to the tobacco-related laws. Since 1 January 2010 key changes in Victoria have included:

  • Banning smoking in cars carrying children under the age of 18 years;
  • Banning the sale of tobacco at temporary outlets and providing State Government powers to ban youth-orientated tobacco products and packaging; and
  • Implementing improved services to assist people to quit smoking, with an emphasis on supporting pregnant women and groups with high smoking rates.

Those wanting more information on the changes should contact the Tobacco Information Line on 1300 136 775, email tobacco.policy@health.vic.gov.au or visit www.health.vic.gov.au

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Media Release: Join in the Australia Day festivities

Australia Day in Maroondah is again shaping as a fun-filled affair with a range of activities on offer for the entire family.

The action gets under way at 9.30am at Ringwood Lake Soundshell with a flag raising ceremony to mark the national day.

Councillor Alex Makin suggested residents to head on down and enjoy a free community barbecue and children’s activities including craft workshops, animal farm, jumping castle and face painting.

“There will also be live entertainment on offer with a performance by the Ringwood Folk Band,” Cr Makin said.

Cr Makin said the day also provided an opportunity to recognise some of our community’s most valued citizens.

“Australia Day is an opportunity for all of us to take pride in our citizenship and reflect on the meaning and importance of being Australian,” Cr Makin said.

“It will be a pleasure to recognise the contributions of Maroondah residents to the community during Council’s annual Australia Day awards,” Cr Makin said.

“The annual Australia Day awards will be presented to Maroondah’s Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, and Community Event of the Year,” Cr Makin said.

Cr Makin said the day was about coming together as a nation to celebrate what’s great about Australia and being Australian.

“It’s the day to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in Australia. It’s the day for us to recommit to making Australia an even better place for the future,” Cr Makin said.

“Each year Maroondah’s Australia Day celebrations draws a big crowd at Ringwood Lake. Council is again looking forward to welcoming the local community to celebrate what it is that makes them proud to be Australian,” Cr Makin said.

Event details:
9.30am: Flag raising ceremony
9.30am – 10.30am: Maroondah Australia Day Awards presentation and citizenship ceremony.
9.30am – 12.30pm: Family activities
11am – 12.30pm: Ringwood Folk Band perform

Getting there:

  • Via public transport: 10 minute walk from Ringwood Station or via bus route 670 which travels along Maroondah Highway. For further public transport information visit www.metlinkmelbourne.com.au or call 131 638.
  • Limited parking is available at Ringwood Lake, enter via Mt Dandenong Road. Melways 49 K8.
  • Accessible drop off zone on Maroondah Highway.

Maroondah Leader: Volunteers noted for passion recognised

Recognising the efforts of volunteers helps demonstrate the importance of their contribution and can also encourage other members of the community to consider volunteering.

To recognise outstanding efforts, Eastern Volunteers awarded two of its volunteers an Outstanding Volunteer Award.

The Award was provided in recognition of their contribution to several events ran by Eastern Volunteers, including the Multicultural Spring Festival, the Regional Conference, the Annual Fun Run and Giant Garage Sale.

The award received by the two volunteers was recognised by the Maroondah Leader which featured the two volunteers and their contribution:

Eastern Volunteers marketing services manager Alex Makin said Ms Barbian and Mr Franscisco were given the awards for their passion.

“The leadership and dedication of Patrick and Elke is inspirational and demonstrates how volunteers can make a real difference in our community,” he said. “The Multicultural Spring Festival was Maroondah’s first large-scale multicultural festival, which attracted over 5000 people. Patrick and Elke were crucial in planning this event and ensuring that it was a community success.”

International Volunteers Day was held on the 5th of December and provided an opportunity to formally recognise and congratulate Patrick and Elke for their dedication towards Eastern Volunteers.