Attendance Report: National Volunteering Week and Young Leaders

National Volunteering Week was held between the 9th and 13th of May and provides an opportunity to promote volunteering and the many community groups that exist within the community. The week included an expo at Eastland Shopping Centre encouraging volunteers and was supported through media coverage in the Maroondah Leader.

Volunteering is a measure of the vibrancy and success of our community and I encourage people to consider how they can volunteer for the many community organisations that exist within Maroondah.

On the 13th of May, along with Cr Natalie Thomas, I attended the Young Leaders Presentation Evening providing an opportunity to congratulate the participants who completed the Young Leaders Program. The Young Leaders Program is a week-long course operated through EVs Youth Centre, which promotes leadership qualities for Year 10 students within Maroondah.

I would like to congratulate the participants for their dedication and for completing the course. I trust that the skills they have learnt will be useful in their future education, employment and employment endeavours.

Media Release: Maroondah celebrates National Reconciliation Week

Well-respected Indigenous rights speaker and performer Kutcha Edwards will be a special guest at Maroondah City Council’s National Reconciliation Week celebrations.

National Reconciliation Week runs from 27 May – 3 June and recognises the rich culture and history of the First Australians.

Maroondah Councillor Alex Makin said this year’s event would provide a variety of opportunities encouraging the community to explore Indigenous culture and heritage.

“I’d like to extend an invitation to the community to attend Maroondah’s Reconciliation Week celebrations from 10.30am at Maroondah Federation Estate on Tuesday May 31,” Cr Makin said.

“The launch will include a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony, a flag ceremony and a mesmerising didgeridoo performance by an indigenous performer,” Cr Makin said.

“Following the official procedures, Kutcha Edwards will speak about the theme for this year’s Reconciliation Week – Let’s talk recognition,” Cr Makin said.

“Edwards was born into the Mutti Mutti tribe in New South Wales, before being “stolen” from his family at 18 months of age. As a teenager he was reunited with his family, and started his journey to reconnect with his heritage,” Cr Makin said.

“Edwards now devotes his life working with various community groups including the Aboriginal Community Elders Services (ACES), Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, Fitzroy Stars Youth Club Gymnasium and the Koorie Open Door Education school at Glenroy,” Cr Makin said.

As part of Reconciliation Week, Council will also host an Indigenous Cultural Awareness Training session at Maroondah Federation Estate later in the week.

To find out more about Reconciliation Week events visit

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Mullum Ward Picnic in the Park at Maroondah Federation Estate

Maroondah Federation Estate celebrated its 10th birthday with a range of activities highlighting the Maroondah Art Gallery and the range of community groups that utilise the facility.

The celebrations coincided with a picnic in the park, providing a free barbecue and the opportunity to meet the Mullum Ward Councillors. Like previous picnic in the parks, today’s event was a great opportunity to meet members of the Maroondah community and I would like to thank the many people I spoke to throughout the day.

The celebrations also focused on the history of Maroondah Federation Estate, which began as a primary school, through photographs supplied by the Ringwood Historical Society. Other photographs covering Ringwood’s early history were also provided by the Ringwood Historical Society.

Media Release: Get to know your Mullum Ward Councillors

People living in Mullum Ward will have an opportunity to mingle with their local councillors during the first Maroondah Picnic in the Park event for 2011.

The event provides an opportunity to have a chat with your friendly Mullum Ward Councillors Ann Fraser, Nora Lamont and Alex Makin at Maroondah Federation Estate on Saturday 26 February.

“The Picnic in the Park is a fantastic concept which allows us, as ward councillors, to meet members of the community face-to-face and discuss all sorts of things,” Cr Fraser said.

“People can come along and have a chat about whatever is on their minds. It doesn’t have to have anything to do with Council matters,” Cr Fraser said.

“We encourage all Mullum residents to come along to the event and share with us their views on the area, and what they love about living in Maroondah,” Cr Makin said.

“An event like this is a perfect opportunity to speak face to face with a councillor and have your questions answered and your concerns addressed,” Cr Makin said.

“These picnics are a good chance for everyone to get to know each other on a different level, and find out more about the services offered by Council,” Cr Lamont said.

“The event coincides with the 10th anniversary celebrations of Maroondah Federation Estate, so residents will also be able to join in the festivities which include demonstrations from community groups, artists talks and fun activities for the kids,” Cr Lamont said.

Mullum Ward is located on the western side of Maroondah and includes most of Ringwood and Ringwood North, half of Ringwood East, and a small part of Croydon and Heathmont.

Head along to Maroondah Federation Estate on Greenwood Avenue, Ringwood, between 12noon and 4pm on Saturday 26 February to be part of the Picnic in the Park event.

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Ainslie Park Cricket Club

Ainslie Park Cricket Club, based at Ainslie Park in Brentnall Road in Croydon is part of the Ringwood District Cricket Association and has six senior teams, two veteran teams and several junior teams. This evening I attended the Club’s Thursday night dinner to speak to members and the committee.

Ainslie Park Cricket Club is working on expanding its facilities and has been speaking with other clubs, including the Ringwood East Football Club, to provide capacity for other sporting clubs. It is great to see Ainslie Park Cricket Club working with other sporting clubs to expand the ability to offer sporting opportunities within the 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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Graduation of participants in the National Green Corps Program at Mullum Mullum Creek

The National Green Corps Program is a Federal Government initiative that provides education and employment skills for young people that are unemployed and enjoy working in the outdoors. The City of Maroondah has been involved in the Green Corps Program through re-vegetation work along the Mullum Mullum Creek.

The program is delivered through two rounds and this afternoon I attended the graduation ceremony of the first group of participants who have completed the six month program. Participants within the Green Corps Program gained formal qualifications through Swinburne TAFE, as well as practical employment skills in conservation and land management.

Alex with participants graduating form the National Green Corp Program at the Mullum Mullum Creek.
Alex with participants graduating form the National Green Corp Program at the Mullum Mullum Creek.

The program has been possible through a partnership between education and employment providers, as well community groups and Maroondah City Council. I extend my congratulations to the participants of the program and I look forward to the next round of students who will be participating and improving the biodiversity and amenity of the Mullum Mullum Creek.

Delegates’ Report: Celebrating diversity and promoting art

There are several items I’ll be reporting on:

On the 23rd of October I attended the Khaudo Festival, organised by Maroondah’s Zomi community. The Zomi are an ethnic group from Burma and Maroondah has one of the highest populations of refugees from Burma within Metropolitan Melbourne. The Khuado Festival is a celebration of the Zomi New Year and a welcome to the community.

Similarly on the 13th of November I attended a Sudanese Cultural Festival featuring music, food and dance from Maroondah’s growing Sudanese community. It is great to see our emerging communities sharing their culture with the wider Maroondah community through showcasing traditional dance, music and food.

On the 28th of October I attended Monkami’s production of ‘Hey Hey Its Monkami’. Monkami is a not-for-profit community based organisation that provides services and opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. The organisation has an emphasis on community development including theatre and the arts as well as community partnerships. The Ringwood Movie Makers have continued to work in partnership with Monkami and filmed a cameo performance as part of the script.

On the 7th of November I attended the Maroondah Festival and it was fantastic to see so many community groups and residents participating in the festival. For the first year in a while, we had pleasant weather and in addition it was fortunate the rain held off.

On the 11th of November I attended the Remembrance Day services at the Croydon RSL and I would like to commend the members of the RSL for their community focus and involvement of local schools and community members.

Also on the 11th I officiated the Maroondah Volunteer Recognition Function, where we recognised the valuable contribution of Maroondah’s volunteers. Many of these volunteers have been assisting Council in the delivery of services, including Meals on Wheels, as well as supporting our environment and social support services.

Lastly, the 11th also featured the opening night of the Mayoral Art Show, which supports the Croydon Branch of the Bone Marrow Donor Institute. All proceeds from the exhibition support cancer research and features 90 artists across a range of mediums and styles.

Tour of Donwood Community Aged Care Services

Donwood Community Aged Care is located at 1-5 Mt Dandenong Road in Croydon and is a not-for-profit community organisation, that provides a full range of aged care facilities, from low-care needs through to high care, as well as respite services and care for people with dementia.

This afternoon I attended a tour of Donwood Community Aged Care to view the facility and to meet staff and the community of management. Donwood was established in 1991 and is unique in being a community based aged care facility, focusing on the individual needs of its residents.

Donwood has a strong focus on staff development to ensure that the best possible service and has modern facilities for their clients. The facility is unique is providing a complete aged care service and has high occupancy rates due to its focus on individual needs.

Donwood’s facilities are impressive and it is encouraging to see the committee of management and staff continuing to focus on the needs of the community through its provision of aged care services.

Media Release: Maroondah Festival bigger and better than ever

This year’s Maroondah Festival was a huge success, with seven hours of entertainment enjoyed by the Maroondah community on Sunday 7 November at Town Park in Croydon.

Maroondah Mayor Councillor Alex Makin said the threat of stormy weather wasn’t enough to the keep more than 30,000 people from attending the 21st Maroondah Festival. In fact the sun was shining for most of the day.

“The Maroondah Festival is one of the eastern suburbs’ largest free community events and this is due to the community spirit that brings out all that is good about Maroondah on this wonderful day,” Cr Makin said.

“On behalf of Council and the festival organisers, I would like to thank our sponsors, including major sponsor Ringwood Honda, exhibitors, performers, site holders and Council staff for their commitment and support in making this day such a great success,” Cr Makin said.

“It was very pleasing to see that crowd numbers were very high, with the local community enjoying the many activities and events available all day. This annual free event has become an integral part of Maroondah’s identity. I know many people look forward to this event and I am proud to say that it just keeps getting better every year,” Cr Makin said.

Many of Council’s services and facilities were represented at the festival, including the proposed Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure Centre.

“The expo gave festival visitors an opportunity to find out more about the proposed facility which includes the proposed state diving centre. The centre would provide Ringwood Diving Club and other diving clubs with a state-of-the-art training facility,” Cr Makin said.

“Leisure experts, representatives from Ringwood Diving Club and Council representatives were on hand at the festival to answer any questions people had about the proposed facility,” Cr Makin said.

“We had hundreds of people through the expo viewing the images and concept plans of the proposed facilities, with many taking the time to fill-out feedback forms on their thoughts of the proposed facility,” Cr Makin said.

“Next to the proposed Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure Centre expo Ringwood Diving Club members had their own interactive display at the festival, complete with divers performing on a portable springboard, mini trampoline and kinder dive activities,” Cr Makin said.

“Four time Olympic diver Jenny Donnet visited both the Ringwood Diving Club and Maroondah Aquatic and Leisure Centre displays during the festival. Jenny, a local Ringwood resident, was extremely supportive of the proposed facility saying diving clubs, elite and developing divers would benefit greatly from having access to the proposed dry diving training facility and the FINA standard 10 metre diving tower and pool,” Cr Makin said.

Jenny also took the time to fill out a feedback form, commenting that the proposed facility would “change the face of diving” in Australia.

“The proposed state diving centre is still subject to significant state and federal government funding, but with state-of-the-art facilities like these we could see more and more Victorian-based divers competing at an international level,” Cr Makin said.

Festival visitors also used the opportunity to sign Council’s petition calling for an upgrade to Ringwood Station in the term of the next government.

“We have secured a commitment from the Liberal party and Greens to upgrade Ringwood Station within the term of the next government and Council is now awaiting on a commitment from the Labor Party to the upgrade of Ringwood Station,” Cr Makin said.

“To date Council has collected close to 3000 signatures on the petition. We thank the community for their support and urge those who haven’t yet signed the petition to do so via council’s website or at a Service Centre,” Cr Makin said.

Some of the exciting features of the 2010 Maroondah Festival included:

  • Kids Kingdom was packed with free rides, interactive games and craft activities.
  • Anaconda Fun and Fitness Arena with activities, organised games, interactive workshops and demonstrations presented by local sporting clubs. There was also the 7.3 metre climbing pinnacle, tennis serve radar and Panna Football competition.
  • Bankwest Main stage arena featured a feast of musical performances from some of Melbourne’s finest artists including Electric Empire.
  • The Sustainability Area offered workshops hosted by Channel 31’s garden guru Vasili Kanidiadis.
  • Denso Community Expo showcased the many community groups and service providers in Maroondah. The expo included a community stage which featured performances by local groups.

“Maroondah Festival was a great day out for all the family. Planning is already under way to make sure next year’s event is even bigger and better,” Cr Makin said.

The Maroondah Festival was proudly presented by Maroondah City Council and sponsored by Ringwood Honda.

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