The 2011 Young Leaders Presentation Evening

The Young Leaders Program is a week long imitative providing leadership opportunities for Year 10 students within Maroondah. The program works with schools to identify potential students who undertake a week-long intensive leadership course at EV’s Youth Centre in Croydon.

The program covers public speaking, confidence and teamwork, with the aim of developing leadership skills. At the end of the course the participants organise a presentation evening, which includes the presentation of certificates from Council.

This evening I was invited to speak about the program and to formally congratulate the students for their completion of the course. The speech delivered during the presentation is available within this post:

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Attendance Report: Celebrating Maroondah’s Arts and Cultural Events

On the 26th of February I attended the Picnic in the Park hosted at Maroondah Federation Estate, which coincided with the celebrations for its 10th anniversary. Maroondah Federation Estate was established in partnership between local, state and federal governments on the site of the former Ringwood Primary School

The foresight that resulted in the establishment of Maroondah Federation Estate, delivered a premiere arts and cultural centre for Maroondah and Melbourne’s outer east, with a gallery that attracts a wide variety of exhibitions and space for community organisations. The festivities included photographs from the former school reflecting the historical value of Maroondah Federation Estate.

On the 18th of March I was back at Maroondah Federation Estate where I had the pleasure of opening the Kaleidoscope Exhibition at the Long Gallery located in the former class rooms. The exhibition, which is organised by Scope, celebrates the artistic skills of people with disabilities by focusing on their talents. The exhibition, which is one of several through Kaleidoscope showcased artworks under the theme of Inspiration Works and several participants travelled considerable distances to be able to attend.

Accompanying the exhibition was music provided by members of Scope, highlighting the diverse range of artistic and musical talents that exist. Kaleidoscope is a celebration of these talents and it was a pleasure to meet many of the exhibiting artists at the opening of the exhibition.

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.

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.

Meeting with the Mayors and Former Mayors of the Central Activities Districts Councils

This morning a meeting was held to officially handover the alliance between the City of Melbourne and Central Activities District Councils to the newly elected Mayors. The meeting provided an opportunity to formally introduce the new mayors to the group and to discuss the activities that were undertaken over the past year.

The alliance has been officially endorsed by each participating Council and priorities include meeting with the new State Government to identify the transport, housing, employment and community priorities for each Central Activities District. I would like to thank the former Mayors of Frankston, Greater Dandenong, Whitehorse, Hume and Maribyrnong, as well as Robert Doyle, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne for their support of this alliance.

I am confident that the new Mayors, including Cr Tony DIb as the Mayor of Maroondah, will continue to support this alliance and ensure that all levels of government have a shared vision and implementation plan for Melbourne’s Central Activities Districts. A collective voice for Melbourne’s Central Activities Districts will help ensure that they become vibrant, accessible and sustainable urban centres.

Maroondah City Council meeting

Maroondah City Council officially meets on a monthly basis from 7.30 pm at the Council Chambers at the Maroondah Civic Centre in Braeside Avenue, Ringwood.

The public is welcome to attend and there is an opportunity to submit a question to be answered at council meetings or to speak directly with councillors and council staff after the meeting.

The Mayor chairs the council proceedings and copies of the agenda are available from the Maroondah City Council website prior to the meeting.

If you wish to submit a formal question at a council meeting, please download the form for Public Question Time from the Maroondah City Council Website.

Policy Development and collaboration between Central Activities Districts

This afternoon the City of Melbourne hosted a forum on policy development focusing on the Central Activities Districts of Ringwood, Dandenong, Frankston, Box Hill, Broadmeadows and Footscray. The forum, which was an outcome of the recent Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Mayors of Maroondah, Greater Dandenong, Frankston, Whitehorse, Hume, Maribyrnong and the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne, aimed to strengthen collaboration and exchange knowledge on each of the Central Activities Districts.

Today’s session provided an overview on the changes experienced within the City of Melbourne, including strong residential growth and a strategy of differentiation to attract commercial tenancies to counteract competition from Australia’s other capital cities. Similarly, there is a need for each Central Activities District to identify unique strengths to deliver a diverse range of housing, employment and community opportunities.

Further work and collaboration will be undertaken by each Council to ensure a cohesive approach to Melbourne’s Central Activities Districts and to assist in providing a shared vision between Local, State and Federal Governments.

Media Release: Come and share in the Christmas spirit

Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without carol singing, candles and a certain jolly man in a red and white suit.

Maroondah Mayor Alex Makin encouraged everyone to grab a picnic rug or chair, a little Christmas cheer, and head for Ainslie Park in Croydon on Sunday 12 December for the Maroondah Carols By Candlelight celebrations.

“Each year Council continues the proud Australian tradition of Carols By Candlelight, with an exciting array of fine local talent leading our community in song,” Cr Makin said.

“Heading the bill this year is Penny Mason the holder of the 2010 Maroondah Singers Memorial Scholarship,” Cr Makin said.

She will be joined on stage by group performances including the Maroondah Singers, students from Croydon West Primary School and Maroondah Secondary College, Croydon Citizens Band, Maroondah Brass and the Connection Community band,” Cr Makin said.

“On top of all this, Santa will arrive, spreading his own special brand of Christmas cheer for young and old alike, and joining in for a song or two with the community,” Cr Makin said.

Bring a picnic hamper, indulge in some sizzling sausages cooked by the Croydon West Guides, or enjoy other tasty treats from the Ainslie Park Cricket Club or Maroondah Secondary College canteens.

“Carols by Candlelight will conclude again this year with a brilliant fireworks display presented by Eastland,” Makin said.

“Council are pleased to have Eastland supporting this wonderful community event once again and we thank them for their involvement,” Cr Makin said.

A reminder to local residents with pets to be aware of the fireworks display, which will commence at approximately 9.15pm. The loud ‘bangs’ can cause dogs to panic and be frightened – due to their acute sense of hearing, so please ensure your dog is secure in your home or back garden during this event.

Carols by Candlelight will be held on Sunday 12 December from 7.30pm at Ainslie Park, Brentnall Road, Croydon next to Maroondah Secondary College. Melways Map 50 F3.

As parking onsite is limited, the community are encouraged to walk to the event where possible.

As an alternate, bus services along Route 670 drop off and pick up on Maroondah Highway, travelling between Ringwood Station and Lilydale Station. For more details on bus timetables contact MetLink on 13 1638 or visit

Candles and glowsticks will be available to be purchased on the night.

For further information about the Carols By Candlelight celebrations, contact Arts & Cultural Services on 9298 4553.

– ENDS –

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.

Central Activities District Mayors and the Lord Mayor of Melbourne sign Memorandum of Understanding

Ringwood is one of six Central Activities Districts across Melbourne, whereby Ringwood was identified as an urban centre that would experience a diverse range of housing, employment and community facilities. Ringwood, like the other identified Central Activities Districts of Frankston, Dandenong, Box Hill, Broadmeadows and Footscray, requires cooperation and a shared vision between all levels of government.

Throughout this year I have been working with my Mayoral counterparts in Frankston, Greater Dandenong, Whitehorse, Hume and Maribyrnong to ensure a collective voice for the Central Activities Districts to ensure that State and Federal Governments provide an ongoing commitment and implementation plan for each of these centres.

Alex with the Mayors of Melbourne's Central Activities Districts and the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne
Alex with the Mayors of Melbourne's Central Activities Districts and the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne

While each Central Activities District has its own strengths it is important that we work cooperatively to secure commitments for each urban centre. In this regard, the six Mayors have also involved Robert Doyle, as the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne to ensure that there the role of Melbourne’s CBD is taken into account.

This morning each of the Mayors and the Lord Mayor met at Frankston to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that establishes the common objectives for this grouping of Councils. This grouping is unique given that it involves Councils that are facing like issues, rather than traditional alliances with have tended to be focused on geographic areas.

Alex with the Mayors of Melbourne's Central Activities Districts and the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne
Alex with the Mayors of Melbourne's Central Activities Districts and the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne

One of the most rewarding aspects of being Mayor this year has been the strengthening of partnerships between Maroondah and other Councils. This new grouping of Mayors from the Central Activities Districts and the Lord Mayor of Melbourne will become pivotal in ensuring that the Central Activities Districts and the visions held by the respective Councils are shared at a State and Federal level.