Eastern Volunteers Sponsors and Supporters Evening

Eastern Volunteers as a regional community based organisation, works in partnership with local government and businesses to provide its services to the community.

This evening, Eastern Volunteers held a function to officially thank its business and government partners with their assistance. This included the sponsors of the Annual Fun Run that was held in March, as well as the Multicultural Festival, which will be held again this October.

The function included video presentations from the two public events, highlighting the strong community participation with Eastern Volunteers and the benefits provided to sponsors in supporting these activities.

The 2010 Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Festival:

The 2011 Eastern Volunteers Annual Fun Run:

Further partnership opportunities exist throughout this year, including the Business Booster Breakfast on the 8th of August and the Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Festival, which will be held on the 9th of October.

For further information please visit www.easternvolunteers.org.au.

Celebrating Community Safety Month through Community Art at Bayswater North

Community Safety Month, an initiative of Victoria Police is held every October with the aim of encouraging safer communities. One of the major focal points of Bayswater North Community Renewal is safety and this has led to the formation of the Paths and Parking Action Group.

The Paths & Parking Action Group is a working group of Community Renewal consisting of three members who have worked for almost three years to improve safety, particularly in regard to pedestrians and accessibility.

The Action Group advocated for an accessible bus stop to be located on Colchester Road, opposite the Canterbury Gardens Shopping Centre. This bus stop has been decorated with mosaic tiles created by students from grades 3 and 4 at Bayswater North Primary with the theme of community.

This morning I officially launched the new bus stop and congratulated the three founding members of the Paths & Parking Action Group, all of whom are mothers with children at Bayswater North Primary. These three members not only advocated for safety improvements but also encouraged community participation through their links to the Bayswater North Primary.

The accessible bus stop and community art project demonstrates the positive improvements that can be undertaken in partnership with the community and Council. I congratulate the three members of the Paths and Parking Working Group for their dedication and community service.

Ringwood Bowls Club 2010/2011 Season Launch

The Ringwood Bowls Club is located at 2-12 Loughnan Road in Ringwood and comprises of almost 400 members, with men’s and women’s bowling teams. The Ringwood Bowls Club has an extensive history of community engagement and has formed an ongoing partnership with organisations like the Ringwood Spiders and several schools to encourage lawn bowls across a range of age groups.

This evening I was invited to officially open the 2010 Lawn Bowls Season where I was able to congratulate the Ringwood Bowls Club for its focus on sustainability and community partnerships.

The Club has invested significantly in water sustainability initiatives, including water tanks and retention systems to provide a sustainable source for watering the greens.

In addition, the club has formed several community partnerships, including local schools and sporting clubs. The Ringwood Bowls Club also actively participates in Maroondah’s Healthy Aging Network, providing activities for Maroondah’s senior citizens.

I congratulate the Ringwood Bowls Club for its ongoing innovation and participation within the community and wish members the very best for the 2010/2011 Lawn Bowls Season.

For further information on the Ringwood Bowls Club please visit www.ringwoodbowls.asn.au.

Maroondah 2010 Business Lunch with Tara Moss

The 2010 Maroondah Business Week was held from the 4th of October through to the 8th and offered a range of events to develop skills and business promotion, concluded with a networking lunch, featuring model and author Tara Moss, as the guest speaker.

The lunch is aimed specifically at women in business and Tara spoke about her life growing up in Canada, as well as her transition into modelling and her development as an author. Tara discussed the need to persevere with dreams and highlighted her passion for writing, which she developed as a student in primary school.

Alex with Tara Moss and Phil Turner, Director City Development, at the 2010 Maroondah Business Lunch
Alex with Tara Moss and Phil Turner, Director City Development, at the 2010 Maroondah Business Lunch

The lunch marks the conclusion of the 2010 Maroondah Business Week and the speech I provided to welcome guests to this event is available within this post:

Continue reading “Maroondah 2010 Business Lunch with Tara Moss”

Media Release: Change to local law encourages debate and interaction at Meetings

To ensure that Council meetings are more interactive and engaging, Maroondah City Council has formally adopted a change to a Local Law at its meeting on Monday 16 August.

Local Law 9 will now replace Local Law 7 that regulates meeting procedures at Council Meetings.

“The changes demonstrate Council’s overwhelming support for accessible and accountable Local Government, and will permit the community to hear and see more than ever before,” said Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Alex Makin

“An example of some of the changes includes the opportunity for the public to hear Council presentations to further explain agenda items. Councillors will also present Ward reports to keep the community up to date with new developments and projects,” said Cr Makin.

The proposed amendment had been on public exhibition at Braeside Avenue as well as at Council Service Centres and on the website, and the public was encouraged to make submissions.

The submissions received all had the same theme -the addition of Acknowledgement of Country to the Order of Business for Council meetings.

“Following the public submissions, Council is proud to incorporate an Acknowledgement of Country as part of the Order of Business at both Ordinary and special meetings of Council,” Cr Makin said.

The Acknowledgement of Country forms part of Council’s Reconciliation Policy Statement which reaffirms its commitment to the process of reconciliation and the desire to build strong partnerships with the local Indigenous community.

“Another significant change to meeting procedures is that Question Time can be extended by an additional 10 minutes if required to complement the aim of increased participation and interaction from the community,” said Cr Makin.

As well as changes to process, the Council Chamber has also experienced a change to layout.

“New ramp access will improve accessibility to the chamber floor. Plus, the change to the seating arrangements means that Councillors will no longer sit with their backs to the public gallery, thereby promoting a feeling of inclusiveness,” Cr Makin said.

Council meets on the third Monday of each month and meetings are open to the public. Meeting dates may change if the meeting falls on a public holiday. Council is generally in recess in January.

The next meeting is scheduled for 7.30pm on Monday 20 September at Council Chambers, Braeside Avenue Ringwood.

Maroondah Community Volunteer Luncheon

The Maroondah Community Volunteer Luncheon provides an opportunity to thank the many volunteers that dedicate their time to community groups and causes within the City of Maroondah. In addition, the luncheon provides an opportunity for groups to meet and network with each other and thus share their experiences in volunteering within the community.

Our community is enriched through the active involvement and participation of people who volunteer within the municipality. Maroondah City Council appreciates the work of these volunteers and the luncheon is our way of showing our support.

The speech I delivered is available within this post:

Continue reading “Maroondah Community Volunteer Luncheon”

Sharing cuisine with Maroondah’s Sudanese Community

In recent years the City of Maroondah has become home to refugees from Sudan, who have settled into the municipality to start a life within Australia. This evening, Maroondah’s Sudanese community prepared a traditional Sudanese meal to share with the Maroondah community, with the aim of bringing bring people together and to discuss common challenges facing people in the municipality.

Like many people within our community, Maroondah’s Sudanese population is finding it challenging to secure housing and employment opportunities and there is a need for all levels of government to work together in providing a diverse range of employment and housing options.

As the Mayor of Maroondah, I have assisted in the Sudanese community in establishing a dialogue with Central Ringwood Community Centre, with the aim of providing a meeting space for their community and thus encourage civic participation within the municipality.

While solutions to housing and employment focus on State and Federal Governments, local government can support this through delivering on a vision for the municipality. For example, the Ringwood Central Activities District aims to create a diverse range of employment opportunities and this will need to be reinforced through a range of housing types and community facilities.

I welcome Maroondah’s Sudanese community and thank them for the meal they have shared with the Maroondah community. The food, included lamb and cous cous with members explaining the different range of cuisines that exist within Sudan.

Media Release: Maroondah Interfaith Network gets a funding boost

Maroondah City Council has welcomed an $8800 Victorian Multicultural Commission grant which will assist the Maroondah Interfaith Network with its leadership training and education programs.

Maroondah Mayor Councillor Alex Makin accepted the grant last Wednesday.

“Since the Maroondah Interfaith Network was established in November 2009 it has grown to include more than 35 leaders from a range of faiths,” Cr Makin said.

“The $8800 grant will assist the network to launch a leadership training program which will target the areas of conflict resolution, project management and media relations,” Cr Makin said.

“Participants will be able to attend  training sessions and neighbouring municipal interfaith networks will be encouraged to assist  as mentors,” Cr Makin said.

“The funding will also allow the Interfaith Network to be more actively involved in the coordination and participation of events that promote tolerance and celebrate the diversity of faiths in Maroondah like faith-based seminars and conversation cafes,” Cr Makin said.

The Maroondah Interfaith Network aims to bring together diverse faith and cultural groups to promote community harmony, education and awareness of racial and religious diversity.   It also hopes to increase understanding of varied faiths and cultures among the wider community.

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Media Release: Music funding a win for Maroondah youth

Maroondah Mayor Councillor Alex Makin has welcomed a $10,000 State Government music equipment grant saying it will give Maroondah’s budding young artists a chance to share their talents with the community.

Youth, Sport and Recreation Minister James Merlino announced the Victoria Rocks – Music Equipment Grant during a visit to EV’s Youth Centre in Croydon last Tuesday.

Cr Makin said the funding would allow Council’s Youth Services team to expand its already successful music programs.

“Maroondah has a very strong musical community and this funding will give Council more scope to nurture the interest of our young people and to strengthen the pathways between our community and the arts and entertainment industry,” Cr Makin said.

“The grant will provide greater access to instruments, training, rehearsal spaces and staging equipment for the young people of Maroondah,” Cr Makin said.

“As part of the funding application Council undertook consultation with young people and we uncovered a huge demand for the casual use of musical equipment,” Cr Makin said.

“With this funding we will now be able to offer more flexible access to equipment to address this unmet need,” Cr Makin said.

The $10,000 funding is part of a $1.3 million Victorian Government initiative. The funding initiative is based on the principles of participation, accessibility, partnership and diversity.

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Ringwood U3A – 25th Birthday Celebrations

Universities of the Third Age (U3A) are a global movement which provides education and life-long learning for retirees. The concept of U3As began in France in 1972 and spread quickly throughout the World, including Australia.  Thirty years ago, Ringwood became the home to one of the very first U3As within Victoria, based at Norwood Hall along Warrandyte Road in Ringwood North.

This afternoon I attended a luncheon to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Ringwood U3A, where past and current members reflected on the past thirty years and the ongoing interest in U3As. Twenty-five years ago U3As were a new and novel concept and the establishment of Ringwood’s U3A was the result of determination and ongoing support from several founding members.  This dedication has delivered results, with the Ringwood U3A flourishing and offering a wide variety of courses to cater to a diverse range of interests.

Alex with the Member for Deakin, Mike Symon and U3A members at the 25th birthday celebrations for Ringwood U3A.

As part of the proceedings I was invited to speak at the celebrations, where I reiterated the importance of life-long education and congratulated the many people involved in their ongoing support to the Ringwood U3A.  I also discussed the future opportunities that may exist through Council’s assessment of community facilities.  This assessment will assist in providing information on available community space, assisting community groups in finding locations for their activities.

In addition, Maroondah Council is currently conducting an assessment of Norwood Hall, prompted by the desired relocation of North Ringwood Community House and this will provide an opportunity  to explore options to better cater for the needs of the existing groups at Norwood Hall.

Alex presenting a certificate of appreciation recognising the assistance provided towards  Ringwood U3A.
Alex presenting a certificate of appreciation recognising the assistance provided towards Ringwood U3A.

Community organisations like the Ringwood U3A provide new opportunities for seniors, as well as reducing social isolation and promoting active participation within our community.  I look forward to seeing many years of future success for the Ringwood U3A.