Attendance Report: Promoting the arts and community organisations

On the 31st of March I had the pleasure of opening Parole Viaggianti, which is the latest exhibition at Maroondah Federation Estate. Parole Viaggianti, otherwise known as Travelling Words, features artwork by Angela Cavalieri explores the relationship between language, cultural memory and subjectivity drawing upon Angela’s experiences while travelling.

The exhibition was developed in partnership with the La Trobe University Museum of Art and highlights the Gallery’s role in exhibiting promising artists.

Parole Viaggianti will be on exhibition until the 14th of May at the Maroondah Art Gallery, located at Maroondah Federation Estate in Greenwood Avenue, Ringwood.

On the 7th of April I had the pleasure of attending the 21st birthday celebrations of the Croydon Stroke Support Group. The Group, which focuses on providing peer support, has grown rapidly over the past 21 years In recent times, the group has developed an arts focus, uncovering the hidden talents of its members, through painting, drawing and mosaics, as as well as writing.

The group has also pioneered the first choir for people with aphasia, a stroke condition where people are unable to speak but are still able to sing. The choir, which is an Australian first, helps restore confidence for people with aphasia and develops new talents in the arts and singing.

I would like to congratulate the Croydon Stroke Support Group for celebrating its 21st birthday and its innovation, I’m certain the Group will have many more birthdays to celebrate.

Maroondah Leader: Trains unreliable

The Maroondah Leader has reported on the decline in reliability for trains serving Maroondah through the Belgrave and Lilydale lines.

Cr Alex Makin said the lack of services left passengers waiting up to 30 minutes to get from Croydon to Ringwood.

While peak-hour services continue to suffer from reliability issues, there is also a lack of frequent rail services serving stations beyond Ringwood during inter-peak times.

“The whole notion of Ringwood being the Central Activities District is built on the notion of reliable and frequent public transport.”

While the Government should be commended for committing to the redevelopment of Ringwood Station from 2014, there is a need to provide frequent services to reduce the delays in travelling to and from Ringwood and other stations in Maroondah.

Opening of Angela Cavalieri’s Parole Viaggiante at Maroondah Art Gallery

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Maroondah Federation Estate and the Maroondh Art Gallery. The gallery, which is located in the art room of the former Ringwood Primary School is Maroondah’s premiere art gallery featuring a diverse range of art exhibitions.

This evening I was invited to launch Parole Viaggiante, the latest exhibition at Maroondah Federation Estate, which was jointly curated between La Trobe University Museum of Art and the Maroondah Art Gallery. Parole Viaggiante features works by Angela Cavalieri, which captures her travel experiences, depictions of cities and the multifaceted use of language.

The exhibition which opened tonight will be shown at the Maroondah Art Gallery until the 26th of May. The speech delivered during the opening is available in this post:

Continue reading “Opening of Angela Cavalieri’s Parole Viaggiante at Maroondah Art Gallery”

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.

Media Release: Master the art of web marketing

Small businesses are being given the chance to boost their social marketing skills at a workshop on Wednesday March 23.

Maroondah Councillor Alex Makin said Web Works for Small Business would be valuable for any business owner wanting to get ahead of the competition.

“Online marketing has become such a vital tool in business promotion and networking. There is a whole world of opportunity out there, but the key is knowing how to make your website work for you,” Cr Makin said.

“This workshop has been developed especially for owners of small business.  It can help business owners develop practical skills in web marketing which can be immediately applied to their businesses activities,” Cr Makin said.

“Some of the topics of discussion include how to attract and retain customers through website marketing, using the Internet to identify competitors, reducing the costs of marketing and creating regional or national networks,” Cr Makin said.

Following completion of the workshop attendees will have access to future mentoring opportunities and resources.

Web Works for Small Business is on from 9.30am to 12.30pm on Wednesday March 23 2011 at Council Offices, Braeside Avenue, Ringwood. The event is free, but a $20 surcharge is required to secure your place, and will be refunded post attendance.

The workshop is proudly supported by Maroondah City Council, Chisholm, SBMS, Business Enterprise Centres Victoria and AusIndustry, an Australian Government Initiative.

To reserve your place at the Web Works for Small Business workshop contact the Business Enterprise Centre on 9238 8550 or email

Media Release: Survivors of Stroke taking to the stage

Maroondah-based choir Stroke a Chord is celebrating its first birthday by launching a website and announcing its first public performance.

Maroondah Councillor Alex Makin said the choir started in 2010 to allow people with limited or no speech to experience something positive and joyful with their voice in a social and understanding environment.

“Imagine not being able to speak but having the ability to sing perfectly. This is the reality experienced by a number of people living with aphasia,” Cr Makin said.

“The idea for the choir was first raised during Stroke Week 2008. After hearing that several people in Maroondah were living with aphasia, Council took the first tentative steps towards the formation of a choir,” Cr Makin said.

“With the help of a number of external organisations, the choir has gone from strength to strength, with more than 20 members now meeting every week at Maroondah Family Church in Ringwood East,” Cr Makin said.

“Thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust the choir has a qualified music therapist working alongside the participants to ensure they are getting the most out of the experience,” Cr Makin said.

“After a trial performance in front of a group of family and friends the choir are now ready to perform publicly, with their first performance to be held at Karralyka Theatre during Stroke Week in September,” Cr Makin said.

Last month Stroke a Chord launched its own website,, to raise awareness of aphasia and the choir in the community.

“Having a website allows the choir to expand their network and hopefully increase its profile, so more people know what they do and how people can become involved,” Cr Makin said.

“The site provides a background on the choir, information on aphasia, and links to resources which are available to people who have aphasia,” Cr Makin said.

Stroke a Chord will perform publicly for the first time at 2pm, Saturday September 17 at Karralyka Theatre, Ringwood East. For more information

The Stroke a Chord initiative is a partnership between Maroondah City Council, Yooralla, Royal Talbot Hospital, University of Queensland, Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Croydon Stroke Support Group and Melbourne University.

– ENDS –

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.

Attendance Report: Australia Day and the changeover for the CAD Mayors Forum

On the 26th of January I attended the Maroondah Australia Day Celebrations at Ringwood Lake. The celebrations, which coincide with a citizenship ceremony and the awarding of Maroondah’s Citizen, Young Citizen and Event of the Year, were held at Ringwood Lake and provided an opportunity to welcome new citizens, as well as acknowledge the many people who undertake service to the community.

On the 20th of December I attended the changeover meeting for the former Mayors and current Mayors of Councils that include a Central Activities District. There has been a changing of Mayors in each of the Councils, with the exception of the City of Melbourne, and the meeting provided an opportunity to update the new Mayors on the alliance and the issues common to each of the Councils.

Media Release: Croydon man prosecuted for littering

A Croydon man has been convicted and fined $1635 after pleading guilty to three separate littering offences.

Maroondah Councillor Alex Makin said the matter was heard at the Ringwood Magistrate’s Court on Monday 7 February.

“Following an extensive investigation by Council officers the man was charged with three separate offences for dumping bags of printer cartridges during September and October,” Cr Makin said.

“The man was placed on a good behaviour bond, ordered to pay court costs of $635 and to contribute $1000 to a charity nominated by the Court,” Cr Makin said.

“Council is extremely pleased with this verdict, especially given the nature of the products being dumped. Any goods which contain hazardous chemicals, like printer cartridges, are extremely hazardous to residents and the environment and need to be disposed of appropriately,” Cr Makin said.

“Council will not tolerate the dumping of rubbish in our beautiful municipality. We take these matters seriously and will do all we can to ensure that those who participate in this illegal action will be held accountable,” Cr Makin said.

“At the end of the day dumping rubbish in our municipality not only impacts the environment and appearance of our suburbs, it also comes as a major cost to ratepayers,” Cr Makin said.

“Council has a number of processes in place to ensure residents can dispose of their rubbish easily and safely,” Cr Makin said.

“Maroondah households with a residential waste service are entitled to two hard waste collections of up to two cubic metres per financial year. When households require a hard waste collection, residents need to register with Council and they will be provided with a date in which they can place their hard waste on the nature strip,” Cr Makin said.

“For those who aren’t sure if their waste is eligible to be collected as part of this service simply pick up the phone and speak to one of Council’s customer service officers who will be able to assist you to dispose of your waste correctly,” Cr Makin said.

As a reminder, the correct procedure to follow when making a hard waste booking is:

  • Ring Council on 1300 88 22 33 to make a booking.
  • Place acceptable items out in a neat pile the weekend before your collection.
  • Put the ‘booked’ collection sticker supplied to you by Council on your pile facing the roadway.

– ENDS –

Public meeting with the Ringwood Pool Action Group

The Ringwood Pool Action Group was formed this year amid concerns in regard to the future of the Ringwood Aquatic Centre.

The facilities at Ringwood Aquatic Centre are ageing and faces escalating maintenance costs and declining patronage. In addition, the Centre lacks the wellbeing and gym facilities that compliment the aquatic activities.

Council’s plan for a regional level facility has been scaled back due to a lack of commitment from the State and Federal Governments and is therefore pursuing a district level facility.

While the final configuration of the Centre is yet to be determined, Council is committed to the future of the Ringwood Aquatic Centre and the Ringwood Pool Action Group will serve as an important conduit with the community as Council discusses options for the Ringwood Aquatic Centre.