Lone Pine at St James Park

It is always a privilege to serve the Boroondara community as Mayor, but some days are more special than others.

IMG_6649_1-520 x 300px

L to R: The Hon Ted Ballieu, Cr Phillip Healey, Jan Dimmick, John Pesutto MP, Cr Steve Hurd, and Paul Dipnall

On a sunny morning on 19 April, I, along with Cr Steve Hurd, John Pesutto MP Member for Hawthorn, former Victorian premier The Hon Ted Ballieu, Paul Dipnall, Chairman of Bomber Command Commemorative Association Victoria (BCCAV) and Jan Dimmick also from BCCAV and a joint recipient of the Boroondara Citizen of the Year Award 2017, and special guests gathered in St James Park in Hawthorn to plant a Lone Pine tree.

This small tree was grown from a seed gathered from the Gallipoli Peninsula by students of Carey Baptist Grammar School and given as a gift to the people of Boroondara as a living symbol of our deep connection to that fateful shore so far away.

At the tree planting ceremony, Cr Hurd spoke movingly of our local connection to Lone Pine via a young soldier from Hawthorn, possibly the youngest Australian to serve in the Gallipoli campaign. Private James Martin enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) aged just 14 years and 3 months – having lied about his age so he could do his part for Australia.

Along with the rest of his battalion, he took up his position along the frontline at Gallipoli on 7 September 1915. In only a matter of weeks, through a combination of enemy action and the hard physical labour and extreme privations of war, a company of 1,000 men (and boys) had been reduced to around 650 who were still fighting fit.

In late October of the same year, Private Martin, now seriously ill, was evacuated and died aboard a ship on route to a hospital. He was still three months shy of his fifteenth birthday.

Cr Hurd also spoke of how he is still moved to tears by the words of Mustafa Ataturk, a Turkish military commander at Gallipoli and the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey, when he wrote (in part):

“You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”

In planting this Lone Pine tree, our connection to that faraway place and time is strengthened once more. As is our commitment to honouring those who fell in service of their country, and those who returned with wounds seen and unseen to a grieving and grateful nation.

On behalf of the Boroondara community, I want to extend our sincere thanks to the students and staff at Carey Baptist Grammar School and to the wonderful volunteers from the Bomber Command Commemorative Association (Victoria) who made this fitting tribute possible.

Cr Phillip Healey
Mayor

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Boroondara Easter

Easter, both Western and Orthodox, or Passover for our Jewish community – is one of my favourite times of the year. It’s a time when we can gather with family and friends, and look forward to the rest and reflection that this break promises.

For those venturing out of Melbourne for a few days, I urge you to stay safe on the roads. And I hope you manage to enjoy some sunshine and enjoy a hot cross bun (or three) with your nearest and dearest.

If you’re looking for ways to engage in the community over the weekend, then pop over to the Boroondara Farmers Market on April 15 to participate in our Pop-up Council; here you can have your say about our 10-year community plan and pick up some wonderful fresh produce along the way.

We are fortunate to live in a vibrant City with many different cultures and communities, so whether you celebrate the Easter/Passover break religiously, with a big chocolate bunny or simply by spending some extra time with your family and friends, I wish you a happy and safe long weekend.

Cr Phillip Healey
Mayor

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Boroondara Community Plan update – have your say today

Since November 2016 we have been engaging the Boroondara community in the creation of our 10-year community plan. We’ve had an extraordinary response so far with more than 8500 responses contributing to our engagement program to date.

The community plan will shape the way Council prioritises its services and programs in the coming decade so don’t miss out on having your say and help shape Boroondara’s future.

The good news is that if you haven’t had your say yet, there is still time. Go to www.boroondara.vic.gov.au/ourcommunity by 30 April to vote for what’s most important to you.

If you want to tell us your priorities in person, join us at Pop-up Council on Saturday 15 April 8am – 1pm at Boroondara Farmers Market Patterson Reserve, Auburn Road, Hawthorn East.

We believe it’s essential we create our community plan together and your input will help guide our services, facilities and budgets for the next 10 years.

Cr Phillip Healey
Mayor

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Community Spirit

It is a tribute to the community spirit of Boroondara that we have received thousands of responses to our call for contributions to the Boroondara 10-year community plan.

In November we started asking our residents what’s important to them in Boroondara. It was wonderful to see how many community members took the time to let us know what mattered to them, and how positive they were about life in Boroondara. We’re now halfway through the second stage of this work, and we’ve asked you to tell us how you would prioritise the seven broad themes we’ve grouped your original responses into.

We want you to make your voice heard – you can tell us online how important you think each theme is to you, or come to one of the Pop-up Council events at Maling Road on Sunday 9 April or the Boroondara Farmer’s Market on Saturday 15 April. Details are available at www.boroondara.vic.gov.au/ourcommunity.

We believe it’s essential that we create our 10-year plan alongside our community. It’s your input that will guide our services, facilities, and future budgets through 2017-27. I am proud to be working to serve a community that so obviously cares about each other, and about the future.

Together, we will create a plan that honours what makes Boroondara such a remarkable place to live today, and guarantees we are building for tomorrow.

Find out more by visiting www.boroondara.vic.gov.au/ourcommunity.

Cr Phillip Healey
Mayor

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Victorian Government weakens protection of Boroondara’s neighbourhood character

The Minister for Planning’s decision to reform residential zones is unravelling the protection of Boroondara’s neighbourhood character.

Reformed_residential_zones-original

About 80 percent of our residential area is classified as Neighbourhood Residential Zone where the maximum number of dwellings on a lot is two and the maximum building height limit is 8 metres.

Yesterday, the Minister removed the limit of two dwellings to a lot and increased the mandatory building height limit to 9 metres. The changes were made without consultation with local residents, communities and Council. For details of the changes click here.

The Minister argued that the reformed residential zones “will be fair and provide certainty for all of our suburbs”, “provide for new housing opportunities” and “get the balance right”. We strongly disagree with his argument.

There is no transparency, accountability and justification to the proposed changes. The extensive process of planning work required to introduce the current residential zones by Boroondara and other municipalities has effectively been thrown out at the stroke of a pen. It is heavy handed and unfair.

Council’s planning policies have created capacity for an additional 62,546 dwellings which is more than four times the Victorian Government’s own forecast dwelling need for the area by 2031. These policies have clearly been working as Boroondara has the second highest spend on building projects in Victoria.

What will be certain is that the reformed residential zones will result in more intensive in-fill development in areas that our community has told us they want to preserve. The changes will have long lasting negative impacts on our highly valued streetscapes.

The Minister hasn’t got the balance right. He has tipped the balance in favour of increased density that will only benefit developers and destroy both Boroondara’s and Melbourne’s liveability.

We are deeply disappointed by the Minister’s decision. We urge community members to write to the Minister for Planning (richard.wynne@parliament.vic.gov.au) to voice their concerns.

Cr Phillip Healey
Mayor

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vale Cr Jeff Wunderlich

Cr Coral Ross formally acknowledged the passing of former Mayor of Hawthorn (1981-1982) at a meeting of Council last night. I would like to share her words.

It is with great sadness that we announce that Cr Jeff Wunderlich, former Mayor of Hawthorn (1981-1982), has passed away at the age of 85.

Originally from Switzerland, he immigrated to Australia with his family in 1937 aged six. After studying in Australia and around the world, including Harvard, he completed his PhD at the Sorbonne in Paris. Dr Wunderlich spent many years working as a scientist at the CSIRO, specialising in x-ray crystallography and science administration.

He served as a Councillor on Hawthorn Council for 15 years and was Mayor between 1981 and 1982. During his time as a Councillor, he helped establish the Hawthorn Community Gardens and later became President of the community group.

He was also behind the push for a high school in Hawthorn and in 1974 John Gardiner High School was established on Tooronga Road – now known as Auburn High School.

He was a volunteer for Camcare from 1995 to 2010, served on the Board and was made a Honorary Life member. He was also a long-time President of Balwyn Tennis Club and was a keen walker, chess player and gardener.

He was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2012 for service to the community of Boroondara, particularly Hawthorn, for his range of volunteer roles in community support, education, sport and recreation.

As per his family’s wishes, if you would like to honour his memory, please consider a donation to Cancer Council Victoria by phoning 13 11 20 or go online.

He is survived by his wife Beth and children Simone, Julia and Adrian.

Dr Wunderlich will be remembered for his passionate and dedicated service to our community. Our thoughts are with his family and many friends at this time.

Cr Phillip Healey
Mayor

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Time to shine

It’s time to tune up your instruments and practice your scales as entries to the 2017 Boroondara Eisteddfod are now open to young musicians and singers.

The Boroondara Eisteddfod is a wonderful musical and vocal competition that has been fostering the careers of young artists since 1991. In that time the event has given close to 60,000 young performers the chance to showcase their musical talents.

I am proud that we continue to foster the careers of young musicians and offer such a high calibre event to residents and visitors to Boroondara.

Entries are now open, and close 31 March so get your entries in quick for your chance to show your musical talents.

This year’s Eisteddfod will be held from 19 April to 25 June across two locations – in the Hawthorn Arts Centre, 360 Burwood Road, and the Parkview Room, 340 Camberwell Road (beside Camberwell Library).

The majority of events are free so whether you’re a classical music fan, or have simply never attended the Eisteddfod before, you should get along to see this fantastic competition.

This is a great event and I warmly encourage you all to attend and see some terrific young talent and some stars of the future.

Cr Phillip Healey
Mayor

Entry details

You can enter online via the Stardom database at www.stardom.com.au or find out more information here.

Tickets

Ticket sales open on 10 April 2017 and I strongly encouraged you to book in advance. To book your tickets, visit our ‘Buy Tickets’ page, call 9278 4770, or come to the Hawthorn Arts Centre Box Office located at 360 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The City of Harmony

One of the joys of being Mayor of our great City is knowing it’s a diverse and vibrant part of Melbourne, home to people and cultures from all around the world. In fact, Boroondara is made up of people originating from over 150 different countries, ensuring our community is filled with a broad range of traditions, religions and languages.

That extraordinary diversity is one of our City’s many strengths. So it is appropriate that on 21 March we celebrate Harmony Day.

Harmony Day coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the key message of Harmony Day is ‘everyone belongs’. The day aims to encourage people to participate in their community, respect cultural and religious diversity and foster a sense of belonging for everyone.

As a Council we’re committed to supporting the wellbeing and inclusion of residents from all backgrounds. You can learn more about our Cultural Diversity Plan here.

So wherever you’re from, whatever your cultural traditions are, a very happy Harmony Day to you and your family. It is great to have you as part of our wonderful and diverse City.

Cr Phillip Healey
Mayor

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vote for your priorities and shape the next ten 10 years in Boroondara

Since November, we’ve asked ‘What’s important to you in Boroondara?’ to inform our 10-year community plan. We’ve had an extraordinary response and received more than 7,000 responses from people right across our community.

Your responses have been analysed and fall into seven priority themes.

  • Your parks and green spaces
  • Residential development
  • Your community services and facilities
  • The environment
  • Getting around Boroondara
  • Your community
  • Your local shops and businesses

Now we want you to vote for what is most important to you. During March and April,  Council will be popping up at community events across our city to hear your views about the priority themes. So find us at one of the following events, participate in some fun (and informative) activities and have your say on setting our priorities for the community plan.

If you can’t make it to one of the community festivals, you can tell us online how you would prioritise the themes for our community plan. The website is a quick and easy way to have your say and your input will help guide our services, facilities and budgets for the next 10 years.

I am proud to work for a community that cares about each other, and our shared future. Together we will create a plan that honours what makes Boroondara such a remarkable place to live today, and sets the direction for what we are building tomorrow.

Find out more by visiting www.boroondara.vic.gov.au/ourcommunity. If you would prefer to receive a copy of our survey in the mail, please call Community Development on 9278 4753.

Cr Phillip Healey
Mayor

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The heart of the community

Volunteering makes us feel great and is a wonderful way to give back to our community – but I don’t need to tell you that. The people of Boroondara already know better than most the benefits of volunteering given we volunteer more than any other community in metropolitan Melbourne. An extraordinary 24 per cent of our city’s residents engage in some form of volunteering.

Volunteers make a valuable contribution to community life – and as an added benefit receive improved health and wellbeing from their volunteer activities. Many organisations rely heavily on volunteers to keep their vital services running for the benefit of the whole community.

To help members of the community find the right organisation to volunteer with, we run the Annual Boroondara Volunteer Expo. This is the twelth year of this terrific event and it just keeps geting better every year. During this years expo on 1 March, you can connect with over 50 community organisations from a diverse range of sectors and causes all in one place.

The event is free so if you’re looking to volunteer in 2017, come along and learn about the many ways you can make a difference in our wonderful city.

Event details

Annual Boroondara Volunteer Expo
Wednesday 1 March, 2017
1-6pm
Hawthorn Arts Centre (360 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn)
FREE
www.boroondara.vic.gov.au/volunteerexpo

Cr Phillip Healey
Mayor

Posted in Mayor's message | Leave a comment