CiVic Magazine Issue 1 - December 2012

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t o g t s u e j l r u e y n m a B m Su er in t t e b

A message from Victoria’s Fire Services Commissioner

GR Design & Construct are Victoria’s premier manufacturer of standard and customised, engineered structures and buildings. We specialise in outdoor shelters, public restrooms, access structures, pedestrian bridges and commercial furniture. All structures are made to order to meet specific typography and design requirements. Our products are designed to fulfil the needs of councils, the government sector, sporting clubs, schools, commercial developments and the public sector in general.

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This summer, preparation is still your best defence. This summer, understanding fire risk and knowing how to prepare remains our best defence against the threat of fire.

We need your assistance in encouraging Victorians to do some simple yet essential actions this summer:

While an ‘average’ fire season has been predicted, this still means that Victoria will experience fires across the state and millions of square metres will be burnt. Drying grass after a wet winter means fire agencies are also battling an increased risk of grass and scrub fires this summer.

Get ready to leave by packing a relocation kit containing items like important documents and photos as well as essentials.

Councils and agencies know that for community members, getting out early before a fire is the best protection against fire – but in Victoria, we know that four in ten people plan to wait and see. This is a challenge for all of us – and councils are integral partners in helping us change this behaviour. Councils are a key way to tap into people in high risk bushfire areas, with your unique understanding of local risk and strong community connections.

Talk to everyone you live with about your plans so you all know what to do if a fire starts. Check Fire Danger Ratings daily – and on hot, dry windy days, check fire warnings and advice. Visit, call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667 or check the FireReady smartphone app. These are simple, practical actions - but they may save lives. For more information on these themes, go to Help us spread these fire preparation messages – and have a safe and happy summer.

Craig Lapsley

Fire Services Commissioner 1800 240 667 1300 733 492 email your enquiry at



F e a tures


President’s Report


Editor’s Note


In Brief




MAV preferred suppliers


5 minutes with …


What’s hot, what’s not

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Growth areas call for a minister and funds Backyard treasures A new step for design and learning Hub concept rises to new level A new art of knitting

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City students and regional council working together

Disclaimer Puffafish (“Publisher”) advises that the contents of this publication are at the sole discretion of the Municipal Association of Victoria and the publication is offered for background information purposes only. The publication has been formulated in good faith and the Publisher believes its contents to be accurate, however, the contents do not amount to a recommendation (either expressly or by implication) and should not be relied upon in lieu of specific professional advice. The Publisher disclaims all responsibility for any loss or damage which may be incurred by any reader relying upon the information contained in the publication whether that loss or damage is caused by any fault or negligence on the part of the publisher, its directors and employees. Copyright All advertisements appearing in this publication are subject to copyright and may not be reproduced except with the consent of the owner of the copyright. Advertising Advertisements in this magazine are solicited from organisations and businesses on the understanding that no special considerations other than those normally accepted in respect of commercial dealings, will be given to any advertiser.

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Yarra on film Banyule’s new WaterMarc Tips for CALD communications New app a boost for tourism Moonee Valley sets planning precendent New diploma to recognise councillors Safety make-over for Chapel Street Welcome to Whittlesea Boroondara steps up multicultural communications

President’s Report

Editor’s Note

We know Local Government CT Management Group has supported Local Government for nearly 20 years.

Welcome to CiVic – the MAV’s new industry publication.

I extend a warm welcome to the 631 recently elected councillors, including 331 returned and 300 new faces.


Cr Bill McArthur MAV President


e are excited to deliver the first issue of our new quarterly magazine CiVic. We hope the interesting, relevant and personable content will resonate with you as individuals, as well as councillors and council staff. The stories of local government triumphs are under-represented in the media, and CiVic bridges this gap to inspire councils facing shared challenges to collaborate and learn from each other’s successes. Councils are complex and multifaceted. As our responsibilities expand and our funding sources contract, we have some exciting stories to tell about doing more with less, and doing it smarter and better. From collaborative

procurement and digital government solutions to migrant settlement and preserving our environment, we are helping our communities to respond to change in a positive way. This is also a period of great change for our newly-elected councils, as we learn to work together on common goals that provide a better future for communities over the coming four years. I extend a warm welcome to the 631 recently elected councillors, including 331 returned and 300 new faces. With 2,000 candidates, it was pleasing to see uncontested positions decline by 23 per cent, with only 42 councillors elected unopposed. Among the councillor priorities for the next six months are: quickly

coming to grips with meeting procedures and other important governance processes; electing the mayor; reviewing the council plan; developing and setting the council budget; and understanding our land use planning obligations. While the MAV plays a key sector role in advocacy, policy development and advice, among our most important tasks are building councils’ capacity, and supporting your training and development needs. On page 24 you will find details of our new accredited Diploma of Local Government (Elected Members), commencing in early 2013 to assist councillors during this initial learning curve. I also recommend the new Good

Governance Guide, which is online at to all councillors and staff, as it explores the many facets of governing better – from conduct to cooperation, and community engagement to decision-making. We also look forward to sharing with you our extensive 2013 events program that is currently being finalised to support councillors and staff across all areas of council responsibility. Thank you for your contributions to the first edition of CiVic and I hope you continue to share your projects and innovations so we can inspire, create and contribute to a more cohesive, supportive and positive local government sector.

fter 10 years working in and around local government, I have found the number of really interesting, good news stories that are initiated inside the walls of each and every one of Victoria’s 79 councils never ending. Welcome to CiVic – the MAV’s new industry publication. CiVic ensures these good, more often than not great, news stories are promoted within the sector, to other levels of government, and to interested organisations,

businesses and individuals. Each quarter, CiVic will showcase a selection of council programs, projects and initiatives. From planning to environment, arts and culture to recreation, and every other service delivered to communities via local government, everyone will get their turn in the spotlight. By doing this we can learn from one another, open up communication channels to discuss the highs and lows, and provide a platform for other industries, and general public, to get a look behind the scenes at the role councils play in

Editor delivering essential services and facilities in their backyard. A 32-page magazine issued four times a year could never be enough to cover everything, so we’ve moved with technology and launched an iPad app. Download ‘CiVic magazine’ from the iTunes store for more content. For example, see Banyule’s new leisure and aquatic centre in action and view Yarra’s films. Thank you to the featured councils in this inaugural edition for supporting the magazine. I look forward to working with all councils in the future.

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Editor Kristi High Issue 2 Due February 2013 Editorial content can be forwarded to Design & Layout Jason Jeffery & Kathryn Steel

Contributors: Justene Cowie, Verne Krastins, Lisa Louden, Loretta Watson. Featured councils: Banyule City Council, Bayside City Council, Boroondara City Council, Golden Plains Shire Council, Monash City Council, Moonee Valley City Council, Northern Grampians Shire Council, Stonnington City Council, Yarra City Council. 4  ci v ic

Kristi High

With a network of independent Associate consultants across Australia, we have the experience and expertise to deliver solutions in: magazine

Scan this barcode to download the CiVic Magazine iPad App. ci v ic




Growth areas call for a minister and funds

Residents in growth areas have plenty of open space but where are the essential services and infrastructure for sustainable living?

Whittlesea City Council is calling on the state government to create a financial contract with Melbourne’s seven growth municipalities and create a Minister for Growth Areas to ensure residents in the booming outer suburbs have timely access to core services and infrastructure. David Turnbull

Chief Executive Officer Whittlesea City Council


he state government will invest $1 billion in a Regional Growth Fund over the next eight years. This should be applauded by all Victorians. It provides financial security to the state’s 48 rural and regional municipalities, allowing them to create structured, sustainable growth in their communities. The Regional Growth Fund is an acknowledgment that guaranteed funding is essential to plan for growth and that new roads, access to public transport, new schools and other services are core building blocks for new communities. The Victoria in Future 2012 report predicts that by 2031, the population of the state’s 48 rural and regional municipalities will increase by 430,000. However, this growth is dwarfed by population projections for Melbourne’s urban fringe. The population of the seven outer 6  ci v ic

metropolitan growth municipalities will expand by 740,000 in the corresponding time period. It is time for the state government to make a sustainable financial commitment to Melbourne’s seven growth municipalities because what we have at the moment is an infrastructure lag to the point that our growth communities are teetering on the edge of unsustainable liveability. A lack of public transport and functional arterial roads, limited capacity to meet the growing need of primary, secondary and tertiary education and health services will continue without significant state and federal investment. The release of the draft Metropolitan Planning Strategy provides promising signs. This has the potential to be the best planning strategy yet. Why? Because of the nine key principles that underpin the strategy. A number of these are critical success factors, including having the capacity to live and work locally, delivering infrastructure and investment that supports city growth, and leadership and partnerships.

Local authorities in Wyndham, Melton, Hume, Mitchell, Casey, Cardinia and Whittlesea have accepted the state government’s vision for growth, including the decision to extend the urban growth boundary. We are, in effect, subcontractors and we have done all we can do working in partnership with developers. We deliver the core services at the point in time people move in – access to maternal and child health services, local roads, community facilities, open spaces and a mix of sporting facilities. But with the growth that is expected over the next 20 years there will be a demand to build more, and for other services beyond the scope of local government – primary, secondary and tertiary education, hospitals, public transport and arterial roads. Unfortunately, our experience is that the only certainty in growth areas is that houses get built and we are forever playing catch up with services and infrastructure. When we play catch up – our community pays the price. The recently completed report, One Melbourne or Two,

commissioned by the Interface group of councils, shows that the social and economic outcomes for residents in high growth areas are below those for established municipalities and that they do not have access to the same resources or infrastructure as residents from metropolitan councils. There is undeniable benefit that successful growth areas will lead to a successful Melbourne and Victoria. But local government cannot do it alone. It is in the interests of all levels of government to invest in the services and infrastructure that is regarded by middle and inner residents as a ‘given’. We need investment and partnerships with other levels of government or growth areas will permanently lag behind the rest of Melbourne. Previous state government planning strategies have been well intended. But what we have evidenced is that they are high on promise – but little on delivery. And the fallout is a frustrated and disconnected community. The Metropolitan Planning Strategy provides a positive framework to move forward. So my proposition is this: let’s make it more than words on paper. Let’s put the commitment in writing. We can reverse the trend of previous failures to implement. It is not local government alone that carries the responsibility to deliver – state and federal government services such as education, health and transport are just as pivotal to the success of growth as local parks, rubbish collection and meals on wheels. But it is local government that bears the burden when promises and good intentions do not come to fruition. I am calling on the state government to establish a financial contract with growth councils to deliver the type of community that the Metropolitan Planning Strategy sets out to achieve – that commits the partnerships and funding to be able to deliver it. A guaranteed and meaningful pipeline of funding and/or access to low interest loan funds for urban growth areas and a dedicated minister would create the financial and political certainty we need to make the state government’s vision of growth a reality.  v

Sector Connector

Backyard treasures

The simple secret about promoting local government tourism

Special places

The broader backyard

Pride of places

Just visiting friends and relatives

In tourism talk, people who travel to friends and relatives are an important demographic, with visitor statistics produced each year. For short, we call these visitors VFRs. Why does the local government operator need to know that? Because for any municipality you care to name, the largest visitor group and highest spending tourists are VFRs. That’s right – most tourists come to the municipality to visit your own residents, not your attractions.

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If residents know more about the municipality’s backyard and its special places, they’ll appreciate it more. This will rub off onto their guests and by definition, on the majority of your visitors.

If you grew up on a quarter acre block with a backyard like I did, you may remember how much of a world of its own the real estate seemed. Although small and well known to me, the backyard was adventure land, a place to explore and where to find or create special places, especially secret ones. You may not have had a backyard, but I bet you had special places that were yours alone, and possibly your friends’ too, if they knew the password. Our surroundings have a huge influence on how we develop as individuals and experience the day-to-day. Like most things in life, the more choice and variety the environment offers, the more you experience and the quicker you learn. It’s good to look for the good things in your surroundings, and in most places there are ‘backyard treasures’ to be found not far from home.

Verne Ivars Krastins

Discover Your Own Backyard DYOB has a website promoting Melbourne’s inner and outer councils. Each has a page at, so if you’re wondering where to go over the holidays, check it out. The DYOB Campaign Toolkit is anyone’s to use, and can be downloaded from Research amongst a selection of Melbourne councils in 2010 quantified the local dollars. VFRs alone spent $288 per day while visiting, and caused residents to spend more as well. VFRs and their hosts together spent almost $400 a day, not far behind the CBD VFR spending average of $570.

Host messengers

Knowing this about the nature of local tourism should be empowering for local governments.

No longer the need to fret about having or not having visitor attractions like festivals, bike races, monuments and landscapes. You have what you have, so don’t waste time trying to be a tourism hotspot – very few places can be. The best tourism promotion tool you have is the local community itself – residents, traders, venue operators, and even the people in the street. They are the ones responsible for the ‘visitor experience’. They are all hosts.

Victorian local government has made great strides tapping into the VFR market. A number of councils have acted on the VFR opportunity via a freely available campaign model created by Destination Melbourne. Titled Discover Your Own Backyard (DYOB), the campaign was conceived with the help of over 30 Victorian councils in 2009-10. The result is a suite of tourism marketing resources designed specifically for local governments to harness their VFR tourism potential, including a detailed campaign toolkit to get things started. DYOB demonstrated its best practice credentials in October this year by winning Economic Development Australia’s national award for Best Marketing Strategy.

Christmas pudding

The holiday season is on its way and you’ll be receiving lots of VFRs over the coming months. The question is, how well prepared are your residents to be knowledgeable hosts? Do they support the local economy when entertaining visitors? Do they know about the diversity of visitor experiences available in your backyard?  v ci v ic



Monash architecture student and temporary Stawell resident Virginia Mannering gets down to work on laying bricks as part of a Northern Grampians-run project.

ost famous as the setting for Australia’s oldest and richest footrace, the Stawell Gift, the tiny town of Stawell in country Victoria will be remembered in quite a different way for 20 architectural students from Monash University in Melbourne. They’ve been working on a project called the Monash Steps/Stawell Steps and it’s proved educational in more ways than one. The project is being run by the Northern Grampians Shire Council and was born from a direct need after severe flooding of Cato Lake in 2011 damaged the adjacent Stawell Bowling Club and nearby homes and businesses. While council was engaging engineers to design a spillway at the lake, Monash University’s Professor Nigel Bertram was searching for a project for his students that would involve construction in bricks rather than wood like in past years. This search led him to a boutique brick specialist located in Stawell, which in turn, suggested he speak with council who enthusiastically suggested the spillway project at Cato Park. As part of their fourth year, students complete a semester living in a rural town designing and implementing a project. Participating student Virginia Mannering said everyone in the class had learnt a great deal from living and working in Stawell. “This project has been more than lessons in design and construction,” she said. “There have been some design challenges, but there have been others

stawell steps too like laying bricks and changing Stawell Steps course due to weather contingencies. “Even the way we explain the project to the community is a learning experience. We’re used to talking in architectural terms, but now dealing with non-architectural people who love the park we are building in so we have to explain it differently.” Ms Mannering, who originally hails from Canberra and had never been to country Victoria, called the program a very grounding experience. “When we are designing normally we have a presentation at the end of the semester, it’s all quite imaginary,” member of RCV since its inception she said. and sees the real benefit of working “Here, this is a project that’s real collaboratively to come up with and will have an impact for many, innovative ways of attracting and many years to come.” keeping people in rural Victoria,” said Northern Grampians Acting Northern Grampians Chief Executive Director of Marketing and Community Officer Justine Linley. Development Jim Nolan said council The project has also proved had an initial design prepared when they something different for the were approached by Monash University. community, including the number of “Our original designs were practical women who are part of the project. and were taken up by the Monash “The locals are constantly walking students and their Japanese architect past showing interest and are constantly (Monash artist-in-residence Hiroshi surprised by the number of women, who Nakao) and modified according to double the men,” Ms Mannering said. parameters we had set,” said Mr Nolan. “In the local supermarket we “It’s taken some compromise – definitely get noticed,” she said. but people realised the benefits and “And we’ve also got to recognise and were flexible to make it work.” say hello to some of the locals which Another collaborating body was is not something you are used to the Rural Councils Victoria (RCV), a in Melbourne.” group of 38 rural Victorian councils, Mr Nolan says the community who helped fund the project through has also become involved through its Population Attraction and Retention welcome barbecues and two local Pilot Project, which aims to provide tradespeople, a bricklayer and a young people with a significant carpenter, are mentoring the students. experience of life in the country. “They’ve had a great time,” “Northern Grampians has been a said Mr Nolan.

Other funding for the project has come from two Victorian Government departments – Public Safety Infrastructure and the Department of Planning and Community Development’s Community Facility Funding Program – as well as the Victorian Flood Relief fund. When completed, the Monash Steps/Stawell Steps project will provide a practical and functional structure as part of a new boardwalk and spillway on Cato Lake. “The great thing about RCV programs is that they have real outcomes and the Monash Steps/ Stawell Steps will not only provide our community with a physical asset but will also establish relationships that we are sure will continue beyond the life of the project,” said Ms Linley. It’s something the students are experiencing as well. “I feel very touched working here in Stawell and having that constant oneon-one contact with the community. We are building something that means a lot to the people,” said Ms Mannering.

for design and learning What do you get when you combine seven diverse organisations, a flood mitigation solution, a highly valued community park, 20 city students and a world-renowned Japanese architect in a country town? Answer: a functional and visual architectural structure, an appreciation of the complexities of construction, educational and cultural experiences and a shining example of the collaborative force of working together. By Lisa Louden

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28/11/11 10:10:22 AM

Hub concept rises to

Having such an outstanding facility located in Hawthorn’s vibrant heart is a permanent advertisement for the many council and community services available at the precinct.

new level In recent years, running a range of services for young children and their families from a single location has become accepted best practice. Now Boroondara City Council has expanded the concept. Its newly opened Hawthorn Community Precinct houses services for Boroondara residents at all life stages.

as providing certificate training in hospitality and catering. A number of courses operate out of the precinct, largely for senior community members. Among them are IT for over 55s, English as a second language, cooking small healthy meals, pilates, life writing, discussion groups, wiser driver and motorised scooter safety. Hawthorn Community Education Centre Coordinator Liliana Parrella is excited by the possibilities the Hawthorn Community Precinct offers. “I would love to see some formal intergenerational programs take place here in the future. It’s something we have done successfully in the past with secondary schools,” she said. “Working alongside young children, families, youth, seniors groups and library users also gives us a chance to challenge some of the stereotypes associated with ageing. It will raise the profile of senior residents as active members of the community with valuable contributions to make.” Planning for the Hawthorn Community Precinct included input from facility users with negotiations with diverse groups, each with their

own priorities, proving challenging at times. “It’s been tough at times and compromises have been made,” Ms McClean said. “But it has already forged a link between the precinct’s regular users. That means networks have been expanded and strengthened, making it more likely they will work together to identify solutions to day-to-day issues that may arise.” The precinct is also an excellent example of different council directorates and departments working together. “This long-running project has seen a number of departments working together such as: Projects and Strategy; Health, Ageing and Disability Services; Family, Youth and Leisure; and Library Services work alongside each other for a great community result,” she said. The Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development provided a $500,000 grant towards this facility. The Federal Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs provided a $100,000 accessibility grant.  v

Young residents give the new Hawthorn Community Precinct’s sandpit a test-run.


he $11 million facility is a striking two-storey building located in the bustling Glenferrie Road shopping precinct. It is simple to access by tram or train and close to Swinburne University. Like many new buildings, the Hawthorn Community Precinct features an environmentally sustainable design. It has been built with sustainable materials, makes the most of sunlight and cross-breezes, uses water tanks and has gas powered air conditioning. The new space is very flexible and can be altered easily as community needs change. Boroondara’s Director Community Development Carolyn McClean said the building’s eye-catching exterior is a bonus. “Having such an outstanding facility located in Hawthorn’s vibrant heart is a permanent advertisement for the many council and community services available at the precinct.” The new co-service facility includes a Maternal and Child Health service, kindergarten and early learning centre. It is also the headquarters for a number 1 0  ci v ic

of community groups and associations who benefit from the four community meeting rooms and café, along with an enclosed link to access the adjacent library. Ms McClean said basing so many services in one building was convenient for users, very cost effective and provided enormous opportunities for community members from across generations to connect with one another. “This innovative approach to service provision gives children, parents, senior community members and anyone attending club meetings, classes or the library, opportunities to establish new friendships,” she said. The café is run by Jesuit Social Services, providing an inviting place to form new friendships as well as employment and training opportunities for disengaged young people from Boroondara and surrounding areas. The Ignite Cafe is one of the first two cafés of its type to open in Victoria (the second is at Boroondara’s new Camberwell Library). Both cafés offer young unemployed people a chance to engage positively with their local community, as well

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Boroondara residents check out the new Hawthorn Community Precinct at a recent open day.


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A new art of knitting

By Lisa Louden

A Bayside City Council exhibition bringing back the age-old skills of knitting and crocheting in new applications has proved a source of community enjoyment and engagement.

Yarn bombing the streets of Bayside City Council suburb, Hampton.

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Bayside’s Dances with Wools exhibition include LOVE by artist Kate Just.


ccording to Bayside City Council Arts and Cultural Planning Coordinator Julie Skate, walking into a gallery and seeing a long table laden with knitted goods that included a platter of cheese, a bottle of wine, sandwiches, an egg on toast and a wedding cake filled people with great joy. This is just one part of the Dances with Wools exhibition, which ran from September to November, and also included a knitted hedge called LOVE by artist Kate Just and ceramic knitted art by Arianna Kanellopoulou. The hedge-work is an eye-catcher at five metres wide and almost two metres high and was inspired by Ms Just’s interest in how people create boundaries to contain what they own and cultivate. Ms Kanellopoulou’s work creates moulds of small knitted toys and turns them into ceramic work by a series of firings followed by glaze finishes. The result is a body of work that looks 1 2  ci v ic

soft and cuddly but is actually hard yet delicate. Another aspect of the exhibition was yarn bombing, a type of street art, which takes everyday items and covers them in knitted and crocheted designs. Displayed in a local Bayside street, the knitted artwork covered items like lamp posts, benches, trees and bicycles. “Yarn bombing fascinates me,” Ms Skate said. “Mostly because people want to beautify things and create something beautiful from it. It’s about making things beautiful and making people laugh.” The art used acrylic yarn instead of wool to ensure it survived any inclement weather as well as providing a brighter colour range. The exhibition proved accessible on two fronts – for viewers and artists, with contributions coming from more than 50 individuals, community groups, institutions and schools. “There’s something very inclusive about knitting,” Ms Skate said.

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“Their skill level, or where they came from, didn’t matter – they could work at home and send it in. We’ve had contributions from Epping to Mornington.” Residents from Karinya Grove, a residential care facility in Sandringham, knitted the cheese platter and wine bottle. “Knitting really does have a sense of joy for all ages, but particularly for the aged,” Ms Skate said. “I guess knitting is familiar to them, but it’s in a different context. “The residents at Karinya Grove were great, they enjoyed it so much they then went on to knit the wedding cake.

“Not only did knitting for the exhibition bring the group so much enjoyment, but so too did seeing it on display.” Artist Caroline Love, who led the collaboration, worked with 92 Brighton secondary students using oversized knitting nancies to make a knitted installation, showing that knitting’s appeal isn’t confined to one demographic, particularly with its new applications. “It’s enormous fun and the response has been wonderful,” said Ms Skate. The exhibition lives on with the yarn bombing part of the exhibition donated to a local animal shelter, where Ms Skate said she hopes it will provide some bright comfort for some four-legged friends.

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arra on film Yarra City Council is using film to celebrate its achievements and enhance community engagement and cultural awareness, and it’s attracting national attention.

We have been able to use this film to show how we can better use social media, and as an example of the type of content that gets a positive response from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as well as relevant blogs.

A member of the Circolo exercise group who participated in the Yarra Community Grants Program video.

Student from Yarra’s Community Grants Program video showcasing his school’s kitchen garden.


cting Coordinator Community Advocacy Nina Collins was recently invited to speak at a local government community development forum in Western Australia about Yarra City Council’s film highlighting its Community Grants Program. In 2011, council launched its first 10-minute film showcasing a number of community projects it supported throughout the year, which has been screened publicly on two occasions and attracted almost 1,000 views on YouTube. Each year, Yarra hands out around $1.7 million to around 200 grant

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recipients. Now, with a second grant film set to launch by the end of the year, the historical end of year grants ceremony, which was no longer a popular event nor efficient use of council’s resources, has been replaced – giving a diversity of granted projects a lifetime legacy through use of digital and social media. “The key objective for these films is that they are used as a community engagement tool,” Ms Collins said. “They showcase the year’s projects and highlight the objectives and triumphs, while also promoting our Community Grants Program to

organisations thinking about applying for funding.” Yarra focused the film on five key areas: community, sustainability, wellbeing, inclusion and diversity. Community grants projects representing each of these were chosen. They included an Indigenous commemoration project, a student kitchen garden program, an exercise program for Italian seniors, a special needs soccer program and a resident art project. The film was loaded to council’s website home page and supplied to the participating groups to include on their own organisation’s website. In addition to the film being the centrepiece for council’s end of year event, a special screening was held for the Circolo exercise group of Italian seniors. “Following the screening for Circolo, a number of the participants asked what the ‘Internet number’ was to show their relatives and friends,” Ms Collins said. “I realised we needed a bit more promotion so went back and printed paper strips with the URL, which we posted to them to give it to their kids.” In addition to promoting work undertaken by council and the

positive outcomes of community grants by a diverse range of groups and organisations, the film has been used internally by Yarra City Council’s social media network as an example of how to engage the community, promote the work of council, and provide an historical snapshot of the community’s work. “We have been able to use this film to show how we can better use social media and as an example of the type of content that gets a positive response from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as well as relevant blogs,” Ms Collins said. Another Yarra City Council film being used to demonstrate the benefits of digital and social media is Stories Around the Fire, which captured an event held in July 2011 and is now used to build cultural awareness. The Stories Around the Fire event was organised by council and presented as part of the Gertrude Street Projection Festival in mid-2011. The essence of the event, Indigenous storytelling held around a fire pit, was launched on film earlier this year. Now, Wurundjeri Elder Colin Hunter’s story about the cultural significance of fire, playwright John Harding’s tales of family, identity and

community in Fitzroy, political activist Robbie Thorpe’s recount of Aboriginal community-‑controlled organisations, and Lorina Lovett’s shared memories of a harsh upbringing and her work with the Aboriginal community of Fitzroy/Collingwood (the Parkies), lives on. Special Projects Officer Daniel Ducrou was instrumental in developing the Stories Around the Fire event. A published writer himself, and film advocate, Mr Ducrou worked with council to demonstrate the benefits of film being used to promote cultural awareness. “We are building a body of digital media as one of a variety ways of accessing information,” Mr Ducrou said. “In the past, council used traditional print publications but these are not always as accessible to all of our community. “Producing information on film is one way we are removing the barriers to distribution.” The Stories Around the Fire event, and its film, has also paved the way to council’s first community consultation Facebook page that will capture Yarra’s Aboriginal history projects centred mostly around the Gertrude Street, Fitzroy precinct.

“Council initiated a pilot Facebook page to be used as a consultation tool,” Mr Ducrou said. “We publish webcasts of our projects, like the Indigenous walks we organise. “By doing this, we capture a brief summary of the main ideas discussed and we have a permanent record of the consultation, rather than a conversation that happens and is then forgotten. “What we have created is a living testament to conversation and the nature of Facebook is a constant publishing feed.” Almost 200 people interested in following Indigenous cultural information ‘Like’ the Celebrating Aboriginal Culture in Gertrude Street, Fitzroy page. “We need to determine different roads and pathways to connect to these things and having a digital presence can connect to historic and current events seamlessly,” Mr Ducrou said. “Many Aboriginal people have Facebook accounts; they are highly active on social media. “Therefore, our consultation is specifically targeted. By using Facebook we are providing a format for people to use and it is integrated into their daily lives – they already know how to use it so it is the logical

Dave Arden performs at Stories Around the Fire, which was made into a film by Yarra City Council.

choice as opposed to sending links with functionality and aesthetics they are not used to.” Stories Around the Fire was commended in the Promoting Reconciliation category of the 2012 National Awards for Local Government announced in April. As well as the 2012 Community Grants Program film, which this year is being produced by a local community group, council will also

soon launch a Welcome to Country for a large scale Aboriginal history project published as a website and smart phone application.  v Aboriginal Culture in Gertrude Street, Fitzroy ci v ic


Cover Story

Banyule’s new

Within the first two months of opening, the new pride of Banyule – a $42 million leisure and aquatic centre – exceeded all expectations by attracting 100,000-plus visitors, signing 4,000 members and enrolling more than 1,200 children in swimming lessons.


he northern area of Banyule City Council has undergone a massive regeneration with the undeniable jewel in the crown being a new leisure and aquatic facility. After 10 years in the making, the arrival of WaterMarc has set a new benchmark for community leisure and entertainment, along with enhanced standards in sustainability practices. Jutting from the edge of the impressive building, and hovering above nearby pedestrian and road paths, is WaterMarc’s most visible feature – giant twin waterslides. Dubbed ‘Tantrum Alley’ – perhaps because of the reaction of children when told its home time – the largest indoor slides in the southern

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hemisphere have certainly put some wow factor into the longawaited facility. WaterMarc opened in September with a grand splash, with Australian swimming stars diving in to enjoy the celebrations along with 5,000 visitors who flocked to the opening day activities. Banyule CEO Simon McMillan said the impact of the impressive slide was best described by a child, overheard telling his father after numerous rides that he liked it so much his face was ‘hurting from smiling’. While council promoted the opening day of its most anticipated continued on page 18

Fun in the fountain at WaterMarc. ci v ic


Banyule’s new $42 million leisure facility WaterMarc.

Innovative sustainability features of WaterMarc include: Solar evacuated hot water tubes on the roof to

supply the majority of hot water for the pools

Banyule’s New WaterMarc

Energy efficient heating, ventilation,

and air conditioning (HVAC) systems

Large, insulated sky lights providing natural

light in the main pool hall

Thrills on ‘Tantrum Alley’.

continued from page 16

community facility, little needed to be done to generate interest. WaterMarc is perhaps the biggest billboard advertising money didn’t need to buy – an iconic landmark that greets visitors to Greensborough. “WaterMarc had been a long time coming and our community was eagerly awaiting its opening,” Mr McMillan said. “The benefits of this massive project are already apparent.” In WaterMarc’s first two months of operation, council’s most optimistic targets have been achieved with more than 100,000 visitors, 4,000 members and 1,200 children joining learn-to-swim classes. “The patronage we have seen is particularly pleasing because one of the driving factors behind the construction of WaterMarc was research that showed Australians were participating less and less in health activities. A local snapshot also showed disturbingly lower participation rates than the Australian average,” Mr McMillan said. 1 8  ci v ic

During the planning stage for the new leisure and aquatic development, council decided to completely revitalise a popular, but ageing, precinct. Community consultation started in 2002 by calling for submissions to the Greensborough Structure Plan and ramped up in 2004 when a community consultative committee was established to hear the views of all stakeholders. Market research was conducted, including a survey of more than 40,000 users of aquatic facilities in the northern region of Melbourne, including bordering municipalities Darebin and Nillumbik. The common thread among the community was a need and desire for a health and entertainment facility that would support the region’s growth. “Winning over and maintaining community support was not difficult once the plans were made public,” Mr McMillan said. “After all, so many in the community would benefit – residents, businesses, community groups and others.” The result is a leisure facility that includes a 50-metre competition

Energy efficient T5 fluorescent and metal

halide lighting

Light and motion sensors maximising the

use of daylight before using artificial light

Grey water to flush toilets A natural gas-fired co-generation plant

producing lower emissions, while meeting base load requirements of the centre’s power

Fully insulated pool shells preventing loss

of heat

Sensor controlled showers and water efficient

toilets and taps

A 200,000 litre rainwater storage tank

capturing roof rainwater run-off, used to top up pools and irrigate gardens. Opening day fun.

(L-R) Star swimmers Matt Welsh and Michael Klim take a dip with the locals.

swimming pool with a movable boom enabling the pool to be re-configured; aqua-play areas for young children, highlighted by interactive, innovative water, light and sound features that constantly change; a state-of-the art gymnasium; a dedicated spin room; and a hydrotherapy, spa and sauna/steam room. The centre also has flexible workshop/programme

rooms for conferences and meetings, and Wi-Fi access. Among a long list of sustainable features are solar hot water, energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling and water saving initiatives like the use of grey water in toilets and sensors in showers and taps. The project also included the renewal of Main Street,

Greensborough, and adjacent town centre, and establishing pedestrian links from Greensborough train station to WaterMarc and the retail centre. Outside WaterMarc, the community now has a Town Square that is expected to become a community hub. “This town centre redevelopment creates a seamless fusion of

high end facility development with the integration of spaces created for the community,” Mr McMillan said. The entire project cost $50 million – $42 million for the design and construction of WaterMarc and $8 million for the associated regeneration – funded by federal and state governments, and council.

WaterMarc has also significantly boosted the local economy by creating 250 new jobs. In addition, the facility is expected to attract around one million visitors per year, many from outside the local area. “There is no doubt that WaterMarc and the Greensborough regeneration will leave a long-lasting legacy of improved health and

wellbeing in the community, boosting the local economy, and acting as a focal point for the community,” Mr McMillan said. “And that’s something that Banyule Council can long be proud of.”  v Visit the CiVic iPad App to see WaterMarc, and its slide, in action. ci v ic


Tips for CALD communications


forum for sharing good practice examples on how councils communicate and engage with CALD communities was held recently by the Victorian Local Government Multicultural Issues Network (VLGMIN). The topic of the forum, held at the Hume Global Learning Centre in Broadmeadows, was Engaging and Communicating with Multicultural Victoria. Almost 200 local government officers from public relations and communications, customer service, planning, arts and culture, and community services attended the forum, organised in partership with the LGPro PR Network and the MAV. VLGMIN Chairperson and Monash Council’s Social Policy and Program Coordinator Eugenia Grammatikakis said local government was responsible under the Local Government Act to ensure its policies, programs, services and practices were accessible to all, inclusive and equitable and met the diverse

needs of communities including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. “Councils across Victoria represent and serve diverse populations that are a reflection of the global community, with cultural, linguistic, religious and ethnic diversity central to all aspects of everyday life at the local level,” she said. Speakers from Victoria’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, Darebin and Greater Dandenong councils, the Centre for Cultural Ethnicity and Health, and the Australian Department of Human Services shared good practice examples on how to engage and communicate with culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Shared ideas at this year’s forum included: • Establishing culturally-specific focus group when conducting major consultations. Example: Greater Dandenong Council recruits facilitators from local multicultural groups who provide advice about how the focus group meetings should be conducted.

G Facilitator, Rum Charles. Photo: Jenny Luzza

• Setting up a register of language aides from across your organisation. Example: Darebin City Council pays aides an annual allowance and can receive refresher training. • Including the interpreter symbol on publications. It is well-recognised by culturally diverse communities. • Considering the audience when translating documents. Example: Even if Italian or Greek communities are the most populous cultural groups in your community, those communities are also ageing, so a breastfeeding brochure translated into these languages is

probably not as beneficial as cultures with higher birth rates such as the Burmese or Afghan communities. • Including bilingual skills in the position description for customer service staff. • Including the name of the document and the language in English at the top of translated material to help staff find the right translation when they are helping a community member. • Using plain English in all written materials and avoiding jargon, acronyms and other examples of bureaucratic language.

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New app a boost for tourism olden Plains Shire Council has taken a big step forward in local tourism with the recent launch of a smartphone and tablet application. The free app, which is just one part of a major tourism marketing campaign, enables visitors and residents to access information such as rest stops and attractions in the area. The award-winning app features an interactive map of Golden Plains, video and audio clips, photos and GPS navigation so that tourists can explore and learn about local attractions and tourist activities. It also includes Google maps and directions, and can identify important locations like food stops, petrol stations, Eftpos facilities and public toilets in the area. The application’s launch included other complimentary marketing collateral, including social media platforms in Facebook and Twitter as well as a website that currently promotes the distribution of the app to prospective visitors and locals. Golden Plains Shire is the link between three of the most popular tourism destinations in the state – Geelong, the Great Ocean Road and the Ballarat Goldfields. A popular tourist destination, it is best known for its historical goldmining heritage and its award-winning wineries in the Moorabool Valley. Golden Plains Executive Unit Manager David Spear said the municipality had always been a go-to spot for holiday-makers within Victoria. “Council has built and restored a number of tourist sites to accommodate the growing number of visitors,” Mr Spear said. “This has ranged from nature trails and parklands to major tourist attractions such as the Golden Plains Farmers’ Market and Flagstaff Hill Lookout.” However, council felt there was room for improvement, particularly in connecting visitors with local businesses and experiences. “We wanted to be more progressive and inventive in our approach to tourism, but of course we have the constraints of being a small

The Golden Plains Shire app allows tourists to better connect with local businesses and experiences.

rural shire in a highly competitive Australian tourism industry,” Mr Spear said. “The app is an innovative way to ensure that tourists enjoy their experience here, as well as a way to encourage tourists to spread the word of their travel experience upon their arrival home.” Inspiration for the new app came from the realisation that a growing generation of people are used to obtaining information at the touch of a button, at any time of day and wherever they may be, whether in a car, at home or while in the great outdoors. The community was involved in the planning of the app in the early stages, and local residents and businesses are excited about the new technology, and the tourism and economic improvements it will bring to their towns. As well as enormous local support for the app, Golden Plains Shire Council was also recognised nationally at the 2012 National Local Government Awards by winning the Innovative Infrastructure Development prize and the National Local Government Award for Excellence. “Golden Plains Shire Council developed innovative local solutions to local challenges and they deserve this national recognition,”

Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government Simon Crean said. “[Council] has embraced digital technology in order to stimulate the tourism industry and support the regional economy.” Mayor Geraldine Frantz is thrilled with the app and the recognition it has received. “This accolade is an important achievement,” she said. “[It] not only recognises the talent of the officers involved, but importantly

highlights the benefits of investing in progressive and innovative solutions to local challenges.” The investment in the shire’s tourism infrastructure will do more than boost tourist numbers. The local economy will improve as new jobs and expenditure are created from the increased tourism numbers. Years of drought in the area devastated the local agricultural industry, so the economic benefits are a welcome relief to many individuals and to the community as a whole.

Executive Unit Manager David Spear, Mayor Geraldine Frantz and Minister Simon Crean at the 2012 National Local Government Awards. ci v ic


Moonee Valley sets planning precedent By Lisa Louden

In order to qualify as an ACZ, the area must meet certain criteria including: good access to public transport; a specific mix of shops and services; pedestrian and cycle tracks (or potential for their development); and the capacity for sustainable, high-density housing. The concept of these zones is that the population consolidates in suitable pockets of inner Melbourne where infrastructure already exists, and in doing so, increases the customer base for local businesses and economic development, while access to pedestrian and cycle tracks as well as public transport reduces a reliance on private car use. One of these identified centres was a zone surrounding the junction at Mt Alexander Road, Puckle Street and Pascoe Vale Road in Moonee Ponds, up to and including an area beyond the railway line in Puckle Street. It’s this ACZ that has now been developed and approved by Moonee Valley City Council and the application currently before the Planning Minister. Although the Victorian Government has identified a number of potential ACZs, Moonee Valley is the first

The popular Mt Alexander Road/Puckle Street/Pascoe Vale Road junction in Moonee Ponds will be developed into an Activity Centre Zone.

council to initiate the implementation of an ACZ. Without a precedent from other councils, Moonee Valley Coordinator of Strategic Planning Lisa Dunlop said developing the zone was the great unknown and required collaboration. “While developing a structure plan and adapting planning scheme controls to it, we were unsure what the expectations were,” she said.

“A member from our council’s strategic planning team spent several weeks in the offices of the DPCD and it was a learning curve for both parties, using this very different planning tool.” The ACZ has several advantages including providing clear guidelines for council, the community and potential developers by providing all planning information in the one document

and under the one zone. This allows greater transparency for future developments and clearly outlines what businesses can and cannot be included in the zone. Acting Director of City Works and Development Henry Bezuidenhout said ACZ also streamlined future planning applications. “As long as an application meets any specific requirements set out in the ACZ, there is no need for further consultation as the community was involved from the start in the development of these controls,” he said. Moonee Valley have consulted with residents using a range of communication tools and platforms for consultation and information on the Structure Plan and the ACZ, and once the minister approves it, MVCC residents will be notified by mail. Ms Dunlop said several other councils have already approached MVCC to learn from their example. “We’ve had a lot of interest from other councils – in a way it is setting the precedent.”  v

Moonee Valley is the first Victorian council to initiate the implementation of an Activity Centre Zone.

Moonee Valley City Council’s commitment to a dedicated activity hub to manage and guide population growth has secured a viable future for the area while unexpectedly setting a precedent for other Victorian councils.


ith an estimated 5 million people expected to live in Melbourne by 2026, the state government’s 2030 planning strategy to help manage this growth without increasing urban sprawl includes the establishment of Activity Centre Zones (ACZs) within inner Melbourne for population growth and housing density.

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The Moonee Ponds Activity Centre Structure Plan was developed in 2010 and was prepared in response to the Melbourne 2030 long-term planning strategy. Working closely with the Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD), this structure plan – close to eight years in the making – provided the backbone for the developing the ACZ. ci v ic


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People travel from all over to experience the vibrant Chapel Street nightlife, shopping and eateries. Amidst the glitz and glamour of high-end labels, trendy bars, and restaurants with patrons bursting on to the streets, the popular precinct is getting a safety make-over to ensure locals and visitors enjoy their Chapel Street experience.


The program is flexible to suit individual councillor needs. A full Diploma can be completed over four years, or individual two-day modules can be attended casually. With sessions offered regionally or in-house for interested councils, and a maximum of 20 participants per session, you can really make the most out of our experienced local government trainers. Get ready to enhance your abilities, your communities and receive national recognition for all your hard work through the Diploma of Local Government (Elected Members).


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Follow us on Twitter @Viccouncils Like us on Facebook Subscribe to the MAV bulletin Download the CiVic app for extra content and a more interactive experience

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Safety make-over for Chapel Street

n a Victorian first, late night taxi zones have been set up to help thousands of weekend visitors get home safely and quickly. In a bid to improve traffic flow and patron safety in the Chapel Street entertainment precinct, 18 taxi zones now light up at peak times along the popular two-kilometre stretch. The zones provide dedicated pick-up and drop-off zones every Friday and Saturday night until 5am the following morning. They are located in key areas along the stretch, from Toorak Road to Windsor Station. When in operation, the zones are easily identified by drivers and patrons, with illuminated taxi signs and flashing LED lane markings. Stonnington City Council has been working with stakeholders since early 2007 on how to create a safer way for taxis to pick up patrons quickly when crowds leave the popular pubs and clubs. The late night taxis initiative was trialled for nine months, allowing business owners, taxi drivers and patrons the opportunity to see how the zones worked and provide feedback. The ranks were officially launched in October, and Chapel Street pocket maps are being developed for both taxi drivers and patrons. The $500,000 joint initiative between council and the state government is supported by Victoria Police, the Victorian Taxi Directorate and the Victorian Taxi Association. The late night taxi zones are the latest initiative to come from Stonnington’s close collaboration with key stakeholders and are just one way to help improve community safety in the area. Many important measures are used to reduce anti-social behaviour in peak times, such as police presence, liquor licensing and enforcement and local laws and enforcement. Other measures include street lighting and CCTV network, access to public transport, environmental design and cleanliness, and community safety education campaigns. Stonnington has also been working on capping a number of large, late night venues on Chapel Street and successfully advocated for mandatory planning controls to support council and improve public safety in the area. Research commissioned by council found the precinct was saturated with too many licensed venues, which accommodated large numbers of patrons into the early hours of the morning. In response to these findings, as well as community concerns about safety, council


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Late night taxi zones on popular Chapel Street aim to improve traffic flow and safety.

developed an Amendment to the Planning Scheme to ensure licensed venues in the precinct meet specific requirements. The state government made changes to the Planning Scheme in January this year, which introduced a permanent cap on the number of large (capacity of more than 200) venues operating after 1am. Statutory Planners within council will now refer all late night licensed venue applications for a social impact assessment. This goes beyond just a site specific assessment of amenity impact, to take in the bigger picture and community impact. Stonnington won a National Award for Excellence in Alcohol Management this year, which recognises the actions and achievements council has made to reduce alcohol-related harm through the changes to its Planning Scheme and through partnerships with police, businesses, health agencies, government and the Stonnington Liquor Accord. In the new year, council will upgrade the CCTV camera safety program in Chapel Street. CCTV has been in place in Chapel Street for five years, with cameras covering key areas where people congregate late at night. These are vital in helping police monitor activity in hot spots such as entrances to late night venues and fast food outlets, during peak times. With a state government contribution of $330,000, the new system will provide enhanced image clarity and improved surveillance. Additionally, an upgrade and expansion of CCTV from five to 10 cameras will contribute to improved perceptions of safety in the precinct.

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In Brief


Playgroup award

Banyule helps Salvos stamp out illegal dumping and theft Drive past almost any charity store in any city of Australia on a weekend and the scene is the same. Piles and piles of used goods – some of value but a lot just dumped rubbish. And you may also see scavengers, picking through the piles, searching for items of value that were intended for the Salvation Army but that the scavenger has decided should belong to them. No doubt eBay is where much of it will end up. Dumping some worthless old goods outside a charity shop, or pinching some china bowls or clothes may seem harmless but it costs the Salvation Army more than $2 million a year. That’s $2 million that has to be diverted from programs designed to aid the most vulnerable members of our society. Banyule City Council, the Salvation Army and Victoria Police have joined forces to combat illegal dumping and theft of goods left outside charity stores. Council has installed a camera outside the Salvation Army store in Watsonia, which has caught 600 people dumping rubbish or stealing donated goods and many infringement notices being issued after their vehicle number plates were captured on film. Banyule CEO Simon McMillan said council wanted to send a message that offenders will be prosecuted when possible. “I’m disappointed that some people think it is somehow okay to steal from, or dump rubbish on, the doorsteps of charities,” he said. “It’s costing councils and charities millions across Australia. We’d prefer to invest rate payers’ money to improve services rather than spending it cleaning up after selfish people like this.” In addition to the cameras, high-profile signs warning people they are under surveillance has seen the volume of dumped rubbish reduced by 75 per cent. All charities that collect donated goods face the same issues – and the national cost is estimated at more than $10 million a year. 2 6  ci v ic

Greater Dandenong City Council has been awarded for its innovative and community-minded playgroup program in the 2012 Victorian Early Years Awards. The Reaching Out playgroups were developed to support families in need – specifically, refugee families who have suffered trauma, families being monitored by child protection and migrant families in community detention. The program, run through two school-based playgroups, includes maternal and child health nurse visits, language support, informal tutoring from volunteers, and assistance for families in getting to know the community. Council received $15,000 for winning the Better Access to Early Years Services category, with the prize money to go towards the playgroups.

Solar shire Baw Baw Shire Council has held its first Solar Open Day to teach the community more about renewable energy, energy bills and water saving measures. The open days are part of the Solar Initiative – Community Organisations program which is funded by Sustainability Victoria, run by the Baw Baw Sustainability Network and supported by the council. The project has also seen solar panels installed on 52 public buildings within Baw Baw Shire.

Kids’ space The children of Greater Bendigo will decide on the final design of their newest play space, to be built in the town centre’s Hargreaves Mall, by voting for one of three proposed concepts. All three playground designs will be shown to 80 prep grades and preschools throughout the community, and the children will each place a sticker on their favourite.

Town most liveable Port Fairy is Australia’s only finalist in the LivCom Awards, which searches for the world’s most liveable small

town and is endorsed by the United Nations Environment Programme. Port Fairy, in Moyne Shire Council, excelled in the six main judging criteria: strategic planning, enhancing natural and built environments, community participation and empowerment, and healthy lifestyle. Port Fairy is now vying for the Whole City Award in the communities of up to 20,000 people category.

A healthier community A pioneering new bilingual program run by Maribyrnong City Council, in partnership with Western Region Health Centre and SpiritWest, aims to increase the community’s awareness and knowledge of healthy eating. The Bilingual Health Educators Program targets newly arrived communities, older migrants and other community groups who are at risk of developing chronic disease. It involves a range of workshops on nutrition and physical wellbeing. The program is part of council’s two year Incredible, Edible, Moveable Maribyrnong initiative that aims to give members of the community the knowledge and skills to be healthier.

NOVEMBER Santa’s Christmas Spectacular Date: 17 November - 24 December 2012 Venue: Wonderland Fun Park, Docklands, Melbourne Description: Children and adults alike will be captivated by the Christmas village where visitors can take a trip to the north pole or the Enchanted Forest. Visit Santa’s Mailbox, to post those all-important letters or watch the falling snow. And for even more Christmas wonder the Wonderland Spiegltent Theatre sees Christmas take on a circus theme! Need more?

JANUARY Symphony Under the Stars Date: 23 February 2013 Venue: Malvern Gardens, Malvern, Melbourne Description: Be serenaded by the Stonnington Symphony in its 30th year of delighting audiences with its stunning program of waltzes, overtures and other symphonic highlights. A perfect evening of symphony, summer and stars. Need more?

Retrospective: Lorna Chick 1922-2007 Date: 15 December 2012 - 27 January 2013 Venue: Wangaratta Art Gallery, Wangaratta Description: Immerse yourself in the wonderful work of one of Victoria’s most celebrated artists. Her beautiful and colourful works of Victoria’s North East hang in the National Gallery of Australia, Parliament House Canberra as well as public and private galleries across the country. Need more?

MARCH Kustom National Date: 4 - 6 January 2013 Venue: Marine Parade, San Remo, Phillip Island Description: Lovers of modified vehicles across Australia are invited to witness the latest, greatest and kraziest of kustom car kulture. The party atmosphere will include representatives from top national and international magazines as well as auto related television shows broadcasting the kustom lifestyle. Need more?

Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight Date: 24 December 2012 Venue: Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne Description: It just wouldn’t be Christmas without Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight and you are again invited to join in this magical celebration of Christmas. In its 75th year, the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and our television screens will be lit up as thousands of candles and voices fill the night sky. Need more?


Date: 26 December 2012 - 28 April 2013 Venue: Frankston Waterfront, Frankston Description: Mermaids, sea witches, submarines as well as all the creatures of the sea meticulously sculptured from sand will delight the entire family. Children will be kept especially busy with sand art, sculpting workshops, sand digger, Lego play zone and of course the giant sand pit. Need more?


Speaking for all Knox City Council is reaching out to its residents with speech impairments with the rollout of new communication boards, designed in partnership with Yooralla’s Eastern Region Communication Service. The boards are meant as a tool for local people who have difficulty with speech, or whose speech may be difficult to understand. They will enable those who struggle with speech to have their say on community issues and engage effectively with the local council. The boards have been designed by council staff, and are located at two customer service centres in the Knox municipality. People can point to the images, numbers and symbols on the board displays to make a point and to ask questions.

Under the Sea Sand Sculpting Australia Frankston Waterfront 2012/2013

Murray River International Music Festival Date: 22 January 2013 - 28 January 2013 Venue: Various locations Description: Sit back and enjoy music from world-class performers from home and abroad, set amongst some of the most uniquely Australian locations along the Murray River. Gastromic marvels will match the music with the region’s food and wine complementing the dynamic program of performances and events. Need more?

Bright N Sandy Food and Wine Festival Date: 3 March 2013 Venue: Green Point, Brighton, Melbourne Description: Let your taste buds celebrate Bayside’s finest foods and wines at this unique festival whilst your eyes marvel at the picturesque location overlooking the iconic Brighton bathing boxes and Melbourne’s city skyline. A feast for all the senses. Need more? brightnsandy_festival_home.htm

Whittlesea Community Festival 2013 Date: 17 March 2013 Venue: City of Whittlesea Public Gardens, Whittlesea Description: Join in the celebrations of Whittlesea’s places, people and cultural diversity at the Whittlesea Community Festival. A fun day for all the family with highlights including a kids and youth arena, live music, traditional dances from local cultural groups, community workshops, a fireworks finale and much, much more. Need more? ci v ic


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Everybody wants a strong culture in their organisation when it comes to risk and safety management. There are seven main tips all organisations should consider when addressing culture change.

Learning resource

• Knowledge of services • Language barriers • Culturally inappropriate services Local government has a responsibility to provide services accessible to all. So how do we ensure culturally inclusive services? Simply put, it needs to be everyone’s business. However, face-to-face training is expensive. One session is rarely enough as without reinforcement, we easily forget. Conventional training also does not provide the practical tools to act on new knowledge and produce real change. 2 8  ci v ic

Profiles of all countries in the Census including demographic data, settlement history and cultural values.

The best way to embed a culture – leadership at all levels.

TIP 4 Don’t underestimate peoples’ capabilities

You never know how capable people already are to help you on the journey.

TIP 5 Empower people to help move the culture forward Break down the hierarchies.

TIP 6 Focus is required to create change You have to stay focused and on the ball.

Change is dynamic not static – the journey is long one!

“Our members came away from the workshop with a newfound appreciation of the methodologies, techniques and tactics we can use to enhance conversations with our communities, according to Alison Katona from the LIBMARK committee, Public Libraries Victoria Network (PLVN). “It was an incredible day of interactive learning and knowledge sharing for more than 80 senior library staff from across Councils in Victoria.” Highlights from PLVN members were numerous, but included the following: • • • • • • •

Communication toolkit

Community profiles

TIP 3 Everyone’s a leader and everyone has something to contribute

Unit 5, 27-33 Raglan Street South Melbourne, VIC, 3205 PH: 1300 887 746 Fax: +61 9686 7874

Melbourne’s Public Libraries have learnt the secrets of community engagement success, thanks to a one-day workshop designed by PLUM Communication.

Real-life case studies to identify cultural differences and practise communication and management strategies. Follow 5 easy steps and collect information to develop culturally competent messages and campaigns (Including tailored information on cultural makeup of the community; multicultural organisation and media listings; points to consider; templates and more).

You need to get everybody on board, as well as ensuring they have the right skills.


We know Victoria is culturally diverse, but do we stop to think about the impact of culture? How it impacts on workplace interactions? On access to local government services?

People from cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds do not access community services at the same rate as Australia-born residents. There are reasons for this:

TIP 2 Engage everyone on the journey and make sure they have the right skill sets

For fresh thinking and a customised approach to appointing your future leaders in local government, please call our consultant team: Jo Fisher, Maria Kharsas and Kate Wheeler on (03) 9016 6000. For more information visit:

We’re all mates of culture

CultureMate ® is an innovative solution. This online portal provides local government specific information to build organisational cultural competence and improve service delivery. The resource combines training with practical tools to put new knowledge into action:

You have to find out what your culture looks like now – a diagnostic check – and you must work out where you want to be; what does good look like for you.

At Enhance Solutions we understand what it takes. We’ve had the privilege of working with a number of Local Government Organisations, assisting them to build risk and safety cultures, review safety management systems and assisting with accreditation as well as change management strategies.

TIP 7 Change is a process – not an end point

Level 6, 99 William St, Melbourne Vic 3000.

Culture is the blueprint for everything we do and how we do it. It is a set of rules, a common understanding about the way things are done. Sometimes different rules and expectations clash and cross cultural miscommunication and poor service outcomes occur.

TIP 1 Where are we now and where do we want to be?

• Members of the CultureMate ® team: Hung The Nguyen, Judith Miralles and Beatriz Miralles-Lombardo.

Contact us to see CultureMate® in action: E: P: 03 9671 4788

Techniques to bring senior management to the engagement table How to reach non-members and hard to reach audiences The do’s and don’ts of online engagement Tactics to map stakeholders and manage critics Tools to measure the engagement level and performance Real case studies of successful engagement activities Explaining the differences/synergies between marketing, PR and Community Engagement practices. Interactive workshopping of library engagement issues

“A big reason for the day’s success however, was definitely the knowledge and experience that Rachael and her colleagues brought to the event,” Ms Katona said. “Rachael’s step by step approach to building a community engagement plan, and her enthusiasm and passion for the subject, ensured we left the workshop inspired to engage.” Rachael Edginton is the MD of PLUM Communication, and is accredited as an International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) Practitioner. Visit for more information on PLUM or call Rachael on 9077 1988 to book in a complimentary community engagement seminar for your team.

Rachael Edginton.

PLUM’s Secrets to Success 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Engagement is risk management Start engagement early 80% of success is planning Talk to the right people Keep to the topic Have genuine dialogue Demonstrate that you’ve listened Review your lessons learnt Be creative and innovative Collaborate. It’s powerful

The Libmark committee and Rachael Edginton.

Workshop members getting inspired on the day.

FIND OUT MORE PLUM is offering a FREE Community Engagement Seminar for local government. To book a time for your team to learn about Community Engagement 101, email ci v ic


m e o c t l o Wh e W

i t tl esea By Justene Cowie

Stallholder AMES HSS North East Region’s Case Manager Nihad Aganovic assists a new Whittlesea family.

Council and community stallholders offer information about services in the municipality to new residents. Volunteers greet residents attending the Whittlesea Welcome Expo.


t can be hard moving to a new area, let alone a new country, often speaking a new language. However, Whittlesea City Council is working towards making it easier, inviting new residents from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds to a Welcome Expo, which promotes council’s services while bridging friendships. More than 400 Whittlesea residents attended council’s Welcome Expo in October, which sought to foster a sense of belonging, and of being supported and at home in the municipality. The diversity of the attendees was matched by the array of stallholders. Around 50 providers attended, covering youth and children, parks and gardens, community services, health and legal, and library services. Whittlesea Multicultural Officer Maria Callipari said while this was the third Welcome Expo council had run over consecutive years, this year

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was a culmination of learnings from previous years to accommodate the 100-plus new residents moving into the municipality each week. “We recognised that our new residents need to be informed about what is available to them in our community, creating a sense of connection immediately and encouraging people to proactively engage in their new place,” she said. Expo-goers were met by 19 Whittlesea volunteers, most of whom were NMIT students and many were also new to Australia. “This event created an opportunity for volunteers to be involved and they too benefited by learning new information and skills, with more than one volunteer walking away with a job as the result of engaging with the wider community,” Ms Callipari said. New promotional elements that included a personal invitation from the Mayor were also introduced into this year’s events.

“However, it was an all-inclusive event so everyone was welcome, in an aim to break down cultural barriers between the community, council and other service providers,” Ms Callipari said. The expo became a space for people to meet other locals and form new friendships. “It gave people a sense of place and a sense of belonging; that they’re part of something that’s bigger than just them,” she said. “It’s when people see themselves as part of something bigger that they can take the next step after citizenship, being active members of their community.” The culmination of many years’ work, the expo has been evolving since 2004, when NMIT Epping asked council to talk to students about local government and council services. Council realised that many of the NMIT students were new arrivals in Melbourne with little knowledge

of Australia’s government systems, the difference between local, state and federal issues, and how to find information about services in their area. These presentations grew into orientation tours to wider groups within the community wanting to visit council to find out more about the function and operation of various departments. In 2010, an Indian and Sikh Welcome Program was developed in collaboration with the Sikh community. When Mayor of the day Cr Rex Griffin suggested this valuable community engagement event be available to the wider community, the Welcome Expo was created. The Welcome Expo has been submitted to the Department of Immigration’s Access and Equity Report as a best practice example of council responding to the needs of Australia’s multicultural society.

Boroondara steps up multicultural communications Communicating with Boroondara Council has become a lot easier for local community members who speak languages other than English.


he municipality has expanded its resident’s kits to include information in Vietnamese, Italian and Greek. The first kits were designed for members of Victoria’s fourth largest Chinese speaking community, who reside in Boroondara’s northern suburbs. The idea came out of community consultation conducted to inform the Council’s North East Precinct Plan, where council learned Chinese-speaking residents preferred receiving information in their first language. The original Chinese language kits were launched in late 2011 and were warmly received. Chinese Community Social Services Centre Strategic Planning and Development Manager Dr Caroline Yuen said the initiative was a very important one. “This indicates council’s willingness to develop a closer relationship with the Chinese community,” Dr Yuen said. “These kits provide Chinesespeaking residents with very practical information. This makes them feel at home.” The new kits contain nine fact sheets written both in English and four of Boroondara’s most widely spoken languages other than English: Chinese, Greek, Italian and Vietnamese. The fact sheets cover topics ranging from waste disposal and relevant local community organisations, to information for international students and people who care for young children. New information has been added to the original Chineselanguage kits. They were designed following meetings between council and the

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Reference Group. “We hope the kits will provide residents with easy-to-understand information about the services and facilities available to them locally,” Boroondara Senior Communications Advisor Kelli Browne said. “Some of the fact sheets are tailored specifically to different language groups. For example, libraries with Greek language collections are listed in the Greek fact sheets and neighbourhood houses holding courses of interest to Chinese speaking residents are included in the Chinese neighbourhood houses fact sheet.” The kits also explain how residents from non-English speaking backgrounds can use a free telephone interpreter service to discuss any issues with council staff. The City of Boroondara has also run a month-long advertising campaign pilot recently with Melbourne’s Chinese, Greek and Italian media outlets, aimed at improving planning permit compliance. “We needed better compliance with three different planning issues,” said Ms Browne. “That included permits for satellite dish installation, building works and tree-lopping. “The response we received from members of the Italian, Greek and Chinese speaking communities was fantastic. The Chinese media were also very supportive, giving the issues a lot of free coverage.” Boroondara’s next step is to find other councils willing to work together with the MAV on this planning compliance campaign. “We would love to hear from any

Boroondara Senior Communications Advisor Kelli Browne shows off council’s new resident’s kits for people from non English speaking backgrounds.

other Victorian councils who would benefit from informing residents from non-English speaking backgrounds about common planning issues,” said Ms Browne. “With multilingual media outlets covering many local government areas there’s a real opportunity for

councils to share resources and communicate common messages to our CALD communities.” Councils interested in finding out more should contact Boroondara Senior Communications Advisor Kelli Browne on 9278 4425 or email  ci v ic


Cr David Eden Kingston City Council Cr David Eden is one Victorian local government’s youngest ever elected representatives. At 18 years old, the Mentone Grammar VCE student was a successful candidate, joining Kingston City Council in the recent local government elections, held on Saturday 27 October 2012. Let’s get to know a bit about Cr Eden. What led you to stand for council? I have been brought up in a family involved in community activities: conservation groups and socialwelfare and activist groups. That sense of social participation flowed on to me. I’ve been involved in groups myself – Scouts, Youth Consultative and Village Committees, and Clean Up Australia. Through these groups I saw the importance of getting involved in the local community. I decided it would be a worthwhile endeavour to stand for council to offer the community a choice over whether they wanted younger representatives advocating on their behalf.

What interests you most about local government? First and foremost it is the ability to stand up for what you believe in without the obligation to push (political) party lines. I am also passionate about ensuring that the community we live in is protected from over-development and the reduction of open spaces. I believe 3 2  ci v ic

that parks and gardens are very important to a functioning community and a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, I find the idea of acting as a grass-roots representative rather exciting as I am able to make a real, positive difference to people’s daily lives.

What encouragement did you get when you decided to put your name in the election ring? When I started out, a close group of friends and of course my family were really encouraging. As I started to build a profile, however, more and more people contacted me and offered their support. So, near the end of my campaign I ended up with the support of more than 50 people from varying backgrounds – Liberal and Labor parties, community houses, small business owners, other youths and neighbours.

Why did you think people voted for you? I like to think that people voted for me because they could see somebody who was genuinely interested in the

When you were campaigning, and subsequently elected, you were in your final year at Mentone Grammar. How did you juggle campaign commitments and your first month on council with VCE studies? It was definitely a very busy time, however, the support of family and friends made it a lot easier – my mum and dad made thousands of brochures. Though I must say I’ve become rather used to living such a busy life.

What are your plans for 2013? At the moment I am still considering my plans, however, I am planning on taking a six-month break from formal education while I find my feet and get up-to-speed with councillor issues. Longer term, I am planning on studying Law/Business.

How have your friends reacted to your new position in the local community? A lot of my friends have been congratulating me without necessarily knowing what for – there seems to be great confusion among some people about the difference between other levels of government and council. Have to tell them that I can’t advise the Premier or Prime Minister!

Will being a councillor curb plans for schoolies week? I decided to stand for council in January so I decided not to book a schoolies trip, just in case I got elected – good thing I didn’t. I plan to go away with the family at some point – maybe in between council meetings.



minutes with …

Clayton laneways will get a well-deserved face-lift thanks to a $130,000 grant from the Department of Justice and $40,000 from Monash City Council to improve community safety.


Baw Baw Shire Council’s Mayoral Charity Gala raised $20,048 to increase the hours of the breast cancer care nurse at the West Gippsland Hospital.


Bills in the millions for superannuation – legacy of a compulsory defined benefit scheme from three decades ago.

Lack of library funding Goldfields Library Corporation needs $700,000 to cover its share of a shortfall in the Local Authorities defined benefit scheme.





community who is willing to stand up and be a strong voice for what they believe in. Funnily enough a lot of what I was standing for were commonsense measures, mobile offices, consultation before decisionmaking, and a commitment to get out and speak to people before I make up my mind on certain issues. A lot of people told me they voted for me because I was committing to doing such simple things.

Regional Cities Growth Strategy gets funding to guide delivery of land, infrastructure and essential services.

Funding shortfalls for Neighbourhood Safer Places (NSF) - Colac Otway Shire Council cannot afford to establish a NSF in three towns due to the disparity between what they will cost and the amount of funding on offer from the state government.


An indestructible 700kg of steel


Informal recreation for every generation


Installed at over 40 locations


A place-making catalyst that promotes social interaction and creates engaging community ‘hubs’


A canvas for commissioned and community-driven public art


Low-level noise and require minimal (if any) maintenance

If you would like to find out more about Public Outdoor Ping Pong, please visit our website: or email

Public Outdoor Ping Pong

Illustration by Kathryn Steel.

POPP Australia


Get media ready. Now is the time for media training. Communication is a vital skill for government, particularly in the first months of a new term. At we equip councils with the insight, tools and skills to get your message across in today’s multi-channel world. Our media training and social media workshops are led by experienced media professionals with a proven track record in local government. We prepare you and your team to communicate with confidence.

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Media Training > Social Media Workshops > Issues Management > Strategic Communications > Online Reputation Management

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