For 8 years I’ve been living in a dream. Every day I get up and I make a difference in my community.

Sometimes it’s small things, sometimes it’s big things, and most of the time the difference I’m making is positive.

But I’m writing this to say I’ve reached the end of the road, at least for now. I’m hanging up my iPad, putting down my mobile phone and I’m going back to Alice 1.0.

Serving the community of Brunswick has been an absolute privilege, and to say this has been a hard decision is like saying Miranda Kerr looks nice.

For 8 years, I’ve plugged away on the Brunswick Baths, kinders, the Brunswick Structure Plan, carbon neutrality, heritage, improved recycling collection, performing arts, libraries, maternal and child health care, economic development, the youth facility & so much more.

To those Councillors that I have served with for 8 years, thank you for putting in the hard yards with me; thanks for the disagreements, agreements, hugs, laughs and all round greatness.

To the hard working administration at Moreland, a simple thank you. You do amazing work.

To the residents of Moreland and Brunswick, my gratitude. Every week I meet passionate people, who work away to make change in our world. Keep up the good fight, and perhaps consider standing for Council yourself!

To my friends: yes, I am free for dinner/trivia/dancing/fun.

To my family, and especially my husband, Mike. You’ve put up with 8 years of the most boring dinner conversations (try me, I’m well versed in an assortment of ‘only interesting to those involved’ topics), 8 years of public events I’ve dragged you to, and frankly 8 years of barely seeing me at all.

And lastly, to my little Charlie. Snuggles make me happy too.

I’m very sad to be retiring but I look at the gorgeous face of my two year old and I know I’ve made the right call.

Thank you.

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The next steps (and red briefcases)

So I’m thinking that this blogging gig will be harder than I thought. In the past two weeks I have started, not one, not two but three separate blog posts! And they’ve all ended up in the scrap heap. I’ve decided to just go with it, just blog and be free (or something like that!).

To begin. My knee is still niggling, so I’ve yet to get back into training. These cold Melbourne mornings are not helping my motivation one iota. When it’s 3 degrees when I get up, there is no way I want to deliberately go outside in workout clothes! And added to all this is the craziness that is Council Meeting week, with a public holiday thrown in for good measure.

By way of introduction in 2004 I was elected, and 2008 re-elected, to represent the South Ward on Moreland City Council. The South Ward includes the suburbs of Brunswick, Brunswick East and Brunswick West. And today is the monthly Council Meeting.

Cr Stella Kariofyllidis and I attach the rainbow flag to the Coburg Civic Centre for IDAHO

Cr Stella Kariofyllidis, left, and I attach the rainbow flag to the Coburg Civic Centre for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

On the agenda this month we’ve got the usual assortment of financial statements, tenders, policies, land use, capital projects, community grants and general updates – but it June is a big month and all this has come to a whopping 1000 pages to be read, digested and understood in less than a week. Let me tell you it was a tough ask this month, but I got through it, just.

I’m glad I did. There are some really interesting and important reports buried at the bottom of those ‘red briefcases’. I’ll save you the trouble of digging through them and give you:

Alice’s highlights

  1. Brunswick built form controls and permanent height controls – request to prepare amendment to the planning scheme.
  2. Brunswick Baths opening will be pushed back to Feb 2013 mostly due to unexpected levels of soil contamination
  3. 3000 of the new Parking Overstay Detection Systems (PODS) are now live
  4. Youth Facility tender has come back to be awarded- This is a project very dear to my heart and when I have further non-confidential info I will share
  5. The Draft Moreland Public Toilet Strategy will be released
  6. Awarding of the contract for structural works to the Brunswick Library and Townhall
  7. Adoption of the Principal Pedestrian Network, allowing for prioritisation of capital works expenditure
  8. Seeding and Project grants in our annual Community Grants Program will be funded
  9. Implementation reports on a wide range of environmental projects – too many to pull out the highlights!
  10. Oh – Moreland is now carbon neutral!

And that’s just to name a few!

So that’s what I’ll be spending my Wednesday night doing, how about you?