I hope you and your families have been able to join in and celebrate our diverse and inclusive community through various events held recently.
NAIDOC week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, but the celebrations are not confined to the week itself. This year the theme is Heal Country! It calls for everyone to seek out greater protection of Aboriginal lands, waters, scared sites and cultural heritage from exploitation, desecration and destruction. There are still plenty of ways to get involved, you can find out more by visiting the NAIDOC website.
Over the next month, take some time to visit the latest exhibition at the gallery by Wurundjeri Woi-wurrong artist, Ash Firebrace which will be running until 7 August. See the Manningham Art Gallery webpage for opening hours.
Victorian Youth Week 2021 is a statewide celebration of the talents, achievements and contributions of young people. While is started on 26 June, there are still events running throughout July. You can find them on the Youth Week website.
We recently adopted our 2021/22 Budget. We engaged extensively with our community and have listened to what you told us was important to you. The new budget ensures we are set to deliver for our community. With increased funding for trees, footpaths, bicycle strategy implementation, drainage, roads and investment in community facilities, you will see lots of work going on around the municipality over the next few years.
Other highlights include $133 million to deliver more than 100 services for our community and a $59 million Capital Works Program to maintain and enhance our $2 billion of community assets.We also recognise the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and are offering support for those going through financial difficulties. Visit our website to find out more.
It was great to see our strong community spirit well and truly alive last month as we all pulled together following the severe weather that caused damage across Victoria. High wind speeds resulted in trees down, road closures and over 4000 homes without power across Manningham.
Our after hours service received a large number of calls and provided emergency response assistance and we also set up community hubs to provide a place to get warm, have a hot shower, charge devices and stay connected. A free garden waste disposal service was also organised to help residents with storm clean up.
The storm event significantly impacted our neighbours in Yarra Ranges Council and we supported them by sending crews to assist. I am very proud of the efforts by our staff and community members as we came together to support each other during this challenging time. I also want to acknowledge the incredible work of the emergency services, and in particular Manningham SES and local CFA volunteers, as without them many people would still not be able to access their properties safely.
Until next time, all my very best