Boroondara Bulletin - November 2020

Boroondara Bulletin - November 2020 tedwards Wed 21 October 2020
A man and a woman sit outside at a restaurant table eating

Outdoor dining

As part of the Victorian Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package, we have been actively working with food and beverage businesses in their preparations for outdoor dining.

A family sit with their two chickens and pet dog

Rethinking waste as a resource

This year’s National Recycling Week runs from 9 to 15 November 2020 with the theme ‘Recovery – A future beyond the bin’. Find out how you can reduce your environmental impact on our Rethinking waste as a resource page

Girl with a pink top sits on a swing at a City of Boroondara park

Important COVID-19 information

A number of our facilities and services are closed or offering a modified service in line with restrictions. Find out more on our COVID-19 page.

2019-20 Annual Report

Even though it has been a challenging year, we’ve continued to work hard on delivering what you told us was important to you through the Boroondara Community Plan. Read about our major projects and achievements.

Enabling outdoor dining in Boroondara

Enabling outdoor dining in Boroondara tedwards Wed 21 October 2020

As part of the Victorian Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package, Council has been actively working with food and beverage businesses in their preparations for outdoor dining.

Enabling more outdoor dining is central to encouraging foot traffic back into our local shopping centres for the benefit of the community and Boroondara businesses.

We have worked with local businesses to quickly establish outdoor dining opportunities, including looking into new and extended dining spaces on
footpaths, businesses’ private land (like onsite courtyards or parking areas), or in public spaces (such as parks, civic squares and pedestrian laneways).

To give our important local shopping centres the best chance at coming alive over the summer, we have fast-tracked application processes and waived all Council permit fees.

We have also partnered with Boroondara’s trader associations to identify potential car parking bays and vehicle laneways that can be safely converted to spaces for outdoor dining, set to be in place until March 2021.

The year 2020 has been a year like no other for local businesses as a result of COVID-19. You can support local businesses by “dining in outside” at various locations throughout Boroondara.

For the most up-to-date information, visit our COVID-19 business recovery page.

A woman wearing a blue jacket and scarft eats her food outdoors


Boroondara Arts - What's on

Boroondara Arts - What's on ttoth Thu 22 October 2020

Summer in the park 2021

We are delighted to announce a continuation of the beloved Summer in the Park series. Bringing music, cinema and comedy to Boroondara’s stunning parks and gardens in a fun and COVID-19 safe environment, we will once again offer you the chance to relax under the trees, sit under the stars and enjoy the beautiful surrounds.

Entry will be offered via free ticketed sessions, across six weekends in January, February and March 2021.

For more information, email [email protected]


Summer in the park design with an umbrella and picket fence

Inventi plays symphonies

Boroondara favourites Inventi Ensemble is again poised to exhilarate audiences with an online presentation of enchanting music.

In this concert, captured in the beautiful Hawthorn Arts Centre in 2017, Inventi brings together outstanding musicians from across Australia to perform a selection of classic symphonies, featuring strings, flute, oboe and French horns in a program dedicated solely to the classical music era.

Available to view from 6pm on Friday 13 November to Sunday 15 November 2020.

Cost: Free


If these leaves could talk

Boroondara has a rich botanical history. Just imagine what the trees have seen and heard!

There’s still time to take part in the 2020 Boroondara Arts Initiative project ‘If these leaves could talk’, led by local artist Emily Shannon.

Join her in a series of free, online activities, and contribute to a community art collaboration. The art activities available include visual storytelling, drawing and sustainable art and craft. Required materials are everyday household items, readily accessible in the home and Boroondara residents of all ages are invited to participate. 

Boroondara Eisteddfod Piano Concerto Final 2020

In an Australian first, this year’s Boroondara Eisteddfod moved to an online, digital format.

We are very proud to present the first ever online Piano Concerto Final, featuring performances from three virtuosic young pianists, one of whom will receive the coveted Piano Concerto Award.

Find out more on our Booroondara Eisteddfod page

A girl with black hair playing a piano

NAIDOC Week 2020

NAIDOC Week 2020 ttoth Thu 22 October 2020

Join us as we celebrate NAIDOC Week with two special events for people of all ages.

NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s NAIDOC Week celebrations have been moved from July and will be held nationally from 8 November to 15 November 2020.

NAIDOC Week events

Rethinking waste as a resource

Rethinking waste as a resource ttoth Wed 21 October 2020

This year’s National Recycling Week (9 to 15 November 2020) theme is ‘Recovery – a future beyond the bin’.

Once an item is produced it exists for many years, so it’s important for us to think about the items we buy and throw away.

This National Recycling Week, we encourage you to think more about where ‘away’ is and what the best future for those items may be.

To reduce our environmental impact, avoiding unnecessary waste is the best action we can take – followed by reducing, reusing, and recycling (including FOGO and home composting). Ashburton family of four, the Baker-Barry family (pictured above) shared some ways they try to reduce or avoid waste. “We try our best to do zero-waste shopping. We buy refillable options like soap and laundry powder, take reusable items to charity shops, take all our flexible/soft plastics to the REDcycle program at supermarkets, use the Boroondara Recycling Centre for items like e-waste and polystyrene and happily buy second-hand and refurbished items – we even bought second-hand wedding rings!”

From your recycling bin, items are reprocessed into new products. Sorting your waste correctly is critical for keeping valuable materials out of landfill, recovering materials to support creating a more circular economy, and protecting natural resources.

If a plastic bottle is incorrectly placed in the waste bin, it will end up in landfill where it will remain for hundreds, and possibly thousands, of years. However, if the plastic bottle is recycled correctly, it can have a future beyond the bin as a valuable resource and exist with a new purpose.

It is equally as important to help ‘close the loop’ by actively buying products made from recycled materials. This could include purchasing paper towel or toilet paper made from recycled office paper, pet litter made from recycled paper and cardboard, or furniture or fencing made from recycled plastics.

A family sit with their two chickens and puppy

Planet Ark has set up a great online directory to help you find and buy recycled products.

For more information on recycling right and sorting your waste correctly, see our A to Z recycling and waste guide.

FOGO for units and apartments

Do you live in a unit or apartment complex and receive Council kerbside waste collection services?

If so, you are part of the phase two rollout of our new Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) service.

To help get you started, we’re asking for eligible residents who live in units and apartments to complete an online survey so we can gather the details we need to set you up for FOGO collections.

For more information and to complete the survey, visit our FOGO survey page


Prepare for fire season

Reduce the risk of a fire starting at your property this summer.

Clear anything that could fuel a fire by:

  • mowing your lawns regularly
  • storing building materials and firewood neatly away from
  • your house and fence lines
  • removing dead dry foliage, leaves and undergrowth from outdoor areas.

Being fire ready is a shared responsibility between government, emergency services and the community.

For more tips or to report a hazard, visit our Fire prevention page

Christmas in Boroondara

Christmas in Boroondara ttoth Thu 22 October 2020

This year we will be celebrating the festive season with a range of activities and events, many of which you will be able to enjoy from the comfort of your own home.

Find out more on our Christmas in Boroondara page

Mother ands daughter surrounded by Christmas decorations

The Boroondara Seniors Festival - an online success

The Boroondara Seniors Festival - an online success tedwards Wed 28 October 2020

Last month, we celebrated our wonderful seniors with an online gala concert.

Event host, renowned comedian Frank Woodley, led us through an hour of musical indulgence and community-focused shenanigans. ARIA award-winning Melbourne duo Vika & Linda serenaded us with their famous gospel-style vocals, while the Continental Drift Quartet swept us through Europe with an eclectic mix of gypsy music and other wonderful numbers. We were also treated to a very lively performance from the Surrey Hills Neighbourhood House ukulele group, and heard from many of our senior residents themselves.

A big thank you to all who were involved in the concert and watched along from home.

If you missed the online premiere, don’t worry, it can still be viewed on demand.

If you don’t have internet access, you can request a free DVD of the concert by calling us on 9278 4777.

Important COVID-19 information

Important COVID-19 information kreynold Thu 3 December 2020

In light of announcements made by the Victorian Government around easing of restrictions, a number of our facilities have reopened and are offering modified services.

These are some of our facilities that have recently opened (density limits apply):

  • Boroondara Youth Hub
  • Boroondara Recycling and Waste Centre
  • All indoor leisure and sporting facilities (up to 150 people indoors, for larger facilities 25 per cent capacity)
  • Libraries (up to 150 people, with a group limit of 20)
  • Neighbourhood houses and community centres (up to 150 people indoors, with group limit of 20)
  • Arts and culture (limited services available).

For a full update of current facilities and services visit Changes to Council services and facilities due to COVID-19.

Cafe worker wearing a mask and gloves handing a coffee to a customer.

Stay safe

A reminder to stay safe by washing your hands regularly, coughing and sneezing into your elbow, and keeping at least 1.5 metres from others.

Please note

Due to greater foot traffic in our parks and gardens as restrictions ease, public waste bin collections have increased to twice a day on weekends. Help keep these spaces clean by ensuring you pick up after yourselves.

DHHS hotline

The Department of Health and Human Services is the best source of official information about COVID-19.

For more information visit the DHHS Coronavirus page or call 1800 675 389.

Standing against family violence

Standing against family violence ttoth Thu 22 October 2020

We are committed to preventing family violence and stand together with the community on this important issue.

Family violence covers a range of behaviours committed by a person against a family member. While physical violence may be the most visible form, other forms of violence such as controlling or coercive behaviours, and verbal and emotional abuse can be equally as harmful.

The annual international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, which runs from 25 November until 10 December
2020, creates awareness, facilitates conversations, and challenges the issue of violence against women and gender inequality. To mark it, we are holding a number of online activities.

If you are experiencing family violence, see our Family violence page

Transforming Boroondara

Transforming Boroondara ttoth Wed 21 October 2020

You have told us you that you expect contemporary customer services. Whether you prefer to connect with us via our digital channels, in person or over the phone, this transformation is about providing you with a consistent customer experience every time.

Our customer service team is still available on the phone and will be supplemented with digital services and a personalised secure customer portal. Our customer service counters will reopen once COVID-19 restrictions ease and it is safe to do so.

See what we’ve already achieved and what we have planned on our Transforming Boroondara page.

The future of Boroondara Library Services

The future of Boroondara Library Services ttoth Thu 22 October 2020

The new Boroondara Library Service Plan 2020-25 is here! Developed in collaboration with the community and taking onboard feedback from over 1,000 survey respondents, the plan outlines the direction of Boroondara Library Service over the next five years.

We would like to thank all those who participated in the consultation. Your feedback reaffirmed that the plans six current strategic objectives remain as the priorities for our community.

Here are a few examples of what you told us:

“We love the library! Investing in books and knowledge is our future.”

“I cannot imagine life without access to as wonderful institution as a public library, and Boroondara deserves to feel proud of all it contributes, via its
libraries, to support our community.”

“To me, libraries are the hearts of community and Boroondara’s libraries have always been superlative.”

“The library is a vital part of my life... I love chatting to all the helpful staff, and I feel so lucky to have this wonderful resource as an essential part of my life.”

A number of actions have been developed to improve Boroondara Library Service, including:

  • continuing to increase the size and quality of the digital collection through our 24/7 Library Service
  • commencing the redevelopment of Kew Library
  • planning for the redevelopment of Hawthorn Library
  • providing access to technology and training in the libraries for jobseekers, in partnership with community service organisations.

See a full list of the actions on our Library Services Plan and Advisory Committee page.

A man and a boy sit at a table in a library reading a book

Your opinion matters

Your opinion matters ttoth Wed 21 October 2020

Which health and wellbeing issues are important to you?

We are developing the Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2021-25, which is integrated into the Boroondara Community Plan. To do this, we want to hear from our community about the health and wellbeing issues that are important to you. Your feedback will guide the health priorities that we will focus on over the next four years.

Visit our Have your say page and complete an anonymous and short online survey before 22 November 2020.

Checking in on our community's priorities

The Boroondara Community Plan sets out the ten-year vision for Boroondara’s future. It was developed in partnership with the community in 2017, and guides our decision making to ensure we deliver what you’ve told us is most important to you.

You will soon have an opportunity to give us feedback to make sure the Boroondara Community Plan continues to meet your needs now and into the future.

Stay up-to-date on how to get involved and sign up for our mailing list on our Boroondara Community Plan page.


Two women hold a blackboard between them

Council meetings

For more information about upcoming meetings and agendas, visit our Council and committee meetings page.

Responsible pet ownership

Responsible pet ownership ttoth Thu 22 October 2020

Owning a dog is a big responsibility. Being a responsible dog owner means a lot more than just giving your dog what it needs, it’s also about how you manage your dog around other people and other dogs, including in off-leash areas.

We have received many complaints relating to unruly dogs disrupting others in public spaces, and owners not picking up after their pets. To help address these issues, we are ramping up patrols in our parks and reserves.

The laws that apply to dog owners are in place to ensure our furry friends and others can safely enjoy these shared spaces together. Fines apply for breaching these rules.

A responsible dog owner must have effective control of their dog at all times, including in off-leash areas. This means your dog must not worry or threaten any person or animal, and will respond to voice commands or hand controls when needed.

For more information, visit Off leash dog parks.

Dog in park

What's on in your neighbourhood house

What's on in your neighbourhood house ttoth Thu 22 October 2020

If there is an interest or a passion you’d like to pursue, your local neighbourhood house has a range of courses, classes and workshops to explore.

Nurture a creative talent, learn a language, develop your skills or join a social group. There are options for children and teens through to the senior members of our community. Get in contact with your local house and find out what they offer.

Coding and robotics workshop

Discover the world of coding and robotics. Learn to do basic coding for a mini robot (Sphero) and race it.

Alamein Neighbourhood and Learning Centre

When: 10am to 3pm, Monday 7 December 2020
Cost: $10 (one session)

Feel-good flicks

Join us online for an upbeat movie and after-movie social chat.

Ashburton Community Centre

When: 3pm to 5.30pm, Wednesday 11 November 2020
Cost: free

Colour mixing masterclass

This workshop will cover colour theory and a simple three-step approach to colour mixing.

Balwyn Community Centre

When: 1pm to 4pm, Saturday 21 November 2020.
Cost: $85 (one session)

Recycled paper Christmas angels

Learn to make angelic Christmas ornaments from old book pages.

Bowen Street Community Centre

When: 9.30am to 2.30pm, Friday 27 November 2020
Cost: $25 (one session)

Aquascapes masterclass

Try a new and exciting technique to create landscapes by flooding water on, and interacting with, paint scraped on to a dry surface area.

Camberwell Community Centre

When: 10am to 2.30pm, Friday 27 November 2020
Cost: $100 (one session)

Bright brains: Homework Club

Free homework and study tuition. For school years one to 10. Literacy, mathematics, science and more.

The Craig Family Centre

When: 4pm to 5pm, Wednesdays
Cost: free

DIY Christmas wreath

Join our local florist in this popular workshop making your own wreath. All materials provided. 

Hawthorn Community House

When: 7.30pm to 8.30pm, Tuesday 8 December or Tuesday 15 December 2020.
Cost: $30

A woman performs a yoga position on an exercise mat

Book groups

Lively discussion of books and films.

Canterbury Neighbourhood Centre

When: First, second or third Tuesday of the month.
Cost: free for members, non-members $15

Ukulele via Zoom

Learn simple cords and strums, or explore more complex music in our intermediate class.

Kew Neighbourhood and Learning Centre

When: beginners (6pm to 7pm), intermediate (7pm to 8pm), Mondays from 2 November 2020.
Cost: $100 (seven sessions)

Dumpling making party via Zoom

Learn to make dumplings from scratch for dinner with the family. Ingredients supplied.

Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Centre

When: 2pm to 4pm, Saturday 7 November 2020
Cost: $95

Acrylic painting

Explore a variety of subjects including still life, landscapes and portraits. Suitable for all levels.

Trentwood at the Hub

When: 10am to 12noon, Fridays from 6 November 2020
Cost: $15 per class

For more information, visit our Neighbourhood and Community Centres page

Highlights from our Annual Report 2019-20

Highlights from our Annual Report 2019-20 ttoth Wed 21 October 2020

Even though it has been a challenging year, we’ve continued to work hard on delivering what you told us was important to you through the Boroondara Community Plan.

Major projects

  • Completed the upgrades of the Balwyn Community Centre and the Ashburton Seniors Centre
  • Redeveloping Camberwell Community Centre (expected to be completed in 2020-21)
  • Commencing the Kew Recreation Centre transformation (expected to be completed in 2022)
  • Introduced a new Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO) kerbside collection service to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

Milestone achievements

  • Delivered a $4.5 million COVID-19 financial assistance package to provide support for our community
  • Remaining a top performing Council in the annual statewide Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey
  • Continuing our focus on Transforming Boroondara to ensure your interactions with us are as easy and accessible as possible
  • Committed $9.4 million to upgrade our sporting pavilions to provide a more inclusive environment
  • Improving public places in Boroondara through a placemaking approach
  • Develop a new healthy ageing plan ‘Add Life to Your Years’ to continue our ongoing commitment to supporting our ageing population.

Financial position

Council achieved a surplus of $12.25 million in 2019-20.

The adjusted underlying surplus of Council – after removing non-recurrent capital grant income, monetary contributions and non-monetary asset contributions – is $5.05 million. This helps us fund the renewal, upgrade and new asset programs for our $3.56 billion net community assets.

In 2019-20

  • $63.95 million went to infrastructure projects, including $9.08 million for parks, open spaces and streetscapes, and $27.64 million for community buildings
  • 84% of our annual commitments have been met
  • $8.4 million went to library services providing a seven-day-per-week service across the City, with more than 79,000 visits and nearly 1.85 million loans
  • $4.62 million went to aged, disability and health services, including the delivery of 59,823 hours of in-home care for the elderly and those with a disability, and 20,972 immunisations to infants and children across
  • $4.5 million went to family and youth services, with 38 buildings also leased to community organisations providing long day care, occasional care and kindergarten services
  • 71,669 tonnes of waste was collected from kerbside bins

To find out more, download our annual report.