Boroondara Bulletin - October 2021

Boroondara Bulletin - October 2021 ewilliam Thu 23 September 2021
A woman who has just been vaccinated

Keep rolling up your sleeves

Our councillors are encouraging Boroondara community members to get vaccinated to help keep everyone safe.

Find out more about getting vaccinated.

Two hands holding a paper cut-out of a family

Family violence on the rise in Boroondara

With family violence rates increasing in Boroondara during the COVID-19 pandemic, local police are urging victims to seek help.

Find out more about family violence in Boroondara.

A box of fresh vegetables

Top tips for growing summer vegies

Spring's the time to take action for a bumper summer harvest. Sustainable Gardening Australia tells us how.

Read our tips for growing summer vegies.

A woman making a pom pom

Take your part in pompom art

Send us a pompom and make yourself part of the art in Craft Contemporary's APOMAWISH installation.

Find out how to submit your pompom art

Message from the Mayor, Cr Garry Thompson

Message from the Mayor, Cr Garry Thompson ewilliam Thu 23 September 2021

As Melburnians find themselves living again under tough pandemic-induced restrictions, it’s important we take care of ourselves and look out for those who may be struggling.

Sadly, recent crime figures show family violence has increased significantly in Boroondara since the beginning of the pandemic, and many victims are seeking help from support services for the first time.

Local police and Council urge you to seek help if you or someone you know is in danger on the home front. You are not alone – please get in touch with police or one of the support services listed in our Family violence on rise in Boroondara article.

For those who are feeling isolated or are struggling mentally, there is a comprehensive list of local counselling and mental health services available on our Counselling and mental health services page.

As customers there is plenty we can do to support our much-loved neighbourhood businesses – whether that’s in person when COVID-19 restrictions allow, or via online shopping or takeaway. Check out what your favourite business has to offer online, or browse our Love Local Life directory listing more than 550 Boroondara businesses. If you can’t visit in person right now due to restrictions, find out what’s on offer in your neighbourhood for future shopping expeditions.

While recent months have been heavy going, I’ve found comfort in the swing of seasons from winter to spring. Boroondara’s famed leafy avenues are budding up and gardens are springing to life. If you’re a keen gardener or would like to be, sign up for 1 or 2 of Council’s spring gardening webinars running in coming weeks – you’ll find more information, along with tips to boost your summer backyard bounty, in our Spring into action for a summer harvest article.

If you haven’t already, I do also encourage you to get vaccinated as soon as you can.


Cr Garry Thompson signature

Cr Garry Thompson
Mayor of Boroondara

Keep rolling up your sleeves Boroondara

Keep rolling up your sleeves Boroondara ewilliam Thu 23 September 2021

Boroondara Mayor Cr Garry Thompson is urging residents to protect our community from COVID-19 by getting vaccinated as soon as possible.

While the municipality’s vaccination rates are among some of the highest in metropolitan Melbourne, Cr Thompson says there is still work to be done in order to reach Victorian vaccination targets.

“Thank you to the many Boroondara residents who are helping to keep everyone safe by rolling up their sleeves to receive their first and second dose of COVID-19 vaccinations,” he says.

"Vaccinations don’t just protect our loved ones and the wider community, they will allow us to get back out there to do all of the things we love."

Cr Thompson says getting vaccinated will also ensure that Boroondara remains strong, resilient, and ready to bounce back.

Book your first or second vaccination today on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria website. Or you can visit your local GP or pharmacy.

A man getting vaccinated

Family violence on the rise in Boroondara

Family violence on the rise in Boroondara ewilliam Thu 23 September 2021
Two hands holding a paper cut-out of a family

With family violence rates increasing in Boroondara during the COVID-19 pandemic, local police and support services are urging victims and those at risk to seek help.

In the year ending March 2021, family violence reports to Boroondara police were up 16%, with a total of 1,046 incidents reported.

In the same period, Eastern Domestic Violence Service (EDVOS) reported that on average, 30% of victim survivors who engaged with the service were seeking help for the first time. During stage 3 and 4 lockdowns, this grew to 60%.

EDVOS CEO Christine Mathieson says its specialist family violence advocates are seeing similar patterns as last year, “with an increase in complexity of family violence police referrals combined with higher levels of risk, as victim survivors and perpetrators are forced to spend more time together in their homes”.

Boroondara Local Area Commander Inspector Craig Pearson says while stay-at-home orders are important to prevent the spread of COVID-19, police know home is not the safest place for everybody.

“It is important to know if you or your children are at risk of harm, you can leave your home to seek support and assistance no matter what level of COVID-19 restrictions are in place,” says Inspector Pearson.

He encourages all victims of family violence to report to police, including those affected by assaults, financial control, controlling behaviour, coercive control, elder abuse and visa abuse.

"I am passionate about providing victims protection and support."

Boroondara Mayor Cr Garry Thompson says Council is committed to working with Victoria Police, the Boroondara Family Violence Network, external agencies and the wider community “to help build a future free from family violence”.

“Family violence continues to have a significant and devastating impact on our community,” says Cr Thompson.

“It doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone regardless of income, age and cultural background.”

Where to find help

October is Community Safety Month – a reminder that everyone has a role in making our communities safer. If you or someone you know is
experiencing family violence, we urge you to reach out for help.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, contact 000 for police assistance.

For a full list of support services available, visit our Family violence page.

Safe Steps Family Violence and Response

Call 1800 015 188 – available 24/7

Visit the Safe Steps website.

Orange Door

Supports family violence survivors.

Visit the Orange Door website


Call 1800 737 732 – available 24/7

Visit the 1800RESPECT website.

Kids embrace active travel

Kids embrace active travel ewilliam Thu 23 September 2021

It’s been an uncertain year for schoolkids, but the gradual return to classrooms will be the perfect time for them to get skating, riding, walking and scooting their way to school.

Our Safe and Active travel education program supports parents and schools in their efforts to encourage kids to make their own way to and from school. This helps them gain independence, stay active and healthy and also benefits the whole community by reducing traffic around schools to create quieter and safer streets.

Earlier this year, students across Boroondara enjoyed a bit of friendly competition in our Walk or Wheel Wednesday Challenge, which Council organises every year as part of our Safe and Active program. Every Wednesday in term 2, children from 9 local schools recorded their journeys walking, riding, scooting and skating to school to see who would be crowned the active travel winner.

Two schools distinguished themselves above the rest with their achievements. Camberwell Primary School had the class with the highest percentage of active travellers, with a whopping 87.5% of a class of 14 students walking, riding, scooting or skating to school. This class received a prize of umbrellas, drink bottles and bike helmets to help them with their future school journeys.

However, Chatham Primary School was crowned the overall winner and received the Walk or Wheel trophy after 68.5% of students across the entire school walked or wheeled to school for the challenge – earning them the use of a ‘smoothie bike’ and enough ingredients for a day of pedal-powered smoothie-making fun for the entire school.

For more information on our Safe and Active travel education program, visit our Safe and active travel to school page. Or phone (03) 9278 4444.

3 kids on a bike, skateboard and scooter

5 ways to boost active travel

  1. Help your child become familiar with your neighbourhood and identify the safest routes to school, including the location of safe road crossings.
  2. Build their confidence gradually. Start by joining them on their trip to school, then walk or ride part of the way with them and let them go the last few blocks on their own.
  3. Enrol your children in our School Holiday Bike Program, held during school holidays for students aged 9 to 16. Find out more on our Bike skills workshops page.
  4. Encourage your child’s school to sign up for Bike Ed, a safe cycling skills program developed by VicRoads for students aged 9 to 13. Find out more on our Bike Ed page.
  5. Find out if your child’s school is part of the Boroondara Active and Safe Schools program, an annual intensive active travel program run by Council.

Boroondara's most common crime

Boroondara's most common crime ewilliam Thu 23 September 2021

Lock it or lose it: Theft from motor vehicles remains Boroondara’s most prevalent yet preventable crime.

Inspector Craig Pearson, Boroondara Local Area Commander, says thieves will often travel into the area to try their luck.

“Offenders will often walk along a street trying car door handles until they find an unlocked car,” he says.

“Others will look into every car until they see something of interest, then smash the window to gain entry.”

Laptops, wallets, tools, sunglasses, garage and gate remotes, sets of keys and loose change are among items frequently reported stolen. Some offenders then gain entry to homes using a stolen garage remote or steal a car using stolen keys.

Inspector Pearson urges residents to always remove valuable items from their vehicles and to lock them.

Call 000 to report any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood. Call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 to make an anonymous report.

Riding the Coronacoaster: resilience tips for children

Riding the Coronacoaster: resilience tips for children ewilliam Wed 29 September 2021

Strategies to help families support their children during the pandemic. 

The spread of COVID-19 in Victoria has turned our lives upside down in the past 18 months, leaving families to navigate the highs and lows of a new reality combining remote learning, working from home and increased family time. 

Even with fewer restrictions on the horizon, the pandemic is causing ongoing disruption, anxiety and frustration to children and young people. 

One of Australia’s leading child and adolescent psychologists, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, recently joined us for a Boroondara Families webinar called Riding the Coronacoaster. More than 900 parents and caregivers across Boroondara registered for the online event, which highlighted the impact of ongoing lockdowns on young people and strategies we can use to manage their mental wellbeing at home. 

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg’s tips to support your child during the pandemic

  • Connect via social media: Encourage your child to talk to friends and family daily and organise virtual get-togethers, if they are not able to catch up outdoors. 
  • Check-in regularly: Let your child know they’re not alone in feeling deflated and frustrated. Talking things through can help them feel calmer. If they don’t feel like talking to someone they know, suggest support lines they can contact. 
  • Keep regular routines: Encourage your child to wake up at the same time every day, move their body outdoors and take a lunchbreak. 
  • Schedule uninterrupted time: Switch off all distractions, such as TV, games consoles or iPads, for set periods in the day. 
  • Focus on what you can control: Get enough sleep, exercise daily, eat healthy food, limit social media and news bulletins. 
  • Have a study schedule: Provide a separate learning space for teenagers facing exams, use a timer for study periods, celebrate the wins, and prepare lunch and recess snacks. 
  • Remain optimistic: Let your child know that vaccination rates are increasing, and there will be a time when we have fewer restrictions.
A child using a tablet

Last chance to register pools and spas

Last chance to register pools and spas ewilliam Thu 23 September 2021

Owners of pools and spas are urged to register them to help prevent child drownings and to avoid a substantial infringement.

Victorian Government regulations now require all property owners to register their pool or spa with Council and have it inspected and certified every 4 years by a registered building surveyor or inspector. In Victoria, pools and spas are the most common location for drowning deaths of children aged 5 and under.

Despite registrations being due in November 2020, we believe more than 4,000 Boroondara pool and spa owners are yet to register. To avoid a substantial infringement, please register your pool or spa now via our easy online form.

We’ll then contact you to confirm your registration and outline the next steps. If you’ve already submitted a registration and are awaiting confirmation, you won’t receive an infringement. Please don’t submit a second registration.

We thank the more than 6,300 householders who have already submitted their pool or spa registration.

You can learn more about the Victorian Government pool and spa regulations at the Victorian Building Authority website

Two girls swimming in a pool

What's on in Boroondara

What's on in Boroondara ewilliam Thu 23 September 2021

Live it up at Boroondara Seniors Festival 

October is seniors’ month at Boroondara, and Council is offering a range of activities for our older adults to expand their knowledge, get creative and explore opportunities to become more involved in the local community. 

Our festival events will run online. For full program details and updates, visit our Seniors Festival page. Or phone (03) 9278 4777

Two women sit in the audience at a Boroondara Seniors Festival 2019 event

Celebrate our children

Children’s Week is a national celebration that advocates the rights of children and recognises their ability to actively contribute to the world around them. 

During their dedicated week from 23 to 31 October, children will get to celebrate their achievements, talents and skills through a range of free and fun online activities and events from our YMCAs, libraries and community centres.

For a full list of online Children’s Week activities, visit our Children's Week page.

On 27 October, you can join us for a fun-filled online event the whole family can enjoy. For example, enjoy some virtual arts and crafts activities you and the kids can do from the comfort of home.

When: Wednesday 27 October 
Time: 10am to 12:30pm
Where: Online – a link will be sent to you once you have completed your registration.

Registrations are essential for this event. To register and for up-to-date details visit our Children's Week page or ring (03) 9278 4444.

2 kids riding on bikes
A child at a playground

Keeping our community safe

Community Safety Month reminds us that we all have a part to play in keeping our communities safe. Council is hosting online interactive events in October. 

Happy Sad Man: Meet the filmmaker Q&A screening

Join us for a special screening of this ultimately uplifting documentary, which gives a raw insight into the emotional lives of five very different Australian men, who share their hopes, anxieties, joys and darkness. 

Date: Wednesday 20 October 2021

Time: 7pm to 9pm

Where: Online

Find out more about Happy Sad Man.

Online Community Safety Forum 

Residents can take part in a Keep Your Home Safe presentation and hear from emergency services and community organisations about community safety, crime prevention issues and initiatives in Boroondara. Registrations are essential.

Date: Wednesday 27 October 2021

Time: 6:30pm to 7:45pm

Where: Online 

Volunteer your skills

Do you have a professional skill that could benefit a local community organisation? Have you ever thought about volunteering?

If so, you can join us at our annual Skilled Volunteer Meet networking event. Open to all ages and professions, we’ll connect you with local community organisations across a diverse range of sectors including environment, IT, education, health and more. 

You’ll have the opportunity to learn how your knowledge, life skills and experiences can help mentor and support others in Boroondara. You can sign up for a skilled volunteer project, join a board as a committee member, or meet and build networks with like-minded people who live in and around Boroondara.

Date: Tuesday 19 October 
Time: 6pm to 7:30pm
Where: Online – a link for you to attend the virtual event will be sent to your email once you’ve registered.

For more information and to register your attendance, visit Online Skilled Volunteer Meet. Or you can phone (03) 9278 4550.

A man taking a photograph

Neighbourhood Houses keep us connected

Neighbourhood Houses keep us connected ewilliam Thu 23 September 2021

Our neighbourhood houses and community centres have modified their services and are still here to help.

Boroondara’s 11 neighbourhood houses and community centres help bring people together to learn in workshops and short courses, to connect, and to feel part of our local community.

Under current COVID-19 restrictions they are continuing to do so by phone and online. Their current services include:

  • Referrals to community and support services: We can connect you with local services including emergency relief.
  • Online classes: You can keep active and engaged by taking one of many online classes, including health, wellness, arts and technology.
  • Digital literacy support: We can help you get online so you can attend online appointments, meetings or social catch-ups.
  • Phone calls for social connection: Our friendly staff and volunteers can get in touch with you by phone to keep you connected and informed.

If you or someone you know would benefit from any of these services, please get in touch with your local centre. You can find the contact information on our Neighbourhood houses and community centres page

A woman stretching in front of a laptop

Nominate your Citizen of the Year

Nominate your Citizen of the Year ewilliam Thu 23 September 2021

Do you know someone who demonstrates exceptional leadership or commitment to improving the quality of life of others in Boroondara?

If so, you can nominate them for the Citizen of the Year Award or Young Citizen of the Year Award. Nominations are open until Friday 26 November.

The selection panel will assess the nominees’ passion for improving the quality of life for members of our community, their commitment to civic responsibility, and their participation in community activities, among other criteria.

Award winners will be announced at the annual City of Boroondara Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony 2022.

For more information on our selection criteria and how to make a nomination, visit our Enter our Boroondara Citizen Awards page. Or you can phone (03) 9278 4475.

All aboard the community bus

All aboard the community bus ewilliam Thu 23 September 2021

Staying healthy and mobile as we age lets us enjoy our lives to the fullest. To help our older residents achieve this, Council has a range of social support services to keep them engaged through activities, groups – and shared transport that makes connections beyond just A to B.

Recent research contained in Council’s Healthy Ageing Plan reveals that 10% of older people experience isolation and loneliness, and 14% don’t have family members they can rely on for help.

Our community bus aims to meet both practical and social needs by offering transport to popular locations around Boroondara, as well as excursions to galleries, music performances, historic homes, gardens, museums and movie screenings.

Local resident Lorraine Whiting has used the community bus for 8 years to run errands and go on day trips.

“Over the years I’ve used the community bus to take me shopping, to the gardening club, to exercise classes and to my local library,” says Lorraine.

“I’ve also been on excursions to various locations such as nurseries and cafes. When I stopped driving, it provided me with independence and allowed me to continue on with the activities that I enjoy doing in life.”

Lorraine enjoys the social aspect too, and has formed strong friendships with other community bus users.

“I’ve been meeting with some local ladies on the community bus which took us to the Camberwell Library, and after that we’d have a coffee,” she says.

Lorraine met her friend Mary Dadd on the community bus.

“I like the feeling of being part of the community and meeting people who I wouldn’t have met otherwise,” says Mary.

“It keeps you feeling that  you’re not the only one that has trials to put up with as you get older.”

Learn more about our social support services on our Over 55s page. Or you can phone (03) 9278 4777.

October is seniors' month at Boroondara. Find out about our Seniors Festival events.

A bus at a bus stop
2 older women doing light exercise

Exam time? Tap into our library resources

Exam time? Tap into our library resources ewilliam Thu 23 September 2021

With VCE and university exams just around the corner, your local library could be a great resource for extra support.

The Boroondara Library Service has a wealth of free online resources and databases available to library members. You can access referenced and reviewed content, follow links to related articles, and save articles to a folder for later use. You can create bibliographic references (in the specific style required by your school or university) and access help pages and tutorials.

From the award-winning Britannica Online, to reference database Credo and the ProQuest research library, there’s a database for every level of study.

All you need to get started is a Boroondara Library membership – signing up online takes just a few minutes, or you can join in person when libraries are open. Our expert library staff are on hand to provide guidance and demonstrations if you need them.

For more information, visit our Libraries page. Or you can phone (03) 9278 4666.

A woman using a computer

Applications open for Small Grants

Applications open for Small Grants ewilliam Thu 23 September 2021

Each year, Council provides much needed financial support for projects and activities that benefit our community.

If you are a not-for-profit community organisation or group with a great idea for a project, Small Grants provide quick-turnaround funding of up to $3,000 for new and one-off services, programs and activities that strengthen the Boroondara community.

To give your application the best chance at success, we are hosting a variety of online information sessions in early to mid-October for community groups and organisations to learn more about the application process.

Applications close at 11:59pm on Sunday 24 October.

For more information, visit our Small Grants page

A small plant growing from the ground

It’s time to celebrate the art of craft

It’s time to celebrate the art of craft ewilliam Thu 23 September 2021

Be part of the art as the Craft Contemporary festival comes to Boroondara.

Whether you’re an avid lover of craft, picked up a crafting hobby during Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdowns, or are seeking a new creative outlet, this month’s Craft Contemporary offers inspiration aplenty.

There are many ways to take part, with a range of exhibitions, talks and workshops running throughout the month of October. A highlight is the pompom-inspired art installation APOMAWISH, led by artist, designer and pompom aficionado Rachel Burke.

Based on the premise that anyone can make a pompom, all members of the community are invited to participate.

Hundreds have already sent in their creations, along with ‘a wish for the future’, to become part of the installation. You can still contribute – simply visit our Craft Contemporary page. for a template, instructions and postal details.

To view the full Craft Contemporary program and find out more, visit our Craft Contemporary page.

A woman making a pompom

Spring into action for a summer harvest

Spring into action for a summer harvest ewilliam Thu 23 September 2021
A box of fresh vegetables

Top tips for growing summer vegies

It’s crunch time in the garden, and our spring gardening webinars will help you prepare for a season of plenty.

“Spring is all about regeneration,” says Richard Rowe, Learning and Training Coordinator for Sustainable Gardening Australia, which is preparing to run a series of spring-themed gardening webinars for Boroondara residents. 

“There’s more daylight and warmer weather and for vegie growers it’s time to prepare and plan for that big summer harvest.”

Richard says many Melburnians have taken up gardening during the pandemic – as an opportunity to get out into the fresh air, “and as a kind of therapy” when confined to home turf. With many nurseries offering home delivery or click-and-collect, it’s been a lockdown-proof activity too. 

These are Richard’s tips for successful summer vegies:

  • You don’t need a big backyard – with just a square metre of land or some big containers or pots you can grow all sorts of vegetables.
  • Plenty of sun, water and food, such as a good seaweed solution, are the key requirements for healthy vegies.
  • Spring is about getting your soil right with lots of nutrient-rich compost.
  • As you move towards summer, mulch your plants to keep moisture in and regulate the soil temperature.
  • As vegies grow, keep an eye out for bugs and pests, “so they don’t enjoy your harvest before you do”.
  • Keep companion planting in mind, even in small spaces. Pop a few sunny marigolds in with a potted tomato, or nasturtiums among the zucchinis to keep nasties away.
  • Get tomato plants in the ground as October warms and you might get home-grown tomatoes in time for Christmas salads.
  • Plan for Melbourne’s summer extremes – this might mean hanging shade cloth or an old cotton sheet to protect from hot afternoon sun.

Join us for our series of spring gardening webinars, including:

  • Active Ageing through Gardening (20 October)
  • Preparing for a Summer Veggie Crop (27 October)
  • Balconies for Biodiversity (3 November)
  • Integrated Pest Management (17 November).

Bookings are essential. To find out more or make a booking, visit our Sustainable living workshops and events page. Or you can phone (03) 9278 4444.

Bringing bees to your place

Honey bees and native bees play a critical role in our environment. Here’s how to attract them to your backyard.

  1. Provide habitat. Bee hotels are a great way to provide shelter and a place to breed for our precious native bees. Find out how to make a bee hotel.
  2. Provide a food source. Planting a diversity of flowering plants, including native shrubs and trees, will provide food for a variety of pollinators. Making your own ‘bee bombs’ is a fun family activity.
  3. Ensure water is available, especially in summer. Watering your garden in the morning will leave pools of water for your pollinating friends.
  4. Avoid using chemicals and products that may harm pollinators and other wildlife.  
  5. Don’t forget honeybees. Keeping a honeybee hive gives you yummy local honey too. For a list of honeybee keeping books in our libraries, email [email protected]

Learn how to make a bee hotel or bee bombs in the Buzz and Dig video series on our Sustainable living workshops and events page

A bee

Busy in the backyard

There’s lots going on in Boroondara backyards this spring. 

One for the birds

Play citizen scientist in your own backyard by observing and counting your feathered neighbours for the Aussie Backyard Bird Count. From 18 to 24 October, simply spend 20 minutes outside and record the birds you see around you, to help conservation organisation BirdLife Australia protect our native birds. You can use any open outdoor space to take part – if COVID restrictions allow, set yourself up at a local park, beach, school or playground and get counting. And if you don’t know a willie wagtail from a galah don’t worry, the handy BirdLife app will help you identify what you’re looking at.

To find out more, visit the Birdlife Australia website

Bundle your green waste

Been busy with the pruning saw? You can recycle additional spring garden prunings by booking a bundled green waste collection. Each eligible residential property can book one collection for October, which can be used to recycle up to 2 cubic metres of bundled, tied green garden waste. Secure it with non-plastic string or twine and stack it neatly to guarantee pick-up.

Bookings close at 2pm on Friday 22 October. Collections will take place from Monday 4 October to Friday 29 October. To book, visit our Book a bundled green waste collection page. Or you can phone (03) 9278 4444.

Check your netting

Putting netting over your household fruit trees and vegetable gardens can protect them from being eaten by birds and other creatures, however it can also injure or kill local wildlife by entangling them. New Victorian Government regulations require that any netting used to protect household fruit trees, vegetables or other fruiting plants must have a mesh size, when at full stretch, of no greater than 5mm x 5mm.

Find out more at the Agriculture Victoria website

Clean sweep

Planning to round up your grass clippings, leaves and spring blossoms with a leaf blower? Keep the environment and those with seasonal allergies in mind and dispose of green waste in your FOGO bin or compost, rather than blowing it onto streets where it can clog drains.

A small bird

Glenferrie Ward meeting

Glenferrie Ward meeting ewilliam Thu 23 September 2021

The full ward meeting for the Glenferrie Ward has been rescheduled to Thursday 25 November from 5:00pm to 6:30pm in the Zelman Room at the Hawthorn Arts Centre.

All ward community members are welcome. An update on significant current projects in the ward will be provided and questions welcomed.

The meeting will be conducted in accordance with COVID-19 State Government directives in operation at this time.

Check this page for any updates.

To find out whether you belong to Glenferrie Ward, check the map on our Glenferrie Ward page.