New library fosters strong community connections

November 30, 2021 BY

Councillor Belinda Moloney

HEY legends. While we are slowly recalibrating and getting back to a semblance of ‘normal’ life, there are a few key projects happening across Geelong in our lead-up to the festive season.

Armstrong Creek Library and Community Hub

Over the past decade, the Armstrong Creek precinct has grown at an incredible rate, the largest contiguous growth area in Victoria.

With such a large-scale development and population growth, consideration must be given to access to physical and social infrastructure in order to foster a strong community and I am delighted to see the development of a key feature of any established locale – a new library!

Not just any library, an accessible, modern three-story community hub incorporating a ‘Living Water’ design narrative, conjured in collaboration with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Corporation.

These designs have been the topic of much discussion since their release, with some feedback on the unusually architected design, which some liken to a ‘Swiss cheese’ facade.

It is vital that we get your input on the plan, to ensure that it is an inviting place for all. Please visit our ‘Your Say’ page at yoursay.geelongaustralia.com.au/ACLCH to provide feedback on the library concept plan.

Climate Change Response Plan

I must sound like a broken record talking about the climate change response plan to anyone who will listen, however this document is a wonderful confluence of an increased awareness of our combined responsibility to act as caretakers of the environment and the integration of deliberative community engagement.

By the time you read this column a final version of the plan will hopefully have been endorsed by the council at this week’s meeting.

Community consultation provided 431 comments, highlighting the need for council to support an empowered and active community, while incorporating clear accountability, sufficient funding and community leadership.

As a result, the plan has since been updated, prioritising our actions across areas including community support, energy, transport, waste and climate resilience.

It is crucial that council lead the way by ensuring the City of Greater Geelong’s operations reach net zero emissions by 2025, alongside supporting our community to work towards net zero emissions community-wide by 2035.

Geelong Preventative Health Survey

The Geelong Preventative Health Survey is undertaken every four years to help CoGG better understand the health status of the community, and to inform evidence-based planning and decision-making across the region.

Being a data nerd, I found the data set (available at geelongdataexchange.com.au) intriguing in its highlighting of how significant our community health has changed since 2017.

It seems that as a collective community we are engaging in more physical activity but we’re eating more junk food and stressing out more.

CoGG Christmas in Geelong Program

You may have spotted councillors Kylie Gryzbek, Anthony Aitken and myself in the papers recently, launching this year’s Christmas program a little early, lighting up Geelong’s famous floating tree in mid-November.

Council has established a huge Christmas program that aims to lift community spirits in the festive season.

Our 2021 activities include street decorations, City Hall projections, and a Giant Selfie Trail which includes Armstrong Creek.

Being a particularly special time of the year for children, we have curated many activities accessible online or in person, including our kids’ Christmas hub, and a special performance by The Mik Maks.

You may have spotted Santa’s letterboxes in your neighbourhood – kids can write a letter to Santa and get a personalised reply in time for Christmas.

There’s so much to see this festive season. Events and activities can be found at: geelongaustralia.com.au/christmas/.

Getting through tough times

Lastly, for some folks, the festive season is quite tough emotionally or financially given the rollercoaster of a year we’ve experienced.

I personally find this season overwhelming with its impetus to consume to an unsustainable degree.

For those of you doing it tough, there is help available including Geelong Food Relief https://geelongfoodrelief.org/, Geelong Mums https://www.geelongmums.org/ and Lifeline crisis support (phone 13 11 14) if you need help getting through the end of a tumultuous year.

Please don’t suffer in silence or alone. Whatever you celebrate at this time of year, I wish you a peaceful and relaxing festive season, and a prosperous 2022.

Hope you have a wonderful festive season, and feel free to contact me via email at [email protected]

Cr Belinda Moloney