This month we speak to Harvester Ward Councillor Cr John Hedditch. Cr Hedditch is passionate about community and creating a better world for future generations. You can contact him on CrHedditch@brimbank.vic.gov.au or 0428 811 580.
"I chose to move to Brimbank in the early 1980s because of family connections and the wonderful sense of community that existed in the West. Now, more than 35 years later, and after seeing the impact of the Western Bulldogs fabulous finals series and flag, I sense that community pride in Brimbank and the wider West is stronger than ever.
“I love that Brimbank is still such a great place to raise a family, and to enjoy its parks, leisure centres and sports facilities with family and friends.
“Brimbank has always been a welcoming and culturally diverse community. The fact that residents come from more than 160 different nations matters little as Brimbank welcomes everyone and tries to engage them actively in our community. It is a real privilege to serve this proudly diverse and inclusive community.
“Recently, it was an honour to attend the NAIDOC Week Flag Raising Ceremony at the Brimbank Community and Civic Centre. Our ceremony was a celebration of Aboriginal culture and recognised the important place that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have played and continue to in our community as the First Australians.
“Community service and inclusion has always been important to me – I am proud to have been part of a group of residents that actively and successfully campaigned over the past decade for the former Sunvale Primary School site to be turned into a community park.
“Along with many others in our community, I very much look forward to the opening of the new Sunvale Community Park later this year – I think the park is a fantastic example of what our community can achieve when we all work together.
“Our vibrant community is what makes Brimbank such a wonderful place to live – yet there is still much that we must do in order to support our community to be the best it can be.
“A recent report – the West of Melbourne Economic Development Alliance (WoMEDA) Economic Development Strategy – acknowledged that Melbourne’s West has a significant problem with ‘considerably poorer’ health, education and jobs outcomes in this community, compared with Melbourne averages.
“This report – overseen by senior community leaders in Melbourne’s West and chaired by former Premier Steve Bracks – calls for five-year catch-up programs to bring our health, education and jobs outcomes up to Melbourne’s averages.
“I want to see a much fairer share for our young people, with better access to high quality training and education opportunities close to their homes. Our kids and families deserve the best.
“I am passionate about speaking up for our community and proud to be part of a Council that is committed to advocating for these crucial social, economic and environmental investments so that we can achieve our vision of creating a vibrant, harmonious and welcoming community for today’s residents as well as future generations.”
Cr John Hedditch