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Sunday, 30 June 2013

Mayor For A Day of the Moreland City Council

By Darren Stones

Recently I had the privilege to be Mayor For A Day of the City of Moreland. My written submission for the competition was one of a hundred that Councillor Oscar Yildiz, Mayor of Moreland, considered, and to my delight, I was one of seven selected to see what our mayor does during a working day.

On Thursday 27 June, 2013 at 9:00am, I was warmly greeted in the council foyer by Oscar and his Executive Assistant Monica Bucciarelli, and they both kindly introduced me to staff members at the council.

At 10:30am, Oscar and I were photographed outside the Coburg Town Hall where I had the opportunity to wear the council robes and chains.

Councillor Oscar Yildiz (left) and Darren Stones
Photo: Courtesy of Moreland City Council

At 11:30am, Oscar and I arrived at the former Glenroy Primary School site in Wheatsheaf Road for the artwork launch Homeward Bound. The artworks launched were created by Leith Walton and it was great to meet and chat with him. Leith and his family were thrilled to be supported by the council for the project.

L-R: Darren Stones, Leith Walton and Oscar Yildiz
Photo: Courtesy of Moreland City Council

From 12:30-1:30pm Oscar, myself, Monica and Moreland City Council CEO Peter Brown enjoyed lunch with the Italian Pensioners Group of Merlynston at the Coburg Town Hall, where I estimate there were 350 in attendance. The three-course meal with red wine was excellent and we enjoyed the company of those who attended.

Enjoying lunch with the Italian Pensioners Group of Merlynston
Photo: courtesy of Moreland City Council

Darren Stones and Moreland City Council Chief Executive Officer Peter Brown
Photo: Courtesy of Moreland City Council

At 1:30pm I had the opportunity to see Oscar carry out his duties as a JP and witness the signing of a document.

I had the opportunity to share some time Clr Yildiz and his staff where we chatted about various operations that the council has to perform as part of local governance.

During the morning and later at lunch, Chief Executive Officer Peter Brown explained to me various aspects of projects that the council is involved with, both at the local level and on a broader scale in partnership with neighbouring councils. Peter talked about projects like the grade separation at the Coburg and Glenroy Railway Stations, and how they are requiring substantial planning due to site challenges, budgetary considerations and future growth in the area.

Between 3:00-4:00pm, Nalika Peiris, Unit Manager - Community Development and Social Policy - and I walked around Coburg to see and discuss some community development initiatives that the Moreland Council has been involved with.

We visited Pepper Tree Place, which is a volunteer-driven, local garden initiative at UnitingCare's Kildonan community hub on the corner of Sydney Road and Urquhart Street.

We also visited the Victoria Mall redevelopment between Sydney Road and Waterfield Road, which was buzzing with people enjoying coffee and each others company. Nalika and I got into the swing of things and shared a hot chocolate together.

Darren Stones
Photo: Courtesy of Moreland City Council

As part of being Mayor For A Day, I received a framed certificate, a writing compendium, business card holder, pen, 8GB USB stick containing photos of the day, the council's 2012 Annual Report, and the latest edition of Inside Moreland.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and feel it was a valuable opportunity to learn about how the Moreland City Council is positively contributing to our community.

Given I'm currently studying a Diploma of Community Services Work and Diploma of Community Development at the Kangan Institute Broadmeadows Campus, I feel fortunate to have been chosen for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

I extend my gratitude to Councillor Oscar Yildiz, Mayor of Moreland, and to the Moreland City Council staff for a memorable day.

Further information:

Seven locals get to be Mayor for a Day

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