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maroondah Archives - Syneka Marketing

Business over Breakfast

Business over Breakfast – March

By | Advice for Businesses | No Comments

Business over Breakfast meets each fortnight, fostering business collaboration and the sharing of knowledge. While Business over Breakfast meets in the Docklands it has been attracting businesses from across Melbourne and it was great to be able to re-connect with business owners that I first met in 2010 when I was Mayor of Maroondah City Council.

The emphasis that the Melbourne Business over Breakfast Club places on collaboration has seen some great partnerships and discussions emerge.

Alex and each of the Mayors of Melbourne's Central Activities Districts, signing a collaborative agreement.

Five essential tips to foster effective collaboration

By | Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government, News | No Comments

Government funding has been encouraging collaboration for several years, with grants strongly favouring applications that involve multiple partners. Increasingly businesses are also seeing merit in collaboration to recognise respective expertise, and to achieve shared outcomes.

Collaboration should be nurtured and encouraged, but unfortunately there are also plenty of businesses that talk about collaboration, but do not follow through in practice.

As a strategic marketing agency we often work with other specialists to support our clients in achieving their goals. We thought it would be useful to share our advice on how to foster collaboration.

  1. Agree on the outcomes. Before considering any form of collaboration, ensure that there is an agreement on the outcomes that are to be achieved and the impact that this will create.
  2. Ensure you work with partners who share these outcomes. A supplier is not necessarily a collaborative partner, unless they are actively involved in sharing the agreed outcomes.
  3. Recognise expertise and responsibilities. Make sure that all collaborative partners are aware of their roles and the specific expertise that is required. Each partner should recognise each others expertise and not attempt to overreach.
  4. Collaborative partners need to be treated as equals. While money and time commitments may vary, there should be an equitable level of involvement to ensure that everyone is contributing to the outcome.
  5. Review partnerships and revise when required. All partnerships should be periodically reviewed and revised if needed. Identify what is working in the partnership and what need to be improved.

One of my highlights in working collaboratively was during the time I was Mayor of Maroondah in 2010. Ringwood, had been identified a Central Activities District, which meant it was to be strengthened as a residential and commercial hub.

One of the challenges, however, was the need to encourage the State Government to commit to the redevelopment of Ringwood Station, given it failed to meet accessibility standards and was perceived to be unsafe. While Ringwood was clearly in need of funding, the broader issue was the lack of Government involvement in its own transport and planning policies.

One of my highlights in developing a collaborative approach was during the time I was Mayor of Maroondah in 2010. Ringwood, had been identified a Central Activities District, which meant it was to be strengthened as a residential and commercial hub.

One of the challenges, however, was the need to encourage the State Government to commit to the redevelopment of Ringwood Station, given it failed to meet accessibility standards and was perceived to be unsafe. While Ringwood was clearly in need of funding, the broader issue was the lack of Government involvement in its own transport and planning policies.

One outer suburban council on its own, lacks direct influence with a State Government. As a result, I worked with Bill Pemberton, the Mayor of Whitehorse and Christine Richards, the Mayor of Frankston, to form an alliance so we could advocate for greater support for our respective Central Activities Districts (Box Hill, Frankston and Ringwood). We then expanded this alliance into a formal arrangement that incorporated every Central Activity District in Melbourne. While each individual Council had its own priorities, this group succeeded in developing joint advocacy by focusing on common issues.

Alex and each of the Mayors of Melbourne's Central Activities Districts, signing a collaborative agreement.

Alex and each of the Mayors of Melbourne’s Central Activities Districts, signing a collaborative agreement.

The end result was a greater level of investment and interest within each of Melbourne’s Central Activities Districts, including a commitment to redevelop Ringwood Station.

Before considering a collaborative approach make sure there is a common understanding, so you can work together to achieve your agreed outcomes.

Collingwood and Abbotsford Residents Association Annual General Meeting

By | Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News | No Comments

This evening I was invited to speak at the Collingwood and Abbotsford Residents Association (CARA) Annual General Meeting to discuss membership engagement, as well as the use of marketing to engage with the community and other stakeholders.

The Annual General Meeting provided an opportunity to reflect on advocacy undertaken by the group. A particular priority is advocacy for public transport improvements, with the group seeking rail extensions and more frequent services.

I was able to discuss my involvement with the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) and the public transport improvements I secured during my time as Councillor and Mayor for Maroondah City Council.

Residents Associations provide a conduit between the community and other levels of government, and it was great to share my experiences with the Collingwood and Abbotsford Residents Association.

Harmony Day – Wish You Were Here

By | Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government, News, Presentations | No Comments

Harmony Day is part of Cultural Diversity Week, designed to celebrate Australia’s multicultural society.

Maroondah has significant cultural influences, including the role of the Mullum Mullum Creek in Wurundjeri culture, European migration that settled into the area after World War II, and more recently communities from South Sudan and Burma.

Alex as Master of Ceremonies for the Maroondah Harmony Day Exhibition and Concert

Alex as Master of Ceremonies for the Maroondah Harmony Day Exhibition and Concert

Eastern Volunteers in partnership with Victoria Police, Relationships Australia Victoria, EACH, Department of Justice, Migrant Information Centre and Maroondah City Council, held a day of cultural festivities on the Main Stage at Eastland Shopping Centre.

Performances included traditional Wurundjeri dances, music from the Chin and Karen communities from Burma, reggae from an African solo guitarist and Scottish highland dancers. I served as the Master of Ceremonies for the proceedings, providing an introduction to each performance, as well as highlighting activities throughout the day.  I also kept the audience engaged, by discussing the activities of the partners and showcasing the range of festivities planned for Harmony Day.

The Harmony Day Concert was supported by a postcard exhibition, featuring community entries depicting cultural diversity.  Entries were received across Maroondah, including from schools, community centres and migrant groups.

The Maroondah Harmony Day Concert and Exhibition featured a range of community performances.

The Maroondah Harmony Day Concert and Exhibition featured a range of community performances.

One of the highlights was Maroondah signing a formal declaration stating that it welcomes refugees.  The Council resolution, declaring Maroondah as a refugee welcome zone, was one of of my last actions as a Councillor in 2012.  Maroondah’s formal signing of the declaration reaffirms this commitment.

The Maroondah Harmony Day Concert and Exhibition enabled the community to showcase the cultural diversity and welcoming atmosphere of Maroondah.  It was a pleasure to perform the role of Master of Ceremonies and to promote cultural understanding through the event.

 

GOV49 Communication Delivery and Social Media in the Public Sector – Day One

By | Advice, Government, Presentations, Resources | One Comment
Day One of GOV49 Communication Delivery and Social Media in the Public Sector

Day One of GOV49 Communication Delivery and Social Media in the Public Sector

GOV49 Communication Delivery and Social Media in the Public Sector is a two day conference held in Sydney.   The first day looked at how to plan social media campaigns, drawing on examples at a local and state and federal level.

I was asked to chair the conference and also provided a presentation exploring the use of social media as an advocacy tool.  The presentation drew upon my experiences in Maroondah City Council and my use of social media to advocate for the redevelopment of Ringwood Station into a safe and accessible transport interchange.

Maroondah City Council did not have social media policies at the time, despite its potential in providing direct communications from the council.  As a result I utilized my own social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter and Youtube to extend the reach of our advocacy campaign.

My Mayoral year in 2010 coincided with the State Election, providing an opportunity to advocate for the much needed replacement of Ringwood Station.  The station fails to meet accessibility standards and its outdated design leads to perceptions of poor safety and a lack of integration with key facilities within Ringwood.

As an outer eastern municipality, Maroondah’s advocacy needed to be noticed by the community, media, local MPs and the the political parties.  We needed to be able to reach the community to demonstrate widespread support for the redevelopment, the media to raise awareness, as well as local MPs and the political parties to generate results.

The campaign led to commitments from each of the major parties, including the redevelopment of Ringwood Station from 2014 by the current Government.

The advocacy campaign was successful due to the use of several communication tools. Social media supported the campaign by encouraging community participation and dialogue, by sharing experiences at Ringwood Station.  We were able to use this dialogue to encourage ongoing media interest and to gather signatures for a petition calling for action.

The advocacy campaign generated sufficient momentum to be supported by the local MPs and candidates, who in turn pushed their parties to provide commitments.  Ultimately the campaign was successful due to the community focus and the use of social media to generate ongoing interest.

BizMaroondah EmployAssist Forum

By | Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities | No Comments

The BizMaroondah EmployAssist Forum is a Council initiated event that invited businesses to learn about the forms of assistance that exist when recruiting new employees. The forum included several community organisations that are involved in assisting jobseekers, with the aim of supporting business growth.

Eastern Volunteers was invited to the forum as an organisation that provides volunteer recruitment. People are increasingly using volunteer roles as a way to develop skills that can assist in gaining potential employment. Research undertaken by BizMaroondah has indicated that employers look favourably upon potential employees that have volunteer experiences.

The forum successfully connected businesses with these community organisations and will hopefully lead to new employment opportunities within Maroondah.