2021 – what a year

Deputy Mayor Cr Johanna Skelton. Picture: ON FILE.

By Cr Johanna Skelton

Season’s Greetings, as we put the bow on 2021.

In many ways 2021 has continued the lessons of 2020. Those who had the capacity and support to be flexible to the ongoing changes have enjoyed many aspects of this time, but for others it has highlighted existing hardships or created new ones.

As we respond to the emotional, environmental, and personal hardships the massive storm and Covid disease and its restrictions have brought to the Yarra Ranges region, we will continue to need all levels of Government as well as people from all parts of our community committing to support each other.

Three things I am excited about for 2022 are;

• Council and Community will be coming together to design a Biodiversity Strategy that will identify and direct positive environmental and social outcomes on Crown (68 per cent), Private (30 per cent) and Council (2 per cent) managed land.

• Together we can also continue to respond to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report right here at home to make our future safer for all. Council will be continuing to refer to the Liveable Climate Plan to guide its action. I expect all energy Council uses to come from renewable sources by the end of 2022.

• The new Regional Community Recovery Committees will identify and assist community led initiatives in responding to Covid-19 and storm impacts.

On the home front for me, my family hosted Christmas for the first time, as well as moved house and we are getting used to our new puppy. I’m grateful that we have an ‘average’ fire risk this season so I (and our Emergency workers) can enjoy more time at home with loved ones.

I know that 2022 will give us all more opportunities to bring peace and kindness to others.

The leaves and flowers

are all the ideas



that will come

out of respectful relationships…

which will endure

for as long as the tree endures

Kwaymullina, Ambelin. ‘Living on Stolen Land’. Broome: Magabala Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781925936247.