Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Well another National Aborigines & Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week is over and while it has been successful in its goal of being a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions of Indigenous Australians in various fields, the question is what happened in the City of Canning?

Well, I am pleased to report that the City both donated funds towards the celebration of NAIDOC Week in Western Australia and made City facilities available for nil fee to the Doorum Aboriginal Corporation’s NAIDOC Formal Dinner Dance.

As well as supporting NAIDOC celebrations the City is also engaged in providing long term corporate support and governance support and training to the Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku

The Shire is responsible for the provision of mainstream local government and delivery of services to the ten communities and visitors within its boundaries.

The Shire encompasses an area of 159,948 square kilometres and is located approximately 1542km from Perth. The region itself is diverse in natural beauty from the magnificent Rawlinson ranges to the red sandy plains of the Gibson Desert.

Just thought you’d like to know.

Monday, 4 July 2011

New Lands

Well, what a week that was!  Action on all fronts, council meetings, my first visit to the Heath Ledger Theatre, a fishing trip to Rottnest (you should have seen the one that got away) and a trip to a ‘foreign’ land.

It’s the later I want to tell you about.  I and my fellow councillors and other people living in the City of Canning met up with and heard from a group of people from a very different culture. Wearing the clothes and jewellery that go with their culture and presenting their ideas on the future for our city and for Australia in general, these representatives spoke eloquently and with passion.

I guess you could call them new Australians, not because they were all born overseas, though some were, but because they all came from the country of Youth.

15, 16 and 17 year olds told us about what they liked about the city and what they saw as the needs for the future.   So the challenge now is to respond to their views, issues and vision.  It means being much more e-savvy, people from Youth see Facebook and Twitter as the key means of communications – and they expect this communications to be two way.

Well the City has Twitter but not Facebook, so it will be interesting to see how we go getting that up.  And me?  Well, I have my private Facebook but perhaps now is the time to get a public one, and now, perhaps even more exciting, is the time to go on Twitter.

Stay tuned for a couple of new addresses to appear on this blog, and let me know what you think of Twitter - whether you are from the land of Youth or not.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Poles and holes

For both man and dog going for a walk in my home suburb doesn’t get much better than this.

They’ve just started to install underground power in our local streets and as a result lots of metal light poles, all painted an attractive Edwardian red, have sprung up next to the old wooden poles (which should have been retired long ago).

As a consequence, every dog now has twice as many poles to sniff and … well, do what dogs do.  And even better, the electrical contractor has placed holes at regular intervals down the street.

There are coloured pipes at the bottom of some of the holes, none in others and no hole has the same combination of pipes and colours. 

Don’t ask me what the holes are for, in fact, it doesn’t matter.  The important thing is that they are there, and as any bloke knows, few things fascinate like a well dug hole.  Women will walk by them, but men will stop, observe and, if there’s company, discuss.

There are no rules about how many can stand around a hole, nor is there a time limit.  Its kind of like a barbecue, only minus the beer, conversations are short, amiable and involve lots of head nodding.

For a bloke in the ‘burbs, out with his dog (the one family member guaranteed to give unconditional affection), walking pole to pole without the need for snowboots, does it get any better than this?

Friday, 17 June 2011

We need to talk!

After almost a quarter of a century in the City of Canning it's clear that I live in a special place that's on its way to getting even better.  The best bit of course is the people, being involved in school, sport and community organisations has meant meeting a huge range of terrific and sometimes courageous characters.  Now, as a recently elected City of Canning councillor, the positive experiences continue.

So why a blog?
A very good friend once lent me a book titled 'Don't Mourn for Me, Get Organised!' Its message was clear, if we talk and share our stories we can accomplish things that a single individual never could. 

In my blog I will share my stories and experiences about Canning and welcome your comments.  Along the way we will visit the beauty of the Canning River Regional Park, consider the multiple future visions 'they' plan for the city (and how we can take charge), talk about neighbours and neighbourhoods and, hopefully, laugh about life in our own special patch of suburbia.

Other bits
If you ever want to talk to me in my role as a City of Canning councillor please flick me an email on cllrboylen@canning.wa.gov.au