What a day we all had! The turn out was way over our wildest expectations!
The community really showed their support for the work we are trying to do by attending in huge numbers.
We got 334 additional signatures for the petition, even though the bulk of the people who attended had already signed. We think that for every person who signed on the day there were at least two who had signed the petition earlier. That makes a conservative estimate of the attendance on the day to be over 1000 people overall! The NADRASCA petition got 179 signatures, only because we ran out of petition sheets.
We were pleased to welcome Federal member Mike Symon and ticket holder Michael Sukkar, State members Sean Leane & Neil Angus, Councillors – Bill Bennet, Raylene Carr, Mayor Andrew Munroe, Philip Daw and Andrew Davenport, who all came and mingled with the community, some even staying for quite a long time talking to people.
At the Springvale Road end The Whitehorse cyclists did a great job, turning up in numbers with their bright Yellow outfits and really kept the site buzzing.
At Strathdon Orchards, The Whitehorse Historical Society volunteers were there to answer any questions from the community on all things Historical about the area.
The Whitehorse Junior Soccer club put on a soccer clinic for the children in the Strathdon gardens. We also had Children's Art and Craft Activities there and once they got started the little ones did not want to stop. Mums and Dads had a difficult time getting them to move on to the next site.
The Nunawading Community Gardens, the first community garden set up in Australia, were open with people on hand to talk about all things gardening. They also had a display with photos of their early days.
At the George road end of the Bellbird Dell, students from the Vermont Secondary College put on a wonderful performance. Kicking off with a choir, followed by a crowd gathering spectacle their brass band. Next on were the students from Emmaus College, who started with a choir and followed it with two students on guitars. The Live music was amazing and thoroughly enjoyed by all present.
Also at the Dell there were guided walks - a bird walk and two nature walks. People who attended came back talking about how much they enjoyed them. The environmental marquee which was at the Dell had beautiful displays by two community indigenous nurseries, Greenlink & Bungalook about our flora and fauna. There were also displays by The Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society & Wurundjeri Walk, with volunteers keen to answer any questions. The Bellbird Dell Advisory Committee & Friends were there with a display on the Dell ecosystem and information about opportunities to volunteer to help maintain the park.
The Vermont South Lions rolled up their sleeves and cooked up a storm. It was a marathon effort, as the attendance was so much higher than expected. When they ran out of sausages, they just went out and got more and kept going till everyone was fed.
At NADRASCA Farm, there were tours of the facilities and people on hand to talk about the wonderful work they do with people with special needs and why the farm is so importance to meet the needs of the people they support.
Nethercote on Boronia road was open too, showcasing the equestrian activities that are held there and the courses that Box Hill TAFE offers in this area.
Whitehorse City Council has been very supportive with organizing this Open Day and we thank them. We are grateful for information boards that Docking Real Estate donated to promote the day and get the message out to the community.
All in all, this was truly a community event – 'of the community, by the community, for the community' to borrow the phrase from Lincoln and a great day was had by all.