Cr Katarina Steele

Mrs Katarina Steele

June 2020

Hello to every reader of the MCN. It is such a great relief to have the frightening March-April COVID-19 time behind us without big losses in lives. We shouldn't be complacent, but evidently the big pressure has gone and we are more relaxed. With my own finances helped a lot by the ‘JobKeeper’ contribution from the Government, I hope those of you who need it have received financial support too. The Council is going to help those in need through tax; the details are to be finalised very soon.

Those special weeks of the last two months will stay in my memory not only because of the constant feeling of alert, the tiring shopping trips in a mask, endless cleaning-disinfection of everything I touched when outside of our home, evenings watching terrifying news bulletins on television, checking on my family in Europe...

I will certainly remember the early letter in our letterbox from an unknown lady in our street offering help with shopping, the kind neighbours willing to give us toilet paper in case we didn't succeed in chasing it when it disappeared from the shelves, or giving us news about the availability of financial help from the State or Federal Government, the evening phone call from Mitcham's Mayor, checking if everything is okay, the many emails and calls from close and far, the council's Zoom meetings while comfortably sitting in my own lounge.

I know it's not over yet. They say that the real character of people is shown in hard times, in crisis. I hope you agree with me that this community and this country passed the test and with this experience it is not so hard to look to the future.

Talking about the future, I would like to advise you that we now have a ‘Mitcham Funding Finder’ page on the Council's website. The City of Mitcham has partnered with GrantGuru to create the custom search tool which hand picks grants and funding opportunities, specifically for businesses and community groups in the Mitcham Council region. It’s an easy-to-use tool that offers a one-stop funding search engine that represents all grants, Government or non-Government and also the City of Mitcham’s grants and initiatives including: Public Arts Grants, Community Development Grants, Special Community Events and more. Users can also register to receive alerts about funding programs relevant to them as they become available, allowing businesses and community groups an opportunity to plan well-prepared funding applications.

When the virus restrictions are lifted, I invite you to visit with your children the Bailey Reserve Playground, which was upgraded with the help of a Fund My Neighbourhood grant, and which has now a huge assortment of play equipment for all ages. This playground has even a special swing for kids with disabilities, the only one in all of Mitcham. I am sure no-one is going to be bored in such a place.

Please keep the social distancing measures while they are still necessary. May we all stay healthy.