Harik, one of our founding members, has decided it is time for her to move on from EM&U. She will remain an active community member advocating for quality in aged care. She is also now mostly involved with a Dystonia Support Group (Neurological Movement Disorder) and a variety of organisations or health networks, providing input with the aim of improving the quality of care, accessibility of services and ensuring appropriate, accurate and accessible health information is provided to consumers or community members.
Harik introduced herself to us during the Save Monash and Elizabeth Gardens campaigns and she was soon a strong advocate for the group. Her personal and volunteer experience in both aged care and local government helped the group throughout the campaign.
As a founding member of the EM&U group Harik became the primary web site designer and posted 62 times. She worked with others to give the group a profile in the local community and, importantly, to give community members a voice.
Since the Save Monash and Elizabeth Gardens dispute there have been changes in the way Monash Council approaches the community and incorporates their feedback. The introduction of Listening Posts, and more recently streaming of Council meetings are moves toward collaboration and empowerment.
An issue which directly affected Harik was the Local Law restriction on asking questions in Public Question Time. Monash Council seems to stand alone in only allowing ratepayers or residents to ask questions. Harik was a volunteer in Monash and had been given an award for her work. As she lived outside the municipality she could not ask a question in ‘Public’ Question Time. This is an issue EM&U would like to see resolved: the community which makes Monash what it is extends beyond ratepayers and residents to volunteers, workers and visitors to the area. As in other municipalities, and as implied by the Local Government Act, everyone should have the right to ask a question.
As Harik moves on to other challenges she can be sure she has been a force in helping bring about change in Monash. She helped to give aged care residents dignity and empowerment during the aged care dispute. She helped build Empowering Monash & YOU to give the people in Monash a voice and support in having their say in local government.
All the best Harik. Don’t go away! We want to hear about your achievements. Remember there is space here on EM&U for you if you find yourself in Monash again!