Hallmarks of hope for 2023

Words by Vikki Ward, State Member for Eltham

A new year means lots of new opportunities and carries with it a sense of excitement of what is to come.

In the lunar calendar, 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit (water) – symbols of peace, kindness, prosperity and longevity. In this tradition, it is predicted 2023 will be a year of hope. I won’t be the Lone Ranger in looking forward to such a year with enthusiasm!

At a state level, this year we look with optimism at the introduction of free kinder in our community and the wonderful opportunity this offers to local families and our littlest learners. It is also the year where we can look at how the election commitments of additional funding for Eltham Woods Preschool and Research Preschool can take shape.

Free TAFE will also be expanded this year, offering hope for the many who want to achieve learning and training opportunities including re-skilling. Getting us home earlier is also something to look forward to with the completion of the Fitzsimons Lane upgrade and Hurstbridge line duplication projects both soon to be completed. 

And for those needing health care, work on our new community hospital will continue throughout 2023.

Another cause for hope is the important work in Victoria on Treaty and the conversation around the Voice to Parliament, which will occur at a national level. Addressing climate change remains vital, and an important part we play in doing this as Victorians will be bringing back the State Electricity Commission (SEC) with a focus on clean, renewable energy.

Work also will continue regarding the implementation of the recommendations from the Mental Health Commission, rebuilding the system, and helping as many Victorians as possible receive the support they need.

Locally, we are so lucky to have many incredible community-led organisations that give and offer so much hope. This includes Greenhills Neighbourhood House, Eltham Living and Learning Centre, Diamond Valley Community Support and groups like Welcome to Eltham. Knowing how much kindness is in our community is something worth remembering and celebrating.

Eltham is a special place – a place with a strong sense of belonging and care for our neighbours, community and environment. Like you, I love that it’s my home and I am humbled to again represent our community for another four years.

If you need any help with any State Government issue, please get in touch: [email protected] , call 9439 1500 or stop by the office for a chat.

This article was supplied in response to Copperline’s request to our sitting member, now that the State election is settled.  (A corresponding invitation was extended to our local Federal Member for JagaJaga, and the response was published in the November 2022 edition of CopperLine).