Thank you to Bayswater Collective and The Morley Momentum for hosting last night’s candidate forum at the Morley Noranda Recreation Club. Opening speech times went really fast and I had to do some on the fly cuts. Here is my full introduction speech for those that are interested 😊
I’d like to begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet today, the Whadjuk people of the Noongar nation and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging. My name is Catherine Ehrhardt and I am Maylands born and raised, continuing to live there with my husband and 3 young children. My mother’s parents arrived in Australia as immigrants from Italy in the 1930s. They met in Australia and moved to Maylands in 1940. My father was from Germany and arrived as an immigrant in the late 1960’s. I also married an immigrant. Until 2016 I ran a small business in Maylands, choosing to close in order to dedicate to our community full time. I work hard to create a vibrant community in Maylands. I started the not for profit group, Local Arts and Community Events Inc. (LACE) that ran the Maylands Markets and many other events around Maylands. I am also the longest serving volunteer co-ordinator of Maylands Street Festival (from 2008 with the Maylands Business Association as well as with Local Arts & Community Events Inc. who now run the event). I am also a founding member of the Maylands Historical and Peninsula Association (1994) and the Maylands Lions Club (2012). I’m a member of the Maylands Residents and Ratepayers Association, Creative Maylands, Arena Arts and (until recently) the Maylands Business Association. And last year I started a community garden in the Maylands town centre, known as the Roxy Lane Community Garden. I am an active supporter of South Ward environmental preservation groups. When I was first elected this consisted of just the Friends of Maylands Samphires and Baigup Wetlands Interest Group. With my assistance and support we have now added the Friends of Maylands Lakes, Berringa Park Friends Group and Bardon Park Friends Group. When my arthritis is not acting up I am actively on the ground planting and weeding with my community. And I always try to go to every working day with my now famous batch of brownies to help feed the people that put in the time and effort to volunteer with our groups. I spend time talking with the convenors of the local groups to see how I can best support them, from writing letters to local MPs, to helping promote the groups’ events and activities.
I am proud of my role in initiating the Place Management Program, resulting in the activation and beautification of Bayswater, Maylands, Morley and Noranda Town Centres. The Place Management program also resulted in the creation and support of our fantastic town team groups The Baysie Rollers, Creative Maylands, The Morley Momentum, and Noranda Vibes. I was elected on a platform of change. And this initiative has resulted in one of the biggest changes to our District. Town Centres and local businesses play an important role in bringing people together, providing a social and community focal point for people of all ages. I have been working with our community, our businesses and the City with this approach and setting out a positive vision for the future of our town centres and the interventions needed to achieve this. I also initiated the district wide Age Friendly Strategy, which has developed the Age Friendly Ambassador program and drawn City focus to planning adequate and accessible paths, bus stops and road crossings. During this term I have completed a certificate in Conservation and Land Management, and the Diploma of Local Government.
In short, I am passionate about building community, supporting local business and our environment. It has been a privilege to serve as your South Ward Council representative since 2015, and I am seeking your support to re-elect me in the upcoming Council Elections.
If re-elected, I commit to: • Progressing the activation of the Maylands Brickworks for community use and benefit. • Developing well-designed places that are interconnected, cycle friendly, and walkable. • Driving further improvements in our town centres, that supports businesses and community connection. • Prioritising high quality urban design, heritage protection and public art. • Protecting our environment for current and future generations. • Continuing to engage local people in key decisions that affect them.
With your support, I will continue to work hard for the best possible future for our whole community.
Photo: Thanks to The Morley Momentum for the photo.