Shell road a highlight

Councillor Jan Farrell. 153284

I WAS obviously disappointed when council was dismissed. There were several projects and programs that I had hoped to deliver over the coming year that may now not come to fruition. I had already announced my intention to stand down at the council elections later this year and had been working on an exit strategy. That included coaching my replacement, a wonderful local woman who will make an amazing councillor in the future.
There were many highlights during my tenure, especially around the new facilities at Shell Road. Building the pool and moving the football club to Shell Road had been a focus around Ocean Grove long before my family moved here in 1990. It was fantastic to be able to deliver both projects.
On Friday night I was thrilled to see so many families on Shell Road, using the facilities. Over 250 little footballers and their families engaging in Auskick, with junior netball training and girls soccer games all running at the same time. I’m proud to say that Shell Road now boasts a pool, skate park, integrated children’s centre, two soccer pitches, cricket nets, a new neighbourhood centre, four netball courts, new toilets, a playground and the best sporting pavilion that council has ever delivered. Around $30 million of infrastructure, which was badly needed by this growing community. And all under my watch.
As a councillor, I worked alongside so many clever and committed people. Two bear special mention, both women. Kay Rundle, the Council’s CEO when I was first elected, was a standout. In my view council never recovered from her departure.
And Cr Kylie Fisher, a mighty warrior for the northern suburbs. Her passion and commitment to changing the lives and opportunities for the people that she represented was inspiring. Her support and advocacy for people with disability delivered the National Disability Insurance Scheme to Geelong. Thankfully she will continue to be an advocate for those with disability.
People talk about leaving a legacy. Mine will be the supported accommodation in Draper Street for local young adults with disability. It will keep some of the most vulnerable people in our community connected to their families and friends in Ocean Grove, where they belong. It’s a project that will truly change lives.
It was a joy and a privilege to represent Ocean Grove for almost 12 years. I have met many residents along my journey, some achieving wonderful things without any fanfare or accolades. Our community is blessed to have so many local heroes.
I plan to continue my advocacy work to support young people, women and the LGBTI community in particular, both locally and at state level. I remain a board member at the Youth Affairs Council Victoria, YouthLaw, Barwon Adolescent TaskForce and Courthouse Youth Arts. And I will remain an activist in the marriage equality debate until equal rights are afforded to all, hopefully without an expensive and divisive plebiscite.
In closing, I thank the Ocean Grove community for their confidence and support. It has been a mighty ride and I wish you well.
– Councillor Jan Farrell