Long-term Gladstone Park resident Frank Rivoli was recently named Hume’s resident of the month for July for his passionate campaigning on behalf of the community.
How long have you lived in Hume?
Soon after getting married in 1970 I moved into our current home in Gladstone Park
What do you like about where you live?
There are great amenities to enjoy walking and outdoor activities in nearby areas such as the Moonee Ponds Creek, large shopping malls and plenty of coffee and bakery areas. I am surrounded with great friends and neighbours, most of whom I have known for nearly 50 years.
What, if anything, would you like to change?
For too long our suburbs have lived in the shadow of polluting industries, airports, toxic landfills and hazardous toxic waste storage. Cultural change is long overdue. We need to change our mindset and create opportunities. I would like to see incorporation of the dramatic and performing arts into our town hall complex and put Broadmeadows on the social calendar. We can look to the examples of change and the community enrichment which has occurred at Williamstown, which was once an industrial backyard.
You’ve been involved in many community groups over the years, what encouraged you initially to volunteer your time for the betterment of the community?
I never set out and don’t view myself as an activist. But through personal experiences, I have found myself involved with significant community issues.
Can you tell us about some of the groups you have been involved with?
In the mid ’70s there were a number of children born with disabilities in and around where I live. At that time there were no facilities for them so I joined a number of residents who formed the Broad Insight Group, which was responsible for the establishment of the early childhood intervention centre in Broadmeadows. Soon after, I became involved with the Terminate Tullamarine Toxic Dump community group, which has long been advocating for the removal of highly toxic waste from the landfill site opposite the airport. On the announcement of the proposed third east/west runway at Melbourne Airport in 2012, I, along with many concerned residents, formed the Hume Residents Airport Action Group. We have concerns over future runway development and how aviation impact will affect current and future generations.
You were recently named Hume’s resident of the month – what does that mean to you?
I was very thankful. I have often witnessed other worthy residents receiving nominations for their contributions and I think it’s a great way to give recognition. Representing community is not done for monetary gain – it’s done because it is the right thing to do.
Where is your favourite local place?
I often take walks along Moonee Ponds Creek. The parklands area is fantastic and it gives me space and time for reflection.