Drivers doing battle over car spots.
Aggression is the flavour of the day in Eastlakes right now.
This new ‘status quo’ has cascaded from the car park into the shopping centre and back again.
I’ve seen supermarket staff abused and drivers cut off.
Anxious people hoarding at Woolworths.
And a ripple effect of anger spreading into the community.
And meanwhile, it’s business as usual – where possible – here at SECC.
We’ve been looking at a range of ways we can continue to deliver our community services.
We are particularly mindful of the most vulnerable.
Such as our elderly.
But providing adequate support to them has been near-impossible.
Staff providing our one-to-one shopping service have faced an incredible challenge.
A task which would have taken an hour is now taking double that.
Staff have needed to move across many locations, seeking to prevent disappointment.
They have been doing everything possible to avoid adding fear.
Seniors are already feeling vulnerable in so many cases.
And our staff have worked so hard to source accessible locations for clients.
But we are failing, and failure hurts.
For many we represent friends and family.
And when you care for someone you will always go the extra mile.
But this week, staff have returned to the office dejected and disappointed.
I can confirm grown men do cry.
With the bushfires this year, everyone was quick to support the communities in need.
People were patting themselves on the back and saying what a caring nation we are.
Since COVID-19 became a public health issue, it seems such sentiments have disappeared.
We are no longer seeing community.
Only people embracing an ‘us versus them’ mentality.
Last week we came together for some team training.
We watched an amazing advertisement from a Danish cable TV company.
I’m sharing this with you today to remind you how connected we actually are.
I hope it helps reawaken our sense of community in Eastlakes and beyond.