50 Gifts in 50 Hours

Published on 03 October 2017

We’re turning 50 and to celebrate we’re giving back to the community because without our locals, we wouldn't be what we are today. Keep checking back from 9am Monday 30 October — Friday 2 November to see 50 loving members of our community be surprised and delighted with gifts.

Gift 1 | Josh, Ringwood North

Jen nominated her son Josh from Ringwood North. Despite being diagnosed with Kabuki Syndrome, Josh’s positivity is infectious, and his mum wanted to put a smile on his face. To celebrate his superhero spirit, Josh was gifted a private screening of Thor Ragnarok at Hoyts.

Gift 2 | Janet, Ringwood East

Janet was nominated by her friend Julie. Janet is a minister at the Church of Christ and spends her time volunteering within the community and is always there to lend a hand. Janet was gifted an Endota Spa voucher.

Gift 2 | Janet

Gift 3 | Sharon, Croydon

Sharon Pickering volunteers at Dindi Dog Rescue, a not-for-profit group run by volunteers who are dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of Victorian dogs in need. Sharon was gifted electronics for their upcoming Dindi Dog Rescue raffle.

Gift 4 | Meryl, Croydon

Samone nominated Meryl as a fellow foster carer through Anglicare. Meryl was gifted a $1,500 Eastland voucher to provide clothing and school supplies for foster children in need.

Gift 4 | Meryl

Gift 5 | Ian, Croydon

Ian was nominated by his wife Nina. Ian was recently diagnosed with an auto immune disease and despite these challenges he has been positive through his journey. Ian was gifted a $1,500 Country Road voucher.

Gift 6 | David and Ruth, Croydon

David and Ruth were nominated by their friend Rosalind who wanted to give them both a reason to smile. David and Ruth were gifted a $1,500 Woolworths voucher.

Gift 7 | BJ Quilters & Bag Ladies

BJ Quilters & Bag Ladies were nominated by Jennie. They are a voluntary group of sewing ladies who make bags and quilts for the Peter McCallum Cancer hospital. The group was gifted much needed sewing supplies to continue their great work.

Gift 8 | Sharon and Demelza, Ringwood East

Sharon and Demelza were nominated by their neighbour Lou. Sharon and Demelza have been primary carers for their adult brothers and continue to put their lives second to those around them. Sharon and Demelza were gifted Endota Spa and 400 Gradi vouchers.

Gift 8 | Sharon and Demelza

Gift 9 | Elaine, Ringwood East

Elaine was nominated by her granddaughter-in-law Jodie. Elaine was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, and Jodie wanted to gift her a present to put a smile on her face. Elaine was gifted an iPad Pro.

Gift 9 | Elaine

Gift 10 | Reginald, Croydon

Blair nominated his father Reginald. Since his wife’s passing, Reginald continued to visit Donwood Nursing Home to provide the residents with chocolate. Reginald was gifted chocolates for the residents and some treats for his prized dog Buddy.

Gift 11 | Rebecca, Bayswater North

Rebecca has been volunteering in many different way across the Maroondah community and was nominated by her proud Mum Judy. Rebecca was gifted a $1000 Kathmandu voucher to help towards her upcoming volunteer trip to Sri Lanka.  

Gift 12 | Joan, Heathmont

Steven nominated his grandmother Joan who is an avid cook and uses her skills to assist various community groups across Maroondah. Joan was gifted cooking supplies to help with her work. 

Gift 13 | Sarah, Ringwood

Leanne nominated her work collegue Sarah, who's caring for her younger sister, studying and working to make ends meet. Sarah was gifted a Woolworths voucher, and a hot air balloon ride.

Gift 13 | Sarah

Gift 14 | Edmund, Croydon

Shahmini nominated her wonderfully supportive husband Edmund who's been there for her through some serious health issues. Edmond has been using Shahmini's very old phone, so was gifted a new Samsung Galaxy.

Gift 15 | Jess, Croydon

Jess was nominated by her friend Fleur for being an amazing mother, completely dedicating her life to her three girls, two of which have serious health issues. Jess was gifted a $1800 Flight Centre voucher to enjoy a holiday with her family.

Gift 16 | Peter, Ringwood

Lara nominated Peter, who attends the community dinner at the Good Shepherd Church, Ringwood, for people that need a bit of a helping hand. Peter was gifted an iPad pro, something he would never buy for himself.

"He chats to all comers, giving them some much needed companionship and a sense of community."
Lara, Peter's friend

Gift 17 | Danielle, Croydon North

Freda nominated her friend Danielle. Danielle volunteers with a rescue group, trying to save the world one doggo at a time, as she says! Since 2013, she has run a Christmas Giving Tree collecting gifts to support the Safe Futures Foundation, a local organisation supporting women and children who have suffered domestic violence. Danielle was gifted a Camilla voucher.

Gift 17 | Danielle

Gift 18 | Dylan, Croydon

Lisa nominated her son Dylan, who's had a hard time recently. Dylan was gifted a $1800 Flight Centre voucher so he can go to Western Australia next year.

Gift 19 | Annette, Croydon

Bronwyn nominated her friend Annette who's on a disability pension but is always there to support her family and friends. Annette was gifted a dining voucher for Cellar Door.

Gift 20 | Stroke a Chord Choir, East Ringwood

The Stroke a Chord Choir was nominated for the supportive environment they provide for people with aphasia, who have trouble speaking but can sing, and sharing fun times with fellow stroke survivors and their carers. The choir members were gifted with new uniforms and a Woolworths voucher for their weekly afternoon teas.

Gift 21 | Naomi, Ringwood

Naomi is a hardworking single mum of 3 boys and her friend Michelle wanted to see her have a break. As a keen cyclist, Michelle was gifted a $1500 Cycles Galleria voucher.

Gift 22 | Debbie, Croydon

Suzanne nominated her loyal friend and local children's crossing supervisor, Debbie. Debbie has had some tough times over the years, and Suzanne wanted to see her make some time for herself. Suzanne was gifted an Endota Spa voucher.

Gift 22 | Debbie

Gift 23 | Krystal, Croydon

Krystal was nominated by her friend Leah for all her hard work as a mental health advocate and a caring mum. Krystal was gifted a $700 Endota Spa voucher.

Gift 24 | Emily, Warranwood

Labrini nominated her neighbour and friend Emily. Emily has struggled with a medical condition that has significantly affected her life so far. Emily was gifted a Mimco bag, purse and bracelets.

Gift 25 | Maria, Ringwood North

Rosemarie nominated her sister Maria who is the primary carer to her 15 year old son Noah. Noah requires 24 hour care, and Maria has dedicated her life to his. Maria was gifted a $700 Endota Spa voucher.

Gift 26 | Leesa, Warranwood

Nadia nominated her friend Leesa from Warranwood. Leesa's positivity is infectious, but she never makes time for herself with all her time and energy being poured into her son, Harrison. Leesa was gifted a $600 dining voucher for Cellar Door.

Gift 27 | Alex, Ringwood

Kamil nominated his partner Alex, who's had a rough few years. Alex was gifted a Samsung Galaxy phone.

Gift 28 | Aaron, Heathmont

Jo nominated her son's karate teacher Aaron. Aaron trains their son Elijah several hours a week in his own time and is committed to helping Elijah becoming the best he can be. Aaron believes in young people developing skills in leadership and the qualities of persistence, respect, responsibility and humility. Aaron was gifted a Sonos speaker.

Gift 29 | Cathy, Bayswater North

Kristen nominated her neighbour Cathy who was gifted an iPad.

"She would do anything to help other people so I truly believe she deserves something for her."
Kristen, Cathy's neighbour

Gift 30 | Mel, Croydon South

Olivia nominated Mel from Croydon South. Mel set up and runs the ASD dinners for teens and adults in the community who are on the Autism Spectrum. Mel was gifted a $600 voucher for Cellar Door dining at Eastland.

Gift 30 | Mel

Gift 31 | Angela, Croydon South

Marissa nominated her mother-in-law Angela as she runs a knitting charity called Chicks with Sticks. They have knitted thousands of blankets, mittens and beanies which they distribute to the Maroondah homeless. Angela was gifted knitting suppliers and a Cellar Door voucher to enjoy.

Gift 32 | John, Croydon

Magnolia nominated John, for who she is his support worker. She wanted to help put a smile on his with a nice bottle of wine, and something to assist the upkeep of his home. John was gifted a bottle of wine and a Dyson vacuum cleaner.

Gift 33 | Heather, Vermont

Fergus nominated his aunty Heather who's had a very unfortunate few years. Heather was gifted an Endota voucher to the value of $700.

 She is selfless and inspiring.
Fergus, Heather's nephew

Gift 34 | Darryn, Croydon

Chloe nominated her Dad, Darryn from Croydon who she wanted to give a reason to smile. Darryn was gifted a $1000 Rebel voucher.

Gift 35 | Patrick, Ringwood North

Larissa nominated her son Patrick, who has Aspergers. Patrick was gifted a Sony Playstation and virtual reality set.

Gift 36 | Sonja, Ringwood North

Stef nominated her mum Sonja for being her rock and assisting her in being a foster parent. Together they've cared for 15 children in the 3 years they've been accredited. Sonja was gifted an Endota spa voucher.

Gift 37 | Michael, Bayswater North

Diana of Bayswater North nominated her husband Michael who's been a Paramedic for 20 years and most recently was awarded an Ambulance Service Medal (ASM) for his tireless and integral work with Black Saturday. Michael was gifted a TAG Heuer watch.

Gift 38 | Suzanne, Croydon

Jo nominated her mum Suzanne. Suzanne was gifted a care pack including an iPad mini, speaker, Riot Art and Harris Scarfe vouchers.

Suzanne is a selfless person and a single mum who always put us four kids first.
Jo, Suzanne's daughter 

Gift 39 | Maroondah Community Assist, Ringwood

Keith nominated Maroondah Community Assist as they're celebrating 50 years of supporting the local community. They help people in crisis providing support, information, referral and practical assistance to residents within the Maroondah Shire. Maroondah Community Assist were gifted $2000 Woolworths vouchers to contribute to their Christmas hampers.

Gift 40 | Beth, Croydon Hills

Kate nominated her friend Beth, who is a single mum with three boys. Beth was gifted an Endota spa voucher.

Gift 41 | Arrabri Kindergarten, Bayswater North

As a mother with two children who attend, Emily nominated Arrabri Kindergarten in Bayswater North. Arrabri Kindergarten were gifted a toy package complete with puzzles, books and games to update their outdated resources.

Gift 42 | Peta, Croydon

Peta was nominated by her daughter Jamie after having a tough few years. Peta was gifted a styling session and $1000 voucher to spend at Eastland.

"Mum is the most generous lady you could meet."
Jamie, Peta's  daughter

Gift 43 | Lisa, Bayswater

Lisa from Bayswater was nominated by two close friends to assist starting the next chapter of her life. Lisa was gifted a Sony TV.

Gift 43 | Lisa

Gift 44 | Judy, Croydon

Judy from Croydon was nominated by her dear friend Anne. Judy was gifted a $1500 flight centre voucher.

"She does so much for every one else and hardly has anytime for herself."
Anne, Judy's friend

Gift 45 | Phillip, Croydon

Phillip from Croydon was nominated by his wife Julie for being a fantastic husband and father. Phillip has been suffering from Multiple Sclerosis for 20 years and volunteers weekly at an Acquired Brain Injury art class. He was gifted art supplies to assist his volunteer work, and a Dell laptop for himself.

Gift 46 | Jill, Ringwood

Jill from Ringwood was nominated by her husband Carey. Facing multiple bouts of cancer without complaint, Carey wanted to see his brave wife of 28 years receive something special. Jill was gifted a styling session and $1000 voucher to spend at Eastland.

Gift 47 | Daniel, Vermont

Amanda from Vermont nominated her fiance Daniel who's been affected by two brain tumours. They're set to get married later this year and were gifted $2000 to a Great Ocean Road getaway for their honeymoon.

Gift 48 | Ringwood Community Church, Ringwood

Ringwood Community Church were nominated by Dael for support with their monthly dinners for the residents in the government housing apartments on Larissa Ave in Ringwood. Ringwood Community Church were gifted $1500 worth of Woolworths vouchers.

Gift 49 | Different Journeys social group, Croydon

Different Journeys social group were nominated by Hannah in Croydon for the wonderful support and access they give to teens and their carers living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Different Journeys were gifted two iPads to utilise at their social nights to enhance participation.

Gift 49 | Different Journey's social group

Gift 50 | Lea, Croydon South

Lea is a community volunteer from Croydon South and was nominated by her mum Sabrina to receive a Macbook Pro to assist her graphic design studies.

"I am so proud of all she is doing."
Sabrina, Lea's Mum

A Vital Piece of the Community, 50 Years in the Making

In 1967, Eastland Shopping Centre was just opening its doors on a Myer department store and 42 speciality stores. What a difference half a century makes. The centre now boasts over 350 stores, a 12-screen cinema, town square, Beauty Garden – complete with floral ceiling – and now, its very own hotel. 

But state of the art facilities and a wealth of choice aren’t the only secrets to the Centre’s enduring success. Just as it was when it opened 50 years ago, Eastland is a meeting place, catering to local shoppers and socialisers alike. Year-round events and activities for children and families, a place to meet and spend time regardless of weather, access to all the necessities without having to brave traffic into the city – this is what a community hub is made of. 

Since the beginning, the Centre has been redeveloped to cater to the needs of the growing community. It had more than doubled in size by 1995. And by 2015 had almost doubled again with the addition of the Town Square.

Eastland can also claim many firsts. It was the first shopping centre to be built in an existing retail precinct, placing it at the heart of the local community from the outset. It was also the first regional centre to be built near a train station, and the first to be fully enclosed and air conditioned so that it can be enjoyed all year – and for many the perfect place to escape the Australian summer for the day.

To mark this milestone, Eastland is taking a page out of the history book – celebrating its place in the community by giving back to the people who make it. Nominations for the exciting 50 Gifts in 50 Hours giveaway have now closed. Between October 30 and November 3, a group of deserving locals nominated by their friends, families and neighbours will receive a gift that celebrates their place in our community. Stay tuned to find out who.

In the meantime, here’s a little trivia from 1967 for you. These are the people, places and things we share our birth year with, and are celebrating 50 years in 2017:

  • 20 June – Nicole Kidman
  • 5 October – Guy Pearce
  • 26 October – Keith Urban
  • 1 November – Tina Arena
  • The humble post code is introduced to the Australian postal system
  • The brand new Australian five dollar note enters circulation
  • La Trobe University opens its doors
  • Australia has its first colour television broadcast
  • John Farnham has his first number 1 hit — “Sadie (the Cleaning Lady)”