This is a Statement in Support of Bondi Market’s Operator Ross Alexander from the Bondi Beach Public School P&C
Bondi Markets has been run by Ross Alexander of Blue Sky Markets for the last 23 years. It has been subject to a competitive tender review process by the Department of Education each time the license period expires. This is open to anyone wishing to put in a tender to run the markets. The criteria are clear and the tender evaluation committee (TEC) are drawn from the Department, the school and the parent body to ensure a diversity of input into the selection process and the guarantee of independence.
The successful tenderer is not simply the highest bidder. They must also be school and community minded, and this is reflected in the fact that a licence fee is just one of a number of criteria in the process. The committee is keenly aware that the needs of the local community are as important as the needs of the school.
It is no surprise to the P&C that Ross has been the successful tenderer each time the process is run. He has shown a willingness to contribute to the school well beyond his contractual requirements. We have a large grass area at the front of the school which is maintained year round by Ross entirely at his own expense, he has resurfaced flooded and muddy areas, he has built planter beds and our organic gardens, planted and irrigated trees, installed new landscaping, fixed broken pipes, contributed to infrastructure improvements, participated in the school’s environmental and sustainability education programs, worked with residents to overcome issues if they arise and looked, at every opportunity, to put the school’s interest and welfare at the forefront. None of these lie within his contractual obligations.
We very much subscribe to Ross’ view that the markets are a balance between commercial activity and community experience. Where public schools are concerned, an external partner organisation that has profit as its main motivator, or one that is self-serving, will not stand the test of time. Ross’ approach is both refreshing and encouraging as he takes the view that profits should be shared and reinvested in the schools that are the creative future of our communities. We have seen time and again that he lives up to this philosophy.
Both the school and the P&C have worked closely with the Bondi Markets for 23 years and we strongly endorse Ross as the operator of our markets. We would recommend him and his organisation to any school that wants a market run by a caring professional who looks beyond his own welfare and to the interests of all stakeholders.
Rob Keldoulis, President, Bondi Beach Public School P&C