Yarra News - February/March 2017

Mayor’s message

Mayor Amanda StoneHappy New Year everyone. What a wonderfully busy year it has been already and the next few months will be just as exciting.

During January we welcomed the Year of the Rooster with the Victoria Street Lunar Festival and hosted our annual Australia Day Awards. We also hosted a fundraising event for a marker commemorating the Stolen Generations and as you can read below, you have the opportunity to support this important project.

In the coming months, we’ll be celebrating the official opening of Bargoonga Nganjin, our new library and community hub in North Fitzroy. We’ll also be marking International Women’s Day and celebrating our valued mix of social and cultural backgrounds during Cultural Diversity Week. I hope you’ll take the opportunity to celebrate.

We may live in the inner suburbs, but Yarra residents are still passionate about gardening on public and private land, whether through local food production, cultivating plants for habitat or simply making the most of the big beautiful shade trees in our parks, gardens and streets.

Budding gardeners are encouraged to get their hands dirty by attending our Community Growing Spaces Workshop or Summer Planting Workshop for Children.

In this issue you can also read about our forthcoming Urban Forest Strategy, which will increase the tree canopy in Yarra, cooling the city during heatwaves.

Sadly, a passionate and dynamic advocate for urban gardening, and former Citizen of the Year, Glenda Lindsay, died in January this year. Glenda was a force behind the development of urban agriculture in Yarra and we pay tribute to her legacy whilst expressing sympathy to her family and wide community network.

As we begin the new year, I urge you to get involved in Council activities and to make your voice heard.

Our Your Say Yarra section below has tips on sharing your ideas and priorities to help us deliver the best outcomes for the whole community.

Cr Amanda Stone



Doing it for the kids

Lachlan MosleyYarra’s 2017 Citizen of the Year Lachlan Mosley is helping young people stay active, have fun and socialise.

The Richmond father of seven led the charge to introduce girls’ teams to the Richmond Junior Football Club. He hoped there would be enough interest to field two girls’ teams in 2016, but by the end of the season this doubled to four teams.

Lachlan also developed a relationship with the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS) based in Richmond. This resulted in boys and girls from MITS joining teams at the club and forming friendships with local kids.

He then turned his attention to cricket, working with the Richmond Union Cricket Club to establish two girls’ teams for the 2016/17 season.

Away from the sporting arena, Lachlan worked with Scouts Victoria to establish the Richmond Scout Group, which already has more than 60 members.

To learn more about Council’s awards program, visit our Australia Day Awards page or contact Council at info@yarracity.vic.gov.au or on 95205 5555.

Congratulations to Yarra’s other award winners

Young Citizen of the Year - Riyadh Aden helped connect and support young people through his involvement with local sporting programs.

Community Service of the Year Award - Jeff Lowinger and Sally Clarke helped Living Longer Living Stronger (an exercise program for over 50s) become one of Yarra Leisure’s most successful initiatives.

Community Event of the Year - The Gertrude Street Projection Festival inspired 40,000 people with artistic images projected onto local buildings, pavements and trees.



Pump up the volume: new voices hit the airwaves

Pan Afrikan Poets CafeThe Pan Afrikan Poets Café is bringing local stories to a wider audience with a little help from Council’s community grants program.

The Pan Afrikan Poets Café received $7,000 from Council to help it celebrate Yarra’s emerging African and Aboriginal artists.

The group is excited to be hosting a series of creative workshops in 2017, led by established artists and industry professionals.

A respected storyteller, DJ and social entrepreneur, Zai Zander (Sista Zai) founded the growing program. She says the Pan Afrikan Poets Café caters to “young and upcoming poets looking for a safe space to tell their stories.”

Ten promising artists will be mentored through workshops at Yarra’s leading independent radio station 3CR. These sessions will prepare the poets for a special three-hour live broadcast – featuring cutting edge poetry, spoken word and book readings.

The broadcast event will be held in celebration of Africa Day on Thursday 25 May. Mark your calendars to hear from Yarra’s most promising wordsmiths.

For more information, visit Council’s Community Grants page or contact us at yarragrants@yarracity.vic.gov.au or on 9205 5555.



Branching out: managing Yarra’s urban forest

Urban Forest StrategyWe see trees everywhere, but may never stop to think about the work they do to make our city a cooler and more pleasant place to live.

Trees in our streets, parks and backyards make up Yarra’s urban forest. They not only add beauty and character to our open spaces, but also play an important role in helping our city to stay cool in hot weather.

Trees are particularly valuable in inner-city areas like Yarra, where concrete and asphalt can retain heat and make the city hotter than other places.

From Monday 6 February, we’re talking to our community about trees to help develop a vision for Yarra’s first Urban Forest Strategy.

The strategy will help us plan and manage trees in our streets and parks so they can continue to help us keep cool when the mercury rises.

We want to talk to our community about what they value and enjoy about trees, as well as anything they may find concerning about trees.

Visit Your Say Yarra to share your views and tell us about your favourite trees. Also, look out for our team who will be out and about at community events throughout February to chat to you in person.



Celebrating our inspirational women

International Women's DayYarra is celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) with a week of events and activities showcasing the achievements of women.

Highlights include:

  • Free Inspirational Women of Yarra Award Community Morning Tea on Wednesday 8 March, from 10.30am–11.30am at Richmond Town Hall.
  • Women’s Business Luncheon (featuring Seven Women founder Stephanie Woollard) on Wednesday 8 March, from 12.00pm–2.30pm at the Amora Riverwalk Hotel in Richmond. Visit our Eventbrite page to purchase tickets.

For a more detailed listing of events, visit our International Women’s Day page or contact Council at info@yarracity.vic.gov.au or on 95205 5555.



Parking made easier

PayStayWith demand for parking in Yarra far outstripping supply, Council is exploring new ways to make paid parking fairer and easier for everyone.

Available now, the PayStay app for your smartphone is the new and improved way to pay for parking in Yarra.

Use PayStay to pay only for the time you spend in the parking bay – no more paying for a full hour if you leave after 20 minutes. Just remember to log off when you leave.

PayStay is also used in the neighbouring Melbourne City Council, so you won’t have to switch between apps as you move between the two areas.

Council is progressively phasing out its support of the ‘Pay by Phone’ app and cannot accept payments via this method for parking bays featuring PayStay signage.

You can set up an account by registering at the PayStay website or by downloading the free app for Apple or Android devices.

To find out more, visit our Paying For Parking page or contact Council at info@yarracity.vic.gov.au or on 9205 5555.



Faces of Yarra: portraits of a living city

Faces of Yarra - Joboy MorganBusker and community leader Joboy Morgan loves the diversity of Smith Street, believing that “everyone has a story to tell.”

Fitzroy is an important meeting place for Aboriginal people, and Joboy has devoted his life to helping his community grow and thrive.

Follow @CityOfYarra on Instagram for more on Joboy Morgan and our other forthcoming #FacesOfYarra.





Support the Stolen Generation Marker

Work is progressing on the creation of a Stolen Generations Marker for Fitzroy and we’re asking for your help to bring this historic project to life.

We’re collaborating with Aboriginal community leaders, organisations and artists to develop the permanent outdoor artwork and landscaped garden, which is intended to honour the struggles and resilience of the Stolen Generations and their families.

The marker and garden will be located in Fitzroy, a place that has long held special significance for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Many Aboriginal people came to the area to reconnect with family. The exact location for the project is expected to be announced soon.

We’re aiming to raise $50,000 towards the cost of developing the Stolen Generations Marker and garden. Show your support by visiting our Stolen Generations Marker page and making a tax deductible donation.



Lose the labels

Bigger Than Your LabelsYarra’s Youth Ambassadors are a group of motivated young leaders, making a positive difference in the community.

Meeting weekly, the 12 leaders (aged 15–25) address issues important to local young people. They then collaborate to create projects that will generate positive social outcomes.

The young ambassadors are also provided with training and mentoring in order to build on their leadership skills and are supported to develop campaigns or events of their choosing.

One of the most popular of these campaigns, ‘I Live Bigger Than Your Labels’, tackles negative stereotyping through social media, video interviews, rap performances, fashion parades and t-shirt slogans.

Some of the most popular t-shirt slogans of the campaign include “I’m a woman and I’m a boss”, “I’m vegan and I can still lift” and “I’m a rapper, but I don’t rap about violence”.

The project encourages conversation about important issues such as racism, homophobia, religious vilification, gender stereotypes, and ageism. It also tackles more playful assumptions people may make about each other.

If you’re interested in learning more, visit our Youth Ambassadors page or contact us at info@yarracity.vic.gov.au or on 9205 5555.

Check out the campaign on Instagram @youthambassadors_ or @yarrayouthservices or via the hashtag #ilivebiggerthanyourlabels



Awash with opportunities

Old fridges, freezers and washing machines are avoiding the scrapheap and finding a new life as part of a partnership between Council and not-for-profit organisation Kids Off The Kerb.

Whitegoods left out for hard rubbish collection in Yarra are donated to Kids Off the Kerb’s recycling and refurbishment program.

Young people are trained to test, clean and repair the whitegoods, which can then be sold, broken down for spare parts, or recycled through the scrap metal process, meaning nothing goes to waste. The money from sales goes back into the program.

As well as providing a sustainable solution for recycling old appliances, the program also provides mentoring and practical training to young people and job-ready skills in transport, logistics, electro-technology, sustainability, business administration and customer service.

Council has participated in the program for five years and donates about 1000 fridges, freezers, dryers and washing machines each year.

Kids Off the Kerb chairman Nathan Stirling said “Yarra Council provides valuable support to this program, which helps young people learn new skills and open the door to a world of employment opportunities”.

For more information about the program, visit the Kids Off The Kerb site.

If you have whitegoods that can be collected through Council’s hard rubbish service, visit our Hard Waste page or contact Council at info@yarracity.vic.gov.au or on 9205 5555.



Rolling and strolling to school

Rolling and Strolling to SchoolWith our local kindergartens and schools now back from the summer break, kids of all ages are walking or riding to school, often with a parent or guardian in tow.

“It’s a really important part of our day,” said Nova, whose son attends Princes Hill Primary School. “My kids love it and sharing the journey is a great way to spend time together while getting a bit of exercise.”

There are many advantages to walking or riding to school:

  • It encourages kids to spend time outside and to make physical activity a natural part of their daily routine.
  • It helps kids to get to know their local streets and neighbourhoods.
  • Studies have shown that children who are physically active before school have higher concentration levels.

Walking or riding also helps out the community as a whole by alleviating traffic and parking congestion around Yarra’s schools.

It’s also much better for the environment. Every time someone walks or rides instead of travelling by car, it helps reduce emissions.

Back to school driving tips

Drivers are encouraged to take extra care during the back-to school period to ensure that kids can make their way to and from school with confidence.

Safety tips for drivers:

  • Slow down around schools and carefully observe all school crossings.
  • Take extra care during the peak school travel times – before 9am and after 3pm.
  • Be careful when reversing out of driveways (young children can be difficult to see).
  • Remember that children can ride and scoot on footpaths until they are 12 years old.
  • Do not double-park when picking-up or dropping-off your kids (park further away to reduce congestion around schools).

If you’d like to learn more about walking or riding to school, or about driving in and around school zones, contact Council at info@yarracity.vic.gov.au or on 9205 5555.



Your Say Yarra

Your Say Yarra Gleadell MarketHelp us make Yarra an even better place to live, work and visit by registering to share your views at www.yoursayyarra.com.au

This is your chance to contribute ideas, provide feedback and exchange views on the issues that affect your street, neighbourhood and community.

You only need to register once and you can participate in as many (or as few) consultation projects as you like.

Some of our current and upcoming consultations

Register at www.yoursayyarra.com.au to get involved in our latest consultations.

You can also contact us via more traditional means (phone, email, in person).

Domestic Animal Management Plan

Your input on our new Domestic Animal Management Plan will help guide our work in areas such as registration and desexing of pets, handling of stray or nuisance animals, and education programs for the community.

Urban Forest Strategy

Council is developing its first-ever Urban Forest Strategy, which will consider the role trees play in keeping our city cool in hot weather. We want to hear what people value about trees to help develop a vision for managing these natural assets.

Wangaratta Street Park

We’re seeking ideas for improving Wangaratta Street Park (behind The Corner Hotel in Richmond). Visit the park and drop your idea into the pink birdhouse – you can’t miss it!

Langdon Reserve Park

We spoke to our community late last year about options to upgrade Langdon Reserve in North Fitzroy. We’re now seeking further feedback on a concept design that incorporates your shared ideas. View the concept and have your say.

Shaping the next four years

In recent months community members have helped us develop our next four year Council Plan by sharing their ideas and telling us about their priorities for the city.

We received more than 2,500 ideas via our community listening posts, advisory committee sessions, email, our project page at www.yoursayyarra.com.au and other engagement activities.

These contributions are informing development of a draft Council Plan, which will soon be endorsed for public exhibition.

The community will then have an additional opportunity to comment as part of the formal public submission process in April 2017.

This is a once-every-four-years opportunity, so we encourage you to get involved.

Visit www.yoursayyarra.com.au to stay up-to-date on our Council Plan.



If you have any comments or queries about Yarra News, please contact us at yarranews@yarracity.vic.gov.au or call 9205 5555.

Large print and audio versions are also available.

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