Columns
10 years on Image

10 years on

August 2008 Issue 34:
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Away from the desk Image

Away from the desk

The little bent tree
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Chamber update Image

Chamber update

Upcoming events in Docklands
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Docklander Image

Docklander

Water views work for local novelist
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Docklands Secrets Image

Docklands Secrets

Politician disrespects us
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Fashion Image

Fashion

Top five street style trends
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Health and Wellbeing Image

Health and Wellbeing

Winning at winter health and fitness
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Letters Image

Letters

Letters to the Editor
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New Businesses Image

New Businesses

NeoLemonade and Melbourne Cellar Door
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Owners Corporation Law Image

Owners Corporation Law

OC discriminated against a disabled owner
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Pets Corner Image

Pets Corner

Sooky Romeo loves the attention
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SkyPad Living Image

SkyPad Living

Vertical democracies
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Street Art Image

Street Art

A reactionary world
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We Live Here Image

We Live Here

One woman’s stand gets results
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What Women Want - With Abby Crawford Image

What Women Want - With Abby Crawford

It’s been an extraordinary month
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Docklander - April 2018

28 Mar 2018

Docklander - April 2018 Image

The 10-year coming of age

What makes a suburb autonomous, what gives it a voice? According to former Docklands residents Andy and Paige Jay, it’s a coming of age that Docklands has just passed.

“For the first time there’s people who have been living in Docklands for more than 10 years,” Andy Jay said.

“At that point people start really making connections, they know the history, they observe change and they can comment on proposed change from a basis of knowledge.”

Mr Jay said that developer agencies and other businesses investing in the area were taken aback when Docklands residents started showing this level of engagement.

“Some of the agencies I’ve talked to get a bit surprised when you look at them and start voicing your experience and your suggestion based on that,” he said.

Husband and wife Andy and Paige Jay have just moved to Dubbo in New South Wales after surpassing their own 10-year benchmark of living in Docklands.

While they have been frequent visitors to Dubbo when visiting Paige’s family further west, Paige and Andy said they were getting to know Dubbo as residents and settling into the regional city atmosphere.

“We’ve some terrific coffee hang-outs that would hold their own in Melbourne CBD!” Mr Jay said.

The couple said they missed Docklands already, but keeping in touch with the community had softened the blow.

“We developed some terrific friends in Docklands. You do get to know people. You do see your neighbours despite what people might say about Docklands.”

“We started a walking group in our building, Victoria Point, and we’d walk around Docklands every Tuesday night with anywhere from two to 10 people,” Paige said.

“We’ve both, at different times, been on the owner’s corporation, and I also had some time in the Docklands Community Association,” she said.

Mr Jay also took on responsibility for the Docklands Social Club, organising it at different Docklands venues, including Platform 28, Tap831, Medici, Hooks at the Yarra, Woolshed and Merchant Society, amongst others.

“The Docklands Social Club was a great opportunity. I took it over but shared the love with other people in Docklands I knew would be just terrific,” he said.

They said the proximity of Docklands was something they valued immensely while living here. They walked to and from work for 10 years, enjoyed the proximity to public transport, bike tracks, the water, venues and all of Melbourne’s CBD.

The couple spent recent Christmas mornings out on their kayaks on routes from places like Dights Falls to Herring Island, down the Yarra, under the Bolte Bridge and into Victoria Harbour, almost to their front door.

And despite moving away, the couple have a “clear vision” for Docklands, proving it’s a special place to them.

“In relation to developers and the construction, they’re allowing way too tall buildings along the river and close to Bolte Bridge, and they’re not asking developers to put enough green space in,” Paige said.

The Harbour Esplanade Master Plan is one of their main concerns.

“Harbour Esplanade is the critical linking spine of Docklands. Every other main street goes east to west, and often to a dead end,” Mr Jay said.

“Harbour Esplanade is the only one connecting north and south, and its street level water views are absolutely critical to Docklands. When I first read the plan I was very concerned.”

Mr Jay cites contradictions over the protection of the water views and a strange proposal for Docklands’ narrowest pedestrian promenade.

“Our vision for Harbour Esplanade is open public, green space. It would be terrific to have a bit of a combined vision with the skeletons of the old sheds, just the steel girders with no walls and no roof,” he said.

Mr Jay describes the way trees and vines could grow up the girders, with seating areas and walk throughs creating a combination of nature and history.

Perhaps it will take another coming of age before Docklands will see a form of that vision come to fruition.

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