A fond farewell to Docklands
By Katie Wong Hoy
Michele Anderson sips her latte in a cafe along NewQuay Promenade for one of her last times as a Docklands resident.
With a nostalgic tear in her eye, Michele is saying a bittersweet goodbye to the community she has been part of for 14 years.
“Obviously I’ve made a huge amount of friends here and met lots of different people through here,” she said.
Originally living in Williamstown and then Port Melbourne, Michele with her husband at the time who was involved in boats, chose to live in Docklands.
After her marriage broke down, Michele decided that it was time to embark on a new adventure.
“I felt that I needed to go elsewhere for a while and experiment and see what that’s like,” she said.
Michele will soon become a resident of Brighton, another suburb close to the water.
“I like to be near the water and I’ve always thought that you can always come back,” Michele said.
When Michele first arrived in Docklands 14 years ago, she moved into The Arkley, however, the building was not yet finished.
For about three weeks beforehand, Michele and her family slept on a boat.
She has seen many changes over the years and has achieved a lot during her time in Docklands.
Michele was the president of the Docklands Community Association, which involved a lot of contact with the City of Melbourne.
“In the last 14 years I have accomplished a lot, seen a lot and done a lot,” she said.
“It [Docklands] was a baby so you could be part of it. Whereas when you go into a city where it’s already grown, it’s harder to become part of it.”
Along with her community involvement, New Year’s Eve and the Volvo Ocean Race were some of the highlights of her time in Docklands.
Leaving Docklands is a big change for Michele. Her children are moving out so she will be living on her own for the first time in her life.
Having mixed emotions is the only way she can describe it, but Michele is excited to explore what the future holds.
“It’s got me interested again in all these things which I had lost interest in … I found having a house full of everybody in it and working full-time has kept me really busy. But I’ve realised that I need time to do things now. I’m ready for that,” she said.
Volunteering, travel, sewing and blogging are all on the agenda for Michele as she starts a new chapter.
Before she heads back to her Docklands apartment to continue packing up her belongings, Michele leaves with a parting sentiment.
“I’m just very grateful for the friends that have been around and supported me in the last couple of years,” she said.
“There is a community here that do stick by people and help people. People don’t realise that.”