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Docklander - March 2014

06 Mar 2014

Docklander - March 2014 Image

If you’ve spent any amount of time in Docklands chances are you’ve met Bill Reid.

The quintessential “man about town”, Bill knows just about everyone there is to know in Docklands.

Bill has been working in Docklands for around five years, starting off doing marketing and promotional work, including selling advertising for Docklands News and selling Docklander Deals program for Destination Docklands.

His initial impression of Docklands was positive. “I liked the newness of it, I liked the challenged that I saw,” he said. “I felt that I could make a difference through the work I was doing and the people I was meeting.”

Since discovering Docklands, Bill has been heavily involved in the local community, becoming a Docklands Chamber of Commerce executive and spreading positive Docklands vibes through his Good News Bill column.

Although he doesn’t live here, Bill admires the attitudes of the local residents. “They’ve all moved here and they are passionate about Docklands,” he said.

“There’s a hidden community here that you might not notice as a visitor or worker, but if you get involved you start to realise the scope of it.”

For Bill one of his most exciting experiences in Docklands to date has been working at the Mission to Seafarers.

He’s worked as operations manager at the mission for just over a year and says it’s exposed him to the needs of seafarers.

“Seafarers are a largely forgotten industry because they’re here for five minutes then they are gone,” Bill said.

“People don’t realise that 90 per cent of everything they buy in Australia has been brought here by seafarers.”

Working at the mission has also reminded Bill of Docklands’ maritime past.

“The important thing I’ve learnt from the mission is that we have lost a lot of our maritime heritage to development.”

“A lot of the goods sheds that used to line the waterfront are now gone, replaced by high-rise buildings.”

“The Mission to Seafarers is one of the vestiges of a bygone era that still exists here today in Docklands and must never be lost.”

Although some of Docklands’ maritime heritage may have been lost, Bill believes there are still plenty of hidden secrets worth discovering in Docklands.

But, according to Bill, arriving at Harbour Esplanade, as many visitors do, won’t necessarily reveal all the area has to offer.

“I love some of the hidden gardens that are here,” Bill said. “The community garden in Victoria Harbour is a great little space to walk through.”

Bill says he would love to see Docklands become a hub for water-based activities.

“I’d like to see a regular ferry service running from Federation Square to Docklands and it would be great to see a service running between here and Williamstown and beyond,” he said.

Bill says Docklands is a work in progress that is continuing to develop and still needs support until it’s “on its feet”.

“I will definitely be sticking around long enough to see Docklands blossom,” Bill said.

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