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Editions

Docklander - September 2016

31 Aug 2016

Docklander - September 2016 Image

A city-change for a beach boy

By Sunny Liu

After growing up in Portarlington, moving to Docklands was a dream come true for Brett Malcolm.

He has the kind of childhood stories you hear from people who have their early years in a small town – everyone knew what he was up to.

“As I grew up, it was always something that appealed to me – to be living in a city, to be living in a place where people don’t know me. Anything you do in a country town, everyone finds out. Once I finished high school, I just wanted to get out,” he said.

Fresh out of high school, Mr Malcolm moved to Kew and worked in the hospitality industry for three years.

Since then he has lived all around inner-city suburbs, moving from Kew to Armadale and then to St Kilda.

In 2005, when St Kilda’s hip vibe no longer excited him, he settled down in Docklands, a ghost town back then.

“It was just a random choice. I was looking for somewhere to live. I found a good-priced apartment with a good view. And that was it. I haven’t left since then,” Mr Malcolm said.

“Docklands is a bit of a ghost town at the weekend and at night time it’s a bit dead. But that doesn’t bother me too much.”

He built his life by the harbour and witnessed towers soaring up from this former middle-of-nowhere place.

“We’ve been in the position where we’ve had our views slowly changed by neighbouring apartments. I used to have a really good view towards West Melbourne and North Melbourne and that completely went,” he said. “It’s part of the city life. But I don’t mind tall buildings. I like the city.”

Losing his views was okay. But not being allowed to have a cat or a dog in his apartment definitely is a problem.

Mr Malcolm has a cockatiel, a small parrot that can live up to 20 years. He allows the cockatiel to flap around in the apartment, giving it as much freedom as he can.

“I’d love to have a cat. But with the bird I can’t have one anyway. They would hate each other,” he said.

Mr Malcolm’s dad, who is a big fan of fishing, loves visiting Docklands and giving his fishing rod a go in the harbour.

“It’s always exciting for my family to come to Docklands. They like the city, with its trams and high-rise buildings. My nieces and nephews love the playgrounds near the bridge,” he said.

Having worked in hospitality and retail for half a decade, Mr Malcolm is now working as a public servant, which means he can enjoy his Sunday mornings sipping coffee at a Docklands cafe.

Big houses and suburbs don’t interest him at all. Having spent 11 years living in Docklands, he can’t even tell the difference between Coburg and Preston.

“I travel to the suburbs when I have to. I go to Brunswick every now and then with my friends. But Docklands is close to the city and where I work. I’ve lived here for so long that I can’t even remember why I moved here,” he said.

However, Mr Malcolm is not completely detached from his roots.

“I see myself more as a city dweller. But there’s still a bit of country left in me. Maybe one day I will move away from the city, but I can’t see it happening anytime soon. I’m much more of a city person,” he said.

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