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Melbourne’s best-kept secret

31 Mar 2016

Melbourne’s best-kept secret Image

According to Elaine Mills, Docklands is Melbourne’s best-kept secret.

A resident of NewQuay for almost nine years, Elaine said Docklands had just about everything you could need.

However, Elaine believes there’s just one major ingredient missing – a local, public school.

“A school is the glue that holds the community together,” she said.

As the principal of Albert Park Primary School, Elaine is in a unique position to understand the increasing demand for schools in the inner city.

“In the 1980s we had 89 students between two campuses. Now we have one school campus and we’ve got 550 students,” Elaine said.

She said she was saddened by the thought of families being forced to move out of Docklands due to the lack of local public school options, particularly because she knows first-hand just how much kids enjoy the area.

Her own grandchildren, who live in Werribee and Ascot Vale, love visiting Docklands as often as possible.

“It’s been a real joy to have our own grandchildren in Docklands,” Elaine said. “They think Docklands is lots of fun.”

According to Elaine, favourite activities include visiting the fish and chip shop on NewQuay Promenade, playing at the “minecraft park” (also known as Monument Park), trips to the Library at the Dock and splashing about in the water play area at Buluk Park.

Elaine believes a Docklands school could capitalise on the inner-city location to provide unique learning experiences.

“The amazing thing about being so close to the city is that there’s lots of extra-curricular activities that are just a tram ride away,” she said.

She’s hopeful that a continued push from the community and groups like City Schools 4 City Kids will see a public school delivered in Docklands sooner rather than later.

“When the community speaks, people have to listen,” Elaine said. “We’re not asking for anything outrageous, a school is a basic requirement for a community.”

But in the meantime, Elaine will continue to enjoy everything Docklands has to offer.

“My favourite part of living in Docklands is taking my morning walk and watching the sun rise and seeing the different colours reflect on the water,” she said.

She also loves bumping into the local dog-owner community, who are also always out early in the mornings with their pets

You might also spot her zooming around on her motor scooter, wandering through the weekly market, dining at local restaurants or jumping on a free tram.

“I think I like Docklands so much because it’s an authentic hub for living, learning playing and spending your money!” Elaine laughed.

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