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So far, so good for community forum

02 Oct 2012

So far, so good for community forum Image

By Bethany Williams

The Docklands Community Forum (DCF) met for the first time last month and so far there are only positives to report.

The first public meeting brought together an interesting group of people, each with their own opinions about what Docklands needs.

Forum representatives, interested members of the public, and staff from Places Victoria and City of Melbourne were in attendance.

Two new faces had also joined the DCF in the form of a youth representative and a Docklands Chamber of Commerce (DCC) representative.

When the DCF representatives were announced in August a youth representative had not been identified, however Lauren Basser has since joined the forum in this role.

Due to the results of the recent DCC election (reported on page 6) Stephen Clement has replaced Elena Tsapatolis as the chamber representative.

After witnessing the first meeting of the DCF, the signs seem positive.

The forum has great potential to lead Docklands into its second decade and so far it seems to be heading in the right direction.

It was clear at the first meeting that huge consideration had gone into making it work.

The layout of the meeting room itself, with two rows of chairs arranged around a table, created a feeling of openness and encouraged discussion.

And it wasn’t just the DCF representatives who had the opportunity to voice concerns or ask questions at the forum meeting.

While the members of the DCF are certainly the figureheads of the forum all attendees seemed to be equal in terms having the chance to speak.

The presence of a facilitator meant every voice had an opportunity to be heard.

There was a sense of balance about the forum, with no single person leading the direction of the meeting.

At the start of the meeting the DCF representatives spoke about themselves and why they had joined the forum.

Each person had a different story to tell, a different connection with Docklands and a different motivation for joining the DCF.

They each highlight a different aspect of Docklands that deserves to be recognised.

Amongst the group is a voice for local families, a voice for local businesses and a voice for the waterways.

The members of the DCF will represent the community at forum meetings and two alternating DCF representatives will attend Docklands Steering Committee meetings.

They have a real opportunity to make sure the voice of Docklands is heard.

The DCF has got off to a good start; let’s hope it continues.

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