Stakeholder group marks another new beginning for Docklands

Stakeholder group marks another new beginning for Docklands
Sean Car

A new stakeholder group for Docklands has officially been established by the City of Melbourne as a further response to actions arising from last year’s Docklands Summit, but will it help drive urgently needed change in our community?

The Docklands Stakeholder Group met for the first time on Monday, July 3 and is made up of representatives from different parts of the community, including Docklands Primary School, resident groups, and small businesses …

  • Adam Bright – principal, Docklands Primary School
  • Tim Chan – small business, youth
  • Jenny De Loryn – Yarra’s Edge Action Group
  • Gautam Gupta – Saras Care
  • Helen Hedding – Docklands Residents
  • Daniel Hibberd – president, Docklands Chamber of Commerce
  • Nicole Johnston – Victoria Harbour Dog Park Friends
  • Peter Lardner – Aqui Promenade owners’ corporation
  • Amanda McCarter – Victoria Point owners’ corporation
  • Aditee Rawal – Docklands Representative Group
  • Ekaterina Send – Docklands Safety Project / Docklands Primary School Parents & Friends
  • Peter Van Duyn – WayPoint Foundation, Alma Doepel

“Establishing a Docklands Stakeholder Group was a key action from last year’s Docklands Summit – an important event for our city, offering an opportunity to reset the conversation around the precinct,” Lord Mayor Sally Capp told Docklands News.

“The group will provide a forum for residents, workers, businesses and others in Docklands to share ideas and identify opportunities to work together – for example, how a local community group could work with a small business close by.” 

The council said the working group sought, among other aims, to:

  • Provide a forum for information sharing
  • Improve community connection
  • Identify opportunities to leverage existing grants
  • Understand each group’s priorities and alignments

It added that insights generated by the stakeholder group would be shared with the broader community via the online Docklands Neighbourhood Portal, as well as through the council’s Neighbourhood Partner for Docklands, Fadi Qunqar.

The formation of the group not only follows on from the Docklands Summit, but also the end to Docklands Neighbourhood House after the council elected not to commit any funding to the organisation and instead focus its efforts on the new stakeholder group.

While any move to drive engagement and connection among local stakeholders is welcomed in Docklands, the community will be all too wary of the prospect of history repeating itself.

In 2012, the council established the Docklands Community Forum under very similar aims and principles. The initiative generated some positive outcomes, including advocating for the new primary school and the establishment of the Docklands Representative Group.

However, the overriding success of the initiative can perhaps, in part, be summed up by the fact that in 2022, there was a need for a “reset” via the Docklands Summit at all, and now, the ensuing Docklands Stakeholder Group, of which the Docklands Representative Group is now a member.

But the council said the Community Forum Group was established for the residents, workers, and businesses of Docklands, while the new Stakeholder Group brought together existing groups to identify opportunities to work collaboratively to improve the precinct.

A cohesive Docklands community is critical for driving positive outcomes for the area, as well as developing a sense of identity that is so crucial for establishing connection, and a sense of place for residents, workers, and visitors.

On that basis, the new stakeholder group is only to be applauded and embraced by the community – support will be paramount to its success, and it’s a logical initiative that sets us up for a brighter future.

However, broader governance of our precinct remains the elephant in the room, and until this is addressed, the transformative change we all want for Docklands may continue to elude us.

Let’s hope the new stakeholder group can help champion and drive the change we want to see. Docklands News wishes it every success. •

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