Team Hakim to go in to bat for Docklands
By Meg Hill
A family ticket based in Docklands will contest the City of Melbourne elections to stand for an “intersectional community”.
Jamal and and Safaa Hakim are a mother and son team who say that the council needs to be more diverse and representative of the community.
“A new door is really opening at the moment because of COVID and it’s really time for us to explore what’s out there and support every member of our diverse community, and that’s why I’m running,” Jamal told Docklands News.
“My grandparents are Lebanese and seeing what happened with the public housing towers during the pandemic really upset me and coming from a diverse background and knowing how important intersectionality is, I think it’s really time for more diverse local voices to help us come to new outcomes.”
Both Jamal and Safaa live in Docklands and said they wanted to see the suburb taken seriously.
“I moved to Docklands when I first moved to Melbourne 12 years ago and have been an active member of my local owners’ committees in different buildings I’ve lived in,” Jamal said.
“Ultimately, we need to activate Docklands as a destination, while I’d like to see things like the Firelight Festival return and become a regular part of the Docklands calendar, we need some immediate micro activation events to bring lots of small groups to Docklands.”
Safaa runs counselling services in Docklands and was opening a practice when the pandemic hit, so Team Hakim has a strong desire for community consultation to drive recovery in the area.
“I was on the board of Midsumma Festival for a little over four years and understand the importance of spaces that allow communities to engage, explore and interact,” Jamal said.
“An active all year events calendar will bring visitors, support businesses and improve the livelihood of our community.”
“The light extravaganza concept is one that has been put forward also as a permanent feature for Docklands and on Council I would support action to fast track activations within the Docklands.”
Jamal also said that Central Pier and Harbour Esplanade had been “neglected” for too long.
“It’s time that that community space is activated for year-round use,” he said.
“We need Development Victoria and the state government to invest in activating this part of the city.”
Jamal, who is managing director at Marie Stopes, said working in health during the pandemic had hardened his desire to see evidence-based strategies used to pull the City of Melbourne through the crisis.
“I think just recognising and acknowledging, to begin with, that this pandemic is something most of us hadn’t ever experienced in our lives, it’s had such a big impact on everybody and when it comes to the City of Melbourne businesses are decimated and are closing,” he said.
“I think we need evidence-based methods to rethink what the city could be and redesign the whole city around people and business.”
He said the mental health of residents and safety in the city were a priority.
“I want to help residents with mental health. Working in health I know how important that is and living in apartments in this period has been very hard,” he said.
“If you look at the statistics over 2018 and 2019, there was a drop by 24 per cent of residents asked who said they didn’t feel safe in the city.”
“The positive thing is that there has been a decrease in crime, but this we need other safety measures to add to the police to make sure residents feel safe.”
For more information: teamhakim.co