The return of the social club

The return of the social club

By Spencer Fowler Steen

After this extended lockdown, Docklands residents are itching to get out and about to meet new people, and catch up with old friends.

That’s why 24-year-old local Maria Baturina recently started a Facebook group chat in response to keen interest shown on the Docklands Community Hub (DCH) Facebook page from locals wanting to connect socially with their neighbours.

Ms Baturina recently moved to Melbourne from Russia to work and study, but did not know anyone.

Keen to meet people her age, she arranged a catch-up at Berth restaurant last month with other members of the DCH, which she said went well, but then COVID abruptly put an end to plans to meet up again on July 28.

“I have created a group chat with more than 20 people,” she said.

“Basically, those who commented on the post I made about meeting up, I added to a group chat. Because we’re nearby it’s easier to meet up, but personally I’m keen on meeting everyone.”

Now working at an IT consulting company in Melbourne, Ms Baturina moved from Moscow to Clayton three years ago.

But the slower-paced lifestyle in that neck-of-the-woods was too far removed from the city living she was used to.

“Living in Docklands is wonderful,” Ms Baturina said.

“I loved Docklands before living here. And then when I had an opportunity to move to another place, I was specifically looking to live in Docklands.”

The views, the restaurants, the activities, and the not-too-quiet, not-too-busy vibes in Docklands is what Ms Baturina loves so much.

But like everyone, she is eagerly awaiting Melbourne’s reopening.

The former director of Docklands News, Shane Scanlan previously co-ran the Docklands Social Club with Andrew Jay – a casual, evening gathering once a month at different restaurants to enjoy a chat, meal and getting to know other Docklanders.

Ms Baturina said people can get involved by first joining the DCH, then privately messaging her on Facebook •

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