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Father Bob’s community vision

13 Jul 2017

Father Bob’s community vision Image

Montague local Father Bob Maguire is on the hunt for a one-acre site to construct a new community hub in Fishermans Bend.

Father Bob told Southbank Local News that he hoped to raise $1 million at his 83rd birthday gala ball on September 4 to put towards his vision, calling it his “birthday gift to the community”.

A concept design has already been prepared for the proposed facility, which aims to create a vibrant meeting place for the future community of Australia’s largest ever urban renewal site.

Included as part of Bob’s concept designs are plans for a facility comprising emergency housing units, an industrial kitchen, office spaces, public open space as well as a cafe and gallery.

The designs also feature a “village green”, which includes a community orchard and garden, as well as small paddocks for livestock with the entire design incorporating an environmentally sustainable focus.

While the plans state that the community hub would seek to reuse industrial facilities where possible, all new buildings would be constructed out of repurposed shipping containers.

Father Bob said the community facility would be a place that reflected and celebrated the history of Fishermans Bend in order to bring people together.

“Fishermans Bend was built on the traditions the Aboriginal people, the working class and the migrant settlers. The community hub is meant to be inclusive, where everyone has a place to all be in this together,” he said.

“It should be a place where the traditional owners of the land, migrant settlers over the years and new residents of high-rise buildings can all get together to build the local community.”

Having long outgrown its Gladstone St outreach centre in Montague, the foundation has already been seeking a larger facility for some time.

While much of Fishermans Bend is capital city zoned and privately owned, the main challenge for the project is acquiring a substantial piece of land to make the vision a reality.

However, if there was ever a man to make it happen, it’s Father Bob!

“We want to design a community hub that has everything the local residents need, from a garden to meeting spaces,” he said. “We will also bring community projects to the hub so kids can learn and grow their appetite for knowledge locally without leaving their suburb.”

“While building the community, we need to speak both the languages of the elite and languages of the disadvantaged. The hub will also be multicultural and inter-faith.”

The Father Bob Maguire birthday gala ball, which will be attended by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Member for Albert Park Martin Foley, will be held on September 4 at Grand Hyatt Melbourne.

To book visit trybooking.com/book/event?eid=290888

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