Meet Dylan Anderson
I met Dylan Anderson when a bike narrowly missed clipping us as we walked on the footpath in front of Malay Momma on Kavanagh St.
We shared frustration over the fact that near- misses with e-bikes and e-scooters are a common occurrence in Southbank.
I told him that a new community group, Southbank3006, had formed to address issues such as these, and Dylan has been an active member ever since.
Dylan is an ABC news cameraman and moved to Southbank in 2019 to be within walking distance to ABC’s offices on Southbank Boulevard.
“I like the fact that I don’t need a car and love the lifestyle and environment of high-rise living,” he said.
Community is very important to Dylan and the inability to connect with others during lockdowns was tough on him.
“There you are in an apartment surrounded by people next door, above and below yet there is no communication, no connection.”
That’s when he came up with the idea of making cookies and leaving them for everyone on his floor along with an invitation to get in touch. And get in touch they did!
In addition to meeting up socially, Dylan created a WhatsApp chat group for the floor as a way to stay in touch, share news and look out for one another. Now his floor feels like a neighbourhood.
“It’s nice to know who is living around me and to bump into them when I’m out and about,” he said.
Dylan is proud of his Indigenous heritage (Yuin Nation from the south-eastern NSW coast, around the Bega-Tathra area) and is very involved with indigenous activism and policy at ABC.
He serves on the Bonner Committee, the ABC’s internal advisory and representative body relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, content and communities.
The committee oversees ABC’s Reconciliation Action Plan to strengthen the corporation’s commitment to champion initiatives that recognise and embrace Australia’s Indigenous history and cultures.
When I asked him about the Indigenous history of Southbank he suggested I visit the Koorie Heritage Trust at Federation Square.
“They have a display space showing the history of the area, art and some cool people to talk to,” he said.
The Trust is a not-for-profit First Nations owned and managed arts and cultural organisation that holds events and exhibitions for people to connect with the cultural heritage of Aboriginal Victoria – it’s free and open daily from 10am-5pm: koorieheritagetrust.com.au.
As we finished up at Mr Summit café, I asked Dylan which Southbank issue was most important to him and he laughed.
“You invited me to have tea at your place today, but I wanted to meet here instead. The last two years have been really hard on small businesses, and they are such an important part of what makes a neighbourhood interesting.”
He mentioned several of his favourite hangouts that didn’t survive the lockdowns.
“I think we need to support the small businesses here as much as we can.”
MaryKay Rauma is a founder of Southbank3006 – a not-for-profit community and advocacy group focused on connecting residents and improving the liveability of Southbank. Southbank residents can join for free at southbank3006.com •