Thanks for listening …

Thanks for listening …
Trisha Avery

Well, we are so excited! Those of you who are regular readers of this column will know how often we have asked questions about Kirrip Park and how it can be utilised in different ways to ensure full usage from the local community.

WELL, not only has the community been asking, but a petition was submitted late last year and all our work has had an effect.

The City of Port Philip has created a “Have your say on Kirrip Park”, specifically on our call for it to become an off-leash park after 5pm on weekdays and all day on weekends and public holidays.

The submission cut-off day is September 6 so too late for this column, but you can add your voice by writing to the City of Port Phillip to support the proposal or going on to and adding some comments.

And there have been so many times that we have felt that we were not being heard by the City of Port Phillip, but in this case, we are delighted that this process is being undertaken and we look forward to a positive result for all those living in the Montague Precinct and surrounds. Thank you for listening …

This month we have a special Meet a Montaguan, not only is this person a long-time resident of Montague (an aside from his important day job), Mark is an accomplished artist.

His work is, as well as being held in private collections, also to be seen on the streets of South and Port Melbourne. Let me introduce you to Mark Cowell …

Who are you, tell us a little about yourself?

I am a parent and husband who has navigated lots of change in life. I moved around a lot as a child and never had roots. However, I have lived here in the Montague Precinct of South Melbourne, happily, for 13 years. I currently work as a career counsellor, and provide a curated selection of career, creative thinking and personal development books and resources online. I also maintain an art practice to keep creative and am working towards an exhibition at the Gasworks Gallery in Albert Park, at the end of this year.

What brought you to live or work in the Montague Precinct of South Melbourne?

Many moons ago, I worked in advertising, and moved to be close to work.

What are the best and/or most interesting things about working or living in Montague?

Learning the history of the area has been fascinating. I also like the mix of local businesses. There’s an independent brewery, professional and trades services, multinational companies and family owned and run companies, all adding value to the world from this little patch in Melbourne.

How does working or living in Montague affect your quality of life/work?

We’ve met some nice people in the area, that’s the most important thing. A good school, South Melbourne Primary, in walking distance also helps a lot. Pre-pandemic we used to joke that the city was our backyard. While that’s changed, we make use of local parks and go for a swim when it’s warmer.

What are the challenges of working or living in Montague?

I think the lack of (or conflicted) good design thinking may snooker the area. We see how sad Bay St, Port Melbourne has looked for the past five or so years, with confused development down one end and excessive, unsustainable commercial rents resulting in long-term empty spaces. There are lessons here to learn from.

If you could change something about Montague, what would it be?

The quality and aesthetics of high-rise construction. I hope the density will be good for business, but let’s make it something we’re proud of 100 years from now, not just a dash for cash •

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