Southbank 3006: new resident group forms to “unite Southbank”
Five Southbank residents have banded together to form a new not-for-profit community organisation as an alternative to the Southbank Residents’ Association (SRA) in an effort to “better represent” the area’s “diverse interests”.
The new group, named Southbank3006, officially launched on Monday, February 7 to provide a “unified voice for Southbank”, responding to what its founders claimed was a lack of opportunities for residents to connect and engage in their local community.
Of its five founding members, four recently served on the committee of the area’s existing resident organisation, the SRA, but quickly resigned because its “leadership and goals did not align with their own vision of how to best serve the Southbank community”.
A statement issued by the group to Southbank News this month said Southbank3006 would focus on “connecting community” and provide opportunities for locals to advocate on a range of issues surrounding improved liveability in Southbank. Membership to the group is free and open both to individuals and owners’ corporations.
“Southbank3006 aims to address a perceived need that many people have flagged with its founders—namely peoples’ desire to connect with one another when they live in vertical villages,” the statement read.
“The new group is seeking to unify the diverse sectors of Southbank, create opportunities to engage with each other, improve liveability in the area for all residents, address significant traffic management and safety issues, and advocate for issues with local and state governments.”
Leading Southbank3006 are renowned advocates for Southbank in David Hamilton and Jannine Pattison, who will serve as the group’s inaugural president and vice-president, respectively.
Both Mr Hamilton and Ms Pattison have risen to local prominence in recent times, with the former having been an outspoken critic of the City of Melbourne’s design, budget blowouts and project management of the Southbank Boulevard project.
“We want to address how businesses, state-wide arts bodies, and state government agencies in the area interact directly with the communities in which these bodies are located, and not ignore us,” Mr Hamilton said.
Ms Pattison is a 16-year resident of Southbank and has instigated several petitions about traffic safety, with her advocacy having helped bring about the long-overdue upgrade of the Power St and City Rd intersection.
“After spearheading two petitions, one for maintaining green space at Boyd Park and the other to address traffic hazards at Power St and City Rd, I quickly realised that local residents are not feeling heard or supported, that their needs are not being met, and change is needed in Southbank,” Ms Pattison said.
With so many people now calling Southbank home it is critical that we have a community group that truly represents the voice of the people. Where people feel heard, validated and connected.
The remaining three members of the group include Southbank News columnist Trisha Avery, Bankers Facebook page founder Glenn Leese, and foreign-born Mary-Kay Rauma, who said she was passionate about connecting the diverse nationalities that called Southbank home.
“This community needs an organisation that represents all of Southbank’s varied geographic sectors and diverse cultures and works hard on their behalf to gain the respect of governments and local businesses. By communicating with key parties early and effectively, we can get ahead of issues and help minimise decisions that erode the liveability of Southbank,” she said.
“Southbank3006 will be a more modern organisation for the 21st century. It’s going to communicate the way you should – talking to people through social media, being out and about in the community and providing opportunities for people to get together where they can connect socially; not just forums with politicians.”
“We want to pull in all the sectors of Southbank from Whiteman St to Southbank Village. COVID has created this huge need for people to want to interact in these lonely vertical villages. You’re looking into all of these apartments wanting to know one and other. That’s the greatest pull.”
Since launching the Bankers Facebook group – an online space dedicated strictly to Southbank residents – Glenn Leese said many had expressed interest in meeting their neighbours and knowing more about the area.
“Southbank3006 aims to meet all of those needs,” Mr Leese said. “I encourage everyone who lives in Southbank to join Southbank3006—it’s free and the more involvement we have, the more we will be able to achieve.”
Ms Rauma said that in addition to social events, the group was seeking to unite Southbankers by providing opportunities to connect and engage on a range of issues and called on anyone interested in helping to get in touch.
“We’re really lean and mean right now, and I’d love to have people who are interested in running events like book groups, trivia nights, coffee meet-ups. We’re not here to make money or run a particular agenda. We’d love for people to come forward,” she said •
For more information: southbank3006.com