What are you grateful for, Southbank?

By Mary-Kay Rauma

How are you?

It’s a question I’ve wanted to ask many of you as I’ve walked around Southbank, gazing into the eyes of masked strangers.

Personally, I’ve had good days and some very tough days. I just passed my two-year anniversary of moving to Southbank, nearly half of which has been spent in lockdown.

I haven’t seen my parents, who live overseas, for more than two years and I know my story isn’t unique. We live in arguably the most densely populated neighbourhood in Australia with a United Nations of residents hailing from all over Australia and across the globe – homelands either a state or thousands of miles away that used to be within reach, now seem so far away. So many of us are missing loved ones.

But as I reflect on the rollercoaster ride of last year, one word rises to the surface: “gratitude”.

Gratitude for you, Southbank. The residents, the businesses that have hung in there for us, the adorable pets, and this Southbank newspaper that has kept us connected through it all.

We won the lockdown lottery with our five-kilometre radius—the beach, the Yarra, Royal Botanic Gardens, CBD and Albert Park.

Our dense population has been a blessing as there is almost always someone out and about – and seeing all of you, carrying on with your lives as best you can even on the gloomiest of days got me through some tough spots.

I can’t count the times that I’ve thanked my lucky stars for having chosen Southbank as my home.

Recently, I joined the committee of Southbank Residents’ Association (SRA) – our suburb’s community organisation that advocates to the council and state government on behalf of residents.

Out of the gates, I was inspired to engage in a simple project that involves you, Southbankers, and that question I’ve been wanting to ask is … how are you Southbank? How did you get through the past year? Yes, we’ve all endured hardships, but what is it you are grateful for? What is your COVID silver lining?

Southbank Residents’ Association Gratitude Competition

SRA, in partnership with Southbank News, would like to hear how living in Southbank helped you get through this past year.

What raised your spirits and how? Perhaps it was a new connection you made with a neighbour. Maybe it was something as simple as your view, the barista who made your daily cup of coffee, a daily walking route or a story about having a pet in Southbank. The more detail you provide, the better.

Email your submission (max. 300 words) to [email protected] by November 21.

The top 10 entries will receive a $50 visa cash card and appear in the December/January edition of Southbank News (you may request your entry remain anonymous, initials or first name only).

We are full of hope and relief as Southbank and the City of Melbourne move closer to reopening and look forward to hearing what you are most grateful for this past year •

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