We've hit the ground running with regular programs starting up again and some new people and events that are keeping us on the cutting edge.
We have started a Women's program in Richmond in a Boarding House that has 69 resident women. Samantha Hadfield is coordinating a team of dedicated volunteers and some good relations are being built in a growing environment of trust.
Ann Van Leerdam has joined the City Staff as Street and Hospitality Coordinator and we are already experiencing her 'magic' in putting things together. The Street and Hospitality team has welcomed her with open arms as she returns for a second stint at Urban Seed. Ann was one of the Residents in 1999-2000. Welcome back Ann.
New residents in both Norlane and the CBD add experience and depth to the existing teams. Relationships are growing and it's great to see the harmony develop. A few unfortunate things have happened in Norlane over the past few weeks and its been encouraging and challenging to see and hear the deep commitment to their community that the Norlane team has. They continue to look for and find the good in their neighbourhood and do everything they can for the flourishing of that community. The same can be said of the CBD residents with the constant challenges of the Laneway, the deep needs of people in that space and the need for wisdom to know how best to act. We are rightfully proud of our Residential teams.
Nat Gilbert and team are working in Flemington again this year. In partnership with the City of Moonee Valley and Good G.A.M.E. they are working with the African Community through soccer programs and the establishment of a Soccer Club. Through this medium they are using a Community Development paradigm and seeing some good movement.
This year we have planted a Community Development work in partnership with the Baptist Union in St Albans. Stephanie and Julian Drake, CBD residents from last year, are now living in St Albans, getting to know their neighbours and the neighbourhood, and looking for ways to get involved. It is exciting to be a part of this plant from the ground up.
Some other news snippets include:
- Samantha and her community garden/veggie patch at Federation Square
- A Community training program about to start in Norlane that will help train up some of the neighbours for Community Development work
- Brigid and her teaching of art in the Art Beat program on Wednesday afternoons
- The possibility of men's shed programs in both Norlane and Melbourne
- A growing relationship with The Cave in Ascot Vale and the work that Gregg and Bronwyn Morris and team are involved in
- Formation Fridays as an intentional time for reflection on the action in which we are involved around Victoria.
- And the list goes on...