News from Parkville Gardens

Tom Knowles

December in Parkville Gardens was busy!

The Parkville Gardens Residents’ Association (PGRA) held two big events in the lead-up to Christmas – an open-air jazz concert and the AGM, both of which were very successful.

After a quiet January, the working year is now underway. Schools are open and routines are returning as much as COVID allows. Of course, for the staff and volunteers at retirement and aged care facilities such as our local Mercy Place, the demands of caring for their residents through this pandemic have never stopped and they remain daunting. Construction work on the new social housing tower on Galada Avenue has resumed.

The good news for Parkville Gardens is that our application to the City of Melbourne for funding 2022 activities was successful. One grant covers the cost of our annual public liability insurance, the other enables us to organise events that engage and strengthen the local community. We have a series of functions in mind, including our annual children’s Easter egg hunt. We’ll keep you posted as plans take shape.

It’s back to business for the PGRA committee. At our first meeting in early February, we were pleased to welcome two guests from the City of Melbourne. First up was arborist Tyler Williams who spoke to us about the city’s tree policies. Here are just a few points he made …

The council’s Urban Forest Strategy aims to increase canopy cover to provide shade and reduce heat; this will entail replacing some smaller trees with larger equivalents. There is an ongoing tree maintenance program to detect and deal with safety issues, but it is impossible to prevent damage from severe storms such as the one on October 29, 2021. His presentation sparked animated discussion which had to be cut short because of time constraints.

Our second visitor was Nas Mohamud, Parkville’s new City of Melbourne Neighbourhood Partner. In a sense she replaces Fiona Darling, our previous council liaison person, but her role is somewhat different because of a change of approach on the part of the council.

They wish to engage more proactively with the designated neighbourhoods of the municipality. This has led to a significant reorganisation of the council’s staff and a new strategy. We welcomed her announcement that the council’s Future Melbourne Committee will meet with the neighbourhood on April 12. It was a pleasure to meet Nas in person.

Another initiative of the council is a new Parkville Heritage Review, the last one being held in 1979. The stated aim of the review is “to better understand Parkville’s built and cultural heritage and to find out what makes it different to other neighbourhoods.” Team members Tanya Wolkenberg, Rosyln Rymer and Suellen Holland are keen to hear from Parkville residents about the history and value of the area’s heritage places. The community consultation has begun and will run until March 7. To find out more and get involved, go to

This year will see a realignment of state electoral boundaries. Parkville Gardens has been excised from the Brunswick electorate and reassigned to Melbourne. Ellen Sandell will replace Tim Read as our local member. We look forward to having the same positive and active relationship with Ellen as we have had with Tim. In view of the upcoming change, Tim has brought us up-to-date on initiatives he has taken on our behalf.  He has written to the Minister of Education James Merlino on the issue of school zoning, is following up on his success in securing funding for a more frequent bus service and has written to Cr Rohan Leppert about charging stations for electric vehicles. Thank you, Tim!

In brief, Parkville Gardens has much to look forward to in 2022 •

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