North Melbourne public housing residents thank council for strong support
President of the Melbourne Somali Community Inc Awil Hussein has expressed his gratitude to the City of Melbourne for having “developed a good connection” with North Melbourne public housing residents over the past year.
In addressing the council’s Future Melbourne Committee (FMC) meeting on March 21, Mr Hussein thanked all councillors and council staff for listening to resident concerns – including stopping the closure of the North Melbourne Community Centre gym at Buncle St – that were raised at the council’s June 14 meeting last year.
Mr Hussein said the council had held meetings with residents of the North Melbourne public housing estate, which was coordinated through the North Melbourne Language and Learning space.
“The two meetings and the walk arounds created atmosphere of great engagement and working together,” he said, which had resulted in the following priorities being actioned:
A commitment to building a zebra crossing at Canning St.
Engagement with public housing residents.
Redeveloping the community centre and involving resident ideas and activities.
Improving the lights between the new Woolworth shopping centre and the estate.
A focus on providing employment opportunities to the residents – with one resident from the estate having been employed with the council.
Advocacy for the North Melbourne Primary School and Uni High School to be included in the school zones of the estate, with Cr Capp writing a letter to the Minister for Education.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp thanked Mr Hussein’s leadership for advocating issues in the community and for taking the time in showing her and councillors around the neighbourhood, which coincided with the creation of the City of Melbourne neighbourhood program, which helps locals connect and share ideas for the future.
Cr Capp said while there was “still plenty of work to be done”, she praised Mr Hussein’s work and community engagement with the council which she described as “more effective and collaborative”
Mr Hussein said residents wanted to continue to build a stronger relationship with the council and to “assist with structural capacity building and developments for our local organisation”.
“With all these supports from the City of Melbourne and building a working relationship with our resident local organisations such as the Melbourne Somali Community Inc, we acknowledge the support of the City of Melbourne, and thank and appreciate their services on behalf of our residents of the public housing estate at North Melbourne,” he said. “We’ve built a stronger communication with the council who have helped us get funding for organisational support as well as the Eid community festival on April 29, which we are looking forward to hosting at the North Melbourne Public Housing estate for the second year running.” •