Triumph for fan-power

Fans Sally Bruen and Jenny Valentish never met their idol Chrissy Amphlett, but that didn’t stop them successfully campaigning for a Melbourne lane to be name in the late singer’s honour.

The pair were instrumental in a campaign which started with a petition of 7000 signatures and is expected to culminate with the sign “Amphlett Lane” going up in a formerly-unnamed lane off Little Lonsdale St in December.

Last month, the pair addressed the Future Melbourne Committee urging support for the proposal to rename Corporation Lane 1639. Following the unanimous vote by councillors for the proposal, planning chair Cr Ken Ong told them the decision was “never in doubt”.

For Sally, the former Divinyls lead signer was an inspiration woman and a leader. “When you look at it, Chrissy’s story is the story of feminism,” Sally said. “And she added so much to our lives.”
Jenny concurs, adding: “There is a generation of female musicians who may not even know what Chrissy has done for them.”

The pair joined other fans as well as people close to Chrissy searching for a suitable lane once the City of Melbourne had approved the concept in principle.

“Our search took us from the bottom of AC/DC Lane to the top of Bourke St, day and night, in all weathers,” Sally told city councillors. “It was important to find a lane that had good pedestrian, tram, train and bike access as well as being connected to unique icons. Corporation Lane 1639 backs onto the stage doors of both The Palace and The Princess Theatres where Chrissy has performed in both.”

Jenny told the council: “Chrissy has a very strong connection to this block for many reasons. She performed at the Palace Theatre with Divinyls. She had an incredible run with Boy from Oz at the Princess Theatre.”

“Chrissy and Charley signed their marriage license and first appeared as a married couple at The Princess Theatre in 1999. Chrissy spent many hours at the European Café, many days shopping in the surrounding district and many nights across the park at Park Hyatt.”

“The laneway has the overall best feel and ample exposure and is in the historically significant Melbourne theatre area.”
“After much investigation and research we feel this would be the best home for Amphlett Lane and a most appropriate place for all to remember her long, storied, Melbourne-based career and life.”

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