CBD Local articles

Taking the turtle for a walk

By Rhonda Dredge A figure walks through the city. She’s trying to feel her way into the spaces. She isn’t sure where she is heading. A flash of colour or an open door might lead her astray. Bronwen Kamasz could be in a movie, one of those slow motion sequences in which the moments seem

When art does all the talking

By Rhonda Dredge Private collectors are shy, hiding behind their artworks, but they do love to make a fuss about the artists in their collection.  Jan van Schaik has 128 works in his small Bourke St apartment and most are squeezed into the hall. He can list the names of all of them and is

Seniors out of the suburbs

By Meg Hill Bill Clark has Melbourne’s Peregrine falcon livestream playing on the computer in his apartment. After a while, the falcon stands up, revealing the nest at the top of 367 Collins St. The 74-year-old’s life fits into his small apartment in Elm Tower on Little Lonsdale St, and a look around the room

To teach is to listen

In 13 different spaces within the City of Melbourne, 1500 retirees regularly congregate for classes as part of the University of the Third Age (U3A). Charles Klassen teaches a short course on the Literature of Power, Law and Justice that begins with the Epic of Gilgamesh, moves through Greek and Egyptian justice, the Middle Ages,

One of the mob

By Rhonda Dredge The buildings are grander and more institutional if you approach the CBD from the north. Even the houses on the northern fringe have arched verandas.  These classical forms speak clearly of an early Melbourne that took itself seriously. Old Melbourne Gaol on Russell St was the place you ended up if you

On a housing mission

By Rhonda Dredge A social conscience is a difficult concept that many struggle with but few conquer. Robert Pradolin is an ideas person on housing and he’s letting his social conscience drive him.  That means he’s ready to cop the flak from those who see him as a big-noter, a property developer turned homelessness consultant.

Our city’s surprise community

Having lived in the CBD for more than 10 years, Jenny Eltham can confidently say that it is one of Melbourne’s best kept secrets.  As the president of CBD-based resident group East Enders Inc., a social forum for residents living in the eastern quadrant of the Hoddle Grid, Jenny continues to play a valuable role

Emotionally attached to the art world

The Flinders Lane Gallery has occupied a special place in the streetscape for 30 years and many collectors have fond memories of coming to openings then going out dining nearby.  Claire Harris has been in the gallery for 20 of those years, greeting collectors, making them feel comfortable, the last 12 as director. “I think

Shy publican supports songsters

By Rhonda Dredge Irish poets pride themselves on their art of composition and the publican of The Drunken Poet is modest.  Sometimes Siobhan Dooley tends the bar alone with a bunch of 30 or more regulars.  She has the company of a bard’s gallery up on the ochre walls as she works.  Seamus Heaney looks

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