New to living in Melbourne’s CBD?

By Sue Saunders

You have come to live in the city recently expecting to engage in a vibrant, inner-city lifestyle only to find relatively quiet streets and lightly occupied venues, all due to the re-emergence of the pandemic.

The city is beautiful. Many enticing up-market shops, other boutique venues found hidden in laneways and many places to dine. But wait, some venues are not open. Some places have only take-aways. Where are all the people? How can you establish new friendships and hope to encourage an interesting social life in this environment? What to do?

This article suggests two approaches to help you ride out the pandemic in style. The first is to think about your attitude to all of this. We are now a highly-vaccinated community. There are no mandatory government lockdowns, yet people are being cautious, wearing masks when in close contact with others. People who have had a third dose of vaccine may be getting the disease but are managing. Just think what it would have been like if we did not go into lockdown two years ago and there were no vaccines?  

A few mind exercises can help in these strange times. Every day try to find things to be grateful for. Some examples. We are experiencing a bountiful, pleasant summer season. Have you noticed that some of the ducks along our “Birrarung” (the Yarra River) have produced two lots of ducklings this year? They are so cute! We are blessed in Melbourne’s CBD with some of the most beautiful parks where most is growing well this year. Enjoy the gardens and the fresh air.  

The second suggestion is to join Residents 3000. Go to our website at residents3000.com.au and find out that even in a pandemic, Residents 3000 has some wonderful events and safe activities that will introduce you to the delights of living here.  

Monthly guided walks in the safe open air. You can wear your mask and still have lots of fun.  Melbourne has many amazing secret things to see just by walking around and our in-house guide knows them all!  

Next is our Garden Club. One of our committee members is a skilled indoor plant specialist as well as having a broad knowledge of plants in general. She is able to help you learn the art of growing things indoors and on balconies. During the pandemic, our members have been taken on delightful and informative tours of Melbourne’s extensive gardens and well as having informative sessions by Zoom.

Finally, Residents 3000 have monthly events that we call “Forum 3000”. How do we do that in a pandemic you ask? Well, we have had quite large attendances via Zoom. For example, more than 100 at our recent annual general meeting in September where Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, Sally Capp gave us an update on how, at the time, we were on the road to revitalising our city once the pandemic was over.

At our December meeting we were finally able to meet in person at the Kelvin Club. We were all so glad to meet up again after such a long time meeting online. At this event we were given an informative update on the state of real estate in the CBD for both buyers and renters. The event was followed with a series of door prizes which everyone loved, followed by light refreshments. Residents 3000 is fortunate to be hosted by the long-standing and well-respected, Kelvin Club in Melbourne Place.

So, what of 2022? Residents 3000 has planned some really wonderful events. Rest assured that we are pandemic proof, believe me! If it is considered safe and all attendees are properly vaccinated, then we are gathering on the first Thursday of each month at the Kelvin Club – check on our website. But if we have to adapt, we are experts at conducting our meetings via Zoom.

Starting on the first Thursday in February, we are having our annual update on the Metro Tunnel. It will be so interesting. How has the project fared in these strange times? Are they on schedule? Be amazed by the consortium’s wonderful slides showing us what has been happening under our feet during the past 12 months.

Then in March we are privileged to welcome the CEO of City of Melbourne, Justin Hanney, and our community representative, Michelle James, who will update us on the city’s Participate 3000 program.

In April 2022, assuming the pandemic has waned considerably by then, we will host our highly successful Neighbourhood Marketplace taking up the whole top floor of the Kelvin Club. A larger event with more stands than last year is being planned, including Victoria Police, City Precinct members, City of Melbourne and other local businesses. 

Remember to check our website each month to confirm the details of our Forum 3000 events. 

For existing members, other city residents and newcomers to the city, life can still be exciting despite the pandemic. The way to think about all of this is that, if it can be good in a pandemic, then how much better it will be as we go forward and eventually drive this pandemic away •

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