Community grant supports East Melbourne residents

Carol Saffer

East Melbourne Group vice president Jenny Owen applied to the City of Melbourne for a Community Connected Grant only to be told that the grant funding was not for organisations; it was meant for individuals.

So, Ms Owen applied under her name, and the Grant she received was put to good use paying for the East Melbourne Community event on Saturday, November 20, in Powlett Reserve.

“We wanted to have a ‘meet and greet everyone in the neighbourhood get together’ to make up time and connections lost during COVID,” Ms Owen said.

“It was a huge success, we had somewhere between 200 to 300 people participate.”

“Lots of the locals helped; we had two volunteers who knew a lot about bikes and offered to make small repairs to anyone’s bike.”

There was also a call out for donations of surplus bikes for re-gifting.

The electric scooter hire business Lime Scooters turned up with scooters and two staff to show those willing how to ride.

“I think at least 50 people took a trial ride,” Ms Owen said.

Other entertainment included Zumba dancing, face painting for the kids, and a dress-up pet parade.


The locally manned sausage sizzle gave away 300 snags, and the Devonshire tea ladies were ferrying scones and cakes throughout the crowd.


Representation from community groups included members of the Victoria Police, who were happy to listen to local concerns. 

The East Melbourne Group, East Melbourne Historical Society, East Melbourne Neighbourhood Network, and local arts and crafts groups were all on hand to chat with their neighbours and members.

Ms Owen said there was a cross-section of people at the reserve.

“There were young families, people who were renters, and old timers who have lived in the suburb for decades,” she said. 

“One person ran into someone they worked with 45 years ago.”

All the activities were free of charge, and a grand time was had by all, with many requests to make it an annual event. •

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