All about music…

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By Cr Serge Thomann

Excuse the pun, but I’ll talk about things that are music to my ears…

We have just celebrated La Fête de la Musique in St Kilda. When François Mitterrand was elected President of France, he hand-picked highly respected theatre expert Jack Lang as the Ministre de la Culture and he came up with the concept of La Fête de la Musique.

The idea was to have as many free concerts in public spaces as possible, all through France, over a single day. It started in Paris in 1982, spread across France, and is now enjoyed in more than 700 cities around the world, including Port Phillip.

This event brings people onto the streets through music and a vibrant celebration of culture. The City of Port Phillip is making this free music event possible in St Kilda through its Festival Grants program.

Talking about music, we have also unveiled the Rowland S. Howard Lane between Jackson Street and Eildon Road. It finally happened after a few complications with the Office of Geographic Names about using the full name.

The street sign must be the biggest sign in the Guinness Book of Records at about 1.80 m – we must enter it! Rowland was a great contributor to Australian music and it is fitting that he is recognised. Apparently entertainer Peter Allen also lived in Eildon Road. There are more plans to celebrate Australian music in our village, watch this space.

Talking about street names, I am wondering how many residents know about Mr Acland, Mr Barkly, Mr Fitzroy, Mr Grey, Mr Inkerman and others? You’ll notice that there aren’t many streets named after women … in fact the only one I can easily recall is Mirka Lane. I also wonder how many people know the story behind the name of St Kilda? I believe that local history, which is so dear to my father, should have a more significant place in our schools.

In more good news, Council has authorised our CEO to negotiate with Major Projects Victoria to deliver the Palais restoration works, to be funded by Council and the State Government.

Serge Thomann and John FarnhamThe Palais was also inducted in The Age Music Victoria Hall of Fame for its contribution to music in Melbourne, along with John Farnham, Olivia Newton-John, ACDC, the Seekers, sound engineer and St Kilda resident Bill Armstrong, the Thunderbirds, radio DJ Stan Rofe, Archie Roach and the Sunbury Festival. Congratulations to all the inductees and I hope to see you at the celebratory concert at the Palais on 20 November.

Getting right off topic, I was just handed a map with all the resurgence projects in St Kilda and it is impressive. The Palais, the Stokehouse, Donovans, the Acland Street upgrade, Fitzroy Street streetscape and a new life saving club are all on it. And of course, we are working hard on developing a business case for the Triangle, including the community’s engagement with the enquiry by design process. We have got the Channel Seven Restaurant Revolution pop up winter activation on the go and the State Government has committed money to the redevelopment of the Junction Oval. The Peanut Farm will be upgraded too.

We recently were visited by Ludo Campbell-Reid, General Manager of the Auckland Design Office. He is a very inspirational man with lots of great ideas and spoke about some of the major changes in Auckland over the past 10 years involving urban design and creating new, clutter free spaces which can be enjoyed by pedestrians.

I liked his quote: “Everyone loves progress but no one likes change.” So true.

During July, we are celebrating Bastille Day and I’ll be at the South Melbourne Market where Renan from Claypots will organise his traditional party! See you there for a glass of Champagne on July 14.

A lot on the go!

Cr Serge Thomann


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