An inclusive crossing
AFTER five months as a councillor, my strong beliefs about the value of listening to the community have only been reinforced.
It is clear to me that it is vital to listen to our local residents; to hear what issues are important to them; and to draw on their expertise and knowledge to develop and grow.
It is then up to councillors to convert those ideas into reality, and to work with other levels of government to secure the necessary funding and services.
One of those community-led projects, that I’m proud to have seen delivered, has just come to fruition.
On Wear it Purple Day in 2019, Council received a request from a member of the community to install a rainbow crossing.
This was an idea that generated support and led to the installation of a temporary rainbow sticker in Little Malop St, in February 2020, to help celebrate the Geelong Rainbow Festival.
However, the positive momentum this generated unfortunately ground to a halt when the COVID pandemic radically shifted priorities just a month later.
Plans for the permanent crossing were progressed last year, when officers asked for the public’s input on the best location.
With a number of options considered, the pedestrian crossing on Yarra Street, under the Westfield flyover, was chosen.
The site attracts a lot of pedestrians and is prominently placed, with great views down the street.
The permanent installation was unveiled last week, and looks fantastic with a number of inclusive elements.
The design is based on Valentino Vecchietti’s progress pride flag, which was created in 2021.
Alongside the traditional rainbow colors, there are references to the transgender flag, intersex flag and brown and black lines to represent all people of colour, including First Nations people.
The initiative is a sign of solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ community.
It is also a clear demonstration, to the wider Geelong community, that everyone is welcome here.
We are committed to fostering an inclusive and safe city, where people are free to truly be themselves.
As chair of Council’s LGBTQIA+ Advisory Committee, I want to thank everyone involved in delivering the project – from the seed of the idea, through to the truly stunning result.
There is a great community-driven alliance that is changing the way that grassroots groups collaborate and advocate for significant change.
The Real Deal for Geelong has brought together more than a dozen organisations, including unions, faith groups, sustainability advocates and community centres.
At the time of writing, the alliance’s community solutions forum was due to be held on Thursday night (December 7).
After identifying the community’s key issues, this week’s meeting at Cloverdale Community Centre was to highlight potential solutions to them, and to progress them with political leaders.
The issues Real Deal for Geelong are hoping to advance are:
- Secure Housing (including lifting the supply of social and affordable housing)
- Meaningful Work and the Cost of Living
- Care and Connection
Council is supportive of Real Deal for Geelong’s work, and will continue its strong advocacy regarding the need for social housing in the mooted Commonwealth Games Athlete’s Village site.
We’re pushing for 30 per cent of all dwellings built in that area to be set aside for social and affordable housing.
Cr Sarah Hathway
City of Greater Geelong