Seven Days of Winter in the Yarra

While S may stand for summer and socialising, W seems to stand for winter and woe. Woe induced by the weather and the desire to hibernate, with little motivation to get out and explore our amazing city, many of us choose to give socialising a miss all together.

Although winter is by nature cold, there’s an abundance of warm winter-friendly hangouts calling your name, tempting the fates by easing itself between you and your couch.

There’s also a myriad of awesome stuff that winter brings, like marshmallows, hot-chocolate and mulled wine.

So lets give winter a cracking send off with seven days of winter in the Yarra. Grab your jackets, there’s fun to be had yet!

Polly Bar – Fitzroy


The winner of Timeout’s 2016 Peoples’ Choice Award, Fitzroy’s original cocktail bar now also doubles as a cigar bar that will have you stepping back in time. The décor is old-world glamour but the bartenders know how to make a mean, chic cocktail and won’t laugh at you if you order an espresso martini. For a unique experience, they even run cocktail creations classes.


Owl & Cat Theatre and Bar – Richmond


If you’re after a unique bar experience with a side of giggles, then this amateur theatre has got you covered. The cabaret-style venue is tucked away in Cremorne, just opposite Richmond station and hosts local writers and talent alike. Tickets and drinks are reasonably priced and it’s perfect for a winter night out.


Ice Bar – Fitzroy

Tuesday night is student night @icebar_melbourne. $25 Entry – includes: Snow gear and an Icy Cocktail (valued at $17). 😍😍😍

A photo posted by Tourist Destination Melbourne (@icebar_melbourne) on


You could go the whole hog and embrace the cold! Brunswick’s Ice Bar emulates true Arctic weather, making Melbourne winter seem like a warm summer breeze. Everything in the bar – including your cup – is made of ice. To make things even better during August, if you can last 45 minutes in the bar, you’ll get a free shot! 


Feast of Merit – Richmond


Located on Swan Street, Feast of Merit is a restaurant that sources all of its ingredients locally.  100% of the profits go towards a YGAP project aimed at supporting entrepreneurs who are helping people living in poverty. Not only is that amazing in itself, but they recently opened up a rooftop bar that specializes in steamy mulled wine served in mason jars. Hipster cool, charitable and blessedly warm!


Mystery Rooms – Fitzroy


The very-hot-right-now phenomenon of ‘escape room’ has found its way to Napier Street. Grab a group of friends to get clues and solve puzzles to make it through the rooms in 60 minutes or less. There are a number of different themed zones to choose from, just make sure to book online at least 24 hours in advance.


Carlton Brewhouse – Abbotsford

Five Cougars thanks 🍻

A photo posted by Lucev (@lucev23) on


No need to hold out for the Heineken tour in Amsterdam, there’s another brewery tour right here in Yarra! The Carlton Brewhouse may not be a winter-warmer per se but we figure beer tasting is good on any list. Tour the brewery, learn some new things, sample a few ales and enjoy lunch for a festive day out.


Tramway Hotel – North Fitzroy


Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays sees this corner pub hosts live music ‘by the fire’ to warm the body and soul. The Tramway is local-obsessed and hosts a plethora of local talent, local tap beers and local wines. They even have a menu of ‘Melbourne bands who rule’ burgers, where burgers are named after different Melbourne-based groups. A venue that gleams with Melbourne pride, obviously we couldn’t skip the Tramway.

Winter never looked so fun!

By Caitlyn Leggett

11 Reasons Why The Yarra Is Ace: A World Photo Day Celebration

It’s world photo day and we want to celebrate 177 years of photography by showcasing what makes the City of Yarra so amazing. Here are just a few reasons that we’re humbled to be part of the Yarra community.

1. Respecting and acknowledging the Wurundjeri people, who are the traditional owners of this land.



2.  The art – fine art, street art, performance art, you name it, we got it.


Installation of James Bonnici’s new solo exhibition at Lindberg Galleries. @lindberggalleries @jamesbonniciart

A photo posted by LINDBERG GALLERIES (@lindberggalleries) on



The most creative traffic light busking I have ever seen! #busking #circusact #circus #hoddlestreet #melbourne 👌😂😜

A photo posted by c o r r i n e | n e w m a n (@rinnie_newman) on



3. With hundreds of places to park your behind, food definitely makes the list.


A photo posted by @cookingwithangandnik on





4. Inclusion, acceptance, tolerance and humanity feature strongly throughout the Yarra community.

When he left traces of rainbow prints so you won’t get lost 🌈 #morning #coffeehunting #gertrudest #victoria #melbourne #rainbow

A photo posted by Anisa Ornella Octaviana (@ornellanor) on



@cityofyarra we salute you. 👍 even if I did get a parking fine in Smith Street…

A photo posted by Blanka Dudas (@icamebyboat) on



5. The diversity, rich culture, beautiful colours and flavours. Without these we’d probably be South Yarra (not that there’s anything wrong with that).


#johnstonstreetfiesta #spanish #festival #paella #hispanic #melbourne 💃

A photo posted by SOPHIA ARGIRIOU | MELBOURNE (@emeraldwink) on



Come celebrate Melbourne’s vibrant hispanic community, today is the final day of the #johnstonstreetfiesta for 2015.

A photo posted by Food/events/bars/restaurants (@melbournetodo) on




6. There’s a never-ending list of things to see and do.

Here’s to capturing the last days of the Gertrude Street Projection Festival @_gspf.

A photo posted by True Tribe (@true_tribe) on




7. Who could forget Mary Rogers helping people cross the street over on Bridge Road in Richmond


// councils efforts to represent women via their social media streams.



8. I’m going to leave this one blank because i don’t know how to describe whatever this is.



9. Love it or hate it the deconstructed coffee is said to have originated in Abbotsford…



Oops wrong one, sorry about that. Here it is…



10. The iconic Edinburgh Gardens. A place for friends, family and community.



Which more importantly, is the location of a Pikachu.



11. And last but not least is Yarra’s commitment to sustainability.




Unfortunately Kanye’s Pablo pop-up store didn’t make the list, better luck next time buddy.


By Tiyana Matliovski

Filling empty houses with Melbourne’s homeless

It seems logical that with 35,000 Victorians on the list for social housing that every recourse be used to accomodate the numbers.

Yet, the list grows each month with those most vulnerable in our community at risk of becoming homeless.

The Homeless Persons’ Union of Victoria is holding a sit-in protest which is now in its second day.

#HPUV don’t let houses rot, squat the lot. Direct action solution for the homeless on very, very long waiting lists.

Posted by Viola Wilkins on Wednesday, March 30, 2016


The protest comes after last years reports that houses acquired for the scrapped East West Link project would be used for homeless accomodation, however, to date no action has been taken and the houses remain empty.

“The demonstration seeks clarification on issues surrounding the ownership, management and occupancy of these empty, publicly-owned properties. The lack of transparency has led to confusion within the homeless community.” says HPUV in a statement released on their website.

In their latest statement HPUV claim to have been given information that two of the properties have in some way been linked to Noble Knight Real Estate and are seeking further clarification on the details.

“It was revealed to the demonstration late yesterday afternoon that a commercial relationship exists between the state government and Noble Knight Real Estate concerning property numbers 16 and 18 on Bendigo St, Collingwood.

“Today the demonstrators once again call on the Andrews government for transparency regarding their relationship with Noble Knight Real Estate as it pertains to any of the empty properties on Bendigo St.”

Feature Image courtesy of Dissident Media.

Yarra Youth Services Bridging The Gap

The gentrification of Melbourne’s inner north has been a reality since the 1970’s when industry moved further out and housing affordability decreased rapidly.

Yet, the City of Yarra is host to some of Melbourne’s largest and oldest public housing settlements, which are a core feature in the municipalities profile.

Wilson Poni. Source: Yarra City Council

Eighteen year old Yarra Resident, Wilson Poni, has lived in Richmond in a community housing residence for over a decade and can’t imagine a better place to have grown up.

“It’s a good area, it’s safe as well.”

Part of Wilson’s love for his community stems from his participation in the council run Yarra Youth Services (YYS), located on Napier Street in Fitzroy. YYS aim to cater, not only to the 15,000 youth living in the area, but also to those who frequent it through school, work or play.

“Yarra Youth helps a lot of kids. They provide support and they give opportunities to kids to actually engage.”

YYS run programs such as fashion and textile design, artist in residence workshops, event management projects and leadership programs among many others.

“I’ve actually been through most of the programs here,” says Wilson. “When I was a kid I tried everything…The Livng It Up program is really good, it provides what we want to learn, the life skills, [which] I think are very important. Its like a short taste of what’s out there, you know.”

Although anyone under the age of 25 can participate, a large number of those involved in YYS are residents of the public housing dwellings.

Wilson is just one of many kids involved with YYS, yet his story is one with a precarious beginning, a commonality among the youth.

“My family moved from Sudan to Uganda. We were refugees from Sudan to Uganda, [now] half my family is in Sudan [and] half is in Uganda.”

Wilson spent several years with his mother and siblings in a Ugandan Refugee camp before being granted asylum in Australia.

“I remember Uganda not Sudan, I was just a baby, two or three… I haven’t been back there, but I was planning to go this year with my mum.”

In a country as multicultural as Australia, it’s no surprise that one in four Australians are born overseas. In the City of Yarra municipality, that increases to one in three.

What it is to be a youth in Australia can be an entirely different experience to that of a youth in other countries. Children from migrant families often have more responsibilities and personal freedoms can be restricted as a consequence.

“My mum is finishing study for her childcare course [and] I help look after [the kids she cares for] when she isn’t feeling well… I have to take kids to training when they play basket ball… I feel like I have to help, anyways I like doing it, it’s alright. The kids are nice as well.”

Earlier this year, Wilson was one of six selected individuals flown to the Manchester City Football Academy’s Global Young Leaders Summit. The opportunity came through the YYS Soccer Pathways program, and is sponsored by Melbourne City FC.

“Im a sports person, everything I want to do has to do with sports,” he boasts.

Wilson is studying sports development at Victoria University and hopes to become a manager of a soccer team. His recent trip to Manchester inspiring a love of travel and the idea of living abroad.

“I see myself in England managing a team in 10 years. I was there for a week, it was beautiful, [it was] the best week.”

Shaping young minds and ensuring their best possible outcome is fundamental to community development and Wilson believes YYS provides the necessary support systems.

“Yarra Youth has helped me to form what I am now, [without it] i’d be a different person.”

However, ensuring that the services offered cater to a vast array of individuals, including youth, parents and carers, is essential to the functionality of the organisation.

Cherry Grimwade, is the Youth and Middle Years Coordinator at YYS. She has been involved in the youth services sector for over 10 years and highlights their varied role within the community.

“You’ve got real pockets in Yarra of affluence, and real pockets in Yarra of disadvantage. How do you make sure a program and services you run are engaging and successful for all youth?” she asks.

From the ‘Living It Up’ life skills workshops, which teach mechanical work, cooking and boxing, to the music recording studio, which gives youth a safe place for expression, Grimwade believes it takes a variety of activities to nurture a variety of people.

“We have lots of different young people at the centre… Lots of different cultural backgrounds, [they’re] from various different sexual orientations, different age groups, different interests, involved in different sub cultures… Ultimately they are coming to those programs because they have an interest in that area, and part of youth services is to make everyone feel like they are connected and integrated in the program.”

Through free programs and transport to and from workshops, YYS aims to overcome accessibility issues, which often stem from economic hardship.

Unemployment, however, is a very real concern among Australian youth, who make up 40% of the entire unemployed work force.

According to a 2014 research report conducted by the Inner Northern Youth Employment Taskforce, a sharp decrease of entry level jobs since 2008 has further skewed opportunity vs participation of youth employment.

In the city of Yarra 26.7% of youth were unemployed in 2014, further perpetuating social and economic differences among youth.

“All young people have barriers to employment at the moment. If you’re a young person that has been born in Australia and have good family networks often your first casual job, or your job, comes from someone your family knows. For young people that live in the housing estates that’s where it differs. They don’t have those connections. [The point of] youth services is actually to build those connection points for them.”

However, the disconnect among young people can not always be measured in numbers. For some, their past experiences are harder to manage than others, and social cohesion relies on providing a safe environment for expression.

“A lot of these kids come from really traumatic backgrounds, from war torn countries , there are issues around big families living in small units, [or] not having a back garden. There are often barriers to schooling… Some of these young people have come from refugee camps, so if you’ve been in a refugee camp for 6 years your education won’t reflect your age level.” Says Grimwade

Knowing how to address these traumas and life experiences is key to the services proved by Yarra Youth.

“A number of young people are involved with the Hip-Hop program at the music studio. Through Hip-Hop and writing songs they often will write about their experiences and their histories… it means that they can start and unpack and deal with those issues.”

Wilson just finished his first demo track at the music studio, for him and hundreds of other kids who have stepped through the Napier Street doors, YYS is central to bridging the gaps that naturally occur within diverse communities.

Collingwood Town Hall Grand (re)Opening

Following its once in a century refurbishment, the Grand (re)Opening of the Collingwood Town Hall is coming up on Friday 11th July 8pm – 10pm. The night will see internationally acclaimed crooner Mikelangelo – The Balkan Elvis perform, backed by a 6 piece Balkan Brass Band  and Eastern Bloc go-go dancers.

Mikelangelo performs as part of the Leaps and Bounds Festival which will be taking over local City of Yarra music venues from Friday 4 – Sunday 20 July.

Can’t make it on the 11th? The community is invited to celebrate the reopening of the Collingwood Town Hall at a free community open day on Sunday 13 July from 10am–4pm.The day will include a variety of family-friendly activities:

Program Timetable
10.00am – 10.15am          Traditional smoking ceremony
10.20am – 10.40am          Lion Dance
10.40am – 11.00am          Welcome to Country and Speeches
11.00am – 11.40am          PBS Rock-a-bye Baby concert featuring Flap!
12.00pm – 12.20pm          Porcelain Punch
12.30pm – 12.50pm          Forever Dance Ballroom Dancing Demonstration
1.00pm – 1.20pm             Porcelain Punch
1.30pm – 1.50pm             Golden Tappers Performance and Tap Demonstration
2.00pm – 2.20pm             Porcelain Punch
2.30pm – 2.50pm             Keytones Choir
3.00pm – 3.30pm             Rising High Studio – Yarra Youth Services
3.40pm – 3.50pm             Homebrew Community Choir
4.00pm                            Event close

The Collingwood Town Hall is located at 140 Hoddle Street, Abbotsford.