A great list of things to do in St Kilda delivered to you every Sunday evening

This Week in St Kilda #296
Ferris Wheel 30% discount for locals
Hope for small childcare centres
Access ramp left out of $53m St Kilda Pier project

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KIIS Eye Ferris Wheel @ Catani Gardens
Friday 10 December to Sunday 27 March, 10 am to 9.30 pm daily
30% discount at the gate for St Kilda locals with proof of address.
Ride a comfy accessable gondola for 6 – 10 minutes of St Kilda views. $12 adults, $10 seniors/kids, $40 for 6-person gondola.
15% discount online.
Tix and info

The Comedy of Errors @ St. Kilda Botanical Gardens
Tuesday 14 December – Sunday 19 December, 7 pm – 8.30 pm, also 3 pm – 4.30 pm weekends
Melbourne Shakespeare Company returns with their original musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s funniest farce The Comedy of Errors. $30/$20

Brian Cadd Live @ Memo
Friday 17 December, 7.30 pm
Brian Cadd is a bona-fide music legend – he’s gone very Woodstock – watch the YouTube! $65 / $55
Tix | YouTube

Telling Tales @ St Kilda Botanical Gardens
Saturday 18 December – Sunday 19 December, 11 am & 1 pm
A new interactive family musical presenting a magical adventure with your favourite fairy tales and fables from around the globe. There’s sing-along songs, puppetry, live music and dance that the whole family will love.
A 60 minute interactive adventure suitable for children aged 5+.
Pay what you can pricing ($20 suggested)
Roy Theaker – Violin virtuoso & entertainer @ Gasworks
Thursday 16 December, 7.30pm – 8.25pm
“Spectacular Virtuoso Violinist Roy Theaker – a dynamic show of rock, movie, funky disco and classical crossover music.”
$45/$40/$30 for PP locals
Tix  | Video 

Parents battle of the bands 3 @ Prince Bandroom
Thursday 16 December, 7 pm
Welcome #Battle3 of the Parents Battle Of the Bands, with 7 Parents Bands from 7 local primary schools, battling it out on one night only.
All proceeds go to the music programs of participating schools. $20 plus bf
Tix and info
Christmas Carol Gathering @ Christ Church St Kilda
Thursday 16 December, 8.30 pm
BYO candle and candle holder
14 Acland Street

Port Phillip Summer Sessions launch @ Cleve Gardens, Fitzroy Street
Friday 17 December, 5.30 pm
Live music and a neon light installation with Mayor Marcus Pearl, a Welcome to Country featuring a Smoking Ceremony and local traders to feed you.

Waz e James Band @ George Lane
Friday 17 December, doors 6 pm
Original Country Rock band Waz e James featuring Andrew Pendlebury are back with Scotty Martin and Steve Hadley.

KINGZ @ Prince Bandroom
Friday 17 December, 9 pm
“A sick new club night for folks who love RnB and Hip-hop”. $40

Die Hard & Home Alone Double feature @ Astor
Friday 17 December, 6.30 pm
Bruce and Macaulay on one night – it must be Christmas!
Jugg Life @ Gasworks (kids program)
Saturday 18 December, 11 am – 11:50 am
“Hutton and Fisher… have taken juggling to a whole new exciting level.” Family $20 (group of 4)
Warning: It’s completely normal for audiences to feel compelled to learn to juggle after watching Jugg Life.
Christmas Market @ Upton Road social enterprise
Saturday 18 December, 11 am – 2 pm
Indoor and outdoor plants, coffee cart and community BBQ. Profits go to youth programs.
4B Upton Road, St Kilda
Orlando Jazz Combo @ Burnett Grey Gardens, Ripponlea
Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 December, 1 pm and 3 pm
Summer Session live music with Orlando Jazz Combo blowing their unique blend of Jazz in the park near Ripponlea Station.
Even the train drivers will blow their horns!

Smells Like The 90’S @ Prince Bandroom
Saturday 18 December, 7.30 pm
“The ultimate 90’s tribute band selection: Stone Temple Co-Pilots, Alice Remains, The Pearl Jam Experience & Stronger Than All” $40

The Eagles Story @ Memo
Saturday 18 December, 7.30 pm
“This 2 set show is filled with amazing harmonies, memorable melody lines and those incredible guitar duels that became trade mark for the band”. $50/$40

A Very Big Band Christmas @ Memo
Sunday 19 December, 3.30 pm
Sleighing into its 5th year, featuring the Jack Earle Big Band and starring Belinda Parsons, Nina Ferro, Fem Belling and very special guest Eddie Perfect. $55 / $45

Mick Pealing & Nick Charles @ George Lane
Sunday 19 December, doors 4 pm
Two great performers.
Free Poof Doof Xmas Party @ St Kilda Sports Club
Sunday 19 December, 1 pm – 9 pm
Bowlo’s first ever Poof Doof Melbourne Xmas party – a festive gay on the lawn. Free

Seasons classics @ Classic Elsternwick
A festival of festive films, including the New York tradition of Fiddler on the Roof of the 25th!
Fri Dec 17 8:30 pm – Die Hard
Sun Dec 19, 2:00 pm – Love Actually
Tue Dec 21, 9:00 pm – Die Hard (Rooftop Screening)
Fri Dec 24, 8:30 pm – The Nightmare Before Christmas
Sat Dec 25, 12:30 pm – Fiddler on the Roof
Postcard Show @ Linden
Until Sunday 27 February, Tuesdays – Sundays 11 am- 4 pm
The Postcard Show is back with over 1,000 mini masterpieces to see – every work measuring exactly 8 x 10”
More info and winners
Review: Alternative Futures @ Theatre Works
Roving theatre on Acland Street 4 & 5 December
Bravo to Theatre Works for the creative and fun roving theatre on Acland Street earlier this month.
Across just four performances, six accomplished actors treated a roving crowd to futuristic monologues in and around Acland Street.
Starting in a young woman’s double bed, our roving guide wonders what the world will be like when she emerges from her pandemic cave.
We follow her up and down Acland to meet other characters from different futures.
There’s the green haired cake baker from 2071 who offers us AI produced cake in petri dishes; a mayor consumed by her passion for recycled plastic everything – ultimately including her; the museum guide who warns us not to touch the glass in the underwater exhibit of O’Donnell Gardens before the seas engulfed us, naturally there’s also a transcendent party-time girl and finally a wise Indigenous tree spirit with a timeless story delivered from a glorious, magnificent old tree in the Church grounds.
All delivered through headphones with great sound and production.
Lets hope they do it again.
Production credits 

Early childhood centres say not gone yet
Hope for small early learning centres

Last week we reported that three local early learning centres faced sale and closure by Council largely because they were unlikely to get State grants to make improvements to bring them up to modern building codes.
Local MPs back centres
This week local MPs have disputed council’s rationale for selling the three centres and come out swinging against the sale.
Local state MP Martin Foley told TWiSK that “The City of Port Phillip has not engaged with State Government with regard to the three centres they have deemed “obsolete” – nor have they provided any evidence of assessment and costings with regard to refurbishment at a time when State Government is engaged in the largest investment in early childhood centre infrastructure ever undertaken in the history of Victoria.”
Local Federal MP Josh Burns was also vocal in his support, telling TWiSK: “We’ve fought this before when the Council wanted to get out of high-quality childcare. We cannot let the Council go the easy road and sell extremely important community assets. These three early childhood centres should remain in public hands and benefiting our local community.”
Clearly the parents from the centres – 17 Eildon Road, St Kilda, 46 Tennyson Street, Elwood, and 39 The Avenue, Balaclava – have been active behind the scenes.
Next week: Council will have a right of reply!

First-class pier but third-class access to the water for less abled people

Last month the State and Council announced the final plans for a $53m rebuild of the St Kilda Pier.
It’s a fantastic design with many great features, including a special platform for people to view the penguins with out threatening the colony.
But there was a mixture of disappointment and anger amongst local disability advocates because the proposed All Ability Access to the water had vanished from the design.
Local resident, wheelchair user and keen cold-water swimmer, Larry Rosenzweig (pictured with puppy Bonny) told TWiSK he was gobsmacked when he heard the water access was not included in the $53M project.
‘Surely there was no better time to ensure all abilities access to the water. Parks Victoria and Port Phillip council blame each other instead of working together on a solution,’ he said
Readers should note that we are talking about access to the water at depth (not just the beach or shoreline).
As Larry explains, ‘many want to do more than look at the water, they want to get right in and enjoy themselves.’
Not in our scope says Parks Victoria
Council has told TWiSK that they repeatedly submitted AAA ramp concept plans to Parks Victoria during the design and consultation phases for the pier (see concept plans).
Council proposed a ramp with handrails beside the pier that provided sand-free access into the water at depth (much like a ramp into a swimming pool).
This would be helpful to a wide range of people – not just wheelchair users – but anyone who has difficulty entering and exiting the water.
To confirm the ramp was gone, TWiSK approached the Government and got this response (in full).
‘The pier is an essential part of St Kilda harbour and is a busy working area important for activities including boating, fishing, socialising, viewing wildlife, walking and photography. 
‘The beach at St Kilda Pier is unpatrolled so swimming is encouraged outside St Kilda Life Saving Club which is approximately 400m south of the pier. This site also has a disability beach access ramp, beach matting and beach wheelchairs. The club also has a full Changing Places facility with a hoist and change table.

‘The final (pier) design meets Disability Discrimination Act 2006 (DDA) and Australian design standards for access and mobility.
‘The project includes widening the main pier deck from 6.1m to 7.5m which will better accommodate mobility scooters, wheelchairs and prams. It will also include new accessible toilets, more frequent seating, handrails and a DDA compliant ramp from the pier entry to the sand on the same access as the beach cleaning vehicle.’
In a separate email, spokesperson for Parks Victoria went further, saying:
‘St Kilda Beach is managed by City of Port Phillip and a water access ramp is not within the scope of the St Kilda Pier project.
As part of the project the current beach access for the beach cleaning tractor will be reinstated.
This ramp is planned to be all abilities down to the sand (but not into the water).’

At a recent meeting, Council included a AAA ramp to it’s ‘wish-list’ of State election commitments it would seek in the coming election campaign, namely:
‘Council is requesting Victorian Government commit to a AAA Ramp being included back into the Master Plan designs for St Kilda Pier.’
Frustrating, heartbreaking and patronising
‘Its upsetting that the authorities feel that the beach matting and beach wheelchairs are equivalent to a permanent ramp into the water at depth. Frankly I feel dismissed and patronised,’ Larry told TWiSK.
‘I love cold-water swimming with my mates. We often go in the early morning and they must drag me across the sand on a tarp. It’s very degrading and dangerous for my friends too,’ Larry said.
Watch a 20 second video of Larry and his mates dragging him across St Kilda beach for a swim
‘Imagine for a moment that your access to the water was limited only to between noon and 5 pm on weekends. You’d probably be sad or mad, but that’s the situation for less abled people today and even after the new pier is finished.’
And after looking at the facts about beach wheelchair program at St Kilda, you might share Larry’s disappointment.
At St Kilda Lifesaving Club, the single wheelchair is available only during summer on Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 5 pm. It must be pre-booked in advance (during the week before).
While the ’mobi-chair’ is very clever, it’s by no means suitable for all.
To hire for water use, two carers must be provided.
The matting is often submerged in beach sand because of the changing currents and often rendered unusable (as pictured below).
Beach matting often is rendered useless by wind and tides.

$53M project and no water access to the less abled
We can only ask WTF happened?

The idea of an all-abilities ramp at St Kilda Beach has been kicking around for over a decade.
Council actually called for tenders to built it (over a decade ago), but cancelled the project in anticipation of the State including water access in the pier redesign.
But after years of ‘consultation’ the water access is missing
This is doubly disappointing because Council is contributing $2.2 million to the project for landside connections.
Its perplexing because even in the most recent Council media release  proclaiming the wonders of the new pier, they felt the need to say:
‘We will continue to advocate to the Victorian Government, and seek funding support, to install the permanent bay access for people with a disability to enter the water via a ramp near the pier, which was included in the concept plans for this project.’
TWiSK agrees with Larry: Parks Victoria and Port Phillip council should stop pointing the finger at each other and work together on a solution.
In the meantime, less able people are left with a third class solution. 
It’s literally a drag!

Greg Day
Happy to chat anytime 0418 345 829
Content suggestions and community questions are always welcome.

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This Week in St Kilda respectfully acknowledges the Yaluk-ut Weelam Clan of the Boon Wurrung.
We pay our respect to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We acknowledge and uphold their continuing relationship to this land.