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

TWiSK #366

Sights and Sounds @ St Kilda Botanical Gardens
Russell Crowe’s Indoor Garden Party @ Espy
Parents Battle of the Bands #5 @ Prince Band Room

Plus theatre, arts, music and more.

At Council: A tale of two toilets
Grand vision for South Melbourne Market shelved 

Scroll down for Council stories, they are after the events!

The defunding of local culture discussion @ Middle Park Library
Wednesday 24 May, 7 pm – 9 pm
Join Progressive Port Phillip’s next Community Conversation to discuss Council’s proposal to deprioritise the arts by cutting $87K from the Cultural Development Fund. This audience led conversation will be introduced by Jon Hawkes, a highly regarded commentator on cultural policy. Free, optional $5 donation.
Bookings essential as capacity is limited 
(upstairs – lift access) 254-256 Richardson Street, Middle Park.
Tuesday Trivia @ St Kilda Sports Club
Every Tuesday, 7 pm start
‘Come down and be right about something with your friends and some popcorn.’

Russell Crowe’s Indoor Garden Party @ Espy
Thursday 25 May, 6 pm
You know he can act, but can he rock? Find out for yourself. With Russell Crowe, The Gentlemen Barbers, Janet Devlin, Lorraine O’Reilly & Myth of Her. $55
Parents Battle of the Bands #5 @ Prince Band Room
Thursday 25 May, 7 pm
Massive line up including Phat Albert (Albert Park PS), The Middle Sparks (Middle Park PS), The Ripoffs (Ripponlea PS), Primary Scream (St Kilda PS), The P.O.G.S (Galilee PS), The Last Port (Port Melbourne PS), ABCD (Elwood PS) and Parental As Anything 2 (St Kilda Park PS).
What could go wrong? Luckily it’s an 18+ event, so no embarrassing moments for the children. $29.60

Tommy McLain with CC Adcock @ Memo
Friday 26 May, 7 pm
Direct from Louisiana, 101% pure Swamp Pop. Tommy McLain is an American music legend, a Louisiana Music Hall of Famer. Guitarist C.C. Adcock is the man put together and led the band Lil Band O Gold, helping McLain and other local legends, including the late great Warren Storm, to enjoy a late career revival. $$60/55
Fire and Food Truck Carnival @ South Beach Reserve
Saturday 27 May – Sunday 28 May, 12 pm to 10 pm daily
Flame Fest and Food Truck, beer and performance, beachside jollies.
Early bird tix $15 Adults and $10 Kids – 4 years and younger Free

Christ Church St Kilda’s Trivia Night @ Middle Park Bowling Club
New date Saturday 27 May, 6 pm for 7 pm start
BYO nibbles & food. Drinks (alcoholic, soft drinks) must be purchased from the bar (no BYO). $30
Please book on website  (no walk-ups)
Circus Showcase @ Gasworks
Saturday 27 May, 7.30 pm – 9.30 pm
Get ready for four new innovative circus acts with four acts shortlisted by an industry panel performing 15-minute excerpts of new works-in-development. $40/$36

Painters & Dockers Get Docked 40 @ Memo
Saturday 27 May, 7 pm
The Painters and Dockers are a musical institution and are turning 40!
Sold Out
Sights and Sounds @ St Kilda Botanical Gardens
Sunday 28 May, ‘All Day around the Gardens’
Celebrate the much-loved St Kilda Botanical Gardens with a day of fun with sights and sounds with the Friends of the Gardens.
There will be two photo exhibitions and musical performances with the Elwood Community Choir.
Launch of St Kilda Botanical Gardens Photography Exhibition: 10 am
Flash Mob choir by Elwood Community Choir: 12 noon – 12.30 pm
Public Rehearsal of the New Song for St Kilda Botanical Gardens – all welcome: 1 pm – 2 pm
Launch and premiere performance of the New Song with Elwood Community Choir and friends: 2.30 pm – 3.30 pm
Architecture bike ride @ St Kilda and Elwood
Sunday 28 May, 10 am – 12 noon
Social ride and bike tour exploring a hundred years of ‘gentle density’ housing in St Kilda and Elwood. Led by architect Brendan Baxter, the ride will visit exemplary small to medium-scale housing built from the 1920s to today.
Easy 10km ride on streets through St Kilda and Elwood, finishing at a cafe. They ride together as a group and support less confident riders. Bring your own bike or hire a Lime bike.
Free event but bookings are necessary 
A joint event by Port Phillip Bug and Jane’s Walk: Jane’s Walk is a global volunteer-led community movement, created in recognition of the ideas and legacy of Jane Jacobs, a platform where citizens can openly share knowledge and perspectives about chosen aspects of their city and environment.
Groove With Heart @ Encore St Kilda
Sunday 28 May, 12.30 pm – 5.30 pm
Sacred Heart Fundraiser. Party with Brian Nankervis of RocKwiz fame and get your drag on with guest Drag Race AU Star, Aubrey Haive. Enjoy canapes, cocktails, lunch and dessert, there will be prizes to be won, dancing to be done and a whole lotta fundraising fun! $99
Pioneers in Deaf, Blind and Mental Health Institutions @ St Kilda Cemetery
Sunday 28 May 2023, 2 pm
Join tour leader Claire Barton to learn about the inspiring work of Tilly Aston, James Thomas Harcourt, May Harrison, Reverend William Moss, John Downes Owen, Frederick John Rose and William Thomas. $15
Bookings required email info@foskc.org or ring 0451 831 102
Ensemble Gombert @ All Saints’ Concert Series
Sunday 28 May, 3 pm
Ensemble Gombert chamber choir present ‘Music for Pentecost’, directed by John O’Donnell $25 full / $20 concession / Students free with ID.
Tickets at the door (no EFTPOS) or Trybooking 
More info about concert program
2 Chapel Street, East St Kilda (opp. Astor Theatre)
Jetsons @ St Kilda Sports Club
Sunday 28 May, 5 pm
Candy Nelson Nakamarra @ Vivien Anderson Gallery
Extended until 3 June
This Candy Nelson Nakamarra’s first solo show in Melbourne.
“The exhibition will feature nine major multidimensional paintings that uniquely energize the ancient and abiding songline of Kalipinypa as taught to the artist by her late father, the eminent Papunya Pioneer, Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula.”
284–290 St Kilda Road
Tuesday to Friday 11 am — 5 pm, Saturday 12 pm — 4 pm
Access is limited

Next week 29 May – 4 June

Timor Leste Election Observers @ St Kilda Town Hall
Tuesday 30 May, 6 pm – 7 pm. RSVP by Friday 26 May
Friends of Suai/Covalima present a report back from the 2023 Timor Leste Election Observers and their experiences.
Australian East Timor Association (AETA) together with Victoria University Alumni Association in Dili has organised a group of 42 participants to volunteer as election observers.
The speakers include:
Jon Faine AM, writer and broadcaster will give the summary report from the AVEOM team.
Nancy Price, Friends of Suai Committee member will reflect on observing a Timorese election for the fifth time and change over time.
• Hon Martin Foley, former Labour politician in the Victorian Government will reflect on his experiences in the Timorese elections.
Followed by (non-alcoholic) drinks & nibbles. Free
Bookings via Eventbrite by Friday 26 May
Try before you ride: Accessible Footy Day @ Acland Plaza
Tuesday 30 May, 10 am – 2 pm
Get in your footy colours and Try Before You Ride! Yarra Trams and AFL invite you to come learn about accessible tram travel and to try out playing inclusive footy.
The Try Before You Ride initiative enables our passengers to be more independent and know that we’re supporting them along the way. Try Before you Ride allows passengers with accessibility concerns to practice boarding and alighting trams in a safe and controlled environment.
Our customer service team will be on-hand to answer questions and share information about the accessible features on our trams and how to plan for an accessible journey.
This is a free event, but please register. St Kilda Film Festival @ St Kilda and South Melbourne
Thursday 1 June – 12 June
Starting at the Palais and then moving to host most screenings at the Astor, the SKFF focuses on short films.
Highlights include: Australian Comedy Showcase; International Family Animation Explosions (kids free); Australian Documentary Showcase; and Made in Vic. This year SKFF also has a range of screenings in bars and hidden venues in South Melbourne.
Program now on line
Port Phillip residents get a 10% using promo code LOCAL10
SKFF Gravel Road – film and music @ Espy
Saturday 10 June, 1 pm
Watch the award-winning documentary ‘Gravel Road’ which depicts the story of the rock band ‘Desert Stars’ debut tour through Western Australia’s outback – and then hear the band in the Gershwin Room. With John Wayne Parsons & Eleanor Dix. $22.95
A month of extra Pride @ Pride
From 1 June
Pride has programmed a big month of extra activities in June which is Pride Month. They’ve got something happening every day.
Full program
Pride at Play @ Carlisle Street Arts Space
 Saturday 3 June -24 June, Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm, Saturdays 10 am – 3 pm.
Recommended for audiences 15 years or older
Pride at Play is a free curated collection of thoughtful queer games made by LGBTQIA+ creators from Oceania and Asia Pacific. There will be many games for solo and cooperative play available at the exhibition. Players without any prior experience can also sign up and play tabletop roleplaying games with an experienced facilitator.
As well as the exhibition itself, there will be a range of ‘bonus stages’ in the form of workshops, talks, and facilitated play sessions for audiences to expand their knowledge of game design and the importance of LGBTQIA+ representation in the games industry.
St Kilda Town Hall

Later in June

Uncle Vanya @ Theatre Works
From 7 – 17 June
This June, multi-award-winning director Bronwen Coleman (Dirt, Naomi, Ignis) and the Anthropocene Play Company breathe immediacy and new life into Anton Chekhov’s renowned classic, Uncle Vanya. $45 with some tix $20
What does ‘world heritage’ mean? @ U3APP Saturday zoom
17 June 2023 – 2.30 to 3.30 pm
A conversation between Dr William Logan AM and Dr Joe Hajdu explaining what it takes to get onto the list and how places are managed once they have been inscribed. How the system works will be explored using a case study of Berlin’s Museum Island, which was inscribed in 1999. Free
More info and zoom link 

VALE: Peter Love
Sad news from Susanne Provis

“My beloved husband Peter Love died suddenly on Thursday 18 May 2023 in the Hamilton Base Hospital. We were in the Western District for a reunion with his best mate, to explore the world heritage area and indulge in fine dining at the Royal Mail, Dunkeld. His final meal was splendid food, much discussion, analysis, debate, fun, and laughter.”
Read Susanne’s short tribute Peter
TWiSK will pass on details of any community event to remember and celebrate Peter.

Local and independent coverage
of Council news and decisions

A tale of two toilets and anti-social behaviour

According to the recently adopted ten year public toilet plan, Council will consider demolishing the Dandenong Road Public Toilet, a public toilet on a main road, near a school and next to a major park because of on-going anti-social behaviour.
The irony has not been lost on opponents of the proposed public toilet on Fitzroy Street;
also on a main road, near a school and next to a major park.
St Kilda Park Primary says risk is too great
St Kilda Park Primary School Principal Neil Scott told TWiSK that council has repeatedly downplayed the risk of anti-social behaviour near the school.
‘We’re being told [by Council] that a highly visible location on a main road next to a major park reduces the risk of anti-social behaviour.
‘Yet Council are considering demolishing the existing public toilet in a very similar location because of anti-social behaviour,’ he said.
Mr Scott said locals had been meeting to plan the next stage of their opposition to location of the toilet so close to a primary school.
‘We’re hoping that budget restraint will help stop this risky project,’ he said.
First flush expected early 2024
Meanwhile, Mayor Heather Consulo has confirmed that Fitzroy Street facility will be completed in the third-quarter 23/24. ‘We are working through the relevant permits required,’ she said.
Backstory – 14 year wait becomes 15 year saga
In June 2022, Council voted to proceed with construction of a new public toilet on Fitzroy Street despite receiving a petition from people concerned about the location. Also disclosed was an estimated $300K sewerage connection in addition to the $250K originally budgeted.
Councillors Bond, Copsey, Pearl, Martin and Baxter voted for the toilet, while Councillors Clarke, Cunsolo and Sirakoff voted against, with Council Crawford abstaining.
Council first started shortlisting toilet locations for Fitzroy Street in 2009.
Grand plans for South Melbourne Market get shelved
A deep dive into the draft budget reveals that a $65M upgrade to South Melbourne Market has been shelved until further notice.
In February last year, Council went public on plans to ask State and Federal governments to co-fund a $65M plan for ‘a renewed and reinvigorated South Melbourne Market to ensure it can continue to thrive.’
At the time, the Council said ‘the Market has some significant long-term challenges including capacity, compliance with updated building regulations and traffic and pedestrian congestion.’
No partners, so Council goes solo
Despite vigorous advocacy before both the state and federal elections, no co-funding was found (so far).
Mayor Heather Cunsolo told TWiSK that after no funding was available from both Governments, the project was divided into two stages – with Stage One being funded by Council.
‘This first stage, South Melbourne Market Project Connect is a $17 million investment in the Market over 10 years to futureproof the Market, ensuring it continues to provide a safe, enjoyable and accessible experience for the whole community.
‘This project will focus on improving public space around the Market, reduce congestion, improve visitor experience and provide increased connection with the precinct.
’The proposed second stage will remain as a potential capital project in the future should funding become available but is not being progressed at this stage.’
Back to the drawing board?
Off the record insiders suggest the $65M plan may have been a ‘bit overcooked’ and recent leadership changes at Council and the Market were refocusing the plans on what ‘the locals want.’
With the basics of compliance and maintenance covered, they hope everyone can get on with a positive discussion.
Short cut to short stay complaints
Following concerns by locals disturbed by short-stay tenants, Council has set up a website short cut for information and complaints.
But there’s a catch, Council doesn’t regulate short stay providers (nor does it want to), so they haven’t been collecting data on complaints.
Don’t suffer in silence – log your experience
Council is now collating short stay feedback and the CEO will present a report in July. This report will document feedback received during April, May and June.
TWiSK presumes this is NOT limited to current issues but can also include historical observations such as what happened last summer or during the Grand Prix or indeed patterns of behaviour.
Council short stay link or call 9209 6777
PS: This weekend St Kilda has over 1,000 entries on Airbnb.
So, there’s probably a load of happy landlords and tenants too!
Triangle consultant: From activist to paid advisor
TWiSK can reveal that music journalist Patrick Donovan has been engaged as a consult to council on the viability of a music venue at the St Kilda Triangle.
Mr Donovan’s consultancy is part of additional budget added to the project by Council in April to support assessment of a second music venue on the site.
Interestingly, he was last heard in Council in September last year making a submission in favour of such a venue as a South Melbourne resident. In a passionately positive statement, Mr Donovan spruiked the viability of a stand-up music venue with a capacity over 3000 people.
Should an activist double as an advisor?
While there is absolutely no doubt about Mr Donovan’s understanding of the music business – he has been a significant player in Melbourne music scene for decades – TWiSK questioned Council about engaging a consultant who clearly already had a particular vision in mind.
Probity, tick; Contacts, tick; says Mayor
Mayor Cunsolo replied to TWiSK explaining that Council is investigating the feasibility of a live music and performance venue at the St Kilda Triangle.
‘Part of this project involves the engagement of two key consultants, one being a music industry expert who is providing critical connections to the music industry to support its comprehensive participation, particularly during the market sounding process.
‘Council has engaged Patrick Donovan as the music industry consultant for this project.
‘The former CEO of Music Victoria and a former Music Editor at The Age, Mr Donovan brings a wealth of knowledge about the live music industry.
‘His appointment for this project has been supported with advice received from the probity consultant.
‘The primary purpose of Mr Donovan’s role was to ensure participation of the broader live music industry in the market sounding, rather than contributing his own views.’

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