David Risstrom - Greens Melbourne City Councillor 1999-2004
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THINKING MELBOURNE
         

ACHIEVEMENT: The Melbourne Town Hall returns to being the Village Green of our community, providing a focal point for meeting and discussion for the community. This program has been adopted in the form of the 'Melbourne Conversations'.

TARGET DATE: June 2002. PROGRESS: Achieved.

DESCRIPTION: To make the Town Hall the Village Green of our community so that a focal point for meeting and discussion is available to the community. My aim is to have the Town Hall returned to a former role as a place people think of when issues of civic importance surface. This idea has evolved into the program known as 'Melbourne Conversations', which invites the public to thematic sessions at the Town Hall and Federation Square.

FURTHER INFORMATION: This excerpt from a thesis done by Graeme John Tucker, Monash University, in 1993 was forwarded by a Melbourne City Council staff member Mark Drew, following a discussion we had about the Town Hall as the village green.

A Town Hall is, as its name states, a town's hall; the premier hall. Halls were important components in a town's development. They gave the citizens a place where they could socialise with their neighbours and, if required, agitate for road boards, government assistance, the formation of a local council, or other local matters.

Public meetings to unite like-minded people, to voice complaints and to gather petitions were a fundamental part of the rudimentary popular democracy of Australia in the nineteenth century.

Visiting or local lecturers and musicians could also use the hall for their displays. Halls were seen as community venues and this was even more the case in larger towns. Local government was seen as the most approachable and democratic form of government and it was the local council which provided the town hall which, it was presumed, would be there for the use of all the citizens. The capital cities built large and extravagant civic palaces to show off their pride in their cities. These halls were used for council purposes like balls, banquets and receptions, yet the citizens of those cities continued to see their town hall as an accessible community venue.'

 

Cool Green Tip Of The Week -

23 April 2017: Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918 -1956.

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