Attendance records were broken as the community turned out in force at JJ Holland Park to celebrate community diversity and connection at the 11th Kensington CommUNITY Festival.
Festival organiser Deb Wilson, Community Engagement Manager at Unison Housing was absolutely delighted. “It is obvious the Kensington community has embraced this Festival wholeheartedly and it was terrific to see Kensington locals, neighbours and visitors all come together to enjoy this great family day.”
Unison manages the mixed tenure redevelopment of the former Kensington Public Housing Estate and has coordinated the Festival for its 11 years. The Festival started life as a small event originally initiated by the Kensington public housing tenants as part of the State Government’s Housing Week. The purpose of the Festival has always been to celebrate, engage and showcase the local community with activities that foster a spirit of togetherness, fun, wellbeing, inclusiveness and cultural exchange. And the Festival has achieved this in spades!
Community and local business stalls were an integral part of the day as were live performances by local musicians, roving performance artists and come and try workshops. Local services including The Venny, the Kensington Neighbourhood House, the Kensington Community Recreation Centre, Cohealth and the City of Melbourne Libraries & Waste Management all ran interactive children’s activities throughout the day as part of the ever popular Festival Passport, with the lucky winners drawn throughout the day.
The fabulous Kensington Sustainable Living Expo was back again with loads of information, education, activities and interactive displays on sustainable initiatives. The sustainability theme for the event to reduce waste was embraced by Festival goers with impressive initiatives such as the wash up station for community crockery & cutlery used by food vendors instead of plastic throw aways, compostable food packaging, compost loos and waste station options of landfill, recycling & organic waste. Another successful initiative was the popular and busy Mini Repair Hub where people brought items for on the spot repairs such as clothing, toasters and jewellery.
Deb Wilson emphasised the hugely successful Festival wouldn’t have been possible without the generous financial and in kind support from all participating community agencies, business and corporate sponsors.
She thanked government sponsors City of Melbourne and the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Business sponsors and Festival partners A & J Bonello Plumbing, Bradrod Building Services, KCES Group Facility Services, React Property Maintenance, KTR Access Control & Intercoms, Engie Services, United Lifts, MSS Security and City West Water.
She particularly thanked the fabulous community partners many of whom have been part of the Festival for 11 years – in particular the Kensington Neighbourhood House, Kensington Community Recreation Centre, cohealth, former Kensington Public Tenants Association, Kensington Association, Kensington Business Precinct, Kensington Chinese Friendship Association, Kensington Community Children’s Cooperative, Living Learning Australia, Transtion Town Kensington, the Venny, Victoria Police and the 78 Seniors Club.