Happy here - Nga's Story


I’ve been in Melbourne for 31 years. I live in Richmond, but I work here at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House for 10 years.

I come here by car because I work with cooking so I need to travel by car. Sometimes it’s very busy, after work, heading back home. But in the morning it’s very good and fresh. I arrive at work and no problems. After 5 or 6pm is not a good time. That’s the busy time on weekdays. But weekends are beautiful, quiet. Except when the football is on.

The park is good here. I think if they do more park for children to play more people like to come. A family thing. We have a park over here. Behind here. We use it for festivals. A little bit not security, because the people living here are all drinking.

We do a shop every day on Victoria Street and I live close to there. Victoria Street is smaller. This one is a big one, so very happy, for cars. Over there, the community stays closer. We need more space – no more cars but more space. For parks.

I tried the train but I’m not good at the bus. I don’t know where they take us to. I used to do the train before I was driving. So easy for me and quick. Public transport is the best here in Melbourne. Especially in Richmond, we have everything.

I work with the elderly and they use maybe the bus more on Hoddle Street. And then tram and train. I think they’re happy with that. The only thing is the rough people, the drug dealers, they’re around here too much. So if we can solve that, it’s beautiful living here. The elderly people here, my community, they’re happy here. Everything here, the shops here, the people here.

I like to ride my bike - Mai's Story


When I just arrived in Australia, I lived in Melbourne. For 23 years already. I live in Richmond, but I used to come to my friend and I started work this year in the Collingwood Neighbourhood House.

I travel to Collingwood from Richmond by bike every Tuesday. Volunteer job. I like all the Hoddle Street people. I like to ride my bike from my home to come here. I ride from the morning at about 9.30am and then I come home about three o’clock. I ride over the footbridge. I ride to the Collingwood Library. I love it.

Every year we have the Harvest Festival in April. Just finished. We cook and we serve for all the people all around. 

The best place - Antonio's Story


God brought me to Australia. God told me he’d take me to Australia. In 1973 I was in South America, Peru. I found a job in a ship in Rotterdam and went to Peru, across the Panama Canal.

I arrived in Sydney in 1983. I was working as a cleaner. I was the best cleaner. I moved to Melbourne in 1985. First I lived in Clayton. Then I moved to Hoddle Street.

Hoddle Street is the best place. Everybody here at the Neighbourhood House recognises me. I’ve got a lot of friends here. I set up a boxing gym. My gym became a community gym.

There’s nothing wrong with Collingwood. Good suburb. Good people, bad people, everywhere you go. I don’t drive. I never drive in my life. Now I can’t because I had a stroke. I catch the bus everywhere. This place is very good for public transport. This place is the best place. I like to live here. Sometimes I think I may move to Queensland but others say, 'Don’t go there, because they don’t like black people.' I don’t care, I have friends everywhere.