Local wisdom shapes plans for Carlton and Parkville

Neighbourhood partner Nasteha (Nas) Mohamud is building connections between residents, businesses and council to help make the suburbs of Carlton and Parkville the best they can be. 

After working with not-for-profit and grassroots organisations and leading projects to build community resilience and participation, Nas knew her heart belonged in community development.  

During the pandemic, she supported women, children and families to navigate the complexities of COVID-19 and was impressed with the City of Melbourne’s commitment to community.

So, when the opportunity came up to become one of our neighbourhood partners, Nas was excited to join the team. 

‘I love working with Carlton and Parkville – each of the neighbourhoods is very special,’ Nas said. 

‘Carlton has  very diverse and connected communities, with lots of amazing organisations and service providers that connect everyone who lives, learns, works, visits, worships or plays in the neighbourhood.’

‘Carlton is also known for its Victorian heritage streets and buildings and beautiful gardens. The World Heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building and contemporary Melbourne Museum also call Carlton home. 

‘Lygon Street is of course beloved for its restaurants and retail, and I encourage people to come and support the businesses. Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre also offers great activities for all ages. 

‘Parkville has a deep history and heritage with beautiful mansions and terrace houses.

‘I even met a resident whose family has been living there since the 1800s. It’s wonderful to learn from long-term residents about how times have changed, and their vision for the future. 

‘I encourage people to enjoy a long walk in Royal Park, an afternoon in the acclaimed nature play area, or a trip to Melbourne Zoo. There’s so much to love about Parkville.’ 

About our neighbourhood model

We’re working to better understand and respond to community needs in a highly localised way through a new neighbourhood model.

Led by passionate neighbourhood partners, the model aims to ‘connect the dots’ between the City of Melbourne, residents and businesses, to empower local people, build community capacity and guide city projects.

To find out more and have your say on what matters to you in your local area, visit Participate Melbourne.

Nas has been busy consulting with the communities to create neighbourhood plans tailored to the specific needs and desires of local residents and businesses. 

‘I really like the neighbourhood approach, because it recognises that one size doesn’t fit all, and the importance of listening to local communities,’ Nas said.

‘Every neighbourhood is unique in its own way and I look forward to collaborating with community members to build the future of Carlton and Parkville.

‘However, something I’ve heard across the board is that people want more events and gatherings that  celebrate diversity and encourage community connection, especially after COVID-19.’

‘People have been isolated for so long and want to connect. They want to share their stories,  get to know their neighbours and learn from one another. That’s something I’m excited to help achieve. That’s what community development and engagement is all about.’ 

Other priorities recorded for Carlton and Parkville include supporting businesses to bounce back better than ever after COVID-19, protecting heritage, greening, improving safety and  preserving our parks and open spaces.  

‘Royal Park takes up such a massive portion of Parkville, and it’s a place that people from Carlton and Parkville use every day,’ Nas said. 

‘The Friends of Royal Park and the Royal Park Protection Group do a great job advocating for the place. I went to a planting session and it was so nice to plant little trees and shrubs.’ 

No matter what community projects she’s working on, Nas said people are the highlight of her job. 

‘The people I meet in these neighbourhoods are so passionate and driven,’ Nas said.

‘You meet people from all walks of life who do completely different things, and who come from different places in the world. They all bring so much knowledge and wisdom, as well as ideas about how we can make things better. I really enjoy all the conversations I have with the people I meet. 

‘I love that every day is different in this job. Every day I learn something new and grow a little bit.’ 

Visit Meet Your Neighbourhood Partners to hear from partners for other local suburbs.

A group of people smiling on a city street

Neighbourhood partners outside Melbourne Town Hall