Neighbourhood partner spreads joy in Docklands

As a passionate community-builder and sports fanatic, Fadi Qunqar feels right at home as the neighbourhood partner for Docklands and Fishermans Bend.

It’s no secret that the area has had a mixed reputation, but those who venture to the glistening water’s edge are treated to a vibrant lifestyle that Fadi loves, after only a few months on the job.

‘There’s no other place in Victoria, or even in Australia, like Docklands and Fishermans Bend,’ Fadi said.

‘It’s so close to the city and offers so much: residential living, restaurants, Marvel Stadium, The District, the entertainment precinct with Hoyts, Archie Brothers Cirque Electriq and Imaginaria, and so much more.

‘Then of course there’s the marina, with all the boat clubs that are so active, including dragon boat training almost every night of the week, and top fishing spots that the locals love.’

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.

Fadi began his career working in Arabic welfare with newly arrived refugees, then moved on to roles developing community and sporting programs for organisations like Brimbank City Council and Reclink.

In his new role, he’s continuing his community-facing work alongside forward-planning to help make the neighbourhoods of Docklands and Fishermans Bend more connected and resilient.

‘Perhaps it sounds selfish, but making other people happy makes me feel happy,’ Fadi said.

‘I’ve learnt so much working with different people, coming to understand what needs to be done in the background to help them in the future.

‘A good thing about our roles as neighbourhood partners is that we’re not just making an impact on the people we meet on one day, but also in years to come with the plans we put in place.’

‘It’s all good for us to fix an issue when it arises, but it’s even better if we can foresee it.’

Fadi is already getting to know the nuances of the local community, and its current and future needs.

‘Yesterday I had a meeting with the school council for Docklands and it was great to be able to look to the future needs of the community, as the student population is doubling year-on-year,’ Fadi said.

‘Developing better community connections and relationships between businesses, residents and the school in the area is important to foster a more cohesive community.’

Our neighbourhood partners have been working hard to gather feedback from people across the municipality to create a suite of unique neighbourhood plans.

The ongoing insights and sentiments they gather are also being compiled into a live knowledge bank which, alongside other key city data, will help inform city projects with rich information.

‘As neighbourhood partners, we play a key role in linking council, community, business and residents,’ Fadi said.

‘So if anyone in Docklands or Fishermans Bend has a query or a great idea that would benefit the community but needs funding, they are welcome to just reach out to me.

‘I’m that connector – when something comes to me I can deal with the issue or I can connect it to whoever needs to know.’

If you are yet to fully explore Docklands or Fishermans Bend, Fadi encourages you to come on down.

‘One of the local places that has really surprised me is Library at the Dock,’ Fadi said.

‘It has an incredible makerspace with hand tools – which can be really great for people in apartments who want to fix something but don’t have a shed – as well as music rooms, a recording studio and so much more.

‘The aura of being around the water and being able to see the city right behind you – it’s a magical feeling. Especially when the sun is shining.’

‘It’s a really nice vibe just to lay back on the grass and watch the water and the boats coming in, or maybe even try to guess how much the latest superyacht in the marina costs!’

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