Melbourne’s suburbs play an important role in the lives of more than three quarters of Victorians. The issues that impact them are often complex. Through engagement with over 13,000 Melbournians over the past five years, the Metropolitan Partnership Program is guiding government investment in projects that make the regions better places to live, learn, work, and spend time.

The Inner Southeast Metro Partnership identified social isolation as a priority. Investment in the Chatty Cafe Scheme has identified a social connection model that really works. 'I found after my being widowed for many years, I was looking for company and to connect up with the community. I attended this Chatty Cafe when it first opened, and I thought it's a great initiative for older people and to help the social isolation. I've made some lovely friends. I've met some very interesting people, and people from different walks of life with their own stories to tell.'

The ongoing work to reduce youth unemployment has helped more than 50 young people from the outer east find employment. An initiative by the Eastern Metropolitan Partnership provided scholarships to eight tourism and hospitality students for paid work experience while studying, effectively kickstarting their careers. 'Both my parents worked in travel and tourism and stuff like that, so when my mum showed me the scholarship, I was like, "Oh, that's just amazing.” “This is something that would be really interesting." It was just a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.'

The Metropolitan Partnership Program is committed to Treaty, Self Determination and Truth Telling. Each Metropolitan Partnership has an Aboriginal member who works collectively to guide investment in metropolitan-wide projects that benefit Aboriginal communities across Melbourne. The Aboriginal Elders Cultural Wellbeing Project was delivered with the Aboriginal Advancement League and Elders across Melbourne. This project helped the Aboriginal community to better understand the experience and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 'Meeting with Elders face to face, we need each other. We can bounce ideas off each other. If we're unwell, we can have a yarn about, "I'm feeling this way, are you feeling this way or is it just me?" You know, so it breaks down them barriers when we're not well or we're struggling.'

In 2023, the Office for Suburban Development will continue to deliver positive change across Melbourne’s suburbs by fostering collaborative partnerships with all levels of government, business, and community sectors. The Metropolitan Partnership and Suburban Revitalisation Programs are providing avenues for local communities to engage with the Victorian Government, which is making a positive difference.

Page last updated: 24/03/23