Humans of Moonee Valley

Check out the reimagined Humans of Moonee Valley Exhibition – this time we’re online!

If you missed the exhibition in Moonee Ponds Central last summer, never fear you can find it here!

In this exhibition, local young people showcase and share positive stories from Moonee Valley and what brings people together in our communities. 

This project was put together by young people Sarah, Sagal, Najat, Mariam and Furdus from Moonee Valley. Using the mediums of photography and storytelling, they capture and celebrate some of the diversity, different cultures and traditions of Moonee Valley.

The young people working on this project had the opportunity to explore the arts, whilst developing their photography, curation as well as project management skills.

Check back to this page throughout May to see all of the portraits and stories from members of our community.

Carmelo Aloi – Sales Executive and Graphic Designer

“I service a lot of clients in and around Puckle Street & Essendon for their packaging needs. I create custom-designed products that we then source and import from overseas. I’m trying to impact the community to reduce the use of plastic bags, and have retailers move towards recyclable paper products…. that’s something I’m pretty strong on. I’d love to be able to change the mindset of customers that walk into our local stores, and be okay with having to purchase a bag. It would be great to pass on a message so that there is an understanding of how much work has gone into creating the products. Right now, what motivates me the most would be my kids. There are heaps of really good parks throughout Moonee Valley, and I love taking my girls to visit different parks and playgrounds. They especially love chasing birds and visiting the ducks over at Queens Park. And they’re quite well-known throughout all the cafes around Puckle Street and down Union Road for their babyccinos. Yeah, so that’s always fun going out with them.”

Dilek Yalcin – MVCC Admin and Business Support

“I actually was born and grew up in Flemington, and then went overseas for five years. After I came back I decided to come back into the community again to interact. I was always linked in with programs that we used to run at schools. That was a really big influence on me, and that’s why I wanted to come back to the community and give that, whatever I’ve learned, back to everyone.”

Antonette Medica – MVCC Hub Activation and Programs Officer

“I think one of the aspects about working with the community and working at Moonee Valley is being exposed to a whole range of things, and being offered a lot of opportunities. But something I love is I’m passionate about learning new things, and to me it’s about the community. It’s about food. It’s about the social connection.”

Anna Lemecke – MVCC Project Engagement Officer

“My very first job I actually got in Australia was working as a multicultural youth worker for an organisation that was also based in Moonee Valley. I’ve worked here over 10 years actually, so all my jobs in youth work and then program management have always involved working in Moonee Valley. I live in a very multicultural suburb, and I love that. And that’s one of the reasons why we chose that suburb as well, because I think it’s really great to be exposed to other people with different traditions, different viewpoints and, I think, also breaking down prejudice.”

Simon Peterson – Salt and Pepper

“Flemington’s quite a good community in that they are very community-minded. If someone’s downtrodden or having a hard time, they always seem to have people that will pick them up and help. So yeah, that’s good. It’s a good culture.”

Mia Frederiksen – International Student (placement with Valley Youth)

“It’s a little bit hard as an international student, but I feel like Moonee Valley is so multi-cultural and friendly. What I found most interesting about Australia is how open and accepting it is. You meet everyone, you talk to everyone, you feel accepted by everyone. That’s what I love. That’s why I stayed in the first place “

Robert Colautti – Security Guard, Moonee Ponds Central

“My grandparents were the original Italians that settled in the Riverina area in 1912, I am of Italian descent, born here. [Moonee Ponds] has a great community of people, a lot of different ethnic backgrounds, which is really great, and which includes my own security team. I have Italians, Serbians, Turkish, Greek, Sudanese, and I’m looking at hopefully working with a couple of Somalians soon. Diversity in your team and the (local) people really adds to a very vibrant community.”

Jerome Kady – Health Food Shop, Grania

“I’ve lived in Moonee Valley a little while, I came from NSW. It’s pretty good here, the locals are good. One thing that would be good to see in the community is people being more open to trying new things. Like, a lot of people just want to have toast for breakfast, they don’t want to try something different.” 

Sahra Hussein – Grandmother and Volunteer at Flemington Community Centre

“I went to New Zealand as a refugee person and then I migrated here after nine years, I came in 2002 I think, and I settled in very well. I love living in Moonee Valley because my community is here, so I meet with them easily, where I can have a chat. I can go to their houses very easily, so that is a good thing about it. It’s close to the city, transport is easily accessible, it is handy. The hospital is here, the clinic is here, the restaurants are here. Everything is very close.”

Abubakeer Hersi – Mecca Halal Meat

“We are part of the first generation of the Somali community come to Australia. I feel like our culture is celebrated in Moonee Valley, because the community is involved in the city of Moonee Valley, and more people should be involved. Then they will more easily understand the system and the culture we have and celebrate with us, same like we celebrate Australia Day and Anzac Day and all that.”

 Meredith Nolan – Victoria Police Senior Constable

“I always wanted to do this, but it just took me a long time, because I’ve only been a police officer for six years. And it sounds really corny, and it’s probably what a lot of us said when we were going through the academy, you know, they’d ask us, “Why have you come into the job?” I said, “Because I want to help people”. I don’t just want to stand there and spout, but I want to be constructive in my help. So, you know, we can stand up there and say things, and that’s fine, but I want to do the things I say. So that’s what motivates me, I think .”

Eve Park – U3A Choir Member

“I feel like I fit into the community, just by doing community things. I shop in the community, supporting the local businesses. I do a lot of volunteer work. I’m with the Historical Society, so I’m very interested in the actual history of Essendon and Moonee Valley as the route to the goldfields and what happened in the early days.”

Judy Jessop – U3A Choir Member

“And what used to be here at the Flemington Community Centre, where the car park is, was a hall, a big community hall, where I’ve done a bit of acting, and they did plays. This was in 1968 or 69, and I remember coming over from the theatre, because I was on the committee in the theatre, and asking the head of the Australian ballet, if she would be our patron for the theatre company. She had a little office just through there.”