Variety the spice of life in Stonnington
The City of Stonnington was created in 1994. It brought together the former Cities of Prahran and Malvern, each with their own distinctive history and culture. The new City stretches from inner urban Prahran just a short distance from Melbourne's CBD, along the south eastern corridor to the leafy suburbs of Malvern.
Within its boundaries residents, workers and visitors find the opportunity to pursue diverse lifestyles. These range from the youth culture built around busy Chapel Street to the quietly industrious enclaves of Malvern and on to the family friendly suburbs in the east. Stonnington's population includes a large proportion of people in the 19 to 30 year age group. The City has a high level of tertiary educated and professional people.
Residential choices vary greatly from high density townhouses and apartments in South Yarra and mansions in affluent Toorak, to streets of detached houses in East Malvern. There is a large variety of rental properties, including public high rise estates. It is an attractive and prosperous City characterised by vibrant retail centres, high density residential development, tree lined streets, mature gardens, and many heritage buildings and streetscapes.
The City takes its name from one of its famous heritage mansions. Community consultation has found that maintaining the individual character and ambience of the various 'villages' within Stonnington is very important to over 90 percent of residents. Council has incorporated this sentiment into its planning and vision for the City's future.
"The challenge is to ensure that Council can support its diverse communities and maintain their quality of life," said Chief Executive Officer Frank Tait. "We expect the population will remain relatively static with subtle shifts in demand for Council services in the various areas, but we need to maintain the amenity which people enjoy across the Municipality."
He said there is increasing demand for Council to become an advocate on behalf of the community. Sometimes this is against change imposed by other spheres of government.
"The impact and the pressure for change has seen people look for support in their local areas, increasing their expectation for Council to take a leadership role," he said.
Mayor Chris Gahan has lived in Stonnington all his life because, he says, he has never had a reason to leave.
"I believe Stonnington is a good place to live and work in because you have everything within it," he said. "As Council's policies come into play it will become even better.
"It is Council's Vision that Stonnington will be widely recognised for its distinctive range of attractive environments, harmonious and cosmopolitan lifestyles and dynamic business sector that is enjoyed by its community and visitors alike.
"Council is committed to working in partnership with the community to add to the quality of life through the preservation and enhancement of Stonnington's assets and the provision of innovative and quality services."