Bendigo Street: A Story of Radical Possibility in Housing Justice

The Japanese Room
Melbourne School of Design
Level 4, Glyn Davis Building
University of Melbourne

and Online via Zoom


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Photograph of a poster on a light pole in an urban street. Heading reads Melbourne Housing Crisis. 25,000 homeless, 33,000 waiting for public housing, 80,000 empty houses.

How can our public officials become better allies with activists in the effort to ensure safe housing for all?

The Melbourne Social Equity Institute and the Informal Urbanism Hub (InfUr) invite you to the launch of research by Melbourne Social Equity Institute Community Fellows Mike Collins and Kelly Whitworth. The event, hosted by Associate Professor Crystal Legacy, will feature a panel of housing and government experts joining Mike and Kelly to discuss new approaches to housing action in a free-ranging discussion followed by a reception on the roof garden.

The research chronicles an important yet unstudied chapter in Australian housing and local government. In March 2016, housing activists occupied a series of vacant homes in Bendigo Street, Collingwood, that had been acquired by the state for the abandoned East-West Link Project. What happened next brought important lessons for housing activists and policy makers. The research distils these lessons through dialogue with former occupiers of Bendigo Street, local government staff, and councillors. The proposals in the research set the ground for a new relationship of meaningful connection between housing activists and local government, including Councillors and staff involved in planning and all areas of social policy.


Mike Collins, Report co-author and a Melbourne Social Equity Institute Public Policy Fellow

Kelly Whitworth, Report co-author,  a Melbourne Social Equity Institute Community Fellow and producer of the Homeless in Hotels Podcast

Anne Barton,  Former Housing and Homelessness Officer, Yarra Council

Pat Chiappalone, Homeless Persons Union of Victoria

Meghan Fitzgerald,  Special Counsel, Fitzroy Legal Service

Book now, as in person attendance numbers are limited. A booking option to watch the livestream is also available.