Christmas gifts that will help Melbourne
The donation of food
Buying a good restaurant for a friend or loved one is a great way to help the CBD hospitality industry get back on their feet.
As diners flock to town for weekend meals, pedestrian data shows it is still quiet midweek, with just 60% of pedestrian traffic before the pandemic. Recipients can take their gift a step further if they redeem their voucher mid-week.
Samantha Mileto, managing director of indigenous business Big Esso by Mabu Mabu in Federation Square, said the six months have been tough.
The new restaurant opened for a week in late July before Melbourne was plunged into another long lockdown. The restaurant’s 30 newly hired employees were assigned other duties: they assembled picnic baskets, helped with the retail of the business that sells native sauces, pickles and spices, and organized the deliveries.
âIt’s great that the team is now back in the restaurant and can show off what we have put together during the lockdown,â she said.
As the world battled COVID-19, bees battled their own pandemic.
One of the biggest risks to bees is the varroa mite, a parasite that attacks and feeds on honey bees. Australia is the only country where the pathological threat has not been detected and the owners of Backyard Honey are calling on Melburnians to buy local honey, house a beehive in their garden and plant flowers to keep people healthy. local bees.
Beekeeper Mary Trumble, who runs Backyard Honey with her partner Henry Fried, said the downtown beehives monitored by beekeepers were Australia’s first defense against the varroa mite.
“Once it gets to the regions, we are in trouble,” she said. âThere is a huge risk to food security. “
Australian bees have also had to face their own challenges this year: Australia Post delays have resulted in the deaths of Queensland queen bees en route to Melbourne ahead of their breeding season.
âIt slowed down the production of honey,â Ms. Trumble said.
Local fashion that makes the difference
It’s no surprise that face masks were the most popular item sold on The Social Studio’s online store during Melbourne’s long lockdowns.
People weren’t investing in beautiful, locally made dresses because there was nowhere to wear them. The Social Studio, a non-profit social enterprise that creates jobs and education opportunities for young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, hopes that will change now that Melbourne has reopened.
The Collingwood Yards store sells a range of clothing and housewares made, owned or designed by Indigenous and culturally diverse designers. A scrunchie will set you back $ 15 while the gingham picnic dress costs $ 250.
A premixed pleasure
It’s been a long time between drinks for many Melburnians.
St Kilda’s legendary Esplanade Hotel, which entertained locals during the pandemic with signs saying ‘I’m locked up, but I’m getting up again’, has launched a take-out version of its signature cocktail, the Espy negroni.
The 500ml bottle costs $ 65 and can be purchased from The Espy starting December 13
The cancellation of craft markets during the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the income streams of hundreds of local manufacturers and designers. Many of these artists also struggled to access studios, ovens, and materials.
Pip Stevenson, the director of retail for Craft Victoria, said buying handmade work from the nonprofit’s Watson Place store in the CBD helped artists who had had a difficult year.
Ceramic works start at $ 15 for a butter dish, while simple earrings will set you back $ 60 and a pair of handcrafted stainless steel butter knives will cost $ 160.
The gift of theater
Carlton’s La Mama Theater will rise from its ashes this weekend, three years after a fire destroyed the much-loved venue.
Caitlin Dullard, co-managing director of La Mama, said 80 percent of every ticket and voucher sale went directly to artists, who were still reeling from months of lost work. While theater tickets are sold out for this weekend’s War-Rak / Banksia festival, vouchers can be purchased for next year’s shows.
âThe purchase of tickets or vouchers is a direct income that supports and allows artists to do their jobs,â Ms. Dullard said.
Membership in a tourist attraction
It’s been a roller coaster year for popular attractions including Melbourne’s Luna Park, which has had to close its doors to tourists, locals and school groups.
Why not buy a loved one or family member an annual subscription for $ 120, which offers one year of unlimited rides, or a gift card that can be redeemed for rides?
Homelessness was on the rise before the pandemic and the challenges of the past 20 months have made it worse for many rough sleepers.
A donation to the City of Melbourne’s Good Giving Christmas campaign will provide essential services to homeless people and support to help them find safe and secure housing.
Your donation will support Youth Projects, Justice Connect’s Women’s Homelessness Prevention Project, the Ngwala Willumong Aboriginal Corporation and the Make Room Initiative. Donations can be made at the Melbourne City Gift Wrapping Station at 239 Bourke Street or through the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.
Our last minute alert will be notify you important news when that happens. Get it here.