Getting to know - Kaye Oddie
Kaye Oddie is a dedicated local resident who has been advocating for the protection and improvement of the Moonee Ponds Creek for over 30 years!
Kaye, member and former secretary of The Friends of Moonee Ponds Creek, is actively involved with the group, and at the moment is busy coordinating infill vegetation work along the Kensington embankment, as part of a Melbourne Water grant.
Kaye’s involvement in community activism began when she first moved into inner-city North Melbourne in the 1970’s. “Back then, there were many groups taking on the issues of planning, traffic, open space, history and they pressed for change’ she says “It provided very good background training in activism.”
Recognising the power of community groups’ ability to drive change, Kaye is pleased to see how things have progressed – from the Moonee Ponds Creek Association, through the Moonee Ponds Creek Co-ordination Committee, now the Chain of Ponds Collaboration. She is pleased to see changes for the better - including how the creek is planned for and managed, the progression of strategies (with improved collaboration and connection with projects on the ground), the increasing involvement of Councils, and seeing the outcomes of improvements along the creek.
“I think it’s wonderful to see that biodiversity, habitat and open space amenity are coming back,” Kaye says. “All because of early residents’ and the community’s care for the environment and activism to achieve. I think that’s the best thing about seeing the creek and its wider corridor progress”.
Kaye has been involved in many of the major issues facing the creek – beginning with the 1990s CityLink expansion with more concrete and freeway structures along the lower section of the creek; ongoing strategic and statutory planning issues (including the Chain of Ponds Plan and developments at Westmeadows); and saving land below Outlook Drive, Glenroy from development. She’s also enjoyed celebrating in some big creek wins, such as the State funding for the Reimagining Moonee Ponds Creek naturalisation project.
The ability for future generations to advocate is on Kaye’s mind. “The well-trained activists from the 80s and 90s are getting on in age, and there’s a change in how people participate. People tend to focus on a particular issue in their local area, rather than getting involved in other sections of the creek” she reflects. But Kaye is happy to share her wealth of knowledge, and assist others to take up the advocacy baton for the creek and the environment into the future.