Altona’s secret is out

Altona Village Traders Association vice president Adrian Davey and Cr Daria Kellander. (Damjan Janevski) 229908_02

Goya Dmytryshchak

Altona traders have launched a campaign to showcase the 3018 postcode and emerge even stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Altona Village Traders Association’s campaign slogan is ’This is Altona’ and includes a video, website, T-shirts and caps.

Vice president Adrian Davey said all of the traders had come together after surviving COVID lockdowns and restrictions, and reopening with outdoor dining.

“We obviously have a very strong, local community in Altona,“ he said.

“We’ve got our own little oasis here, which is great, and it’s tricky because the community doesn’t want to share that secret but the traders needed more people coming through.

“With all the outdoor dining that we had, we wanted to take full advantage of that.“

The ’This is Altona’ campaign received funding from Hobsons Bay council and Bendigo Bank, which helped fund a new website.

“Unlike other postcodes, Altona is an oasis beyond the harsh industrial elements of the city,“ the website states.

“There’s something special about Altona. The more you get to know this wide open community with wide open arms, the more special it feels.“

The website lists events and businesses and has a ’merch’ section with ’This is Altona’ T-shirts and caps for sale.

“We all came together, decided the best thing to advertise was Altona as a whole; really focus on its outdoor spaces and really hone in on the ’visit Altona’ and ’come for a day out’ [messages],“ Mr Davey said.

“Once we get those people here, obviously the businesses prosper from that.

“It’s 100 per cent trader driven and we’re talking with many other associations within Altona – even the [Hobsons Bay] Wetlands Association – to all come together to advertise our area and showcase it.

“The idea of the website is to have one destination for people to go to, to understand what Altona has.

“The campaign is there to showcase Altona but then the website is there for people to really go and design their day out.“

Mr Davey said there had been some resistance from locals reluctant to share their secret oasis.

“Some of the feedback that we’ve had from the community is, ’Stop sharing our secret to people’,“ he said.

“We don’t want it to be packed – we love our little oasis here – but for this area to continue to thrive and these businesses to stay alive, we do need outside input from other communities.

“As much as we all want to keep this a secret, we need to share it for the businesses to survive.“

It was the Altona Village Traders Association that initially led the call for road closures to allow outdoor dining to keep restaurants, bars and cafes alive during the coronavirus pandemic.

Traders are campaigning against the end of outdoor road dining – slated for March 31 – saying they want it to become permanent.