A meeting of local professionals researching, testing, and providing expert advice and information on topics concerning local issues in and around Brunswick.
The Moreland Civics Lab was developed in 2016 as an innovation emerging from the activation of Siteworks in Brunswick. It was launched in July 2017 and involved a multidisciplinary team of professionals working on issues of public importance in a progressive and experimental manner.
The Lab was intended to be a method for collaborating with council and providing benefit to the community in alternative ways, whilst utilising space within the house at 33 Saxon Street through a contra exchange model.
Siteworks Civics Lab Overview
The Siteworks Civics Lab is an opportunity for local professionals to provide expert advice and information on topics concerning local issues in and around Brunswick in particular and Moreland more generally.
The Lab aims to provide feed back to council on ides and issues Council would like the Lab to consider on a trimester basis.
At its most basic the Lab might be considered a very smart and helpful Phone a Friend.
As an academic environment it provides Brunswick with a unique resource for both university staff and students to be part of, internationally it may become a focal point for connection with ideas on civics and creative infrastructure.
In regards to an economic development stand point, this brings up to 22 new small businesses to Brunswick that will contribute to both local employment, engagement with existing businesses such and cafes and local shops and provide Brunswick with a highly valuable resource in creative industries.
The Lab will provide a professional office and studio environment for the members to use in the heart of Brunswick at Siteworks, 33 Saxon Street, Brunswick.
From within the Old House at 33 Saxon St the group will assemble to work in a professional manner in their own businesses and as required consider issues of the day.
In exchange for a low cost office space, the members of the group will provide 4 hours per week towards a topic of interest.
On a regular basis the group will report back directly to the relevant council sponsor on findings it may have made.
One of the key considerations of bringing this group together is the economic benefit to Brunswick of relocating so many professional offices to the one location.
Currently we are asking the members to relocate their offices for a 12 month start up phase with possible extensions for an additional 36 months.
In crude terms, the exchange of approx. 4 hours per week per member allows for an aggregate of 80 plus hours a week of highly skilled considerations to nominated issues, at an average hourly fee of $75 per hour this provides about $6,000 a week of services, or in a 40 week year $240,000 of direct benefit.
The current members that have expressed an interest in becoming part of the Civics Lab are a mix of experienced academics and ex council officers, PDH and masters students and passionate and civic minded locals.
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We respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri people of the Eastern Kulin Nation as traditional custodians, on whose unceded lands we work and live.
We respectfully acknowledge elders – past, present and emerging. And we extend our deepest respects to all First Nations peoples. In the context of the work we do, we express gratitude for our shared connection through place, to the oldest continuing cultures on earth.
Studio 6, 33 Saxon Street, Brunswick 3065
PO Box 1011, Fitzroy North, 3068