As a managing director of a national health organisation and having worked in private, public and non-profit organisations, Jamal Hakim is a Docklands resident passionate about inclusion, justice and human-centered design.

As a member of the LGBTQI community from an immigrant background Jamal is running as resident independent candidate for Melbourne City Council as part of Team Hakim alongside his mother Safaa Hakim. Both Jamal & Safa live in Docklands and though they love the district they believe its flaws are evidence of what happens when governments abandon their vision.

For me community is so important, I’ve spent my entire life trying to find community and where my space is, it matters so much to me as a value. What I love about Melbourne is that we have so many different cultures, the city is live 24/7 and that allows that melting pot to happen.

However, in the midst of Melbourne’s ongoing lockdown, on July 4 one particular event spurred Hakim to run for local council.

“When I saw the [public housing] towers lockdown happening, for me that showed the bias against multicultural communities, particularly people with different language. No one thought about how that impacted that community nor how we could support that community from a health perspective.

We would have never seen that happen in a Toorak apartment block. For a government to suddenly shut down an entire tower full of people. With no notice, and not having support for people that have most likely been traumatised by police and armed guard in their own countries really made me angry. We need to create a more inclusive environment where people understand intersectionality on council. [My] decision [to run for council] gets made with that viewpoint, but also to be able to advocate on behalf of our communities.”

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 Aside from campaigning for greater diversity and representation in council, Jamal is also focused on improving Docklands as an area through activation and greater connectivity to the surrounding area.

“I have lived in Docklands for a very long time. Part of the problem we have is governments and councils are really great at putting out some bold plans but not so good at implementing them. Docklands is a case in point, it had so much potential but now we are just trying to retrofit it for liveability.

“Whether you live in Docklands or not, we all want to see the district succeed. It’s time to call for evidence-based strategies led by diverse thinkers to reimagine our aspirations for Docklands and Melbourne broadly: as a thriving capital of culture and business.”

“Greening Docklands is really important. How do we create spaces and environments that make people healthier and safer? Greening our environment is part of that, there is so much potential to create better green spaces in Docklands.

“Also, the feeling of safety in our city continues to reduce year on year, what we need to do is expand safety to include culture, mental health, environment, no matter who you are, whether you are from a diverse gender or multicultural background or a women you should feel safe.

Business and small business is also part of our community, so let’s build it in a way that is sustainable and allows them to come back and allows our community with not just have short term goals to facilitate that.

“We have an opportunity post COVID to go into a new normal that takes all these things into account, and not only champions them, but really makes us the most liveable city in the world.”

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