Centre for Architecture Victoria | Open House Melbourne expands the Waterfront program to East Gippsland for the first time

Waterfront is proudly presented by Centre for Architecture Victoria | Open House Melbourne, in partnership with Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and East Gippsland Shire Council. Waterfront is part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.

Re-imagine our waterways in the picturesque East Gippsland region this Easter for Open House Melbourne’s Waterfront program, part of Melbourne Design Week 2021, supported by National Gallery of Victoria

This year’s Melbourne Design Week will take place between 26 March ­– 5 April, with the dedicated East Gippsland Waterfront program being presented from 30 March – 3 April. The festival’s overall theme, ‘Design the World You Want’, perfectly frames the issues and challenges surrounding Victoria’s waterways, and the Waterfront program asks us, as citizens, workers, commuters and residents, to pause, explore, reflect on and celebrate our relationships with the creeks, rivers, bays and oceans we live with.

Developed and curated by Centre for Architecture Victoria | Open House Melbourne (CAV|OHM) with the School for unTourists, a series of events inspired by the East Gippsland Lakes will introduce previously undiscovered sites around Lakes Entrance and Lake Tyers. Championing creative entrepreneurship of the region, expect a vibrant series of walks, tours, talks, boat trips, kayaking activities and more. 

Traditional Owners, local community members, designers, creative practitioners, artists, entrepreneurs, makers, researchers and marine experts will discuss important issues affecting the Lakes. Explore the area’s most fascinating buildings and participate in conversations about how the post-fishing community can continue to build a prosperous community for the future. 

East Gippsland Shire Council Mayor Cr Mendy Urie says: “It is very exciting for the Lakes Entrance region to feature in this year’s Waterfront program in what will no doubt be a highlight of the Easter break. Most Victorians are familiar with the famous entrance from the Gippsland Lakes to Bass Strait, but Waterfront gives people a real opportunity to experience some of the intriguing, innovative and creative gems which are spawned by our physical waterways. East Gippsland is looking forward to welcoming visitors back for a big Easter.”

CAV|OHM Executive Director and Chief Curator Fleur Watson says: “Building on the success of earlier Waterfront programs for Melbourne Design Week, CAV|OHM is thrilled to be bringing Waterfront to East Gippsland for the first time. Working closely with the NGV and local collaborators such as the School for unTourists, GunaikurnaiLand and Waters Aboriginal Corporation and the East Gippsland Shire Council, Waterfront offers everyone the opportunity to take a deep dive into our collective relationship with water and the role that design and creative practice can play in shaping a positive and more sustainable future for our waterways.”

Waterfront in East Gippsland highlights include:

Opening Events and Welcome to Country with Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation
When: 31 March 2021, 10am – 1pm 
Where: 27 Scriveners Road, Kalimna West 3909
Tickets: openhousemelbourne.org/event/waterfront-glawac-welcome
Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) represents traditional owners from the Brataualung, Brayakaulung, Brabralung, Krauatungalung and Tatungalung family clans. GLaWAC actively protects culture, lands and waters, bringing strength, knowledge, skills and innovation to the region. The morning will include a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony; guided tour of the GLaWAC Culture Centre, a panel discussion about water rights with Traditional Owners, followed by lunch from the GLaWAC Bush Café. Panel discussion guests include: GLaWAC Policy and Program Manager Lisa Hocking and water law and policy expert Erin O’Donnell. 

Waterfront: FLOATing with School of unTourists
When: 1 April 2021, 10am – 1pm
Where: Fisherman’s Landing Jetty and Boat Ramp, Mill Point Jetty Road, Lake Tyers Beach VIC 3909
Tickets: openhousemelbourne.org/event/floating
Join School for unTourists for a kayak tour of Lake Tyers to learn more about this extraordinary body of water, the movement for ‘personhood’ to protect its future and the impact the devastating 2020 bushfires has had on its health. Guests will then dock their kayaks at FLOAT – a floating studio and artist residency – for a talk by local artist and curator Josephine Jakobi. Finishing the event is the meditative interactive “Kayak Orchestra” sound performance. Equipped with sonified kayaks, participants will create gentle drifting layers of tones in a minimal, improvised composition made up of the sounds of other paddlers, bird calls, the splashes of jumping fish and the wind in the reeds. 

Waterfront: Seaweed Appreciation Dinner
When: 1 April 2021, 6 – 9pm
Where: Sodafish Restaurant, Middle Boat Harbour, The Esplanade, Lakes Entrance
Tickets: openhousemelbourne.org/event/seaweed-appreciation-dinner
Explore how to prepare, cook and enjoy sustainably sourced marine foods by Sodafish Restaurant Owner and Executive Chef Nick Mahlook (ex-Atlantic) for a very special Seaweed Appreciation Dinner. Curated by Lichen Kelp, Mahlook will prepare a special menu from sustainably sourced local seaweeds and seafood, accompanied by matched drinks. 

Waterfront: Slipway Salon – Talks Program
When: 3 April 2021, 10am – 4pm
Where: Slipway Sheds, 481 Princess Highway, Lakes Entrance Tickets: openhousemelbourne.org/event/waterfront-slipway-salon-talks-program
A series of design and creative-entrepreneurship discussions and workshops at the historic Slipways Sheds. Speakers will include Mathew Bate, author of children’s seaweed book “A Little Kelp from Our Friends”, Michael Duncan, General Manager of quarterly newspaper Gippslandia and Chris and Gabrielle Moore the makers behind Sailors Grave Brewing.

Waterfront: Metung Hot Springs ‘Pop-Up’ Bathing and Site Tour
When: 3 April 2021, 2 – 4pm
Where: 73 Storth Ryes Avenue, Metung, VIC 3904
Tickets: openhousemelbourne.org/event/metung-hot-springs
Join the team behind Metung Hot Springs on an immersive tour of the future Hot Springs site. Learn about the redevelopment of the 500-metre deep bore, the benefits of the 45-degree geothermal mineral water, the phasing and staging of the development, and most importantly, finish the tour with an opportunity to bathe in the ‘pop up hot springs’ whilst taking in breathtaking views of the Gippsland Lakes. (Don’t forget to pack your bathers and a towel!).

For more information, head to www.openhousemelbourne.org/waterfront2021 for full details.

About Centre for Architecture | Open House Melbourne
As the new umbrella organisation for all things Open House in Victoria, the Centre for Architecture Victoria (CAV) is an organisation with a big ambition ­– to inform the public about the importance of design in the built environment and why it matters to the future liveability of our cities. Providing creative and curatorial leadership, CAV oversees additional events and programs beyond the much-loved Open House Melbourne Weekend, such as Open House Bendigo, Modern Melbourne, This is Public, Waterfront (part of Melbourne Design Week) and The Naked Architect series. Open House Melbourne (OHM) continues to be an independent organisation that fosters public appreciation for architecture and public engagement in design in the built environment.

Image credit: FLOAT vessel on Lake Tyers, photo credit Mathew Bates