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                                                               POSTCODE	
  3000	
  
                                   From	
  Contested	
  Space	
  to	
  Sacred	
  Space	
  
                                                                                    	
  
                                                                SIMON	
  CAREY	
  HOLT	
  
                                                                           	
  
	
  
INTRODUCTION	
                                                                             terraces.	
   	
   	
   As	
   the	
   intensity	
   of	
   the	
  
‘A	
   day	
   in	
   town.’	
   	
   That’s	
   what	
   my	
   mother	
                  residential	
   landscape	
   increased,	
   so	
   too	
  
always	
   called	
   it;	
   our	
   occasional	
   but	
                                 did	
  my	
  fascination.	
  	
  	
  
routine	
   pilgrimage	
   into	
   the	
   heart	
   of	
                                    As	
   we	
   emerged	
   from	
   the	
   platforms	
   of	
  
Melbourne.	
  	
  For	
  me,	
  it	
  was	
  the	
  highlight	
  of	
                      Flinders	
   Street	
   Station,	
   the	
   hub	
   of	
   the	
  
school	
   holidays.	
   	
   It	
   meant	
   a	
   50-­‐minute	
                         city’s	
   rail	
   network,	
   we	
   entered	
   another	
  
train	
   journey	
   from	
   my	
   outer	
   suburban	
                                 world.	
   	
   Navigating	
   the	
   ticket	
   barriers	
   in	
  
home	
   in	
   Dandenong.	
   	
   Given	
   how	
   rarely	
   I	
                       the	
   arrival	
   hall,	
   we	
   moved	
   from	
   the	
  
rode	
   a	
   train	
   as	
   a	
   boy,	
   this	
   only	
   added	
   to	
            shadows	
   of	
   the	
   domed	
   space	
   into	
   the	
  
the	
  sense	
  of	
  intrigue.	
  	
  As	
  our	
  string	
  of	
  red	
                  daylight	
  beyond	
  and	
  stood	
  together	
  under	
  
carriages	
   snaked	
   along	
   the	
   track,	
   I	
                                  the	
   clocks	
   that	
   kept	
   time	
   for	
   departing	
  
watched—my	
  nose	
  pressed	
  up	
  against	
  the	
                                    trains.	
  	
  As	
  my	
  mother	
  ensured	
  that	
  every	
  
window	
   and	
   my	
   breath	
   forming	
   patterns	
                                member	
   of	
   the	
   brood	
   was	
   accounted	
   for,	
   I	
  
on	
   the	
   glass—as	
   the	
   landscape	
   slowly	
                                 dodged	
   the	
   stream	
   of	
   commuters	
  
changed.	
   	
   The	
   lines	
   of	
   perfectly	
   spaced	
                          brushing	
   past	
   to	
   look	
   out	
   on	
   the	
  
1960s	
   cream	
   brick	
   veneers,	
   all	
   with	
                                  intersection	
   below.	
   	
   With	
   Young	
   &	
  
matching	
   front	
   fences	
   and	
   appended	
                                       Jackson’s	
   Hotel	
   on	
   one	
   corner	
   and	
   the	
  
garages,	
   gradually	
   gave	
   way	
   to	
   factories,	
                            spires	
  of	
  St	
  Paul’s	
  Cathedral	
  on	
  the	
  other,	
  
graffitied	
   walls	
   and	
   ever	
   smaller	
   back	
                               this	
   junction	
   was	
   more	
   alive	
   than	
  
yards	
   tucked	
   behind	
   late	
   19th	
   century	
                                anywhere	
   else	
   I	
   knew.	
   	
   The	
   constant	
  



	
                                                                                                                                                             1	
  
sound	
  of	
  car	
  horns	
  mingled	
  with	
  the	
  clang	
               elderly	
   attendant	
   always	
   stood	
   in	
   a	
  
of	
  the	
  trams	
  that	
  rattled	
  by.	
  	
  An	
  eternally	
          corner,	
   a	
   dark	
   room	
   of	
   supplies	
   behind	
  
replenishing	
  pool	
  of	
  pedestrians	
  gathered	
                        him	
   and	
   a	
   mop	
   at	
   the	
   ready.	
   	
   It	
   was	
   all	
  
at	
  the	
  corner	
  ready	
  for	
  their	
  turn	
  to	
  cross	
          very	
  subterranean	
  …	
  and	
  very	
  Melbourne.	
  
Flinders	
   and	
   disperse	
   into	
   the	
   anonymity	
                        I	
   looked	
   forward	
   to	
   our	
   ‘day	
   in	
   town’	
  
of	
  the	
  city	
  grid	
  beyond.	
  	
  	
                                 all	
   term.	
   	
   The	
   city	
   was	
   a	
   place	
   in	
   which	
   I	
  
       Taking	
   our	
   place	
   at	
   the	
   corner,	
   we	
            felt	
   markedly	
   my	
   lack	
   of	
   sophistication	
  
would	
  cross	
  with	
  the	
  mid-­‐morning	
  hordes	
                     and	
  yet	
  where	
  life	
  and	
  possibility	
  seemed	
  
and	
   continue	
   up	
   the	
   main	
   artery	
   of	
                   endless.	
  	
  For	
  me,	
  it	
  was	
  a	
  place	
  of	
  fantasy,	
  
Swanston.	
   	
   My	
   most	
   enduring	
   boyhood	
                      one	
  in	
  which	
  I	
  imagined	
  myself	
  as	
  more	
  at	
  
memory	
   of	
   the	
   city	
   is	
   of	
   suits,	
   briefcases	
       home	
   than	
   anywhere	
   else.	
   	
   I	
   determined	
  
and	
   umbrellas;	
   a	
   place	
   of	
   heels,	
   hats	
   and	
        then	
   that	
   one	
   day	
   I	
   would	
   belong	
   to	
   this	
  
handbags.	
   	
   Everybody	
   was	
   on	
   the	
   move,	
                place,	
  and	
  it	
  would	
  belong	
  to	
  me.	
  	
  	
  
many	
   who	
   looked	
   as	
   though	
   they	
                                  Today	
  this	
  city	
  is	
  my	
  home.	
  	
  For	
   more	
  
belonged.	
   	
   Important	
   and	
   self-­‐assured	
                      than	
  a	
  decade	
  I	
  have	
  lived	
  with	
  my	
  family	
  
people,	
   they	
   moved	
   with	
   purpose	
   and	
   an	
               within	
   the	
   boundaries	
   of	
   the	
   City	
   of	
  
urbane	
   indifference	
   to	
   everyone	
   around	
                       Melbourne,	
   many	
   of	
   those	
   in	
   the	
   CBD	
  
them.	
  	
  There	
  were	
  those,	
  too,	
  who	
  looked	
                (Central	
   Business	
   District),	
   Postcode	
  
anything	
   but	
   important,	
   disgruntled	
   and	
                      3000.	
   	
   Indeed,	
   I	
   do	
   belong	
   to	
   this	
   place,	
  
dishevelled	
   in	
   fact,	
   but	
   equally	
   at	
   home,	
            but	
  I	
  cannot	
  claim	
  it	
  belongs	
  to	
  me.	
  	
  	
  
standing	
   at	
   corners	
   with	
   half-­‐empty	
                               Postcode	
   3000	
   is	
   an	
   easily	
   defined	
  
bottles	
   or	
   crouched	
   on	
   the	
   ground	
   with	
               space	
   built	
   on	
   a	
   parcel	
   of	
   land	
   ‘purchased’	
  
crumpled	
   blankets	
   by	
   their	
   sides.	
   	
   And	
               in	
  1835	
  by	
  a	
  Tasmanian	
  opportunist	
  John	
  
then	
   there	
   were	
   the	
   boys	
   who	
   spruiked	
                Batman.	
  	
  The	
  unsuspecting	
  ‘vendors’	
  were	
  
newspapers	
   on	
   every	
   corner.	
   	
   Though	
                      the	
   local	
   Duttigalla	
   Aborigines.	
   	
   The	
   price:	
  
they	
   looked	
   barely	
   older	
   than	
   me,	
   I	
                  a	
   collection	
   of	
   scissors,	
   beads	
   and	
  
assumed	
   they	
   knew	
   the	
   ways	
   of	
   this	
                   blankets	
  and	
  the	
  promise	
  of	
  a	
  yearly	
  rent	
  
world	
  better	
  than	
  I	
  ever	
  could.	
                               of	
   similar	
   kind.	
   	
   Soon	
   after,	
   in	
   1837,	
   two	
  
       We	
   passed	
   the	
   city	
   square	
   and	
   the	
             government	
   surveyors,	
   Hoddle	
   and	
  
Town	
  Hall	
  with	
  its	
  grand	
  clock	
  tower,	
  the	
               Russell,	
   were	
   charged	
   with	
   the	
   task	
   of	
  
streets	
   lined	
   with	
   buildings	
   that	
   rose	
                   laying	
   out	
   the	
   form	
   of	
   this	
   new	
  
endlessly	
   toward	
   the	
   sky.	
   Bourke	
   Street	
                  settlement.	
   	
   What	
   they	
   devised	
   was	
   an	
  
was	
   our	
   initial	
   destination	
   with	
   the	
   Myer	
            intimate	
   but	
   tightly	
   ordered	
   grid	
   of	
  
Department	
   Store	
   at	
   its	
   heart.	
   	
   First	
   was	
        streets	
   that	
   sets	
   the	
   boundaries	
   for	
  
our	
   visit	
   to	
   the	
   6th	
   floor	
   toy	
   department	
        Postcode	
  3000	
   today.	
  	
  	
  This	
  mix	
  of	
  broad	
  
followed	
   by	
   lunch	
   in	
   the	
   cafeteria.	
   	
   I	
           tree-­‐lined	
  boulevards,	
  narrow	
  streets	
  and	
  
remember	
  pushing	
  my	
  tray	
  along	
  the	
  run,	
                    an	
  interconnecting	
  web	
  of	
  laneways	
  takes	
  
mesmerized	
   by	
   the	
   lurid	
   red	
   and	
   green	
                up	
   no	
   more	
   than	
   1.5	
   square	
   kilometeres	
  
jellies	
   set	
   in	
   tall	
   parfait	
   glasses.	
   	
   Topped	
     yet	
   has	
   been	
   the	
   heart	
   of	
   the	
   wider	
  
with	
   whipped	
   cream	
   and	
   glace	
   cherries,	
                   metropolitan	
   region	
   for	
   more	
   than	
   180	
  
they	
   made	
   lunch	
   feel	
   like	
   a	
   carnival.	
   	
   I	
     years.	
  	
  	
  
remember	
  window	
  shopping	
  in	
  the	
  Royal	
                         	
  
Arcade,	
   lingering	
   outside	
   the	
   Houpton	
                        FROM	
  CONTESTED	
  SPACE	
  
Tearooms	
   where	
   beautifully	
   dressed	
                               Postcode	
   3000	
   is	
   a	
   very	
   real	
   place,	
  
women	
   from	
   Camberwell	
   sipped	
   tea,	
   and	
  
                                                                               tangible	
  and	
  concrete;	
  one	
  that	
  daily	
  plays	
  
watching	
   the	
   private	
   school	
   boys	
   rowing	
                  host	
  to	
  around	
  800,000	
  people:	
  residents,	
  
on	
  the	
  Yarra.	
  	
  I	
  remember	
  our	
  mandatory	
                 workers	
   and	
   visitors.1	
   	
   It	
   is	
   a	
   centre	
   of	
  
visit	
   to	
   the	
   Bible	
   Society	
   bookshop	
   in	
  
                                                                               finance,	
   commerce,	
   government	
   and	
  
Flinders	
   Lane,	
   and	
   of	
   course,	
   the	
  
                                                                               education.	
   	
   It’s	
   a	
   place	
   of	
   tall	
   buildings,	
  
underground	
   toilets	
   on	
   Elizabeth.	
   	
   An	
  


	
                                                                                                                                                               2	
  
wide	
  streets	
  and	
  narrow	
  laneways;	
  home	
                                     •	
   A	
   suburban	
   homemaker	
   travels	
   into	
  
to	
   churches,	
   courts	
   and	
   libraries.	
   It	
   is	
                          the	
   city	
   for	
   a	
   day	
   of	
   shopping.	
   	
   As	
   she	
  
endless	
   arcades	
   of	
   shops,	
   sidewalk	
   cafes,	
                             wanders	
   the	
   laneway	
   boutiques	
   and	
  
galleries	
  and	
  five-­‐star	
  hotels.	
  	
  It	
  is	
  a	
  place	
                  grand	
   department	
   stores,	
   she	
   is	
  
that	
   you	
   can	
   see,	
   feel,	
   hear	
   and	
   smell.	
   	
   But	
          happily	
   distracted	
   by	
   the	
   alluring	
  
it	
   is	
   more.	
   	
   As	
   my	
   childhood	
   memories	
                         promises	
   of	
   glamour.	
   In	
   every	
  
attest,	
   the	
   city	
   of	
   Melbourne	
   is	
   an	
                               purchase,	
   she	
   re-­‐imagines	
   herself	
   as	
   a	
  
imagined	
   landscape,	
   a	
   place	
   of	
   fantasy	
   in	
                         woman	
  of	
  style,	
  noticed	
  and	
  desirable.	
  	
  
which	
   its	
   inhabitants,	
   routinely	
   or	
                                       Or	
   perhaps	
   she	
   comes	
   to	
   enjoy	
   the	
  
momentarily,	
   re-­‐imagine	
   themselves.	
  	
                                         feast	
   of	
   concerts,	
   theatres	
   and	
  
Though	
  as	
  a	
  landscape	
  of	
  the	
  imagination	
                                restaurants—a	
   momentary	
   escape	
  
Postcode	
   3000	
   is	
   much	
   less	
   tangible,	
   it	
   is	
                    from	
   an	
   otherwise	
   predictable	
  
just	
  as	
  real.	
  	
  	
                                                               domestic	
  routine.	
  
	
                                                                                          •	
  A	
  young	
  man	
  from	
  the	
  outer	
  suburbs	
  
        •	
  A	
  corporate	
  executive	
  drives	
  into	
  the	
                         invests	
   considerable	
   time	
   re-­‐making	
  
        city	
   from	
   the	
   domestic	
   and	
   mundane	
                            himself	
   as	
   masculine	
   and	
   virile.	
   	
   He	
  
        obligations	
   of	
   his	
   suburban	
   home.	
  	
                             primps	
   and	
   preens,	
   gels	
   and	
   sprays	
  
        After	
   ascending	
   in	
   the	
   elevator	
   to	
   his	
                    before	
   travelling	
   with	
   his	
   mates	
   into	
  
        office	
   high	
   above,	
   he	
   stands	
   at	
   his	
                       the	
   city	
   for	
   a	
   night	
   of	
   drinking,	
   dancing	
  
        window	
   and	
   surveys	
   the	
   city	
   spread	
                            and,	
   if	
   he’s	
   lucky,	
   passion.	
   	
   	
   For	
   him,	
  
        out	
   below.	
   	
   As	
   he	
   does,	
   he	
   daily	
   re-­‐              the	
   city	
   is	
   a	
   land	
   of	
   promise,	
   an	
  
        imagines	
   himself	
   as	
   a	
   person	
   of	
   power,	
                    imagined	
   place	
   of	
   transition	
   from	
  
        position	
  and	
  influence.	
                                                     childlike	
   constraint	
   to	
   the	
   freedom	
   of	
  
        •	
  An	
   international	
   student	
   arrives	
   in	
                          young	
  adulthood.	
  
        the	
   city	
   from	
   a	
   far	
   away	
   land,	
   leaving	
           	
  
        behind	
   family	
   but	
   bearing	
   their	
   hopes	
                    From	
   every	
   perspective,	
   the	
   imaginative	
  
        and	
   expectations.	
   	
   This	
   city	
   is	
   a	
   place	
          power	
   of	
   this	
   landscape	
   runs	
   deep.	
   	
   Yet	
  
        that	
   embodies	
   the	
   uniquely	
   Western	
                           these	
   imaginations—these	
   competing	
  
        versions	
  of	
  opportunity	
  and	
  freedom,	
  a	
                        visions	
   of	
   urban	
   promise—are	
   what	
  
        place	
   to	
   access	
   education,	
   prosperity	
                        makes	
   Postcode	
   3000	
   a	
   highly	
   contested	
  
        and	
  new	
  beginnings.	
  	
  In	
  the	
  city	
  he	
  re-­‐              space.	
   	
   	
   One	
   does	
   not	
   have	
   to	
   participate	
  
        imagines	
  his	
  future	
  and	
  himself.	
  	
  	
  	
                     in	
   its	
   life	
   for	
   very	
   long	
   to	
   feel	
   the	
  
        •	
  A	
  city	
  resident,	
  an	
  empty	
  nester	
  who	
                  consequences.	
   	
   Overwhelmingly,	
   the	
   city’s	
  
        moved	
  into	
  her	
  penthouse	
  after	
  raising	
                        diverse	
                    constituencies	
                   envision	
  
        a	
   family	
   in	
   a	
   more	
   suburban	
   place,	
                   themselves	
   as	
   adversaries	
   competing	
   for	
  
        entertains	
   friends	
   on	
   her	
   balcony	
                            priority,	
  space	
  and	
  resources.	
  	
  	
  
        overlooking	
   the	
   riverside	
   marina.	
   	
   As	
                           Last	
  year	
  I	
  was	
  invited	
  to	
  participate	
  in	
  
        she	
   sips	
   her	
   champagne,	
   the	
   lights	
   of	
                a	
   community	
   forum	
   at	
   the	
   Town	
   Hall	
   on	
  
        the	
   city	
   skyline	
   dancing	
   behind	
   her,	
                     the	
   administration	
   of	
   liquor	
   licenses.	
   In	
  
        she	
   re-­‐imagines	
   herself	
   as	
   an	
   urban	
                    recent	
   years	
   the	
   city	
   has	
   struggled	
   with	
  
        sophisticate	
   with	
   the	
   trappings	
   of	
                           increasing	
   levels	
   of	
   alcohol-­‐fuelled	
  
        culture	
  and	
  success	
  at	
  her	
  fingertips.	
                        violence	
   on	
   its	
   streets	
   and	
   the	
   reputation	
  
        •	
   A	
   middle-­‐aged	
   couple,	
   tourists	
   from	
                  that	
   goes	
   with	
   it.	
   	
   There	
   to	
   represent	
   the	
  
        overseas,	
   come	
   to	
   this	
   exotic	
   urban	
                      interests	
   of	
   residents,	
   I	
   was	
   seated	
  
        landscape	
   to	
   photograph	
   its	
   vistas,	
                          alongside	
   licensees,	
   community	
   service	
  
        imbibe	
   its	
   culture	
   and	
   purchase	
   an	
                       and	
   law	
   enforcement	
   personnel,	
  
        experience	
   of	
   transcendence	
   and	
                                  representatives	
   of	
   retail	
   and	
   cultural	
  
        difference.	
  	
  They	
  do	
  not	
  come	
  in	
  search	
                 associations,	
  business	
  leaders	
  and	
  elected	
  
        of	
   the	
   ordinary,	
   but	
   of	
   cultural	
                         members	
   of	
   local	
   government.	
   	
   What	
  
        diversity,	
  energy	
  and	
  otherness.	
                                    ensued	
   was	
   a	
   heated	
   and	
   ultimately	
  


	
                                                                                                                                                                    3	
  
fruitless	
   clash	
   of	
   imaginations.	
   	
   More	
                         TO	
  SACRED	
  SPACE	
  
regular	
  participation	
  in	
  the	
  City’s	
  advisory	
                        The	
   respected	
   proponent	
   of	
   public	
  
committee	
   on	
   children	
   and	
   families	
   only	
                        spirituality,	
   Philip	
   Sheldrake,	
   argues	
   that	
  
casts	
   the	
   divides	
   in	
   greater	
   relief.	
  	
                       the	
   urban	
   environment	
   has	
   a	
   formative	
  
Multiple	
   proposals	
   come	
   before	
   Council	
                             impact	
   upon	
   the	
   human	
   spirit.	
   	
   Places	
   like	
  
vying	
  for	
  the	
  affirmation	
  of	
  Melbourne	
  as	
                        Postcode	
   3000	
   shape	
   the	
   soul.	
   	
   City	
  
an	
   international	
   city,	
   a	
   residential	
   city,	
   a	
               making,	
   he	
   says,	
   is	
   about	
   the	
   functional,	
  
24-­‐hour	
   city,	
   a	
   city	
   of	
   literature	
   and	
   the	
           the	
   ethical	
   and	
   the	
   spiritual.	
   	
   Good	
  
arts,	
   a	
   child-­‐friendly	
   city,	
   a	
   world-­‐class	
                 cities—cities	
   that	
   nurture	
   the	
   individual	
  
city	
   of	
   fashion	
   and	
   food,	
   and	
   more.	
   	
   Yet	
           and	
   collective	
   spirit—are	
   those	
   that	
   (i)	
  
each	
   proposal	
   carries	
   with	
   it	
   an	
   implicit	
                  enable	
   the	
   human	
   person	
   to	
   flourish	
  
critique	
  of	
  competing	
  visions	
  for	
  Postcode	
                          through	
   the	
   stages	
   of	
   life;	
   (ii)	
   nurture	
  
3000.	
  	
  	
                                                                      belongingness	
   and	
   connection;	
   (iii)	
  
       As	
   a	
   city	
   resident	
   and	
   pastor	
   of	
   a	
   city	
     facilitate	
   relationship	
   with	
   natural	
  
church,	
  I	
  am	
  compelled	
  by	
  the	
  gospel	
  call	
                     environments;	
  and	
  (iv)	
  offer	
  access	
  to	
  the	
  
of	
  Jesus	
  to	
  ask	
  what	
  part	
  the	
  church	
  and	
  I	
              sacred	
  or	
  relate	
  us	
  to	
  life	
  as	
  sacred.4	
  	
  It	
  is	
  
can	
   play	
   in	
   this	
   contested	
   space.	
   	
   	
   In	
   his	
     this	
   idea	
   of	
   the	
   city	
   as	
   a	
   facilitator	
   of	
   the	
  
context,	
  Archbishop	
  of	
  Canterbury	
  Rowan	
                                sacred,	
   an	
   environment	
   that	
   potentially	
  
Williams	
   warns	
   the	
   urban	
   church	
   against	
                        relates	
   us	
   to	
   life	
   as	
   an	
   integrated	
   whole	
  
becoming	
  nothing	
  more	
  than	
  one	
  interest	
                             that	
  may	
  well	
  provide	
  a	
  renewed	
  sense	
  of	
  
group	
  among	
  many	
  bidding	
  competitively	
                                 the	
  church’s	
  place	
  and	
  purpose	
  in	
  the	
  city.	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
for	
   the	
   same	
   resources,	
   recognition	
   and	
                               In	
   a	
   contested	
   space,	
   the	
   preferred	
  
priority	
   that	
   every	
   other	
   interest	
   group	
                       narrative	
   of	
   arbitration	
   centres	
   around	
  
seeks.	
   	
   According	
   to	
   Williams,	
   the	
   church	
                  the	
  notion	
  of	
  tolerance,	
  ‘the	
  catchword	
  of	
  
is	
  operating	
  most	
  closely	
  to	
  its	
  vocational	
                      liberal	
   societies.’5	
   Tolerance	
   carries	
   with	
  
identity	
   when	
   is	
   provides	
   a	
   ‘radically	
                         it	
   a	
   sense	
   of	
   forbearance,	
   endurance	
   or	
  
different	
   imaginative	
   landscape’,	
   one	
   in	
                           indulgence.	
   	
   In	
   essence,	
   it	
   allows	
   the	
  
which	
   all	
   constituencies	
   can	
   discover	
   an	
                       ‘other’	
  to	
  be.	
  	
  A	
  tolerant	
  society	
  is	
  indeed	
  
alternative	
  way	
  of	
  being	
  and	
  sharing	
  life.2	
  	
                  a	
   worthy	
   aspiration;	
   it	
   stands	
   in	
   sharp	
  
       Herein	
   lies	
   a	
   word	
   of	
   vocation	
   for	
                  contrast	
   to	
   a	
   parochial	
   and	
   bigoted	
  
people	
   like	
   me	
   and	
   for	
   the	
   faith	
                           community	
   intolerant	
   of	
   difference.	
   	
   But	
  
communities	
   that	
   inhabit	
   Postcode	
   3000.	
  	
                        the	
   word	
   tolerant	
   falls	
   well	
   short	
   of	
  
The	
  city	
  church	
  is	
  ideally	
  placed	
  to	
  model	
                    describing	
   the	
   nature	
   of	
  sacred	
  space	
  and,	
  
a	
   way	
   of	
   being	
   in	
   community	
   that	
   is	
                    within	
   it,	
   a	
   community	
   able	
   to	
   celebrate	
  
genuinely	
   inclusive	
   and	
   hospitable,	
   a	
                              both	
  its	
  differences	
  and	
  common	
  identity.	
  	
  	
  
community	
  of	
  presence	
  that	
  can	
  facilitate	
                                  Sacred	
  space	
  is	
  hospitable	
  space.	
  	
  This	
  
what	
   Williams	
   describes	
   as	
   ‘a	
   conversion	
                       more	
  challenging	
  notion	
  of	
  hospitality	
  lies	
  
of	
   sorts,	
   a	
   turning	
   around	
   of	
   values	
   and	
               at	
   the	
   heart	
   of	
   the	
   church’s	
   identity	
   and	
  
priorities	
   that	
   grow	
   from	
   trust	
   in	
   God.’3	
  	
              mission.	
   	
   Henri	
   Nouwen	
   has	
   described	
  
Rather	
   than	
   settling	
   to	
   be	
   an	
   interest	
                     this	
   mission	
   as	
   offering	
   ‘an	
   open	
   and	
  
group	
  cradling	
  its	
  own	
  agenda,	
   the	
  church	
                       hospitable	
  space	
  where	
  strangers	
  can	
  cast	
  
by	
   its	
   nature	
   has	
   the	
   capacity	
   to	
   provide	
   a	
        of	
   their	
   strangeness	
   and	
   become	
   our	
  
radically	
   different	
   imagining,	
   one	
   of	
                              fellow	
   human	
   beings.’	
   Such	
   open	
   sharing	
  
community,	
   hospitality	
   and	
   cooperation.	
  	
                            of	
   space	
   and	
   place	
   carries	
   with	
   it	
   an	
  
In	
   doing	
   so,	
   perhaps	
   the	
   church	
   can	
   be	
                 obligation	
   of	
   surrender.	
   	
   Those	
   in	
   power	
  
part	
  of	
  enabling	
  a	
  gradual	
  transformation	
                           and	
   possession	
   must	
   be	
   willing	
   to	
  
of	
   the	
   urban	
   landscape	
   from	
   contested	
                          relinquish	
  ownership	
  and	
  allow	
  others	
  to	
  
space	
   to	
   something	
   more	
   genuinely	
                                  fully	
   inhabit	
   space	
   with	
   them.	
   	
   My	
  
human,	
  inclusive	
  and	
  life-­‐affirming.	
  	
  	
                            colleague,	
   Mark	
   G	
   Brett,	
   writes	
   of	
   the	
  
	
  


	
                                                                                                                                                                  4	
  
need	
   for	
   a	
   ‘divine	
   counter	
   empire	
   of	
                               In	
   large	
   part,	
   the	
   movement	
   from	
  
kenotic	
   hospitality’,6	
   a	
   hospitality	
   of	
                             contested	
   space	
   to	
   sacred	
   space	
   depends	
  
surrender	
   and	
   self-­‐emptying;	
   one	
   that	
                             on	
   the	
   power	
   of	
   conversation	
   around	
  
enables	
   a	
   genuine	
   sharing	
   of	
   space	
   and	
                      values	
   that	
   bind	
   us	
   together;	
   values	
   that	
  
resources	
   and	
   a	
   much	
   more	
   profound	
                              prioritize	
   the	
   dignity	
   of	
   humanity	
   and	
  
expression	
   of	
   community.	
   	
   It	
   is	
   a	
   costly	
                community.	
  	
  In	
  my	
  view,	
  the	
  city	
  church	
  is	
  
business	
   for	
   it	
   requires	
   a	
   giving	
   away	
   of	
               uniquely	
  placed	
  to	
  host	
  and	
  facilitate	
  such	
  
self-­‐interest	
  in	
  the	
  interest	
  of	
  others.	
                           conversations,	
   inhabiting	
   a	
   space	
   that	
   is	
  
       How	
   might	
   the	
   church	
   in	
   Postcode	
                         neither	
   commercial	
   nor	
   public,	
   neither	
  
3000,	
   through	
   the	
   expression	
   of	
                                     partisan	
   nor	
   civic,	
   but	
   a	
   space	
   of	
   genuine	
  
hospitality,	
   facilitate	
   such	
   an	
   opening	
   up	
                      and	
  open	
  hospitality.	
  	
  For	
  a	
  church	
  to	
  take	
  
of	
   the	
   city	
   as	
   sacred	
   space?	
   	
   I	
   offer	
   three	
     on	
   such	
   a	
   role,	
   to	
   open	
   its	
   doors	
   to	
  
limited	
  suggestions.	
  	
                                                         conversations	
   which	
   are	
   not	
   explicitly	
  
	
                                                                                    religious	
   in	
   nature	
   and	
   which	
   it	
   cannot	
  
1.	
  	
  Hosting	
  conversational	
  space	
                                        necessarily	
   control,	
   requires	
   an	
   element	
  
Melbourne	
   has	
   its	
   share	
   of	
   grand	
   ecclesial	
                  of	
  self-­‐emptying.	
  	
  To	
  play	
  the	
  role	
  of	
  host	
  
buildings.	
   	
   Every	
   Good	
   Friday,	
   I	
   join	
                       is	
   an	
   act	
   of	
   intentional	
   vulnerability,	
   but	
  
thousands	
   of	
   others	
   who	
   make	
   the	
                                one	
   that	
   has	
   the	
   capacity	
   to	
   impact	
   well	
  
pilgrimage	
   of	
   the	
   cross	
   from	
   station	
   to	
                     beyond	
  the	
  walls	
  of	
  the	
  church	
  building.	
  	
  
station	
  around	
  the	
  streets	
  of	
  the	
  city;	
  from	
                          	
  	
  
St	
  Francis	
  to	
  St	
  Paul’s,	
  from	
  St	
  Patricks	
  to	
                2.	
  	
  Nurturing	
  local	
  connections	
  
Scots	
   Presbyterian	
   and	
   the	
   grand	
   white	
                          In	
   recent	
   years,	
   much	
   has	
   been	
   said	
   about	
  
columns	
   of	
   Collins	
   Street	
   Baptist,	
   the	
                          the	
   complexity	
   of	
   our	
   place-­‐identity	
   and	
  
church	
  of	
  which	
  I	
  am	
  a	
  part.	
  	
  	
                              its	
  importance	
  to	
  individual	
  and	
  collective	
  
       There	
   is	
   much	
   that	
   can	
   be	
   critiqued,	
                 wellbeing.	
   	
   This	
   identity,	
   especially	
   for	
  
and	
   often	
   is,	
   about	
   the	
   presence	
   of	
   such	
                urban	
   dwellers,	
   is	
   multi-­‐faceted,	
   a	
  
buildings,	
   their	
  ‘dwindling	
   congregations’,	
                              complex	
   mix	
   of	
   the	
   most	
   local,	
   micro-­‐
the	
   never	
   ending	
   costs	
   of	
   maintenance	
                           place	
   connections	
   of	
   home	
   and	
  
and	
   the	
   sheer	
   monetary	
   value	
   of	
   the	
   real	
                neighbourhood	
   and	
   macro-­‐place	
   relations	
  
estate	
  upon	
  which	
  they	
  stand.	
  I	
  have	
  often	
                     to	
   a	
   wider,	
   sometimes	
   global,	
   sense	
   of	
  
wondered,	
  though,	
  what	
  the	
  city	
  would	
  be	
                          place.	
   	
   For	
   city	
   residents,	
   moving	
  
like	
   if	
   all	
   of	
   these	
   structures	
   were	
   razed.	
  	
         contested	
   space	
   into	
   sacred	
   space	
   has	
   to	
  
What	
   would	
   be	
   lost?	
   	
   Due	
   to	
   the	
   sheer	
               do	
  with	
  nurturing	
  both	
  connections.	
  	
  	
  
force	
   of	
   economics	
   they	
   would	
   be	
                                       Residential	
   life	
   in	
   Postcode	
   3000	
   is	
  
replaced,	
  no	
  doubt,	
  with	
  yet	
  more	
  towers	
                          unique.	
   	
   To	
   those	
   who	
   look	
   on	
   from	
   a	
  
of	
   glass	
   and	
   steal	
   that	
   pay	
   homage	
   to	
   the	
           suburban	
   distance,	
   it	
   is	
   a	
   style	
   of	
   life	
  
powers	
   of	
   commerce	
   and	
   profit.	
   	
   But	
   in	
                  easily	
   caricatured,	
   sometimes	
   glamorized	
  
the	
   process	
   something	
   of	
   the	
   city’s	
   heart	
                   and	
   commonly	
   misunderstood.	
   	
   	
   Today	
  
would	
   be	
   gone.	
   	
   Even	
   among	
   those	
   who	
                    Melbourne’s	
  CBD	
  is	
  home	
  to	
  some	
  18,000	
  
never	
  darken	
  the	
  doors	
  of	
  such	
  buildings,	
                         people,	
  an	
  increase	
  of	
  no	
  less	
  than	
  11,000	
  
their	
   presence	
   is	
   routinely	
   affirmed.	
   	
   If	
                   in	
   the	
   last	
   six	
   years.	
   	
   By	
   2031,	
   the	
  
nothing	
   else,	
   such	
   buildings	
   remind	
   us	
   of	
                   residential	
   population	
   is	
   projected	
   to	
   be	
  
an	
  alternative	
  set	
  of	
  values,	
  of	
  possibilities	
                    close	
  to	
  40,000	
  people.7	
  	
  Given	
  that	
  in	
  the	
  
that	
   lie	
   beyond	
   the	
   cold	
   and	
   rational	
                       early	
   1980s,	
   there	
   were	
   a	
   mere	
   700	
  
dictums	
   of	
   the	
   marketplace.	
   	
   Their	
                              people	
   who	
   called	
   the	
   city	
   home,	
   the	
  
dramatic	
   spires	
   point	
   not	
   to	
   the	
   glory	
   of	
               growth	
  in	
  residential	
  life	
  is	
  nothing	
  short	
  
human	
   industry,	
   but	
   to	
   a	
   reality	
   beyond	
                     of	
  extraordinary.	
  
and	
  to	
  the	
  sacredness	
  of	
  life	
  itself,	
  even	
  in	
                      As	
  in	
  any	
  residential	
  context,	
  city	
  living	
  
the	
  city’s	
  urban	
  heart.	
  	
                                                can	
   be	
   an	
   anonymous	
   business.	
   	
   The	
  
                                                                                      majority	
   of	
   residents	
   live	
   in	
   ‘vertical	
  


	
                                                                                                                                                          5	
  
neighbourhoods’,	
  tall	
  residential	
  buildings	
                                     seeking	
   skills,	
   qualifications	
   and	
   the	
  
that	
   may	
   be	
   home	
   to	
   hundreds	
   of	
                                  possibility	
   of	
   long-­‐term	
   residency	
   has	
   had	
  
individual	
   households.	
   	
   More	
   often	
   than	
                              a	
   high	
   profile	
   in	
   the	
   media.	
   	
   The	
  
not,	
  these	
  residents	
  have	
  a	
  strong	
  sense	
  of	
                         incidences	
  of	
  racial	
  vilification,	
  workplace	
  
global	
   identity.	
   	
   Their	
   identification	
   with	
                          exploitation	
   and	
   the	
   inadequacy	
   of	
  
the	
   city	
   as	
   a	
   whole	
   is	
   strong.	
   	
   As	
   they	
   look	
     educational	
   programs	
   set	
   up	
   to	
   profit	
  
out	
   of	
   their	
   living	
   room	
   windows	
   or	
   stand	
                    from	
   their	
   aspirations	
   has	
   caused	
  
on	
   their	
   balconies,	
   the	
   perspective	
   is	
                               considerable	
  debate.	
  	
  This	
  has	
  only	
  piggy-­‐
broad,	
   their	
   sense	
   of	
   space	
   defined	
   by	
                           backed	
   on	
   the	
   wider	
   story	
   of	
   tertiary	
  
distant	
   horizons	
   and	
   surrounded	
   by	
                                       education	
   in	
   Melbourne	
   and	
   the	
  
towers	
   of	
   global	
   industry.	
   	
   What’s	
   more,	
                         extraordinarily	
                   high	
         number	
            of	
  
42%	
   of	
   the	
   city’s	
   population	
   speak	
   a	
                             international	
   students,	
   primarily	
   from	
  
language	
   other	
   than	
   English	
   in	
   their	
                                 Asia,	
  who	
  call	
  the	
  city	
  home.	
  	
  	
  	
  
homes.	
  	
  	
  The	
  more	
  pressing	
  challenge	
  for	
                                   In	
   the	
   past	
   7	
   years,	
   31	
   apartment	
  
city	
   residents	
   is	
   the	
   nurturing	
   of	
   those	
                         blocks	
   have	
   been	
   built	
   on	
   the	
   northern	
  
micro-­‐place	
   connections,	
   connections	
   to	
                                    fringe	
   of	
   the	
   CBD	
   (between	
   RMIT	
   and	
  
the	
   immediate	
   neighbourhood.	
   	
   Lacking	
                                    University	
   of	
   Melbourne),	
   the	
   majority	
  
some	
   of	
   the	
   shared	
   and	
   contained	
   spaces	
                          along	
   Swanston	
   Street.	
   	
   These	
   apartments	
  
that	
   define	
   suburban	
   communities—                                              are	
   now	
   home	
   to	
   nearly	
   10,000	
   students,	
  
places	
   such	
   as	
   schools,	
   cul-­‐de-­‐sacs	
   and	
                          95%	
   from	
   overseas.	
   	
   On	
   a	
   broader	
   scale,	
  
corner	
   stores—urban	
   neighbourhoods	
                                               the	
   City	
   of	
   Melbourne	
   is	
   home	
   to	
   some	
  
need	
   a	
   stronger	
   sense	
   of	
   local	
   space	
   and	
                     25,000	
   international	
   students.8	
   	
   In	
   a	
  
neighbourhood	
  institution	
  to	
  thrive.	
                                            research	
   project	
   conducted	
   by	
   the	
  
      The	
   churches	
   of	
   Postcode	
   3000	
   have	
                             University	
  of	
  Melbourne,	
  it	
  was	
  found	
  that	
  
always	
   played	
   an	
   important	
   role	
   within	
                               these	
   students	
   rarely	
   make	
   friends	
   with	
  
their	
   wider	
   denominational	
   traditions,	
                                       Australians	
   and	
   commonly	
   will	
   never	
   see	
  
‘cathedral’	
   churches	
   with	
   a	
   central	
                                      the	
   inside	
   of	
   an	
   Australian	
   person's	
   home.	
  	
  
identity	
   and	
   a	
   unique	
   relationship	
   to	
   the	
                        Most	
   often,	
   they	
   will	
   live	
   alone	
   in	
   very	
  
wider	
   metropolitan	
   region.	
   	
   	
   With	
   the	
                            small	
   rooms	
   found	
   for	
   them	
   by	
   overseas	
  
rebirth	
   of	
   the	
   city	
   centre	
   as	
   a	
   lived-­‐in	
                   agents.	
   	
   Furthermore,	
   if	
   they	
   have	
   them,	
  
community,	
   and	
   one	
   that	
   anticipates	
                                      their	
   roommates	
   will	
   be	
   other	
  
continuing	
   growth,	
   the	
   city	
   churches	
   are	
                             international	
  students.9	
  	
  	
  
faced	
   with	
   an	
   extraordinary	
   opportunity.	
                                        All	
  too	
  often,	
  the	
  voices	
  of	
  such	
  people	
  
By	
   rediscovering	
   their	
   local	
   parish	
                                      go	
   unheard	
   in	
   the	
   public	
   forums	
   and	
  
identity,	
   churches	
   can	
   play	
   a	
   significant	
                            conversations	
   about	
   city	
   life.	
   	
   Though	
  
role	
   in	
   the	
   re-­‐birthing	
   of	
   local	
                                   their	
   presence	
   adds	
   a	
   richness	
   of	
   life	
   and	
  
neighbourhood.	
   	
   Doing	
   so	
   will	
   require	
   a	
                          diversity	
   to	
   the	
   city	
   landscape,	
   they	
   are	
  
considerable	
   degree	
   of	
   surrender	
   on	
   the	
                              not	
   considered	
   full	
   participants.	
   	
   Most	
  
part	
  of	
  these	
  churches.	
  	
  Self-­‐identity	
  runs	
                          never	
   have	
   a	
   vote,	
   struggle	
   with	
   barriers	
  
deep.	
   	
   To	
   embrace	
   the	
   immediate	
   and	
                              of	
   language	
   and	
   culture,	
   are	
   routinely	
  
local	
   expression	
   of	
   their	
   life	
   may	
   require	
                       exploited	
   by	
   opportunists	
   and	
   at	
   the	
  
their	
  more	
  regional	
  identity	
  to	
  take	
  a	
  back	
                         receiving	
   end	
   of	
   passive	
   racism	
   and	
  
seat	
   for	
   a	
   while.	
   	
   But	
   the	
   commitment	
   to	
                 discrimination.	
  	
  	
  
hospitality,	
   of	
   the	
   most	
   practical	
   and	
                                      Though	
   these	
   students	
   are	
   just	
   one	
  
immediate	
   kind,	
   may	
   well	
   be	
   its	
   own	
                              group	
   that	
   sits	
   on	
   the	
   margins	
   of	
   life	
   in	
  
reward.	
  	
  	
                                                                          Postcode	
   3000,	
   they	
   represent	
   a	
   very	
  
	
                                                                                         tangible	
  opportunity	
  to	
  the	
  church.	
  	
  What	
  
3.	
  Modelling	
  practical	
  inclusion	
                                                other	
   city-­‐based	
   communities	
   are	
   as	
   well	
  
In	
   the	
   past	
   few	
   months,	
   the	
   plight	
   of	
                        set	
   up	
   as	
   the	
   churches	
   to	
   provide	
   space,	
  
Indian	
   students	
   who	
   come	
   to	
   Melbourne	
                                support	
  and	
  intercultural	
  relationships	
  to	
  


	
                                                                                                                                                                 6	
  
these	
  young	
  people?	
  	
  	
  It	
  is	
  often	
  said	
  that	
                                                                                                                                                           	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
the	
   transient	
   nature	
   of	
   the	
   international	
                                                                                                                                                                    Spirituality	
  in	
  the	
  City,	
  edited	
  by	
  Andrew	
  
community	
   makes	
   serious	
   investment	
   in	
                                                                                                                                                                            Walker,	
  15-­‐26.	
  London:	
  SPCK,	
  2005,	
  17.	
  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   3	
  Williams,	
  17.	
  
its	
   welfare	
   an	
   act	
   of	
   no	
   permanent	
   gain	
  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   4	
  Philip	
  Sheldrake,	
  "Cities	
  and	
  Human	
  
for	
  the	
  church.	
  	
  But	
  if	
  the	
  church	
  is	
  to	
  play	
  
a	
   key	
   role	
   in	
   the	
   movement	
   of	
   the	
   city	
                                                                                                                                                           Community:	
  Spirituality	
  and	
  the	
  Urban."	
  The	
  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Way	
  45,	
  no.	
  4,	
  (2006),	
  108-­‐109.	
  
from	
   contested	
   space	
   to	
   sacred	
   space,	
   it	
                                                                                                                                                                 5	
  Sheldrake,	
  115.	
  
has	
   the	
   opportunity	
   to	
   model	
   a	
   form	
   of	
                                                                                                                                                               6	
  Mark	
  G	
  Brett,	
  Decolonizing	
  God:	
  The	
  Bible	
  
life	
   that	
   is	
   genuinely	
   hospitable,	
   that	
                                                                                                                                                                      and	
  the	
  Tides	
  of	
  Empire.	
  Sheffield:	
  Sheffield	
  
seeks	
   nothing	
   in	
   return	
   and	
   is	
   willing	
   to	
                                                                                                                                                            Phoenix	
  Press,	
  2008,	
  184-­‐185.	
  
surrender	
  its	
  own	
  comfort	
  for	
  the	
  sake	
  of	
                                                                                                                                                                   7	
  Nick	
  Casey,	
  Melbourne	
  City	
  Research,	
  

others.	
   	
   Perhaps	
   in	
   so	
   doing,	
   the	
   church	
                                                                                                                                                             "Analysis	
  of	
  Population	
  and	
  Housing	
  2001	
  –	
  
can	
  show	
  the	
  way,	
  a	
  different	
  way,	
  to	
  the	
                                                                                                                                                                2007."	
  Melbourne:	
  City	
  of	
  Melbourne,	
  2008.	
  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   8	
  Nick	
  Casey,	
  Melbourne	
  City	
  Research,"	
  City	
  
city	
  as	
  a	
  whole.	
  	
  	
  
	
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 of	
  Melbourne	
  2006	
  Student	
  Demographic	
  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Profile."	
  Melbourne:	
  City	
  of	
  Melbourne,	
  2008.	
  
CONCLUSION	
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       9	
  Adam	
  Morton,	
  "Foreign	
  Students	
  Living	
  on	
  the	
  Edge	
  

I	
   have	
   argued	
   that	
   Postcode	
   3000	
   is	
   a	
                                                                                                                                                                of	
  Society:	
  Towers	
  of	
  Segregation	
  on	
  CBD	
  Fringe."	
  The	
  
highly	
   contested	
   space,	
   one	
   of	
   competing	
                                                                                                                                                                     Age,	
  Saturday	
  May	
  5,	
  2007,	
  4.	
  
imaginations.	
  	
  In	
  the	
  movement	
  of	
  the	
  city	
                                                                                                                                                                  	
  
from	
   contested	
   space	
   to	
   sacred	
   space—
space	
   that	
   is	
   affirming	
   of	
   our	
   shared	
  
humanity	
   and	
   community—I	
   have	
  
suggested	
   that	
   the	
   church	
   has	
   a	
   key	
   role	
  
to	
   play.	
   	
   Flowing	
   out	
   of	
   its	
   commitment	
   to	
  
self-­‐giving	
   hospitality	
   as	
   the	
   expression	
   of	
  
its	
  identity	
  and	
  mission,	
  the	
  church	
  can	
  (i)	
  
host	
   conversational	
   space	
   in	
   which	
  
constituencies	
  can	
  hear	
  and	
  be	
  heard,	
  (ii)	
  
nurture	
   local	
   connections	
   by	
   re-­‐
embracing	
   its	
   parish	
   identity,	
   and	
   (iii)	
  
model	
   practical	
   inclusion	
   that	
   brings	
   the	
  
marginal	
   into	
   the	
   centre	
   of	
   its	
   life	
   and	
  
mission.	
  	
  	
  
        Personally,	
  I	
  remain	
  deeply	
  committed	
  
to	
   the	
   welfare	
   of	
   Postcode	
   3000.	
   	
   My	
  
boyhood	
  experience	
  of	
  ‘a	
  day	
  in	
  town’	
  and	
  
the	
  imagined	
  sense	
  of	
  self	
  that	
  came	
  with	
  
it	
   has	
   slowly	
   morphed	
   into	
   a	
   life	
   in	
   town	
  
and	
   an	
   imagined	
   sense	
   of	
   what	
   this	
   city	
  
might	
   become.	
   	
   My	
   imagined	
   self	
   and	
   my	
  
imagined	
   home	
   remain	
   connected	
   as	
   a	
  
landscape	
  of	
  faith.	
  	
  	
  
	
  
	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  
1	
  Boreak	
  Silk	
  and	
  Jo-­‐Anne	
  Bell,	
  City	
  Research,	
  

"Melbourne	
  City	
  User	
  Estimates	
  and	
  
Forecasts,	
  2004–2020."	
  Melbourne:	
  City	
  of	
  
Melbourne,	
  2009.	
  
2	
  Rowan	
  Williams,	
  "Urbanization,	
  the	
  

Christian	
  Church	
  and	
  the	
  Human	
  Project."	
  In	
  


	
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