The Big Brainstorm

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We all know life has changed dramatically since COVID-19 hit.

The way we live, work, socialise, travel, study and exercise have all been impacted.

How many of these changes will became part of ‘normal’ life now that COVID restrictions are easing?

How will these change impact on the way local Councils serve their communities?

Kingston is keen to tackle these questions, so we are ready to adapt and respond to changing community needs.

But we need your help.


1. Big Brainstorm
All staff are invited to take part in the Big Brainstorm to share your ideas about how life has changed in 2020.

Share your ideas by submitting comments in the Guest Book below to brainstorm:

What changes have you seen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in your life, your community, your neighbourhood and beyond.

  • Have you used your area differently?
  • How you get around?
  • How you shop and access services?
  • How you work? Do you work?
  • How you use your time for 'play'?
  • How you keep in contact and connect with others?
  • What brings you joy?
  • What has challenged you?

Please note: If you have previously registered your email with Your Kingston Your Say you may need to use your password. If you are new to the site (or using a personal email address) you won't need to register to take part.

2. Deeper Dive - Smaller group discussion
We’re also keen to bring together a smaller group of around 20 people from across different parts of the organisation to have a deeper conversation on the topic.

If you’d like to be chosen to take part email your interest to Strategic.Planning@kingston.vic.gov.au


Your feedback will then be used to help Kingston plan for the future and make sure we are well-prepared for the changes ahead.


Towards Exceptional Vision

The Big Brainstorm forms part of our Towards Exceptional vision for Kingston.

One of the pillars of Towards Exceptional is that we are A diverse, dynamic and contemporary organisation - We are flexible, collaborative and innovative.

The Big Brainstorm aims to harness the ideas, expertise and experience from right across the organisation to make sure were are well-prepared to meet our changing community landscape.





We all know life has changed dramatically since COVID-19 hit.

The way we live, work, socialise, travel, study and exercise have all been impacted.

How many of these changes will became part of ‘normal’ life now that COVID restrictions are easing?

How will these change impact on the way local Councils serve their communities?

Kingston is keen to tackle these questions, so we are ready to adapt and respond to changing community needs.

But we need your help.


1. Big Brainstorm
All staff are invited to take part in the Big Brainstorm to share your ideas about how life has changed in 2020.

Share your ideas by submitting comments in the Guest Book below to brainstorm:

What changes have you seen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in your life, your community, your neighbourhood and beyond.

  • Have you used your area differently?
  • How you get around?
  • How you shop and access services?
  • How you work? Do you work?
  • How you use your time for 'play'?
  • How you keep in contact and connect with others?
  • What brings you joy?
  • What has challenged you?

Please note: If you have previously registered your email with Your Kingston Your Say you may need to use your password. If you are new to the site (or using a personal email address) you won't need to register to take part.

2. Deeper Dive - Smaller group discussion
We’re also keen to bring together a smaller group of around 20 people from across different parts of the organisation to have a deeper conversation on the topic.

If you’d like to be chosen to take part email your interest to Strategic.Planning@kingston.vic.gov.au


Your feedback will then be used to help Kingston plan for the future and make sure we are well-prepared for the changes ahead.


Towards Exceptional Vision

The Big Brainstorm forms part of our Towards Exceptional vision for Kingston.

One of the pillars of Towards Exceptional is that we are A diverse, dynamic and contemporary organisation - We are flexible, collaborative and innovative.

The Big Brainstorm aims to harness the ideas, expertise and experience from right across the organisation to make sure were are well-prepared to meet our changing community landscape.



Add your ideas

What changes have you seen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in your life, your community, your neighbourhood and beyond?

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- More people using our outdoors spaces / walking paths for social gatherings / family activities
- Greater support in the local cafe going both ways - the cafe supporting residents through COVID with take home meals etc / local residents supporting the business to survive
- I value our kids going to kinder and childcare even more so now! They love going and thrive on the interactions / being there; I thrive on time without them in the house lol!
- Less driving due to working from home - less traffic on the roads. Although, I am shocked when I do drive during peak times to see lots of traffic, I assume everyone is at home like me but they're not.
- Activities like the teddybear hunt / rainbows / Spoonville brought community together; interestingly there was less interest in a 'Halloween hunt' in our estate than the teddybear hunt - the height of the pandemic iso increased people's participation locally.
- the shops in Mordialloc seemed to have survived pretty well through covid, I assume it's because there are enough people living locally and shopping locally to get them through. Lunch time was always busy even during the lockdown. Good role model for other shopping strips?
- Working from home has its pros and cons - greater flexibility for our kids, no travel, no need to go from Mentone to Chelt / other sites for meetings, vs missing out on casual hellos / conversations in the kitchen, hard to separate work from home life especially when working part time, too much time at home - it will be nice to have a mix
- it has been nice to slow down and have less commitments to rush around to, we still are slightly in hibernation mode living more simply not making so many plans.

ErinP 6 months ago

I have noticed an increase in people visiting my local open space areas (parks, beaches and playgrounds). More people are taking walks during the day and I've noticed a decrease in traffic on the main roads around me. We all got very good at "smiling with our eyes" when passing each other outside.
I have enjoyed the flexibility of working from home: more time with my partner, cooking more meals at home, less rigid work times, no long commute to the office, wearing comfy clothes and no make-up.
I have missed seeing people face-to-face and the informal chatter that so often occurs in the kitchen and in the corridors.
I'd love to see working-from-home arrangements become a part of our new normal, and enjoy a mix of office working and home working in the future.
More broadly, I have become more aware of the inequities in how different people have experienced the pandemic, and how much our local built environment, support networks and socioeconomic status influences our experiences. I think these inequities have highlighted some important opportunities for improvement.

Christine Han 6 months ago

I experienced a lot of benefits from working from home and would like to continue with it on a more permanent basis for part of my working week. Not commuting was better for the environment, better use of my time, and improved my overall start to the day, balancing family life and my own well-being during the difficult period of lockdowns. I am grateful that Kingston had the IT infrastructure to support us (ie our laptops, etc.) and was supportive and proactive with so many well-being initiatives on offer, should we want them. In my community people got to see each other more, by being out and about, and we know we can live with less (less things, less rushing, less commitments). It has been an opportune time for many of us not directly impacted by job losses to slow down a little, reflect, and in my case, test my own resilience.

Serena Gillott 6 months ago

I have definitely benefitted from the forced slow down of life, and I’ll probably be more selective at the number of things/activities/social engagements I try and jam into life.

I have gotten to know my neighbours better, as we have all been outside walking, riding, scooting – so there definitely feels like there is more of a community vibe in my local area.

I find that I now opt to walk up the street to get milk/bread/fruit and veg instead of jumping in the car – so incidental exercise has increased.

We have spent a lot more quality time together as a family. Prior to COVID it felt like my husband and I were constantly tag-teaming with one of us taking someone to swimming, the other taking someone to soccer, then a bday party, then off to the gym etc… I didn’t realise how little time we spent together as a family. During COVID we have had the opportunity to all go down to the park to kick around the soccer ball, or scoot along the Bay Trail, or go to the playground. It has reminded us that we all actually love each other and enjoy spending time together!!! :)

mdevanny 6 months ago

As a result of this now people are more concerned when you walk past . They keep their distance. More and more time indoors has taken toll on every one. Less interactions with friends and family happened. Life is getting better as things are going well now

Deepak malik 6 months ago

With the 5km radius rule i definitely thoroughly explored my area in more detail and have loved finding new streets to explore. I have been walking more, met many more people from my local community, and enjoyed socialising at the local dog parks and beaches. i am working from home and enjoying this aspect, having more time to sleep in the mornings rather than rushing everywhere. i have gotten my family out bike riding, and we try to go to the local cafes for a takeaway coffee. Life has been less rushed. I have missed seeing family and friends but now with restriction easing it has been great seeing people again - we did make an effort to call and facetime during lockdown to keep connections strong.

BarbE 6 months ago

I too have noticed a strengthening in my local community. My local park is now used for picnics, gatherings, outdoor gymnastics / calisthenics classes and passive sports I see family groups roller skating, scootering and bike riding together as well as the regular dog walkers. Its so heartwarming to see people enjoy the simple things in life - I so hope it continues and people don't feel the need to return to their crazy busy stress filled lives trying to fit in a million activities a day. On my walks I have noticed neighbours putting out free books, pot plants and herbs on their naturestrips and I have enjoyed the chalk drawings on the footpaths. I have also noticed people have had the time to get out in their gardens and maintain them and on my daily works I have got to enjoy beautiful spring gardens. So that's another bonus of lockdown! I enjoy being at home and would be really happy if we could continue to work some days at home and be more flexible with our time spent in the office, reducing traffic and freeing up carparking.

Debbie Wilson 6 months ago

The primary change has been working at home, which has meant less time wasted travelling. However I think people have needed to be quite self-disciplined to make sure they take breaks and take care of themselves. There tends to be a trend to work longer hours than would occur in the office. Doing more online engagement has enabled our work to reach a broader audience and connect with people who may not normally engage with us as. Online work has also facilitated partnerships with others more easily.

I found the increase in advertising of fast food and delivery app services, combined with having my kitchen in the same space as my work has lead to poorer eating. Although I maintained my scheduled physical activity, I did less incidental activity and fewer lunchtime walks.

GT 6 months ago

Working from home has given me the opportunity to re asses my priorities and use my time more efficiently. I find I get more work done as I'm more comfortable - i.e. no makeup, comfortable active wear etc. and it's lovely to be able to spend more time with the family and dogs. I have also managed to save money by not commuting to and from work, buying my daily coffee and I haven't needed to replenish my work winter wardrobe.
Although there have been some issues with feeling isolated and lonely working from home as we're not able to have face to face meetings or interactions, having weekly Zoom meetings has definitely helped transition to working from home during this period.

Isabelle I 6 months ago

My friends who have WFH or studied from home would like a balance between staying at home and working on the office/uni in the long term. We have been cooking more meals. Personally i've enjoyed being in my kitchen during my break too.

I've exercised more at home and enjoyed the comfort of wearing casual clothes. Watching more tutorial exercise videos at home. I've spent more time in my garden and practiced mindfulness in that way - which has made me more focussed at work. I've become more restful - more sleep/naps/comfy places to rest during work. I feel like i've been forced to pick up new hobbies/interested eg. music and books.

I live near a level crossing removal and have seen a lot of people using the trail than usual. I think maybe people have appreciated the open spaces more.

I have noticed those with stronger (ie. wide range of) social networks have been better off generally during the pandemic. People in relationships that i know have struggled perhaps because of being lockdown together. And some have broken up during this pandemic.

I've been lucky to keep in contact with my core group of friends through a Messenger group chat and Zoom.

anonymous 6 months ago

- I liked having flexible working hours;
- I used more local shops and cafes' in my area
- I exercised more than ever, I used the beach and my garage as a gym and later I cancelled my gym membership
- I did not enjoy home schooling and I found hard to have the entire family working and learning from home at the same time. Now it is just my husband and myself and it is good.
- I saved a lot of money as I do not like shopping online so I limited the shopping to essential items
- I missed my nights and events in the city with friends as I do not like online events;
- I missed travelling
- I would like to continue to work from home twice a week.

elisabetta.robecchi@kingston.vic.gov.au 6 months ago

I explored my local area more, and shared with others various places I found. Commuting hasn't changed, although I know have the flexibility and capability to do the school drop off via biking and/or public transport- something I was unable to achieve pre covid. As a family, we're much more aware of smaller businesses and are trying to do our part to buy through small business for xmas/weekend activities (cafes etc). I found lockdown trying at times, but also really enjoyed the quiet. No rushing places, just solid family time. Certain things I missed for sure, but felt okay. I think as everyone in my family retained their jobs, our experience of covid has been very different to those without. Also having the flexibility of part time hours assisted in home schooling/multi tasking. I felt really lucky to have a great team, who ensured flexibility and mental health was a number one priority. Our team are also trying to see each other fortnightly/once a month which I think is important going forward.

SC 6 months ago

I have noticed that people are having a stronger connection with the things that are most important to them. For my family we have rediscovered our love for the outdoors and the peace that it brings. Nature areas are really important, especially if they combine water elements and natural vegetation. Bike paths/share paths really add to the accessibility of these areas. If we could create more "wild spaces" and connect them with good infrastructure, that would be great.

JJR 6 months ago

I'm loving how my community are using our local parks and sports grounds. Our sports grounds used to only be used by organised sports groups: now little girls are doing gymnastics, families are having picnics on the ovals and couples are lying in the sun. It's really beautiful to see.
There also seems to be alot more dog walking happening - lots of new puppies in the 'hood!
I am probably putting in more work hours - but that is ok, because I don't need to commute to work any more. I'm benefitting from a long, early morning walk before I start work - and I'm supporting different local cafes for my morning coffee.
It's been challenging not seeing my colleagues face to face, and not being able to have incidental conversations with those in the neighbouring area. I feel I'm missing a bit of the 'total picture' by not being in a shared workspace. We need to work hard to not be 'siloed'

Hels 6 months ago

The pandemic has altered the way we live, however my partner and I have been relatively unaffected by the events of 2020. We are both still employed, and restrictions aside, life has been relatively 'normal'.

The new normal of working from home quickly became a standard routine, and i found myself enjoying the short trip (walk to the study) to work, rather than dealing with the daily commute. I have been into the office recently and found traffic is back to pre-covid levels, and level crossing works along Nepean Highway resulted in horrible traffic and a very long trip home. Doing this for three consecutive days made me really appreciate how beneficial and easy being able to work from home is.

Working from home has also resulted in a improved work life balance. I find i am jumping online much earlier than i would start in the office, and whilst i might be doing a few hours extra, i have the ability to duck away to grab a coffee, to get that appointment in the middle of the day, or finish up a little earlier to walk the dog around the park. I can also go to the gym just after 5 instead of 6:30 by the time I'm getting back towards home. The flexibility of working from home has shown me that i do not necessarily need to be in the office full time.

Life feels like it is getting back to normal, however i still have reservations about expecting things to be completely back to how it was pre-covid too quickly. I find i have currently avoid situations like going to the local shop at peak times, or I continue to purchase online rather than going into retail shops unnecessarily. There is still a high degree of relying on others to do the right thing to keep us all on the positive side of restrictions, which can be difficult.

Working from home has shown me that the work life balance is important, and after many years of doing a reasonable daily commute, being closer to home to enjoy life outside of work has been really beneficial. It will be difficult to go back to a long daily commute if we are to be full time in the office again.

Generally being able to see friends and family again has improved the overall mood, and it has been nice to do things like go for a picnic in a park you might not have done before. Life feels more relaxed when doing something simple like catching up with some friends outside, whilst trying to get a booking at a restaurant is very difficult and stressful. I have found i am more more welcoming of local business and supporting my local community through the lock-down than i may have been prior. This can only be a positive!

J.L 6 months ago

As a team we have been able to work more flexibly including having some staff at home which is something we were not sure we could do because of the nature of our work. Also with more staff working from home those of us who travel a fair distance to work have seen a noticeable improvement to the daily commute which means more time at home which is a positive.

Esma Keskic 6 months ago

More quality family time. Being there when your children come home from school.
Life slowing down and enjoying the small things and not over looking them
Being able to work any where
Community working together to support each other.
Supporting the local coffee shop that you had never notice before.
Neighbors looking out for each other. Stopping in the street to ask how are you . Getting to know your neighbors in your area from walking in the streets.
Making new friends
appreciating for the ones you have.

Kim Johnstone 6 months ago

Wellbeing for our team has been front of mind as Covid Fatigue has set in for the staff at the Family and children’s Centres . We have created things such as Yoga rooms , provided individual gratitude journals, reduced the number of out of hours meetings , encouraged exercise during lunch breaks allowed staff to work from home whenever possible ( our services continued to operate through covid) . We provided break out rooms and increased communication to ensure staff were kept up to date with DET requirements

smitt1 6 months ago

The slow down that has been forced by the COVID pandemic has had some really beneficial aspects - now that we are opening up a bit, people are often more mindful of not overscheduling their lives and are appreciating the things that they do participate in more. The ability to work at least part of the time remotely has been wonderful for concentrating and in allowing more time for fitting in exercise and stepping outdoors periodically. On the days where it was a full WFH day there was the extra time needed to fit in a dog walk or run which would otherwise have needed a really early start.
As we all walked more around the area we have got to know our community and immediate neighbours much better and it has been a real bond to the people we live near, particularly when we couldn't visit family or friends. There is still a little reluctance to do too much socialising - I think Melbourne in particular is much more appreciative and mindful of these things and is taking it slow.

C.R. 6 months ago

I think since working from home that it is possible to break it up and work from home a few days and the rest from Office. This way not too many people are over crowding the public transport and making more pollution.
Also the way we shop has changed we are now buying more online and click and collect.
I think as people working together we have got more closer through our Teams meetings and really get to know each.

corp\jaman1 6 months ago