Space2b Laneway Cafe Opening

Laneway culture comes to Balaclava

Yes, we know it’s been long time coming but we have not been sitting around sipping coffee!
Oh No, we have been working hard behind the scenes to bring you  The Art Lane Cafe and you are invited to the Grand Opening!

Sunday May 5,
10am – 1pm
All welcome!
For more information please read the Great article in Weekend Notes written by Julie Mundy Julie is a writer and traveller, based in Melbourne, and the author of a series of guidebooks  (many of which you can purchase at Space2b), including Melbourne’s Best Bush Bay and City Walks (2011), ‘Best Walks of Geelong, the Bellarine & the Brisbane Ranges’ and ‘Melbourne for Dogs’.

Flags of Respect, Dream Huts & Laneways

Dream team with inspired giggles .  Vicky & Chris have worked beyond their roles to connect St Kilda Primary School with stories of newly arrived and refugees this year. The ‘Across Barriers’ initiative got the Preps to visit Muhubo’s Dream Hut Installation; Yr1s & Yr5s crafted 85 ‘Flags for Respect’ that swayed at the Laneway Festival, and a City Of Port Phillip grant will raise the flags permanently with ‘welcome’ in the languages; Yr2’s dedicated their community Xmas tree and raised $277 for Space2b; Yr3’s wove a mattress and pillow from plastic bags that Carers of Africa Inc. handed out to the homeless. Their UpCycle Market raised $315 for the organisation’s altruistic work; Yr4’s captured Space2b in poetry, and winners will take the stage with Abe Nouk in Feb 2019; And we all remember the Yr5s got ‘Striped for Acceptance + Respect’ designing tote bags. 

‘What an incredible year it has been for learning and community connections. St Kilda Primary School’s new partnership with Space2b has florished over the course of the year. Together we have partnered up on a myriad of projects which have enabled our children to connect their learning in rich and meaningful ways. The ‘Across Barriers’ initiative, created opportunities for six of the year groups to engage more widely with the Space2b community of newly arrived migrants and refugees. We heard thier stories, shared our own and celebrated diversity, acceptance and respect’   St Kilda Primay School

Thank you to City of Port Phillip



The Art of Belonging

Over 100 people joined us  for ‘The Art of Belonging’ a spoken word poetry night and launch of a fabulous new Laneway Mural by the much loved street artists Be Free & Suki.

The night was an exploration of home, settlement and connection, and how we find belonging in an unfamiliar place by 4 thought-provoking performances.
The night was beautifully complemented by the performances of emerging young poets from St. Kilda Primary.
We were lucky enough to have the wonderful and talented street artists Be Free and Suki create a colourful and joyful mural in our laneway.  Entitled ‘Forever Young’, this fun and quirky artwork brings the community  joy on a daily basis.
Thank you Befree and Suki for your amazing support!

Poetry Competition with year 4 students at St Kilda Primary

Note from Sue Higgins the Head teacher of St Kilda Primary
Last year the Grade 4 students collaborated on a project with Space2b where they were asked to capture the essence of Space2b and ‘making a new home’ from the perspective of a child. We had many eager students enter the competition and as a result, there were 3 winning entries: 1) Zamina 2)Ada, Harry, Ocean, Manol and Hridaya and 3)Celeste & Dylan. Winners have been invited to recite their poems on stage at The Art of Belonging – Spoken Word Poetry Evening. All entries will be permanently scribed in the laneway behind Space2b as part of the new mural by street artists Befree and Suki.
As part of this project, Clare Larman, a professional artist, has supported our children to rehearse and prepare for the evening. I had the great pleasure of being present when Clare worked with the children and she is truly inspirational.


Performances by St Kilda primary School poetry competition winners

Performance by Sermsah Bin Saad as night falls.

A huge THANK YOU to spoken word poets, from left to right, Melissa Pearson, Nelson, Sermsah Bin Saad, Clare larman, and  Tariro Mavondo.



to the Palais Theatre &  Live nation for your kind funding


Flying Higher!

More wonders from our Space2fly program!

With support from the City of Greater Dandenong, our Space2fly program has created opportunities for two of our trainees.

Sharifeh and Chaw have been supported by Space2b to become mentors with their own groups of women. Working with our skilled mentor Tracey van Ingen of Shortlist clothing, they started as trainees themselves and have enthusiastically developed their product making skills to mentor others.

Sharifeh, Tracey and Chaw in a mentoring session. 

Starting in our program with basic sewing skills, Sharifeh has now developed her skills in pattern making. This has created new opportunities for her and her dream to create her own tailored made clothing business.

Here is Sharifeh fitting a bespoke garment for one of our local community retail customers with the guidance of her mentor Tracey of Shortlist. 

Creating popular denim dungarees for sale in our Space2b retail store! 

Tracey and Sharifeh appearing in the local community Divercity Magazine talking up our Space2fly program and their great creative partnership! Check out the story here: Divercity

Sharifeh mentoring refugees of the StandUp Women’s Group in sewing skills has boosted her confidence. 

Starting out learning sewing and developing her own brand here at Space2b retail outlet, Chaw now mentors other women. She trains women from the Burmese Community located in Dandenong, sharing her passion for sewing. Check out her interview in the Star Journal.

“It is very exciting to see how the trainees learn. When I teach or have shown a new technique, I am so excited and happy when someone learns something properly. I feel confident in my skills when I became a mentor. So I thank Space2b and my mentors Janine and Tracey who have supported my dream. This has been my dream since I came to Australia from Myanmar. ” Chaw Po

Chaw carefully labelling hand made children’s clothing for Space2b.

Chaw showing her trainee Lai Lai how to merchandise in our retail store.

Chaw stands by her trainees making sure they know what they are doing and helping them develop their skills.

Chaw helping LaiLai understand a new pattern by our volunteer skills mentor Cathy.

Chaw helping Pah Lae knit her toy koala and Chaw with her handmade cotton baskets sold at Space2b.

What a wonderful creative and fulfilling year of our Space2fly program! We are looking forward to our program creating more opportunities for our program participants as we fly into the future!

by Maria Minerva, Space2fly Coordinator


Thank you to all our funders, mentors, volunteers, people who donated materials and have supported us here at Space2b to run our programs as together we make a difference!



We Are Flying!

A creative space to fly in…Space2fly 2018!

Hi, I’m Maria the Space2fly Coordinator! Space2fly is a creative mentoring and training program, one of the core programs of Space2b Social Design. I have worked on the Space2fly program since February this year. That’s me in the middle of the group!

Space2fly is our personalised mentor and training program in design and business development for newly arrived migrants and refugees to become small business owners.  Developed with and for newly arrived creatives, the program is a platform to form connections, get real life work experience and work side-by-side with established designers. We are proudly funded by the City of Port Philip, the City of Greater Dandenong and local community support.

Local community member volunteer Cathy mentoring Lai Lai in making children’s beanies and Chaw working with Pah Lae working on toy koalas. 

Maleeha our skilled mentor is teaching Ayesha how to make our popular beeswax wraps.

Clare, our skilled mentor, is talking product development with trainees in our retail store.

Two of our trainees have been trained to become trainers within their communities. Chaw mentors and trains women in Dandenong. The women have developed their skills in sewing, crochet, embroidery. Chaw sells her own range of quality children’s wear in our retail store and one of Chaw’s sewing trainees Yimon now makes bags and cute designer pencil cases for Space2b.

Lai Lai happily working on making her first beanie.

Sharifeh is mentored in sewing and pattern making by successful business owner Tracey of Shortlist who is one of our retail stockists.

Here she is working on our popular denim dungarees sold in the Space2b store.

Sharifeh, now a mentor herself,  training refugee Sudanese women of the Stand Up community in basic sewing skills. StandUp Women’s Group assist refugees to become confident and competent in a range of artistic skills.

Clare, one of our volunteer jewellery mentors, worked closely with Ayaka from Japan, helping her develop her Hanabi-ya brand for the Australian retail market.

Ayaka creating a repurposed fabric flower broach using the traditional Japanese technique of Tsumami-Zaiku.

Ayaka modelling her statement piece showcased at our fashion runway event during our Laneways Festival!

Ayaka’s first jewellery making workshop was a hit at Space2b with Clare’s guidance and assistance. 

Each trainer is also supported to get advice on products, design and material sourcing.

Maleeha teaching a workshop to our trainees on market research and product development.

Throughout the last few months our program participants have been given the space to fly in their personal and professional development. This would not be possible without our incredible mentors and our local community volunteers and supporters of Space2b!

by Maria Minerva, Space2fly Coordinator


Thank you to all our mentors, volunteers, people who donated materials and have supported us here at Space2b to run our programs as together we make a difference!



Our Laneway Makeover

What an incredibly creative makeover our laneway has undergone. Over seven months; six artists have collaborated to create an incredibly vibrant, intriguing and colourful series of murals, that bring much joy to the area and local community.

The hustle and bustle of the laneway

It’s been a long, yet enjoyable project for all. From the initial design meetings, discussions surrounding what to paint, to putting the first brush stroke on the wall. It has been a really memorable journey to be a part of.

Elena creating a nature inspired piece

We have had numerous trips to our local paint shop ‘Paint Spot’ who have given us plenty of quality knowledge and advice. The artists themselves have been incredibly open to one another’s ideas, continually developing these together along the way.

Nidhal and Karen hard at work…

There have been many wonderful people who have been involved in this project and we would like to acknowledge them and pay thanks.

Our artists; Les, Sarika, Nidhal, Karen, Elena, Leila and Zee have been committed to this project since day one. It has been a joy to watch these artists work alongside one another, collaborate whole heartedly and over time become friends, sharing knowledge, skills, patience and much laughter.

Les, Sarika, Nidhal, Karen and Elena


Leila and beautiful Nika


Zee and his filming of the mural evolve

We would like to thank them all for making our project become a reality and for producing a mural that will be around for many years to come and will continue to breath in new life to the laneway.

We have also been lucky enough to have had the generous support of the local community, in particular our Space2b neighbours. The Kuhn family have been involved in the painting process and their lovely daughter Skye spent some time adding her own touches to the artworks.

The Kuhn family

We have also had the pleasure of the Boyle family being a part of the creative process. Thank you all.

All hands on deck

Little helpers adding colour to the pathway

A huge thank you also goes to John and Jamie who leant us their scaffolding. We certainly would not have completed the high points of the art works without their support and handy equipment.

Thanks to Jamie and John for the scaffolding

The coordination of this project has been a task undertaken over time by Dawn Perry, Lucy Worsley and Janine Lawrie and for this we thank you all.

Finally, we would like to pass on our thanks to the City of Port Phillip for their grant and support within the project.

We hope that this mural encourages the celebration of the many cultures of the world, through the different patterns that are on show and brings much enjoyment to all.

Please come and join us in celebrating the opening of the laneway mural at our festival this Sunday 25th March, from 10am – 3pm. We look forward to seeing you there!

Find out more here


Kindly funded by The Cultural Development Fund – City of Port Phillip

Space2b & Raw Welcome Lunch

Such a fun day! Beautiful Welcome Lunch by Space2b and RAW Garden connecting our two communities. Wonderful Somali lunch for 60 people cooked by Mariam Issa, founder o RAW.  Please enjoy these wonderful photos kindly taken by the brilliant photographer
Tatiana Castelo Chaves Scott!
We couldn’t have done it without our wonderful and dedicated team of volunteers!


Welcome Laughter session to get people relaxed

Delicious food, stimulating conversation, and lots of fun! 

Some great connections

A day to remember

Across barriers – Food and story telling with new migrant families

As part of the Across Barriers school partnership program, new migrant families from St Kilda Primary School had their first meeting with the Barriers Team at the space2b shop.
We met 4 new families from Ethiopia and shared coffee and tea.
Space2b trainee worker Darartu, also from Ethiopia ran the meetings to welcome families, and help with discussions.
Thanks to two volunteer parents from the school, this program is taking off.
Plans are to meet up fortnightly to share stories, give support in areas of interest such a sewing, computer skills and English lessons.
Three cheers to these schools.
We will also be inviting parents from the school to attend these sessions and connect with new families in a safe and caring environment, a great link between school and community.

Thanks to the South Melbourne Community Chest, for their support to make this possible.


This program was kindly supported by South Melbourne Community Chest