It takes a village to raise a great village

You’ve got an entire day to yourself for a change. Sure, there are a few shopping items you need to pick up and some dry cleaning to drop off but you’ve also planned to indulge in a yoga class, lunch with a friend, some retail therapy and an afternoon coffee. Your choice is to hit the freeway and drive to a shopping centre, or to head into Mount Eliza village. Your goal is to finish the day feeling inspired and relaxed. Which would you choose?

There is something refreshingly unique about Mount Eliza village that makes it a very attractive environment to spend time (and money!) in.

What does it take to build something so special and keep the village beguiling?

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The Mount Eliza Village experience is brought to you by local traders via the Chamber of Commerce

Decorative wrought iron welcome signs beckon people into Mount Eliza Village. Colourful bicycles suspended from trees in the Mount Eliza Village Green make for a perfect setting for grabbing a book from the blue Little Free Library and settling in for a read. Wall murals add colour and interest around the village.

Have you ever wondered how village installations, such as the artisan crafted wrought iron bench seats adorning the shopping strips, got there in the first place? You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that many of the special touches that make our village unique and enticing, are brought to you via the Mount Eliza Village Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber). The Chamber is a committee of local business owners, currently chaired by Trish Stamp, from Trish Stamp Travel.

The Chamber also engages community organisations and schools to come up with, and bring to life, concepts that contribute to making the village a vibrant, ambient collective of precinct spaces.

In turn, enchanting streetscapes attract visionary owner operators and traders that entice people into the village because of what is on offer.

Beyond aesthetics, the Chamber also organises and promotes events and business networking opportunities to really make the village buzz. In turn, the buzz promotes the village and its traders and on it goes!

How does The Chamber fund the Mount Eliza village experience?

Live Love Mount Eliza met with President Trish Stamp, and Marketing and Development Co-ordinator Alison Doherty to find out more.

The Chamber works for village owner operators. We’re here to help promote village businesses by promoting Mount Eliza village as a great place to shop, eat, socialise or access services.
— Trish Stamp, President of the Mount Eliza Village Chamber of Commerce

Alison is contracted by the Chamber for 10 hours each week and is the doer in terms of promoting and marketing Mount Eliza village.  Face to face communication is a priority with Alison choosing to deliver the Chamber newsletter by hand.

Personal contact is important if you really want to hear what traders want.
— Alison Doherty, Marketing & Development Co-ordinator, Mount Eliza Village Chamber of Commerce

Traders in the village precinct pay an annual Special Charges Scheme Levy to fund all the projects.

The Chamber then works with traders;  and the amazingly community minded Mt Eliza Community Bank; community organisations such as Rotary and Lions Clubs and Neighbourhood House; schools such as Mount Eliza Secondary College and event organisers such as the Mt Eliza Music Festival, and the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to animate the Chambers’ vision and plan on behalf of traders.

Seeking government grants to help fund Chamber initiatives on behalf of community organisations, event organisers or schools, is a part of what the Chamber does to fund the bigger projects and festivals.

A great example of Alison’s involvement in the Mt Eliza Music Festival on behalf of the Chamber can be found in this Live Love Mount Eliza article – How to cultivate a music festival: from seed to full bloom.

Local traders and The Chamber’s aesthetic footprints

Here are just some of the streetscape installations and festivals that are brought to you funded by village traders via the Mount Eliza Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with government grants, other community organisations and schools:

  • the wrought iron ‘Welcome to Mount Eliza Village’ signs in Old Mornington Road and Canadian Bay road
  • the Little Free Library in the Village Green
  • the tables and benches in the Village Green
  • the water fountain in the Village Green
  • the seasonal banners and decorations such as colourful Christmas and Easter banners and street decorations
  • the colourful bikes in the trees in the Village Green
  • the Mt Eliza Farmers Market
  • the Mt Eliza Music Festival.

Local traders and The Chamber’s cultural and social footprints

The Chamber’s flagship promoter of the village and all it has to offer is the Mt Eliza Farmers Market.

The Market attracts 1,500 to 2,000 people into the village, every market day. It is a great community get together that is a regular event on many calendars.
— Trish Stamp

The inaugural 2016 Mt Eliza Music Festival was a hit, and you can read more about the Chamber’s involvement in the Live Love Mount Eliza article – How to cultivate a music festival: from seed to full bloom.

Each year, Santa also visits the village along with his Samoyed Dog led sleigh. This year, you’ll find Santa and his sleigh in the village on 10 December.

Carols on the Green is a great family event on the Village Green supported by the Chamber of Commerce with local business and community organisation sponsorship and support. This year it will be on 15 December from 6.30pm.

The festivity of the village at this time of year is a tribute to the local business owners that all contribute to the Chambers’ vision.
— Trish Stamp

The festive decorations at Christmas, including colourful street banners and shop window decals are installed by the Chamber committee.

Business development workshops and business networking events are also supported by the Chamber.

 “The events facilitated by the Chamber offer something for everyone, across all traders and for their customers, across all age groups,” Alison said.

We love that we can also contribute to organisations that do great things for people and community organisations such as The Men’s Shed, Rotary Club, Lions Club and Mount Eliza Neighbourhood House.
— Alison Doherty

Engaging Mount Eliza Secondary College to enhance the village

The Chamber’s vision is for the village to attract people of all ages, and particularly make the village a place that youths take pride in, and enjoy being a part of.

The water fountain in the Village Green is an outcome of a Year 11 and Year 12 school project some years ago, following the Chamber approaching the students for ideas. The colourful bikes in the Village Green came about when the Chamber engaged the College to explore some concepts to liven up this central area of the village.

“The plantings along Canadian Bay Road are the result of a Mount Eliza Secondary College project too,” Trish said.

“The planting of the banksias aligns beautifully to the school’s emblem. Once these projects are completed, it is the students’ job to then continue to keep the projects in order.”

The mural on the side of the fish and chips shop Fins and Scales is the result of the College’s Year 9 and 10 art students’ artistic endeavour. The Chamber engaged the College following an application for arts grants for murals to beautify the streetscape while deterring vandalism. Another mural is planned for hairdressing business Coco’s.

Projects like these instil a sense of pride and achievement in local youths. In turn, there is a sense of respect for the artwork and what it means to the community.
— Trish Stamp

I had to ask Trish why such a busy business person would voluntarily commit to the Chamber. Her response was clearly heartfelt.

We’re all very proud of the village and what we’ve collectively achieved. It is a beautiful place to be, and I love seeing the village continue to grow and blossom.

Alison added to this.

We all love building on the strong sense of community. We want people to feel embraced by the village community.

To find out more about the Mount Eliza Village Chamber of Commerce

Visit the website:

Send an email:

Article funded by Vicki Sayers, Live Love Mount Eliza | Written by Julie Pearce, Content Services Melbourne