Altona resident Annette Stephens has been involved in a number of community groups and businesses in Altona, including owning and operating two local cafes and serving on the Latitude: Directions for Young People management committee. After eight years as president of the Altona Beach Film Festival, she tells Matthew Sims she’s excited about offers from local filmmakers.
What is your connection to Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay?
I have lived in Altona all my life. I love Altona and all it has to offer. I went to Altona Elementary School and Altona High School. I have many lifelong friends. Most still live in Altona, like most of my family. Why would we leave? As a longtime resident of Altona, I have owned and operated two cafes in Altona. I was secretary of the Altona Village Merchants Association for many years and have been very active in promoting Altona as a destination that draws visitors to our shopping district.
What do you like where you live?
The opportunity for community engagement is very real. Altona has so much to offer, community groups, sports clubs, theatre, acting classes, art classes, dance schools, a friendly bunch of little
shops, beautiful parks, a wonderful stretch of beach and a pier.
How has your passion for the west influenced your life and work?
In my early days as a business owner, I was approached to join the Latitude: Orientations for Youth steering committee. Located at Sommers Parade in Altona, it provides support and assistance to youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Besides the incredible work that Latitude does on a daily basis, I was drawn to join the committee because it is a volunteer committee made up of
community members: community members with many levels of expertise and experience working for the betterment of their community. For the past eight years, I’ve been president of the Altona Beach Film Festival. With a committee of volunteers from Altona, we organize an annual short film competition. Over the years, we’ve had a diverse lineup of movies, comedies, dramas, animations, documentaries, and horror. Nominations came from all over the world as well as members of the local community. Everyone is invited to attend the Altona Theater on Saturday, August 20.
What’s your favorite local place to hang out?
Most people know I love Altona, the Western Bulldogs, the simple enjoyment of summer days at the beach and winter days walking the dog along the Esplanade.
Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you.
I love line dancing and host a fun music and dance class every Wednesday at 12:30 at 2 Sargood Street in Altona.