CIA, flying the flag with pride for Midsumma 2017.


Events: Midsumma Carnival – Jan 15, 2017
Midsumma Pride March & Catani Gardens – Jan 29, 2017

Midsumma Festival is Melbourne’s largest DGS (Diverse Gender and Sexuality) festival and 2017 celebrates their 30th year. Planning for this year commenced with a new Festival team in place and CIA were fortunate to be awarded the contract to provide cleaning and waste management services to the biggest signature events – Midsumma Carnival and Midsumma Pride March.

The Festival opened with Carnival, an all-day-and-night party-in-the-park at Melbourne’s Alexandra Gardens. On a glorious summer Sunday, the day attracted a record crowd of over 110,000 basking in sunshine to a buzzing collection of live music and performance set over two stages. It’s a day filled with family-fun activities, community stalls, great eats, fresh brews and bars, picnics and pets.

As the sun goes down, Midsumma Carnival turns into T Dance. This is an outdoor dance party, with a diverse line-up of DJ’s and performers.

The crowds were friendly, well behaved and partied until 10pm. Once the revellers left the event the CIA team set about the task of clearing the lawns and emptying the bins to return the gardens to their former as quickly as possible.

With a herculean effort over 8 tonnes of waste was bagged, binned ready for collection and the lawns were cleared of loose rubbish by 2am Monday morning. With a team working throughout Monday to ensure all litter was removed from garden beds and lawns, walkways scrubbed and pressure washed, the site was returned in good condition to the City of Melbourne.

Pride March

Midsumma Festival concludes with the Pride March, now in its 22nd year as a celebration of LGBTIQ pride in Victoria. Forty-five thousand people attended Midsumma Pride March, which saw 190 marching groups make their way down Fitzroy Street, St Kilda to Catani Gardens for celebrations, speeches and awards.

In a Pride first, a queer Indigenous group lead the march, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander group led Pride followed by the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten and family, and Premier Daniel Andrews and his wife.

CIA were there, not actually marching with, but marching behind, keeping all areas from the marshalling oval, down Fitzroy Street to, and including Catani Gardens clean and rubbish free.

A spokesperson from Midsumma said the Festival is thrilled with the success of the 22nd Pride March with many people claiming it as one of the best ever.

The CIA Event management team worked closely with Production Manager Gavin Faull, to deliver a seamless operation for our first Midsumma and were very satisfied with the outcomes achieved in excellent time, with a minimum of stress for all stakeholders.

CEO Karen Bryant summed up their gratitude with “Whilst I was not previously involved in these events we have received wonderful feedback from board members who were involved in previous years who felt that the cleaning services were some of the best ever provided to Midsumma.

We are aware that these two events of ours are quite mammoth with regards to their cleaning management needs and both Production Manager and myself were thrilled with the service provided by CIA across both events and the high level of professionalism and organisation in all preparations and execution.”


Credit: Author, Rachel Cook

CIA deliver results. Much Moore than expected!

CIA provided extensive property improvement services to a grand Californian bungalow in Moore Street Hawthorn, that was in need of refurbishment before auction.

Loved but not lived in by the expat Melbourne family, the home was originally bought with renovation in mind for later, however, seven years on, entrenched in their lifestyle overseas, they felt it was time to sell. Wanting to maximise their return they called CIA and Design Consultant Richard Blackman. The CIA team had previously provided design consultation, property styling and cleaning services to other family members for their respective properties with excellent results being achieved on auction day.

While the home is impressive with period charm, the 90’s renovation was clearly in need of substantial updating and the rest of the house and grounds required repair and paint at the very least.

After assessing the property it was agreed with the client that the greatest return would result from adding the most value to the property. The scope of work included extensive repair and maintenance inside and out, fashion forward colour scheme for interior and exterior painting, new carpets, window furnishings and light fittings. This would be enhanced with a designer furniture, art and styling package. The garden would also be refreshed and maintained up to the auction.

The desired response from potential buyers was to captivate them with both the traditional architecture and the modernity of the new look while instilling the feeling that the home had already been extensively updated. That it was ready to move into and not requiring any further improvements, ie to bathrooms and kitchen for many years.

A series of mood boards was presented that both documented the existing house and informed the scope of work, while presenting the new colour palette, carpets, curtains, lighting and interior styling directions for furniture to compliment the look.

CIA managed the budget and provided close supervision of all the trades and suppliers throughout the project. Working with quality trades and the best stylists from Create Expectations the completed home was delivered to brief, on time and on budget, ready for photography. The CIA team then provided ongoing weekly cleaning and refreshing in the lead up to auction day.

With the works completed and the home revealed to agent and client, there was amazement at the full extent of the transformation.
The auction reaped a result the owners had only dreamed of achieving and the investment paid off at least four-fold. A text from the elated client succinctly summed up their sentiment…

“We did it.
You are a star.
The place looked insanely good.
The sun shone.
 We did well, 
beyond our wildest dreams
. Thank you!!!!!!!”

CIA makes a grand entrance

1. Before and after.


CIA has been providing the ongoing cleaning, garden and property maintenance to the Banff, a heritage, mixed use apartment building on Fitzroy Street, St Kilda since 2009. The Owners Corporation Committee (OCC) wanted to upgrade the front entrance which was much in need of repair and in doing so take the opportunity to redesign the whole area to be more aesthetically pleasing and increase security to the building.

The OCC provided a brief of what they wanted to achieve and CIA then presented concept drawings that then informed the scope of works. Construction costs were sought with CIA managing the entire process through to completion. The Owners Corporation Management (OCM) was kept up to date with the progress and the OCC had final approval of every phase.


2 and 3. Before and after.


It was decided to retain the steel canopy structure but extend and restore it, while a new fence and gate were designed with an Art Deco influence and brought forward on the block to align with the cafe side entrance. This improved security as the letterboxes were then positioned behind the gate that was better lit and closer to the open forecourt. Garden beds were removed and replaced with bluestone paving and in-ground mature October Glory Maples and steel grill surrounds. These have been up-lit creating an exciting and dramatic effect at night. The canopy was replaced and the building given it’s street number and name to the front facia, adding gravitas to the streetscape.

Steps and terraces were created to replace the sloped entrance and the garden beds at the rear of the entrance rebuilt in bluestone with plantings of Star Jasmine. The extensive front garden that runs the length of the residence pathway was refreshed with much needed pruning and infill planting.

4. Removing and excavating the entrance allowed for infrastructure upgrades and replacements to services.


During the initial excavation works when the entire front entrance was removed and dug up, subsoil infrastructure was found to have failed in many cases due to degradation of pipes and tree root invasion. This had likely been creating issues for years with the cause being suspected but concealed. All damaged drainage was replaced and CIA worked with the local council who installed root barriers for future prevention. While this marginally delayed the works and increased costs the immediate and long term benefits to the aging building are immense.

The completed project has been heralded a huge success by all stakeholders including the local community with owners and agents acknowledging the restoration works have added value to the property and individual lots.


5. Views form the inside looking out towards the street show the dramatic use of light spotlighting the in ground trees at night.