Community pitches in for makeover

Article image - Community pitches in for makeover Work on the area underway.

Wollongong City Council recently teamed up with the community and professional place-maker David Engwicht from Creative Communities to revitalise an underused and out-dated public space in Port Kembla.

Port Kembla was the first suburb in New South Wales to undergo the 7-Day Makeover concept, which invites community members of all ages to help redesign and refresh a public space in just one week.  

The Makeover consisted of a two-day workshop and five-day practical makeover, with community volunteers pitching in on construction and bringing their own ideas to life.  

As part of the project a dry creek bed, bridge and multi-use platforms for play and seating were installed. The precinct also received a splash of paint on the bench seats and brickwork, and fresh landscaping to complete the look. The community’s work has been complemented with a new playground installed by Council to enliven the space.

What was a run-down area now has a new look and feel, thanks to the Port Kembla community getting behind the project and working with Wollongong City Council.

One community member commented, “We feel such a great attachment to this little space since the makeover.”

City of Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery OAM said, “This initiative allowed the community to get ‘hands on’ in creating their own space.  

“David’s passion for redesigning public spaces was infectious among the 50-plus individuals who were involved in the project. It was also great to see the positive responses at our community celebration to mark the end of the makeover.

“David’s ethos is about showing the community what they can achieve when they work together to make changes to their local environment.

“From a Council point of view, we were really keen to use this project as a learning platform, and to see where we can challenge the way we do things in the future.”

This initiative was one of 14 projects funded through Round 1 of the Port Kembla Community Investment Fund.