We were pleased to welcome the following session speakers at the 2021 Mainstreet SA Conference in Clare on Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th June 2021.
Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor
Evolution of placemaking in the City of Adelaide
Sandy has been the Lord Mayor of Adelaide since November 2018. She has had a career in both the public and private enterprise, not-for-profits, and Local and State government, including three years as General Manager City Culture and Community Services for the City of Adelaide.
Sandy has contributed to the success of Adelaide's thriving arts and culture community for more than two decades, including having been CEO of the Adelaide Fringe and the Adelaide Festival, as well as producer of the Adelaide Festival of Ideas in 2018.
She has been on numerous boards, including the Adelaide Convention Bureau, the Premier's Climate Change Council, Adelaide Film Festival, Capital City Committee, as well as a trustee of the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust and Chairs, a disability housing solutions organisation Aliro Ltd.
Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor will discuss the evolution of placemaking in the City of Adelaide. Over the past decade, the City of Adelaide has worked closely with its community to curate unique places and precincts within the CBD and North Adelaide. We recognise the importance of placemaking that is led by our community, businesses and residents to shape spaces that promote people's health, happiness and wellbeing.
Placemaking is about strengthening local connections and we are working holistically with our community to create new experiences and events to draw more people in to stop, connect and discover our streets and public spaces.
Peter Morgan – Building Survey/Projects - Wakefield Regional Council
Lisel McLeay – Associate Director - Jensen PLUS
Susan Phillips – Director - Phillips Pilkington Architects
Restoring Public Realm Fabric
The towns of Balaklava and Hamley Bridge are beautiful little regional gems, full of local heritage with charming main streets. Like many smaller country places, the highstreets were looking tired and lacking in facilities that would continue to attract people (visitors and locals) to stop and spend the day there. Wakefield Regional Council recognised that the streetscape - the public realm and privately owned shopfronts needed a refresh – and are doing it!
Our Team will talk through the ideas from the Landscape Architectural and Architectural Concept Design Packages, the techniques for getting things done challenges experienced, and "lessons learnt".
With plenty of opportunities for questions, take the opportunity to listen to and discuss with the Team (who are in the thick of it) how to restore public realm fabric – both private and public.
Five years in, and a case study of Aboriginal cultural connection
Chelsea Lewis is a communicator and collaborator inspired by social change, gender equity and Reconciliation. She is Chair and Founder of Gumeracha Main Street Project, works as Manager of Communications and Engagement at Helping Hand aged care, and is an inductee of the South Australian Women's Honour Roll.
The community-led Gumeracha Main Street Project is a success story of engagement, collaboration and outcomes. Share in the journey to date after five years of hard work on the transformation of this northern Adelaide Hills village. The presentation will include a case study on successful partnerships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and the resulting cultural impact.
David West is a retail consultant with over 30 years of experience managing and marketing mainstreets and shopping centres, including Westfield Marion and Rundle Mall in Adelaide. David has travelled across the UK and USA, including 12 months working in London highstreets.
David developed and implemented the Adelaide City Retail Strategy and Retail Strategies for Christchurch City Centre, Jetty Road Glenelg, Fed Square, Queanbeyan ACT, Fremantle, Mandurah and Albany in WA and Parramatta in NSW.
David provides practical retail and business advice to Councils, towns and City centres across Australia and New Zealand to develop a sustainable mix of businesses through proactive leasing strategies. He is passionate about well-managed streets, and he has written a retail strategy book called 'Mainstreet Management: Successful Retail Strategies'.
In December 2020, he launched a new Retail Adelaide City website to harness the collective strength of leasing agents and property owners in the Adelaide CBD. The site is www.retailadelaidecity.com.au
Our mainstreets are a unique mix of retail, hospitality and service businesses that attract visitors and customers. But what can we do about vacant shops? The property owners seem to accept any retailer and leasing agents are not looking at the overall street mix, they just focus on one or two buildings. Can we manage or coordinate this?
We could provide some strategic intent by developing a mainstreet retail plan. We need to start with customer research of the surrounding catchment area. The information gained from asking shoppers and visitors coming and not coming to our mainstreet will give us valuable insight into customer behaviours, needs and wants. This information then informs us what the street needs.
In addition, reviewing ABS statistics will complement our information base and highlight household expenditure escaping from the catchment. A full audit of all small businesses, retailers, and community uses within the mainstreet is essential. The unique businesses that attract customers should be highlighted in the research because they often create the point of difference we seek.
We must clearly understand the business mix of centres and mainstreets nearby to determine their position in the market and identify any gaps or opportunities available for our mainstreet. Engaging property owners, property managers and leasing executives is a key element to improving the business mix. It is possible to attract new businesses, but a new and proactive approach is required.
Toff West is the co-founder of Home Grain Bakery, a successful Fleurieu Peninsula-based family business in Aldinga, South Australia.
Toff and his wife Cara established Home Grain Bakery in 2011 in what was the dwindling township of Aldinga. They have since been champions and key influencers for the re-activation and revival of Aldinga as a mainstreet and destination.
Toff is a self-confessed 'disruptor' with an appetite for innovation and adventure. He loves a challenge and continues to hone his entrepreneurial skills with other investments, projects, and collaborations across the Fleurieu whilst prioritising his time to be an awesome father to his three gorgeous kids.
Toff lives the life he loves and is currently on a mission to empower all those around him to do the same.
In the past decade, the township of Aldinga has experienced a revival. It is now a thriving and bustling South Australian mainstreet. Hear from Toff West, the catalyst and culprit who co-founded the bakery that started it all! An entrepreneur's perspective on activation, collaboration and reviving a mainstreet.
Toff and Cara's had a passion and vision to bring the community together and create 'habitats for happy people'. This vision initiated and inspired a transformational decade for Aldinga. The town is now a thriving mix of businesses, coffee shops, culture and community.
Paul designs places that bring people together. He sees communities and clients as co-designers, working openly with them through design charettes to create bespoke characterful destinations for people to enjoy informed by specific social, economic and lifestyle factors.
With a portfolio that encompasses successful retail, hotel and hospitality and mixed-use architecture, Paul pushes the limits of what is achievable to maximise the potential of complex and large-scale projects.
His work in transforming spaces includes Rundle Place, SkyCity Adelaide, Burnside Village, and the Tonsley Park Retail Masterplan.
Our main streets reflect the wider processes of urban change. In the 70s and 80s, the rise of the regional and sub-regional centre saw an increasing reliance on single "anchor tenants" as drawcards, making up 60% of the mix. Similarly, the mainstreet has traditionally had its own "anchors", typically retail-based.
However, this is rapidly changing (exacerbated by COVID-19?). Online retail has dramatically increased as a share of total retail spending and will only continue to do so.
So, what happens when a main vendor (anchor tenant) for the street goes dark? Or multiple vendors leave? Consumers are driving these changes as they seek fresh experiences, wider choice and greater convenience.
Buchan's research and development initiative, "Re-Setting the Box" outlines some of the key strategies councils and landlords can apply in approaching the specific challenges they may be facing.
Anchors now become precincts, smaller distinct areas of focus relating back to community uses; research and agility are key. Blurred boundaries allow shoppers to wander the created village, bringing people together and responding to the inherent need for community-based experience, with the convenience of the one-stop shop.
Based on research into market requirement, the "formula" can be calculated to integrate uses like Edutainment, Commenity, WorkShop, Eatucation, Pop-Up Start-Up, Athleisure, Digivation. Regardless of size and mix, the focus must be on efficient but experiential design; driving the maximum amount of foot traffic on a consistent basis into individual spaces, but also the surrounding retail and service providers to create liveliness and connection.
Julie Wrobel - Algo Mas & Hayley Trott - Regional Development Australia
Making Tracks: The story of Peterborough's new brand
Julie is a 2019 Telstra Business Woman finalist and the founder and Managing Director of Algo Más, a leading branding, marketing and design agency she established in 2005. An exceptional brand strategist, marketer and project director, her energy and outcome-focused approach make her an integral member of any team. Julie specialises in mainstreet marketing, property project marketing and brand development.
Her place brand experience includes leading the project team, which created brands for Whyalla, Victor Harbor, Murray Bridge and Peterborough.
Through her previous leadership of Mainstreet SA, which she co-founded in 2011, the East End Coordination Group, and her work on numerous projects for mainstreets across South Australia's leading Councils and the State Government, she has an in-depth working knowledge of placemaking and destination branding. Previously a member of the Entrepreneurs Organisation, Julie is passionate about entrepreneurship, South Australia and Adelaide, including supporting local business and employing local talent.
In 2019, the town of Peterborough in South Australia's mid-north embarked on the development of a new brand. The project's objectives were to reinstall a sense of pride in the community and establish a positive perception of the township to help lead an economic recovery. Peterborough played a pivotal role in South Australia's railway history, and the original Peterborough main street exerted regional grandeur with historic facades and a magnificent town hall. The end of the railway era in the 1990s brought significant change to the township, resulting in a loss of population, services and economic opportunities for its residents. The town now relies on tourism and visitors to survive, and in a competitive tourism space, they needed a refreshed positioning strategy to stand out.
COVID delayed the launch of the brand, but in mid-2020, with Australian's rediscovering their own backyard as international travel plans came to a standstill, it was time to Make Tracks to Peterborough.
Emma Grivell who, for three years, has driven City of Prospect’s main street marketing and trader committee. In that time, Emma has grown Prospect Road’s brand through a combination of targeted social media destination marketing and business lead events, securing two People’s Choice Mainstreet Awards in 2019 and 2020.
Daniel Adams is the Manager of Business and Innovation at the City of Prospect, specialising in smart technology, tourism, and economic strategy.
The City of Prospect approached 2020 as a unique opportunity to create a flexible, socially distanced event season. The Prospect Fringe program was created for the first time. A highlight of this program was the Prospect Art Walk event which exploded on Prospect Road. This innovative COVID safe event was on-brand for Prospect Road as a destination and flexible to minimise risk to the event and the public.
Akarra Klingberg - Coordinator of Business & Economic Development - City of Unley
Designing King William – transformation through co-design
Akarra Klingberg is the Coordinator of Business & Economic Development at the City of Unley with over 10 years in the Local Government and Tourism industry. Akarra works closely with the Unley business community and stakeholders to realise economic opportunities within the city.
Mainsteet upgrades are complex projects needing to balance the (often competing) needs of multiple stakeholders. The King William Road Upgrade was a key Economic Development initiative to reinvigorate one of Adelaide's most loved mainstreets. The Upgrade was underpinned by a four-month co-design process with the community to create a shared vision and enable positive long-term change. Understanding the needs of the precinct and its users allowed the project to be staged to minimise disruption and was supported by a campaign that King William Road was 'Open for Business'. Developing relationships based on honest and accurate two-way communication with all stakeholders, including the community and project team, listening and being able to adapt, and consistent stakeholder management was critical to the project.
Heart Foundation Walkshop
David is passionate about creating cohesive communities and great places through evidence-based collaboration. David is an inclusive collaborator, possesses an encylopeadic mind, and is a strategist and plan maker. David is a Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia, occasional lecturer at the University of South Australia, and Presiding Member of the City of Holdfast Bay Council Assessment Panel. David has a breadth of experience in planning for a liveable metropolitan Adelaide, including designing places like mainstreets for active living and active ageing.
Walking can support great health outcomes. Walking, particularly for older people, is an essential and safe way for people to get around. As other transport options drop away, walking can help older people stay connected and engaged. Join the Heart Foundation as they undertake a practical application of the Healthy Active Ageing checklist to observe and explore features within the built environment that aid or hinder a mainstreet or town centre to be age-friendly. By addressing the considerations in the checklist, you will learn how we can create more walkable environments, which help older people be more active longer and spend time in your main street.