10 August 2021

Making Dickson more beautiful, exciting and active

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As Dickson goes through a period of transition, the community is looking to evolve Dickson’s identity. Photo: Daniella Jukic.

As one of Canberra’s earliest suburbs, Dickson has always been a bustling hub.

The vibrant inner north Canberra suburb has also long held the reputation of having an exciting multicultural dining precinct. But as Canberra is growing and changing, Dickson is undergoing its own revitalisation too. With new construction and the addition of the light rail, the town centre is looking very different these days.

As Dickson goes through a transition period, the community is looking to evolve Dickson’s identity, aiming to make Dickson more beautiful, exciting and active.

Some people want more focus on the strip of popular Asian restaurants, including the great Ruby Chinese Restaurant – once run by Jackie Chan’s parents – and the seemingly endless Asian offerings.

Others want to build on the suburb’s authentic mismatch of businesses and residents. A popular new pub on the corner of Woolley Street, The Tradies and Canberra Wine House sit alongside modern cafes and Woollies and the soon-to-be constructed Coles.

So what style of stories, installations, murals, plants and events should define Dickson in the future? The new Dickson Place Manager will work with the local community to find answers to these questions.

Musicians in Dickson

Previous Place Managers in Dickson have presented live music in the village. Photo: File.

Place management is an emerging field with a bright future, based on making public places more welcoming and memorable. It involves building relationships with the diverse stakeholders of a place and nurturing its culture to be dynamic and healthy.

It is a people-first philosophy often involving the presentation of iconic arts programs, activities, events, in addition to cleaning and horticultural management.

The new Dickson Place Manager will be employed by cultural development company Dionysus, which has been engaged by the City Renewal Authority to ‘clean, green and activate’ Dickson, along with the city, Braddon and Haig Park.

The first task of the Dickson Place Manager will be to directly engage with local businesses, residents and workers.

The role will be supported by the City Renewal Authority Place Team – a team dedicated to delivering horticultural plantings, cleaning and maintenance work for the precinct – and the Dionysus team of events, communication, arts and compliance managers.

The Dickson Place Manager will support the community to evolve Dickson’s identity and work alongside a team to manage installations, media campaigns, and cleaning and horticultural projects.

Dionysus director David Caffrey said the new Dickson Place Manager will need an understanding of the prominent cultures and languages represented in Dickson to engage with all the key community stakeholders.

“From this, stories can be writ large by project managing installations, communication campaigns and, when safe, multicultural celebrations to animate the public realms of Dickson,” David said.

On top of the ACT Government’s ongoing City Presentation programs, previous Place Managers in Dickson have cleaned the public areas, added seating and planter boxes, curated murals at key entrances, and presented live music in the village.

“Dickson has benefited from this work and the new Place Manager will be empowered to focus on ways to improve the safety, activity and soul of this important urban hub.”

Dionysus is currently looking for someone to be the new Dickson Place Manager. For more information, click here.

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