City Place Manager


Introducing your new place manager

Additional resources for better city presentation with cleaner public spaces and better maintenance is coming your way in Civic, Acton and Braddon through the introduction of a new city place management team.

Meet Lavanna Neal, from local events and cultural development firm Dionysus, the City Renewal Authority’s new city place manager. Lavanna will manage a team of three staff who together will work on lifting the standard of cleaning, greenery and maintenance in the city centre. The city place management team will also work hard to introduce more seating, planting and weekly entertainment programs over time, to make public places feel more inviting.

Whether you’re a business or property owner, a community member or part of government Lavanna will be your first point of contact to facilitate repairs and increase cleaning and maintenance within Civic, Acton and Braddon.

In addition, Lavanna will also curate a program of arts, entertainment and activities, including four larger seasonal events during spring, Christmas, autumn and winter. Get to know more about Lavanna below.

Hi Lavanna, welcome to the City Renewal Authority. What made you want to apply for a position like a Place Manager for Civic, Acton and Braddon?

Dionysus designs and delivers programs to enrich the people of Canberra. We’re not a profit-focused company. We want to improve local culture to make Canberra happier, cooler and connected. The City Place Management team is a giant leap in that direction. Achieving this in the city is tough, but the government has powerful momentum towards change and we are passionate to channel this in meaningful directions.

What does a typical day in the life of a place manager look like?

So many things! Working as a place manager isn’t a ‘neat’ day with predetermined task lists that’s for sure. A lot of my days will include walking and chatting to business owners and their staff, as well as people using the spaces in the city. I’ll be managing our place team and event co-ordinators, curating a program of events that bring life and soul to our city; as well as listening to others’ ideas about how we can transform a rather grey and sometimes uninviting space into a place that people treasure, a space that they enjoy exploring and sharing with others.

Have you had any previous experience in a similar role?

Dionysus have been the curators of the New Acton Cultural Program for the last eight years. This includes regular events like Kid’s Cushion Concerts; the hugely popular Suitcase Rummage; Cellar Door – a weekly wine and produce market; the Greek Film Festival; and the biggest event in the NewActon calendar: Art, Not Apart - Canberra’s only one-day, free, multidisciplinary arts festival. On top of that our last 18 months have been a whirlwind of placemaking, event and venue management at the ANU Pop-Up Village. Dionysus were also the place managers for the social and cultural heart of the university that ‘popped up’ while the area underwent a massive period of construction. The village became a comfortable second home for many of the university population, as well as broader Canberra visiting for events, food and entertainment on a regular basis.

What are you most looking forward to about this role?

My favourite part of placemaking is watching the way the community use public spaces, and then seeing the joy on people’s faces as they discover new and fun ways to connect with each other and experience a city.

What is the best way to contact you?

Email is good, phone is good. It’s up to you! If you’re an emailer, let’s chat that way. If a phone call is more your style, give me a call. If you prefer a face-to-face chat, I’m always up for a great local coffee and a chat about what’s eating you, what’s working for you or any ideas you have about how we can improve our city. You can reach me on 0409 228 704 or lavanna@dionysus.events

Anything else you’d like businesses to know about you?

Prior to working in placemaking and events, I was a venue operator, so I understand some of the business concerns firsthand. The most important thing to most business owners and managers is their customers, and I feel the same way about our city! Everyone who comes into our city is a customer, and it’s our job, collectively to make sure the spaces they visit are enjoyable and exciting.


New clean-team to make city centre gleam

22 February 2019

A new, dedicated cleaning and maintenance team will help make Civic and Braddon cleaner, greener and more attractive.

The new place manager will work within the City Renewal Authority and manage a team of three staff to do additional cleaning, gardening and maintenance of the city centre’s public spaces.

This place management team will help lift the standard of presentation in the city centre, making it a more enjoyable experience for visitors, residents and workers.

Civic is the heart of Canberra and is a place we should all be proud of. Investing in making it more appealing will attract more visitors, making it a more successful precinct.

The City Renewal Authority has appointed local company Dionysus to provide the place management services. Dionysus and the authority will work with Transport Canberra and City Services to fill three new positions dedicated to providing extra services to complement the existing cleaning and asset maintenance program in Civic and Braddon.

The place manager will also curate an entertainment program, ensuring a consistent quality across our larger seasonal events in the city centre, including Christmas in Civic, a winter festival, and the extension of the Enlighten and Floriade theme within the city centre during autumn and spring.

The extra place management services are being funded by the City Centre and Marketing Improvements Levy, which is paid by commercial land owners in Civic and Braddon.

To contact the city place manager email lavanna@dionysus.events