Dickson News


Community-led Town Team to make Dickson more fun and connected

21 September 2018

The City Renewal Authority is assisting a group of residents and businesses to create an independent “Town Team” to stage community events and organise improvements in the Dickson Group Centre.

Local residents, traders and groups embraced the idea of a Town Team during the City Renewal Authority’s engagement process for a Dickson Place Plan.

The Town Team group will have its first annual general meeting on Tuesday 25 September, with the intention to incorporate shortly afterwards, and is looking for more locals to become involved.

City Renewal Authority chief executive Malcolm Snow said the format had worked well in other cities and he was pleased to help introduce it to the ACT.

“Town Teams work because they are people who have a very strong connection to their area and a genuine desire to make real improvements,” Mr Snow said.

“Town Teams are ‘doing’ organisations and this group will work collaboratively to run events and make small physical improvements to its local area for the benefit of the community.”

Dickson business owner Jason Mann said the time was right to establish a Town Team.

“Dickson already has a number of committed advocates who are passionate about the area and we’re looking for additional motivated people to join the Town Team in helping make Dickson a stronger, more enjoyable community,” Mr Mann said.

“If you have an interest in Dickson would like to make an on-the-ground contribution to your local community then joining our Town Team is a great place to start.”

The City Renewal Authority commissioned place makers Spaced Out to identify improvements, events and actions that could strengthen the Dickson community and make the area more active, accessible and attractive.

Spaced Out managing director David Snyder agreed that Town Teams could have a big impact in Dickson.

“We are really excited and confident about the future of the Dickson Town Team,” Mr Snyder said.

“Dicksonians have a lot of pride in their suburb and it’s a very capable community, so a Town Team makes a lot of sense.

“Town Teams play a huge role in activating town centres in other parts of Australia.  In Western Australia, Town Teams coordinate large festivals, weekly food markets, urban art projects and street murals. The Vic Park Collective Town Team has even developed an urban forest strategy.”

To get involved in the Dickson Town Team please contact Jason Mann at jhay@mydickson.com.au

The City Renewal Authority is supporting the establishment of the group by funding Spaced Out Placemakers, PLACE Laboratory and the Town Team Movement organisation to provide set-up support and advice.

The draft Dickson Place Plan, which will identify events, activations and public realm upgrades to improve the Dickson Group Centre, will be released for community feedback later this year.


Community makeover to give Dickson shops a facelift

25 August 2017

The Dickson community is being invited to help to re-imagine the courtyards at the group centre during a seven-day makeover later this year.

A public planning workshop led by the Dickson Village Traders on Tuesday (29 August) will set the tone for the makeover, which will take place from 19-25 November.

The seven-day community-led facelift, which has funding from the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development will be featured in the Canberra Design Festival and aims to transform the courtyards into more people-friendly spaces.

Dickson Traders Association spokesperson Jason Mann said the working group was keen to engage with the community to help create a space that would make people linger, play and connect.

“We have some exciting plans to demonstrate how much can be achieved in just seven days,” Mr Mann said.

“The seven-day makeover event will be community led so we have planned interventions that are affordable and can be implemented by volunteers.

We are looking for some community input into how we can make these interventions really work for the local community.

“The workshop on Tuesday gives us a chance to get into the detail of how we can implement some simple but effective improvements, like pavement stencilling, yarn bombing or the installation of new seating, planter boxes or fairy lights.

“If you are passionate about your community, want to improve the experience at the Dickson shops, and can help during the makeover, then we’d love to see you at the planning workshop.”

The Dickson courtyards makeover planning workshop is on Tuesday, 29 August, from 6pm to 7.30pm.

Register your interest at MyDickson.com.au


Sale of ageing government office block presents Dickson renewal opportunity

11 August 2017

Dame Pattie Menzies House

The sale of the ACT Government’s Dame Pattie Menzies office buildings in Dickson is another step in the group centre’s ongoing renewal as a vibrant residential, commercial and retail centre.

The two Dickson buildings were sold by tender for $15 million to Merrylin Lindland Pty Ltd.

The ACT Government has a three-year lease on the two buildings - which house the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate – with two additional one-year options, to allow for construction of a new government office building on the nearby motor registry site.

City Renewal Authority interim chief executive Gary Rake said the 3.5 hectare site would be a fantastic urban renewal opportunity after the ACT Government lease ends.

“This site has great potential to complement the ongoing renewal in and around the Dickson group centre,” Mr Rake said.

“The location of this site makes it a really wonderful opportunity for future urban renewal that can really add to the ability for people to live, explore and enjoy the area.

“It is situated conveniently next to the new Dickson bus interchange, adjacent to the Wooley Street dining precinct and just a very short stroll from the Dickson light rail stop.

“The area surrounding the site is already home to significant renewal activity, with new high-density residential developments under construction a stones thrown in both directions and a new development set for the old motor registry site across the road expected to begin soon.

“With its central Canberra location, proximity to the new light rail line and a wide variety of dining and entertainment options, Dickson is a booming area in the city renewal precinct and the sale of this site provides a great opportunity for further renewal.”

The site is zoned CZ2, which allows for a variety of uses including commercial, residential and retail.

The Dickson precinct code allows for buildings up to six storeys high.

The sale is part of the Commonwealth Government’s Asset Recycling Initiative, which provides a 15 per cent bonus to the ACT Government on the sale of ageing public infrastructure.