marcus westbury

my life. on the internets.

marcus westbury header image 2

Renew Newcastle – NSW community partnership of the year!

September 23rd, 2010 by marcus

While i was waylaid in Melbourne with a newborn Renew Newcastle and our first major property partner GPT took out the Australian Business Arts Foundation Toyota Community Partnership Award for the best partnership “between businesses and arts and cultural organisations that enhance the life of communities” in New South Wales at a glittering do at the MCA in Sydney. We are also national finalists in the same category – hopefully I’ll make it along to the national awards in Sydney next month.

This is a good acknowledgment. GPT’s development in Newcastle is no longer going ahead but they should be given some considerable credit for not letting the city die while they were processing their plans. So many developers in Newcastle have let buildings sit empty for years while pursuing bigger ambitions and the net effect is entire blocks in some cases that have been left to rot. Indeed some have used it as a negotiating tactic. Whatever else happens with GPT and Newcastle it is important to acknowledge the genuine efforts they have made to keep the city alive and the support they have given to more than 50 arts projects and enterprises that have opened in Newcastle in their spaces.

Personally it’s particularly great to see David Sleet and Amanda Pieriboni from GPT getting some acknowledgement for the punt they took on this. Both have been great supporters. It is an untold part of the Renew story that it David – in particular – took it upon himself to convince some of his more sceptical collleagues that lending many millions of dollars worth of vacant real estate in Newcastle to untried art project was a good idea. He succeeded in that but shortly thereafter found himself out of a job for a while when the GFC shelved the projects he was working on. I’m sure it wasn’t the easiest of times for him – but during that whole period he stayed in touch with Renew Newcastle via email and the occasional phone call. I can’t thank him personally enough for his efforts and his interest. So I’m very pleased to see him back at GPT and delegated all the important task of collecting the awards the company is now picking up for his foresight.

Similar Posts:

Tags:   · · · · · 1 Comment

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter

Leave A Comment

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 fee plumley Sep 23, 2010 at 11:31 am

    bloody brilliant marcus, so great that all that hard work has paid off. maybe not in economic terms (for some), but you (and your team’s) vision and determination to help the city has clearly been a success.
    i’m sure GPT’s development of the buildings they’re removing from the program are largely due to the renewed vibrancy of the area. as ever the arts pave the way for regeneration – a sad but true part of life.
    regardless, you should be proud of this initiative and the legacy it’s leaving around the country (if not the world).
    ten out of ten :)