In April 2023, RAC partnered with the City of Kwinana to transform Wellard Village in just one week, using the 7 Day Makeover method. This method was pioneered by David Engwicht, a world-leading place maker and the founder of Creative Communities International.
David shares RAC’s passion for empowering people to feel socially connected and involved in shaping their local areas. Through our Reconnect WA initiative, we partner with local governments and likeminded organisations to support projects that breathe new life into our cities, towns and neighbourhoods.
About the 7 Day Makeover
David’s agile method of making over town centres in just seven days is vastly different to the approach traditionally adopted by councils. Instead of spending months or years in the planning stages, communities who participate in the 7 Day Makeover are given just two days to generate ideas and agree on project plans; David’s philosophy is ‘less talk, more action’. Day three of the makeover is when teams roll up their sleeves and get down to business; this is when the projects start taking shape.
What makes the 7 Day Makeover method so powerful is the way it brings entire communities together, instilling them with an immense sense of pride in the work they have invested their time and energy into.
Wellard Village, before and after
Before receiving the 7 Day Makeover treatment, Wellard Village was described as a place that was fragmented and lacked soul. In fact, The Strand was the first transit-oriented development along the Perth to Mandurah rail line; the strip was designed to function as a walkway and lacked spaces for people to linger.
Designed by the community for the community, the newly revitalised Wellard Village is unrecognisable. Bollards were removed and repurposed to open up the street and the walkways were painted in bright colours and converted into hexagonal seats that now line the street.
Beautifully landscaped nature play areas, self-wicking garden beds, and communal outdoor dining areas now feature along the roadside, replacing car bays that were no longer necessary in this newly semi-pedestrianised zone.
Young Wellard locals also got involved, teaming up to inject vibrancy into the walkways and corners of The Strand. They created an arcade complete with a ping pong table, large chess board, and stadium-style seating, plus a wishing well and colourful planter boxes across the street from the train station, creating a welcoming entrance to Wellard Square.
Teamwork makes the dream work
The success of every 7 Day Makeover relies heavily on people power, and that was the case for Wellard Village. More than 177 volunteers were involved in the transformation and RAC staff were also proud to lend a hand, with more than 40 staff getting involved throughout the week.
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