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Authored by Olivia Burke:

This Sunday 12th November, Newenham is privileged to be the main sponsor for ‘In the Raw’, Adelaide Hills Natural Health and Wellbeing Festival. We see this as a real honour as Newenham is the only significant residential property development in South Australia to be affiliated with the Festival. The Festival organisers, Sally Ellis and Lindsey Campbell asked us to be involved because of our genuine and thoughtful vision to nurture the health, happiness and wellbeing of everyone who chooses to call Newenham home. This Sunday Newenham will expose the Art of Placemaking and focus on what makes Newenham a great place.

You see the ethos that Newenham beholds for our master planned community is simply to create a place that is ‘Designed for Wellbeing’. This principle ties in seamlessly with the objective of ‘In the Raw’, which according to Sally and Lindsey is a festival created to “strip away the clutter of life and get back to what’s important. It is not about eating vegan or living off-grid. It is about how mainstream Australian society can simply live a better life through a better understanding of what really matters when it comes to the health of our planet as well as our own physical, spiritual and mental health. With a better understanding of these important things, we can aim to build a better lifestyle for ourselves, our families and our communities.”

Upon Newenham being bestowed this amazing opportunity to be the major sponsor for ‘In the Raw’, my Marketing Manager, Sheryl Mascolo and my colleague and sister, Eliza Teague started brainstorming ways to ensure that we respected the values of this festival and offer people a chance to learn about the wellbeing pillars of Newenham at the same time. We decided this was a great opportunity to educate about the process and the challenges of creating a new community from scratch and how my family owned and operated development company Burke Urban is going about developing a great place for people to live and grow in Mount Barker.

It was Eliza’s light-bulb moment to invite our long-term colleague and trusted advisor Gilbert Rochecouste, renowned nationally and internationally as a leading voice in Placemaking, to attend as a guest speaker and help host the Newenham stand. Having worked alongside Gilbert and sought his council and leadership over the past decade in relation to how to make Burke Urban communities great, he stood out as an obvious collaborator. Upon inviting Gilbert to attend, in his normal enthusiastic and generous way, he agreed to participate even though he will only have just stepped off the plane from Dubai after hosting a two-day Middle East intensive Placemaking workshop.

If you don’t know Gilbert Rochecouste, he is the Founder and Managing Director of Village Well, Australia’s leading creative Placemaking Consultancy, inspiring the search for renewed meaning, purpose and pride in places and has gained an exceptional reputation for a creative and holistic approach to development and the activation of places.

When I stumbled across the extraordinary Gilbert Rochecouste whilst attending my first ever South Australian UDIA (Urban Development Institute of Australia) conference back in 2009 it marked a pivotal time in my property development career. It ‘twas the Friday morning after the annual conference dinner and needless to say that those who did manage to attend that morning were feeling pretty dusty.  The thought of a full day of population growth statistics was hurting my already hurting brain, so when Gilbert walked on to the stage sporting an electric blue suit, red cravat and holding a hand carved set of Bongos, the cloud above my head immediately lifted. His clear point of difference immediately intrigued me and after an awe-inspiring hour of listening to Gilbert beat his drums (literally) and talk passionately and expressively about what it is that makes great places and makes a place economy, the property industry suddenly turned from a shade of beige to one of colour, energy and enormous possibility! No longer would I consider myself as a developer. I wanted to be a place maker! I had found a real purpose and Gilbert was going to help Burke Urban to improve the processes and ways we worked with our project partners, investors, government stakeholders and the community to achieve a better result for all of our future developments and a better life for our residents.

This Sunday at 12.10pm Gilbert will host a 30-minute free talk at ‘In the Raw’ about ‘the Art of Creating Great Places’ and then be available to take questions and to inspire people back at the Newenham stand until 3.00pm. If you are lucky you may also get a chance to play the bongoes with him.

Tanya from Serenity & Health Massage Therapy will also be at the Newenham stand from 2pm to 4pm offering free mini neck and shoulder massages to help relieve any tension and stress from your body. So come and relax with us.

Most importantly come along and meet the Newenham team at ‘In the Raw’ at the Mount Barker Showgrounds this Sunday from 10am to 5pm, to find out what makes Newenham a great place and why you will love living at Newenham!

Click here for more information on ‘In the Raw’.


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