Project name: Addressing Graffiti in Diamond Village Shopping Centre
Organisation: Banyule City Council
Grant fund: Graffiti Prevention Grants
Grant amount: $17,834.25
Project Partners: Banyule Youth Services, Greensborough Secondary School, Neighbourhood Watch, Diamond Village Shopping Centre Owner’s Corporation, shopping centre traders, residents
Watsonia’s Diamond Village Shopping Centre is a popular local shopping precinct in Melbourne’s northern suburbs that comprises 17 individually owned premises. Unfortunately, the shopping centre has long been subjected to graffiti attacks on its brick frontages, costing shop owners over $3000 annually.
Due to the unsightly appearance of the graffiti and generally feeling unsafe, residents were becoming less likely to visit the shopping centre or use the public spaces. This led traders to approach Banyule City Council for assistance in developing a sustainable graffiti removal management solution.
The Addressing Graffiti in Diamond Village Shopping Centre project was then developed to remove existing graffiti, install a street art mural to prevent graffiti and develop a sustainable graffiti management strategy. A steering group established by council to manage the project included community members, traders, Neighbourhood Watch, Greensborough Secondary School and the Owner’s Corporation.
Workshops were delivered by an experienced street artist to introduce students from Greensborough Secondary College to painting and sketching techniques and the benefits of legal street art. The final session gave students an opportunity to test their new skills and paint the vibrant mural, which they designed during the course of the workshops.
Banyule Youth Services also ran a social media education and awareness campaign about the impact of illegal graffiti and the legal consequences of engaging in illegal graffiti, with postings on the Banyule Youth Services website, Facebook and Twitter.
Graffiti removal kits were handed out to the community at the official mural launch event, as well as a Portable Removal System for traders. Over the duration of the project, 15 areas of graffiti around the shopping centre were identified and removed.
The steering committee also coordinated the distribution of posters and flyers to promote the project and raise awareness of how to report graffiti, and conducted a letterbox drop to residents providing project information and inviting them to the mural launch event.
Since the completion of the project, the Diamond Village Shopping Centre has been clean of graffiti for the first time in many years. This has helped change the perceptions of safety and create a more welcoming and vibrant space for the community. Graffiti incidences will continue to be monitored into the future.