Re-inventing Central Launceston: Creating a vibrant and thriving regional city


Practitioners from business, arts, built environment, and education discuss the future of the Launceston central city.

Start Date

1st Nov 2017 6:00pm

End Date

1st Nov 2017 7:30pm


Academy Gallery, School of Creative Arts, Inveresk campus

Register NowLaunceston’s central city is changing in response to a combination of global and local trends. Under the overall banner of the Launceston City Deal, a number of initiatives over the next few years provide the opportunity to guide the CBD away from business-as-usual to become a more vibrant and productive regional centre.

This forum brings together practitioners from business/retail, arts/culture, build environment/design, and education systems to discuss the future of the central city, examine the global trends and local initiatives that are driving change, and establish a vision of what it might be possible to create.


  • Natalie De Vito, Consultant to the arts and cultural sector, co-creator and former Director of the Junction Arts Festival
  • Professor Michael Keniger, Faculty of Society and Design, Bond University
  • Dr Louise Grimmer, Lecturer in Marketing, Retail Researcher and Founder and Convener of the Tasmanian Retail Network
  • Professor David Adams, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Community Partnerships and Regional Development, University of Tasmania
  • Facilitator: Andrew Pitt, Neil Pitt’s Menswear, Chair of Cityprom and University of Tasmania

Presented in partnership with the Northern Young Professionals Network. Please join us for refreshments from 5.30pm.

About the presenters

Photo of Andrew Pitt Facilitator: Andrew Pitt, Neil Pitt’s Menswear, Cityprom, University of Tasmania

Having left Launceston as an 18 year old in 1992, Andrew returned in 2009 and decided to stay. He now spreads his time between the family businesses and the University of Tasmania. He is Chair of Cityprom and a director of the Launceston Chamber of Commerce. He completed the Tasmanian Leaders Program in 2014 and led the establishment of the Welcome Dinner Project in Tasmania. He has been heavily involved in the BOFA Film Festival and the Launceston Walking Club.

Andrew’s background includes a science degree from the University of Tasmania followed by several years of heart research in Sydney, then health economics and eye allergy research at the University of Oxford. Following completion of a Masters in Environmental Management at Macquarie University, Andrew worked in local and regional government in the UK with a focus on community and industry engagement with water issues.

At the University he works for the Institute for the Study of Social Change and the Community Partnerships and Regional Development team. He facilitates community conversations on themes of relevance to the the education-led revitalisation of the region.

Photo of Professor David AdamsProfessor David Adams, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Community Partnerships and Regional Development, University of Tasmania

Professor Adams is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Community, Partnerships and Regional Development) and Academic Lead of the Northern Transformation program at the University of Tasmania.  The synergy of these dual responsibilities will contribute to the University realising its vision by developing an Inveresk Precinct that will fundamentally transform the University’s relationship with the city of Launceston.

His civic roles have included being Chair of the Tasmanian Food Security Council and as the inaugural Social Inclusion Commissioner for Tasmania, where he developed the first State Cost of Living Strategy in Australia.

In 2001 Professor Adams was instrumental in establishing the Department for Victorian Communities that became the first Australian Department of State focused on place and the development of social capital and in 2002 was a founding member of the OECD linked Observatory PASCAL.

Professor Adams has a particular interest in how new understandings of innovation and the emergence of liquid society is reshaping our understanding of future work in regional areas, centres and organisations.

Photo of Natalie De VitoNatalie De Vito, former Director of the Junction Arts Festival

Natalie is an arts and cultural consultant. She advises artists, small-medium arts organisations and festivals, tourism bodies and government on site-specific and participatory performance in public spaces, organisational and event development, community engagement and city activation, and economic development and place-making strategies through arts and events.

Over the past 18 years as a festival director, creative producer/curator, theatre devisor, writer and consultant she has worked across the visual arts, theatre and festivals, and developed exhibitions, performances and events in over 20 countries.
Natalie relocated from Toronto to Tasmania in 2011 to establish the Junction Arts Festival, and over six festivals developed one of Launceston’s signature events. Prior to moving here, she was Artistic Producer of Mammalian Diving Reflex; Deputy Commissioner for Canada at the 51st Venice Biennale 2009, Italy; Acting Media and Visual Arts Officer for the Ontario Arts Council and Artistic Producer of their inaugural participatory arts festival; Head of Development and Marketing at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery; and Co-Director of Mercer Union Centre for Contemporary Art.

Natalie is a sessional lecturer and tutor of art theory across visual arts and theatre at the School of Creative Arts, University of Tasmania.

Photo of Dr Louise GrimmerDr Louise Grimmer, Lecturer in Marketing, Retail Researcher and Founder and Convenor of the Tasmanian Retail Network

Dr Louise Grimmer has a PhD in retail marketing from the University of Tasmania and is a Lecturer in Marketing and Retail Researcher in the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics at the University of Tasmania.

Louise's research focus includes factors affecting small and independent retailers, how marketing communications can help retailers grow their firms, and issues management and crisis communications in the context of the retail industry. She is currently conducting a number of retail research projects including the ‘Tasmanian Retail Research Project’ which is the only known longitudinal study of small retailers. The study is examining the importance of various resources on the financial performance of small, independent retail firms.

Louise is also leading the ‘Just Like the Locals Airbnb and Retail Project’ which examines the impact of Airbnb host recommendations to guests in helping drive tourist visitation to local shops and restaurants and the ‘Marketing the City Project’ looking at the impact of retail precinct marketing programs on small retailers. Her other research interests are supermarket and department store retailing and how the digital economy is transforming traditional modes of shopping. Louise is a Member, Certified Practising Marketer (CPM) and Tasmanian State Committee Member of the Australian Marketing Institute (AMI). She is also a Member of the American Marketing Association (AMA) and the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA). Louise is an invited Judge for the National Retailer Awards and she is the Founder and Convenor of the Tasmanian Retail Network.

Michael KenigerProfessor Michael Keniger, Faculty of Society and Design, Bond University

A graduate of the Architectural Association, Michael Keniger was Queensland Government Architect from 1999 – 2006 and has had extensive experience as an architectural educator and as a senior executive of the University of Queensland.

He is a contributing editor of Architecture Australia, Chair of the Development and Design Integrity Panel for the Brisbane Airport Corporation and has been recently appointed as a Professor of Architecture of Bond University.