Meet Tim McPhee co-founder The Peninsula City Project, Abicus & Scout
Having lived and worked in Newcastle my whole life, played in bands for the last 25 years, and have had a business based in Newcastle for the last 20 years, I have witnessed first-hand how strongly and fondly we embrace new ideas and projects, whether they are arts, business, industry or community.
As Tiffany (my partner) and I reflect over this time, it is difficult to ignore how unsettled the last few years have been. We acknowledge how important the current transformation work is. However, it has been both unnerving and heart-breaking to witness so many suffer as much of the life of the City and its retail businesses have either folded, moved or continue to fight to survive. We know the nature and face of retail is changing dramatically, both locally and internationally… it’s critical we adapt and it’s also critical we, as a community, have a voice as to what the future will look like to live and work in.
Many would agree that the neglect of our city’s centre including our streets, architecture, parks and infrastructure has been a blight on our immediate history. The City has work to do to present itself as a modern, progressive and inclusive City. So we understand the frustration and anger. Unfortunately, this has seemingly dominated the local media.
It is in response to this noise that The Peninsula City Project came about. I joined together with my two friends and colleagues, Karl Brandstater, an international documentarian, and Ian Bennett, a marketing consultant, to uncover the new voice of the City of Newcastle. We believe that there is virtue in portraying the City differently through the local characters who are building their futures and making this amazing place their home.
The Peninsula City Project aims to reveal the evolving vision of contemporary Newcastle. It’s an initiative based on the opportunities being created out of the disruptive changes that we are experiencing. The key objective is to engage the greater community in the new dreams and aspirations of our City. The centrepiece to this project relies on the real stories of real people.
We believe that this authenticity will instill belief. It didn’t take long to find these people and it has been a pleasure to capture the initial collection of stories (so many more to come!). We believe that they provide a rich tapestry of how our City is being reshaped.
Whilst this project is funded by its founders, and the support of a talented team, we are also supported via grant funds from the Special Rate Levy managed by Council and we recognise the importance of the growing collaboration with the economic development and media team at the City of Newcastle.
We aim to build a much-needed sense of esteem and identity for our City and greater community — through identifying a sense of place and purpose.
We want to encourage people to engage with the City and become part of its future. In this way, you will become part of the project that is the city of Newcastle.