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Case Study

Docklands Art Collective

  • Project type: Managed Project
  • Date: 2017 – 2019
  • Client: The District Docklands in partnership with Development Victoria

The aim of the Docklands Art Collective project was to bring business into vacant spaces on Wharf Street. The District Docklands (formerly Harbour Town) underwent significant redevelopment over three years to boost the overall shopping and leisure experience for visitors.

During the redevelopment, The District Docklands gave Renew Australia access to 14 shop fronts along Wharf Street to fill with artists, creative enterprises, cultural and community groups – rent-free.


The project included 15 activated spaces, with 16 participants in studio, gallery and office spaces, and 3 retail initiatives.


  • Dodgy Paper

    Dodgy believe there’s enough paper on planet earth already and make fresh pulp from old paper, giving it new life and creating a canvas to stay creative on. Roger, an artist and maker, joined the project to create a retail, factory and showroom space to create unique handmade paper. He previously had a closed studio and online business. During the Renew project, he also collaborated with Loose Print (another participant), providing paper for their artwork and cross promoting their retail offer of recycled ink.

    Having the opportunity to function as a retail space, factory and showroom as part of the Docklands Art Collective has allowed Dodgy Paper to grow and has opened many creative doors to inspire and spark the imagination of visitors and followers.

  • The Visual Economy

    Advertising and branding business The Visual Economy iterated and tested their now viable business model during their time in the project.

    The Renew Australia initiative has enabled me to launch a professional video production studio and pair it with a proven paid advertising system. The central location of our studio meant we were a stone’s throw from all of our clients and prospects. Renew was incredibly supportive and helpful in getting this transformative project off the ground.

  • Fat Yarn

    The Fat Yarn collective joined the Renew program to create a workshop space and a retail presence for products such as beautiful t-shirt yarn recycled from the garment industry, giant 100% Australian merino wool reams for arm knitting projects and weaving, macrame ropes, wooden knitting needles and crochet hooks for “fat” creations.

  • Magnet Galleries Melbourne

    At Magnet Galleries’ core is a desire to preserve and celebrate the best of Australian photography and encourage excellence among established and emerging photographers.

    The not-forprofit is designed to draw together people with an interest in and a passion for photography, to share their knowledge, experience and aspirations and gain new insights and expertise.

    Renew Australia have engineered a lively and vibrant arts collective at Docklands, organising and managing a disparate group of artists and creative organisations – very much like herding cats, we suspect – with kindly patience and good humour. Magnet is delighted to be a part of their enterprise.

  • Trash Puppets

    Empowering people of all ages to get creative using recycled and reused materials, Trash Puppets believes that the key to sustainable living is in finding creative solutions to problems. They run workshops in puppet making, believing in the power of individual creativity to inspire and transform, regardless of gender, age, or ability.

  • Studio Xl – XS:

    Renew has managed this project with great energy and commitment, we feel very fortunate to be part of this exiting initiative for a new creative community in this part of Melbourne.

  • At Current Gallery and Studios

    A collective of emerging artists founded in 2017 by Malini Maunsell, At Current share studio and gallery space and support each other’s practices. Malini is a printmaker and painter, whose practice is focused on abstract and colour field art.

    Loving our time with Renew Australia. It has been a great opportunity to learn the ins and outs of a relatively large working studio (we are 13 artists) and without financial pressure to add into the mix. We have nearly all had a solo exhibition in our gallery, and have all participated in 2 group  exhibitions and a 3rd isimminent. So many thankyous to Renew Australia.

  • Crowther Contemporary

    This gallery supports the development of early career artists and curators showcasing monthly exhibitions of emerging talent.

    Being part of the Docklands Art Collective has allowed me to expand my practice and level of participation in the local art scene. It has helped foster the voices of a number of artists and their creative development.

  • Tree Paper Comics:

    An independent publisher of Australian comics, zines and art prints using Riso printers.

  • The Artists Guild

    This social enterprise and innovative art hub provides peer support for women artists.

    Thanks to Renew Australia and TDD we (were) able to host a number of exhibitions, provide countless numbers of the public with our art program and exhibitions.

  • Janicke Johansen

    This studio and gallery displayed Janicke’s artwork featuring interpretive and modern combining textures, patterns and intense colours to create responses to her environment and memory. Janicke also creates sculptures using recycled plastic, tape and wire as the core of the piece with a papier mache and plaster covering to create a stone like appearance.

    It has been great to work with and alongside other creatives in a fun and friendly environment. It feels a bit like we are a family working towards similar goals.

  • Tiger in the Jungle

    An indoor plant specialist passionate about detoxifying people’s living environments and adding life within the home, Tiger in the Jungle created an inspiring space and a well-regarded highlight to the precinct.

  • Octave Streetwear

    Octave is a proudly Australian, locally owned clothing label specialising in quality apparel for men, women and children.

    Renew Australia are fantastic! They gave my business partner and I a fabulous opportunity and (Renew) are so wonderful and dedicated, was an honour and a pleasure to work with them.

  • Australian Cartoon Museum

    The Australian Cartoon Museum collects, preserves and exhibits cartoons by Australian Cartoonists.

    Renew have been extremely helpful and have enabled Jim Bridges’ 35 year dream to come to fruition, for which we are very grateful. It has given us the opportunity to start new projects i.e. ToonTalk show and enable cartoonists to exhibit their work and keep up the interest of the public.