May Peace Prevail on Earth – A Peace Pole for Teesdale?

peacepoll 3Brenda Humphries, a Teesdale Community Coordinator offered this delightful contribution on Teesdale placemaking.

I thought it a fitting post to round out the past year and reflect on the new!

If ever the was a ‘right time’ to bring this suggestion to our town, it is now.After the sadness and violence of yesterday that was inflicted on innocent children and adults I propose we give a little time to thinking about PEACE.

So much of what we read in the media, or watch on TV or the computer games we allow our children to play, are heavily laced with violence, war and misfortune. We give our kids giant water cannons to play with, toy guns to pretend to kill others with, and wonder why they grow up to think that it is OK to kill, abuse, and violate others.

Can we find the courage that it takes to go against what is accepted as the ‘norm’?. I would like to suggest that we create a symbol of PEACE in Teesdale.

A PEACE POLE is a beautiful reminder that we would like Peace to Prevail on earth. This would be a visual reminder that our town is a ‘ZONE OF PEACE’ to all who live here, pass through here or visit Teesdale.

There is a Peace Pole in the Geelong Botanic Gardens and many thousands throughout the world. Just Google Peace Poles.

A garden could be created around it, involving the school and kindergarten children, and this could begin, the culture of peace in Teesdale, rather than letting the seeds of violence grow  in the fertile minds of our children. It could be incorporated into the landscaping design for the town.

Every September 21st in International Day of Peace, this could be a focus and opportunity for a positive event at the Turtle.

In Geelong West there is a Peace Garden, and in Newtown Primary, a Peace Tree.

Having a Peace Pole, maybe in the grassy area on the road side of the Turtle Park, will be a constant reminder that Teesdale cares. Cares enough to be the first town in Golden Plains Shire to commit a peaceful symbol.

World Peace will never be achieved if it doesn’t start with me, my family, my town and so the Ripple Spreads out.


Editors Note. If you are reading this post see the comments below. You might also want to read those from Gavin here. You might also want to read Stewart Seaton’s contribution here

11 thoughts on “May Peace Prevail on Earth – A Peace Pole for Teesdale?

  1. Having been a Teesdale resident for 25 years & about 3 years as a Community Coordinator, I have observed our traffic & parking problems, given it much thought & discussed it with fellow Coordinators & residents.
    I was unable to attend either of the two Sunday meetings & was surprised that the current unsafe traffic problems around the school & general store did not appear to have taken precedence over beautification/artistic suggestions.
    Here are my thoughts regarding the Teesdale main street upgrade/streetscape project:-

    The carpark opposite the general store – whils’t accepting that it may not be a popular move to remove it, the existence of the tree & wheely bin in it’s centre limits the carpark’s capacity. Ideally there would be entrance only at the west end & exit only from the east end with marked angle parking on the north & south sides. A “no parking at specific times” area would be reserved for the mobile library at the west end as now. The wheely bin could be relocated to a point near the picnic tables – thus reducing the current littering problem.

    School drop off & pickup parking – the unofficial dirt area adjacent to the supervised crossing should be sealed with marked angle parking & entrance & exit from Sutherland St. The assetion by some community members that the carpark opposite the shop be used for this purpose is not practical – parents won’t use it & it’s not large enough to cater for school & shop parking.

    Pedestrian crossings – should be established (1) between the general store & carpark opposite & (2) at a point near the bus shelter opposite the kindergarten.

    Speed limits – 60 kph between Learmonth St & Panticks Rd & between Lethbridge Rd & Tolson St. 50 kph between Tolson St & Panticks Rd with 40 kph in school zone & times as now.

    General Store parking – formal roadside kerbing & signage should be installed to prevent parking on the south side facing east & remove the current confused & dangerous parking. The area in front of the shop should be resealed & kerbed with line marking & signage for two parallel car parks, leaving space for pedestrian passage. The area beside the shop also be sealed & line marked to provide controlled formal parking. Consideration could be given to relocating the telephone & post boxes to provide more parking space & allow a safer means of re-entering the highway. A “hole in the wall” post box in the front wall of the shop would probably be beneficial to the shop owners as well as the community.


    Ex service station shed – GP Shire could lease the shed for community use & possible rental of space for commercial use. Seal around it’s perimeter to provide additional car parking for both shop & community parking. An Economic Development Strategy study of Teesdale is soon to be carried out on behalf of the GP Shire which may identify possible commercial development.

    CFA station – should remain where it is with reinstatement of siren use.

    Roadside beautification – as described & suggested at the two Sunday meetings. This would include town entrance features similar in location to Lethbridge. Local paper advertisements in October 2012 seeking design submissions from the community drew no interest. The town limits as advised by GP Shire are the now closed tip road to the east & Bakers Lane to the west.

    Geoff Wild.

  2. Thanks Geoff,

    Clearly it would have been fantastic had you attended.

    As you point out, all those tarmac and car parking treatments suggested will leave little money for anything else.

    The other consideration is the proposed impact.

    Shiny new car parks without pedestrian or walking amenity are most likely to encourage the use of cars instead of anything else.

    Most traffic engineers call this induced demand. Their rule of thumb is the better the surface, the more likely more people will drive on it, and at a faster pace, and more safely.

    What engineers forget to mention is that every time they opt for car preferring improvements, fewer people will walk comfortably or feel safe crossing. Thus the more necessary pedestrian lights become…

    It’s commonly called a vicious rather than virtuous circle, and possibly not consistent with promoting a happy, heathy and connected community.

    Other communities are thinking more sustainably about how to encourage more walking, active transport and physical activity generally. One of the standout and local websites worth trawling through for heaps of information is Barwon Heads Walks. Another is Walk21 where you will find links to the latest evidence on walking and its health, physical activity, economic and social sustainability benefits.

    and Happy New Year!
    from The Project Team

    • There is a history to the Teesdale main St which you may not have been briefed about. The matters I raised are not new infrastructure – they are simply making safe what is already there & in use with inherent dangers which need to be addressed.

      The Community Coordinator reps attended several meetings with the previous Golden Plains Shire Works Manager Mr Rick Hattam which were leading to a possible solution to the school drop off & pick up parking problem when Mr Hattam transferred out of his job. Since Mr Hattam’s departure I have maintained communication with his replacement Mr Peter Cameron. Early in 2012 Mr Cameron advised me that the school parking matter would be considered in the forthcoming Main Street Upgrade project for which a grant of approx $500K had been received. He later said that the works to be carried out would be designed to address car parking, pedestrian access, guttering & signage concerns on the main road between the primary school & the kindergarten. He agreed with me that solving the unsafe parking bedlam around the shop would be a high priority. He advised me that a surveying firm had been engaged as part of the planning during which community consultation would be carried out. He said that he had already had discussions with the principal of the Primary School. Surveyors were then seen working through the section of the main road Mr Cameron referred to. You can see the pink pegs about the place.

      I assumed that the community consultation process would be conducted by the Shire Officers who were responsible for the upgrade & familiar with the problems needing to be addressed.

      You refer me to the matter of pedestrian & bicycle amenity. These are being addressed as part of the Golden Plains Shire Paths & Trails Strategy being led by GPS Recreation Team Leader Mr Shaan Briggs. I am the Teesdale rep on that project. Teesdale’s no. 1 priority is the long awaited bike/walking trail Shelford to Bannockburn (which is priority 3 on the 2011 Community Plan), no. 2 is a bike/pedestrian creek crossing at the north end of Sutherland St connecting to a regularly mown path along Panticks Rd to Turtle Bend, no. 3 is a path from from the main road path along the Inverleigh Rd to the Inverleigh Flora & Fauna Reserve & no. 4 is a path in Lethbridge Rd from the main road path to Russell St.

  3. Thanks Geoff,

    I expect that clarifies everything.

    Engineers are as always engineers and will always see the world primarily through an engineering prism. Other people with different skills and ways in the world might see the world ever so slightly differently.

    Just two things…

    * You might want to check but my understanding is that the paths and trails strategy deals with interconnecting routes not internal township walking and cycling routes.

    * And as to the funds, no township has half a million to fritter away. In Teesdale the total amount available from the grant is $410,000 only.

    This means everyone will have to make choices and prioritise what is important. We have deliberately designed this Project to ensure the outcome is a township decision, has the best chance of building community vitality and is respectful of the work and plans already made.

    No-one is ignoring other things happening. But I expect it is no engineers picnic either.

    You can find more information on the planning heritage for Teesdale on the website under Teesdale.

    • I’m not sure who I’m communicating with but you are definitely misinformed. Derogatory remarks about engineers serves no purpose – they are an integral part of any solution to the problems existing in Teesdale.

      As I advised previously, I am the Teesdale rep on the Paths & Trails Strategy reference group so I don’t need to check it’s scope – it DOES cover paths & trails in each individual town.

      The Teesdale Community Coordinators advice from the GPS was that the Main Street Upgrade project allocation for Teesdale was $150K for stage 1 (planning) & $410K overall. (I quoted $500k because I was too lazy to look it up).

      The 2011 (current) Community Plan results from community consultation so items from such are decisions made by the townspeople.

      I also neglected to mention previously that the GPS Economic Development group plan to carry out an economic feasibility study of Teesdale & to this end the GPS Economic Development Manager Mr Damian Carter proposes to attend the next Community Coordinators meeting on 15 January.

      Geoff Wild.

      • Hi Geoff

        I’ve thought about how to answer this all weekend and which approach to take.

        I decided a few things….

        The first is to say the Paths and Trails response I gave is the same given to the community at the meeting on 16th December by Paul Ryan.

        Paul is the Project Manager on this Project [his contact details are provided on the Contacts page]. Anyone can contact Paul if they want.

        Paul works for Peter Cameron, and accounts to both Peter Cameron and Damien Waight on this Project. I understand both are well briefed on progress. Peter Cameron attended the meeting in Teesdale in November and seemed quite pleased with the process and outcomes.

        Indeed, Paul, in some excitement, let everyone at the meeting in Teesdale in December know how well the community had received the project and how excited they were about potential outcomes. Not only did he get a range of enthusiastic emails from across the Project participants, but the GPS CEO told him so.

        The second is to say I am Carmel Boyce, and part of the Project team, facilitating the process and providing social media skills. Equity Justice Access is my social planning practice. My website contains a lot of information about what I do.

        In summary I am a highly respected social planner, and a healthy environments practitioner who spends much of my time promoting solutions to some of the more unhealthy aspects of built environments. These include elements which exclude, which promote sedentary behaviours rather than physical activity and are causal of ill health, obesity, diabetes and loss of mobility in later life.

        Otherwise in my spare time I, much like David Engwicht, am an internationally published author in peer reviewed journals, my specialty is walkability. I’ve given many papers at national and international conferences etc. Much of what I do is work with Engineers who don’t know a lot about social environments or walking generally, or walking environments to improve outcomes for people walking and their communities.

        In walking people are able to gain their national daily physical activity dose required to maintain good health. Side benefits of a community that walks include but are not limited to lower rates of disability, depression and dementia, happier, more convivial community, more economically vibrant local communities, better educational outcomes for children and healthier environmental outcomes.

        Not bad for a bit of high amenity pavement which encourages walking even if the cost is a little bit of public art, or some sensitive environmental planting.


      • Pleased to meet you Carmel,

        sorry if I touched a raw nerve – I didn’t mean to but you have come across in a condescending manner.

        I spoke with Peter Cameron today & confirmed that the information I have given you is correct – the total budget for all towns is about $2m.

        After speaking with Peter I am assured that logic will prevail & that the safety related infrastructure issues will be addressed as well as beautification works where appropriate.


        Geoff Wild.

  4. The PEACE POLE suggestion was from me, Brenda Humphries, one of the Teesdale coordinators. And with all my heart, I would love peace to prevail on earth, starting in Teesdale.
    Kind regards, Brenda

  5. It’s Brenda again – can the heading please be changed to read PEACE POLE instead of PEACE POLL please? Thank you very much 🙂

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