Meet Inglewood’s Local Doers: Ben Kent from Inglewood on Beaufort

Town Team Local Doers Inglewood On Beaufort Ben Kent
Home >Local Doers >Meet Inglewood’s Local Doers: Ben Kent from Inglewood on Beaufort

We like to bang on about how great (or rather, OK!) Perth is – but our greatness doesn’t just happen out of nowhere!

With a mission to create thriving, connected and empowered communities, Town Team Movement is all about “doers”.

We’re partnering up with Town Team Movement so we can shine a light on some of the people who help make our communities so unique, and just a few of the excellent initiatives they’re working on.

This week, we’re featuring Ben Kent, one of the brains behind Inglewood on Beaufort, one of Inglewood’s local Town Teams.

Town Team Local Doers Inglewood On Beaufort Ben Kent

In just a couple of sentences, could you tell me who you are?

Sure, my name is Ben Kent. I live in Maylands, and I’m the chair of Inglewood on Beaufort. I work in the Community Development and Placemaking world.

What is your idea of placemaking?

I believe placemaking involves bringing together a diverse group of people to take ownership of their local neighbourhood. It’s about instilling their own ideas and passions into the community. For me, it represents a democratic approach to city and town planning.

Can you provide examples of how placemaking has been applied in your projects?

In Inglewood, we gathered people in response to the local government’s planning for Beaufort Street’s future. While the government focused on buildings and planning frameworks, our community wanted immediate action and a say in our suburb’s future. One successful project has been our Monday Night Markets, which transformed Beaufort Street into a vibrant destination beyond business hours, fostering community interaction and engagement.

What motivated your involvement in the Town Team?

Growing up in a small, close-knit community, I sought that village vibe even in the city. Inglewood and Maylands offered a diverse, welcoming environment where I could make a difference beyond knowing my neighbours. Additionally, living in a queer-friendly neighbourhood with a slower pace resonated with me and my husband.

Why do you believe bringing people together through projects fosters community?

In today’s increasingly disconnected world, people crave a sense of belonging and connection. Placemaking initiatives bring individuals back to public spaces, facilitating interactions and shared experiences. It’s crucial for citizens to be actively involved in shaping the future of their cities, as they ultimately build and inhabit these spaces.

Would you say bringing people out onto the streets is central to Inglewood’s approach?

Absolutely. We aim to shift the perception of Inglewood from a mere thoroughfare to a vibrant community hub. By fostering a sense of neighbourhood camaraderie and shared responsibility, we’ve seen tremendous positive changes in our area.

Can you share successful projects that have brought people together?

We’ve organised various activities like walking tours, family gatherings, and the recent Inglewood Arts Hub, which celebrates cultural diversity through arts and music. These initiatives not only enhance community cohesion but also provide platforms for individuals to connect in a casual, welcoming environment.

Do you see a connection between your role in the Town Team and your job at RAC?

Absolutely. My involvement in the Town Team led me to my role at RAC, where I advocate for transforming neighbourhoods to prioritise people over cars. RAC’s vision aligns with placemaking principles, emphasising road safety, sustainable transport, and connected communities. It’s been rewarding to apply my local experiences to a statewide scale.

Town Team Local Doers Inglewood On Beaufort Ben Kent

What motivates you to volunteer and dedicate your time to community projects?

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Growing up in a small town where volunteering was essential, I learned the value of community engagement early on. Additionally, experiences abroad, like living in South America, highlighted the importance of vibrant public spaces. Volunteering allows me to make a tangible impact and foster connections within my community.

How do you envision the future for Inglewood?

My vision is for Inglewood to remain a vibrant, inclusive community, welcoming people from diverse backgrounds. We aim to focus on culturally diverse programming and engagement, possibly through art and culinary initiatives, to further enrich our neighbourhood’s fabric.

Want to get involved and become a doer in your own community? Head to the Town Team Movement website to learn more.

Photography and interview by Ophélie Barbeauedited by Perth is OK!