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Meet Hannah Willoughby Pearson, Senior Placemaker

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

Every month we shine a light on the fabulous people of Village Well by sharing a staff profile. Today we are introducing Hannah Willoughby Pearson, a placemaking strategist and data specialist who works from Melbourne.

Name & role: Hannah Willougby Pearson, Senior Placemaker, Village Well Melbourne.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Melbourne, in the western suburbs, and remain a proud westy to this day!

What is one thing that people don't know about you? One day I'd love to learn the saxophone! My life used to absolutely revolve around music, playing the piano and guitar for hours and hours every day.

What is your secret superpower? I love translating data for human accessibility. Visuals make it easier for our brains to understand and draw insights from complex information, which can help drive evidence-based decision-making and action. My superpower is translating information, ideas and aspirations from our research and engagement into easy-to-digest visualisations like infographics, maps, diagrams and graphic animations.

What is one of your favourite projects that you have worked on? It's hard to choose just one, but one of the first projects I worked on when I joined Village Well was with ARM and Geelong Arts Centre (GAC) on the redevelopment of Australia's largest regional arts centre in the heart of the Geelong Cultural Precinct. GAC's vision was to create a new home for the arts that breaks down barriers and fosters new creative opportunities and participation.

Image courtesy of Geelong Arts Centre

We developed a place experience framework informed by insightful conversations with future users and stakeholders, to guide the design and activation of GAC's public spaces. One of the highlights of the project was facilitating a workshop with young Wadawurrung and First Nations people to work together to develop ideas that would strengthen opportunities for young Indigenous people. After a year of covid-enforced online workshops, it was such a fun evening full of pizza and drumming, and inspiring individuals who brought fresh perspectives on what building meaningful connections to Country and community meant to them.

If you could invite 3 people to a dinner party who would you invite? Ben Folds, Lebbeus Woods & David Attenborough.

What AFL team do you support? I am a Richmond supporter, but more importantly, I play on the forward line for the Albert Park Falcons - we're about to head into finals! Kakaww!

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