Peet and Lakelands: The beating heart of community

Key Milestone

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Key Milestone

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Key Milestone

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From ground up: thriving, connected community.

The Opportunity

Growing a community from a greenfields development site carries enormous potential and possibility. The opportunity for Creating Communities and Peet at Lakelands Estates, Western Australia, was considerable as it was located between Rockingham and Mandurah—two significant hubs—yet there were no plans by the local authority to develop infrastructure there. The challenge was to co-create a well-connected, self-sufficient community from the ground up—a community that could grow and thrive from the earliest stages of development.

Peet and Lakelands: The beating heart of community


Peet’s Lakelands Estate sought to combine good planning and a sound approach in helping build the community. We worked with Peet to support the community to grow and thrive, even in the early days when community facilities had not been delivered. The project needed to connect community members during the early stages of the development, create self-sufficient and supportive community groups and facilitate business, government and not for profits in uniting in a common vision for the area.

Creating Communities has embedded the 8 Phases of Land Development (also known as The Peet Community Way) into all Peet developments. The approach follows a process of feasibility, planning, approvals, construction, first settlers, consolidation, exit strategy and post completions with clear plans and objectives for each phase.

In identifying the possibilities for this newly evolving community, Creating Community also utilised our Intentional Communities Matrix working through the four spheres of Community, Place, Self and Endeavours to envision and co-create a unique community at Lakelands. The model does not dictate and outcome but drives a process through walking with the community through a deliberate framework.


Our work with the community led to the evolution of the  Lakelands Heartbeat Group and initiatives such as the ‘Think Lakelands’ campaign to encourage local events and community projects, an environmental strategy and youth development programs. Each of these also fuelled a sense of belonging, involvement and connection; an entrepreneurial sense of pioneering that often accompanies co-creation.

The Global Financial Crisis contributed to large development (such as the shopping centre) being delayed for many years. The lack of an obvious hub sharpened the focus on the schools in the area – particularly Mandurah Baptist College – to become this hub of community. 

When the shopping centre was finally planned, it was a highly intentional process to ensure that management had a strong community emphasis. The result has been a hub for more than those who call Lakelands home.

Lakelands is now home to primary schools, a private college, shopping centre, the City of Mandurah Community Centre, parks and a lifestyle village. 

The community’s environmental initiatives, like the tree planting program, area now integrated into the local school curriculum and youth leadership program. This tree planting initiative has seen the planting of over 20,000 saplings over the course of fourteen years.

Another key project was conceptualising, seeking sponsors and bringing parties together to set up a Repair Café. The monthly event at a local shopping centre is run by volunteers who share their valuable skills and encourages people to have household items repaired rather than throwing them away and adding to landfill. 

Recent data shows 98% of residents are proud to belong to the Lakelands community. It’s a satisfying outcome resulting from involving community members so that they can build the skills, attributes and attitudes of people to live rich and full lives connected together.

The community-led approach has continued to grow in Lakelands with a number of community led groups and initiatives emerging. As these groups mature, an even stronger focus will be on ensuring the ongoing sustainability through a continued program of succession planning and capacity building within the community.

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