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By Patrick Laverick

Sam Hamilton has been in Pakington Street only six months and it’s already paid off after winning $500 in a competition to help make the street safer and more desirable.
The manager of Earth to Life, who also holds a marketing degree, said he looked at what other shopping strips were doing to improve their image.
“My ideas were basically a big combination of things that I’ve seen from travelling around and seeing what works for towns and streets.”
He suggested a number of ways to add culture and create a buzz around the shopping strip, including live music events, art installations and twilight markets.
“I’m really supportive of anything creative like art and music, I’m really passionate about that stuff.
“Maybe some live music and events and statues and maybe some murals and paintings and I think the street’s great for the shopping side of it and the cafes, there’s a great structure there, it just needs a bit of tender loving care on the outside.
“I feel like if you can harness people’s creative passion you can give them the chance to do what they love and that energy’s going to come through to the street.
“If you can put a few nice artworks on some blank walls and give it a bit of colour then it’s just going to attract people to the street.”
The competition was put together by a traders group to improve safety and amenity after a string of robberies earlier this year.
Brown’s Mensland’s Cameron Brown presented the prize. He said traders are looking at new ways to breathe life into the street.
“Sam had made a really good entry; you could kind of hear his passion coming through and his enthusiasm coming through in the entry.
“There was a lot of good ideas, a lot of shared ideas, everyone wanted to push the idea of street art, more creative type of things, I think that Geelong West has a bit of a reputation for being very close to a Melbourne lifestyle.”

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