The New Journey Centre Ballarat East
Our Journey Centres –
A story of love, magic and perfectionism
Kate is an Assets & Developments Project Specialist at Journey. What happens under her aegis is part of the magic of Journey. Because new or, in the case of Ballarat East, old buildings become those unique places we all love: Our Journey Centres.
What makes a house a Journey Centre?
First, individuality. Even though all Journey Centres are similar and have the same standards, they all have a personal touch or their own character. What they all have in common, however, is the desire to integrate as much natural light as possible, to have as much air as possible upwards with high ceilings, and to use warm neutral colours for walls, furniture, and artwork. And to integrate as many natural elements as possible. This includes planning the space in such a way that it is welcoming. For example, open entrances where it is possible to greet the families and open kitchens to integrate the kitchen team. That is also part of the planning that the good smell of the excellent Future Foodies menu can permeate the Centre. Everything should be inviting; it should feel like a second home. And the Journey team always manages to do that with outstanding results.
Of challenges, history and stunning results
The site on which the Journey Ballarat East Centre is now located has had a turbulent history. First reserved as a site for a mental hospital, it then became associated with child welfare services from 1865 until the mid-1980s. In 1987, the area was adapted for use by St Paul’s Technical School. The most recent occupant of the site, from 1995 to 2010, was Damascus College, a secondary co-educational school.
Our building from 1929 made up only a tiny part of the site and was called the toddlers’ block. Build as a detached building whose dormitory and standard rooms differed from the original orphanage of 1865. During its time, people used the ‘cottage model’ style, which involved housing children of the same age in dormitories. The buildings had a domestic look with joggled gables that resembled contemporary bungalows. Its walls were made of brick and plaster, and the entrance facing the street was kept small, similar to that of a regular house, with two small projecting bay windows. As regulations changed over time, the building underwent several remodels, eventually being converted into a school. Most recently, the building has stood empty for almost ten years. During this time, the building has genuinely suffered a bit.
The result after the renovation is just stunning. Even the old windows were saved and now open and close as quickly as if they were brand new. And those beautiful, exposed brick walls give the Centre this unique, warm character. It is truly unique.
Ballarat Community Day – The building is slowly coming to life.
On 25 February, as part of the Journey “Ballarat Community Day”, people could get a close-up look. And many came to see the new Centre in the old building. After weeks of preparation, we celebrated the new Centre in style: With lots of music, food, drinks and entertainment for the families. And now everyone, including us at Journey, can’t wait for the Centre to open its doors regularly in the coming weeks.