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St John Ambulance National Headquarters

By nanzan - 7 July 2009 9

I recently noticed that St John Ambulance Australia has recently relocated its national headquarters, vacating their iconic building (and a prime piece of real estate) in Canberra Avenue in Forrest. They have moved to a suite of offices inside the Realm Hotel (!) in Barton, which seems quite a change.

Does anyone know what has happened to precipitate this change? (is it for financial reasons perhaps?), and does anyone know what is going to happen to the old national office – it would fetch a very tidy sum at auction I would imagine.

But, it is such a nice building, with some heritage, and interesting architectural values, and so it seems a little sad if it is leaving the St John Ambulance fold.

Surely it won’t just be knocked down – like so many other buildings recently in Canberra Avenue?

What’s Your opinion?


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9 Responses to
St John Ambulance National Headquarters
ant 9:16 am 08 Jul 09

They might need the money. That report on the WA operation was horrifying, and very sad.

nanzan 9:04 am 08 Jul 09

ant said :

I’m watching the repeat of this week’s 4 Corners. Hopefully this organisation in WA is different from that in ACT.

It’s the same organisation in that the WA branch is part of a national organisation, which has its national office here.

I did wonder, however, with several court cases happening at the moment, and maybe with more looming (perhaps including in Western Australia), that that was one of the reasons St John Ambulance was selling their real estate in Forrest.

ant 11:42 pm 07 Jul 09

I’m watching the repeat of this week’s 4 Corners. Hopefully this organisation in WA is different from that in ACT.

housebound 2:29 pm 07 Jul 09

Without passing comment on St John’s, it’s generally very sad when these old buildings are let run down to the point of it being ‘too expensive’ too maintain.

The reason other countries have really old heritage is because they didn’t demolish just because it wasn’t really old yet – probably not because of good planning, though.

peterh 2:12 pm 07 Jul 09

CapitalK said :

I wasn’t having a go at St John Ambulance – they are a very worthwhile organisation

I am not saying that you were. but doma group are offering space, and it is close to the priory, so it makes sense for St John’s to move close by. It may be a temporary arrangement, whilst the building is refurbished.

CapitalK 2:05 pm 07 Jul 09

I wasn’t having a go at St John Ambulance – they are a very worthwhile organisation

peterh 1:22 pm 07 Jul 09

CapitalK said :

they are on prime real estate and have relocated to Realm (not the cheapest rent in Canberra) – Realm is owned by Doma who are developers
conspiracy anyone

oh, yes. it is a conspiracy.

The priory was in need of refurbishment, it is very old, the roof leaks, and the cost of upkeep (for a charity) was pretty high. I doubt that the move was taken lightly, and would have been done after consultation with the council and the branches. re the priory building, if they knock it down and re-build on it, what is to say that it will be sold? St John’s may build other buildings there, like a home for the training group, or the operations group. But, at the end of the day, it is their building and site, and is for them to do with as they will. The sale of the site would be an incredible boost to the coffers, and allow them to fix up other areas of the organisation.

CapitalK 1:08 pm 07 Jul 09

they are on prime real estate and have relocated to Realm (not the cheapest rent in Canberra) – Realm is owned by Doma who are developers
conspiracy anyone

midlife 1:02 pm 07 Jul 09

I am sure it will be knocked down. It is an old building probably needing some repairs. A developer would consider it a waste of a good block. Look at its neighbours all are redevelopments. The only good thing is that St Johns should get a windfall from the sale which will assist them in doing their good work.

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