Dormant hall to reopen for all

June 14, 2024 BY

New beginning: Shelford Public Hall committee of management secretary and treasurer Carol Cations said the site's newer building will soon be available for use again following foundational safety works. Photos: TIM BOTTAMS

AFTER four years of disuse, a much-loved community asset at Shelford is set to be revived.

With its younger building condemned since COVID lockdowns, the town’s public hall facilities will soon be reopened to the community following safety repairs slated to take place within the next few weeks.

The initiative has been organised by the site’s management committee, including treasurer and secretary Carol Cations. She said the group is excited for works to get underway.

“We’re just waiting on the builders to start which is supposed to start any day now,” Ms Cations said.

“We haven’t been able to use the hall for anything since 2020.”Number one, we want to make the space safe again, and number two, we’ll do a whole range of other things to make things more efficient.

“The next stage will be repairing the building’s foundation, then onto water mitigation and electrical safety. The works should take two to three weeks, so following that, we can contact council about lifting the work order.

“We may have a town party to celebrate.”

The repair works have been funded with two rounds of $50,000 grants from the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action, as well as $50,000 from Berrybank Wind Farm, to go towards water mitigation and switchboard upgrades.

The Shelford Public Hall committee of management have worked for nearly half a decade to bring the facilities back to life.


Though the management committee’s required $2000 portion has been donated by Leighburn Farm, the group is still going ahead with a previously-planned sausage sizzle fundraiser at Bunnings in North Geelong on Saturday 29 June.

“Anything else we can get is a bonus,” Ms Cations said.

Groups such as the Shelford Progress Association, the local fire brigade and cricket club have previously utilised the space.

The site’s carpark is also set to receive an overhaul thanks to funding through Golden Plains Shire’s Community Strengthening Grants program, while the management committee is also planning to have the space utilised as a flood emergency space.

Ms Cations said the committee will direct their efforts towards the site’s older hall following repairs on the newer one.

“My vision here is to have this smaller hall open again for smaller meetings and gatherings,” she said.

“A lot of people remark on how ugly the new building is from the outside so we may look into covering the façade and making it look more attractive and like a wool shed, because it’s actually heritage-listed.”

The site’s younger building was established in the 1970s as an expansion from the original hall, which was built in the late 19th century and previously used as a mechanics’ institute until the early 1920s.