ACS Victoria will soon be relocating from South Melbourne to Docklands with outstanding new premises for members to enjoy.

Information Age speaks with Maria Markman, Chair of the Victoria Branch Executive Committee, about the reasons for moving, the benefits of the new space, and how Docklands came to be selected.

Information Age: What are the drivers for the relocation?

Maria Markman: ACS’ strategy contains a series of enablers to ensure that we, as a professional body, are fit for the future. One of these enablers is to identify market positions that ACS must take in order to deliver on its strategic plan. This includes reinvigorating and expanding ACS’ networks of influence and enhancing the member shop-front experience.

Victorian operations have been based at Level 2, 120 Clarendon St, Southbank in Victoria since 2009 and at the time of moving in, we had eight staff in the office. There are now 17 staff with many working from home, and this is set to increase with new Melbourne positions for which we’re currently recruiting. While we all work in technology, and distributed work teams are commonplace, we are very focused on building a sense of ACS community.

We currently have a small meeting room for member functions, however our new premises will have a large event space catering for 150 people, and a members’ area for co-working during business hours.

IA: How have you gone about identifying criteria that would maximise the benefit to members and ACS?

MM: The criteria had previously been determined in relocating ACS NSW and has been a part of a nationally consistent strategy to refresh the shop front.

ACS Tasmania was first to move, followed closely by NSW and then Northern Territory. Queensland has also recently been refreshed via co-location with River City Labs in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

Criteria specifically included:

  • Venue and facilities that build a sense of an ACS community
  • A single ACS site for promoting a sense of an ACS community (as opposed to multiple sites across Victoria)
  • A modern collaborative workspace for members and staff to enhance the ACS brand
  • Building image and quality
  • Venue as a contributor to ACS’ profile
  • Venue and facilities contribute to ACS membership growth ambitions
  • Close proximity to potential Professional Partners
  • Close proximity to public transport
  • Flexibility built into the design to ensure space is maximised
  • Capacity for expansion

IA: What was the process that was followed?

MM: The process actually started last May when a call for Expressions of Interest was sent out to market with 26 properties responding. Eight were selected from this list for viewing, which were eventually reduced to a shortlist of three, and ultimately 839 Collins Street in Docklands was selected.

A project team was established, of which I’ve been a part. The fit-out is nearing completion, and we anticipate taking occupancy in mid-July, and opening to ACS members by the end of July.

Take a look at the progress photos below: