Build a more inclusive community sports hub at Brens Pavilion!

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We, the undersigned, request that the City of Melbourne and the Victorian Government support a rapid and complete rebuild of the unnamed pavilion next to Brens, Smith and Walker Ovals, located in Parkville.

We need a facility that:

  • current and future tenant AFL, Rugby, Gridiron, Cricket clubs and the local community can be genuinely proud of;
  • is welcoming, safe and actually caters to the needs of sportspeople, supporters and visitors;
  • enables clubs to grow and retain members, both players and supporters;
  • is inclusive, and will make access easy for all community members through attractive and functional social areas, bathrooms and all-weather spectator viewing.

We urge CoM to place/fund this sporting redevelopment as their number one priority in 2019/20.

This facility was built in 1961. With the recent and welcome explosion of women’s involvement in sport and physical activity, the pavilion is completely inadequate to support current clubs and future expansion. There is no provision to incorporate the numerous women’s AFL, Rugby and Gridiron teams that use these grounds, let alone with the increase in men’s participation in these sports over the past ten years. All teams that use this pavilion have restricted usage of changerooms, toilets and showers during concurrent games on the four sports fields each weekend. There are not enough changerooms for everyone to use, with four home and four away (8) teams expected to fit into five changerooms. The open shower block features a full view of urinals from the door-less entrance, has no cubicles for privacy, and is unisex as there are no other options. For these reasons, this area is rarely used by teams or individuals. The scarcity of toilets (1 dedicated for women) and bathrooms is unacceptable considering the increasing participation of players and supporters. The facility is outdated and unsafe; it is old and tired. The space far from exemplifies the ACTIVE MELBOURNE Strategy that CoM has as policy.

The solution we propose is a rebuild with an increase in the size of the pavilion, with purpose-built features and thoughtful design that aim to promote and develop sport for the area; a building that has a vision and capacity for growth to support inclusion of all genders. There is a real opportunity for this space to be a valuable and vibrant community hub but this cannot happen without significant change and investment. Through collaboration and consultation, sporting stakeholders, members from the City of Melbourne Recreation branch along with CoM architects have the power to create an exemplary sporting facility that can be enjoyed by all for years to come. We request that the Victorian Government back our endeavour by recognising our need and promptly allocating appropriate funds.

Please support us by signing and commenting, particularly if you belong to a tenant club at these grounds. Thanks for your time.


Photo: inside the existing shower block at the pavilion with its view of urinals and toilets.