Queensland Family History Society Inc


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New premises for QFHS

From our president

I am delighted to announce Brisbane City Council has offered QFHS new premises at advantageous tenancy conditions... These are exciting times & I think it not unreasonable we enjoy a little celebration...

             So wooo hoooo! & happy dancing!

Read the entire email from Allana O'Kane here.

Below you will find answers to many questions members have raised already. We will keep you appraised of developments along the way. Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome and valued and we'll be creating many opportunities for your input.

At any time, please email your comments and suggestions to newpremises@qfhs.org.au


Quick links

(most recent at the top)

23 Sep 2022   Allana O'Kane: Notes from the Library Assistants' meeting, President's feedback

23 Sep 2022   Alex Daw: More library design ideas, LA meeting

23 Sep 2022   Carpet and furnishings options, LA meeting

23 Sep 2022   Feedback form for options provided - complete and email to newpremises@qfhs.org.au  

15 Sep 2022   New Premises, Consultations & more, President's email to members

17 Aug 2022   Alex Daw library design ideas, Members' Meeting

17 Aug 2022   Allana O'Kane presentation, Members' Meeting

09 Aug 2022   President's email (Allana O'Kane)


We need your feedback

A number of options for our new premises' design, furnishings and carpet were presented at the meeting of Library Assistants last Friday 23 September.

President Allana O'Lane provides an overview of the discussion and presentations in the document 'Notes from the Library Assistants' meeting'.

See the links above to view the options, and to download the feedback form to give your view. Email your completed form and any additional pages to newpremises@qfhs.org.au


Why must we move?

The Society has held its lease for 58 Bellevue Avenue, Gaythorne on a month-by-month basis for some years. This means that we could be asked to vacate with a month's notice.

Although our rent had not increased since 2015, it was a significant amount representing more than a third of our overall expenses.

The industrial estate where our current premises is located was recently sold with new owners taking possession on 1 August 2022.

On 1 August the new landlord served a Notice to Vacate our storage facility, a shed which we used as an archive space, due to renovations of that part of the industrial space.

On 2 August we received notice that our rent is to increase by more than 100%, effective from 1 September.


The search for new premises

Your Management Committee began looking for alternative accommodation for our Society some years ago, opting to search for publicly owned properties as the rent is significantly cheaper than the commercial rent we were paying.

Applications were submitted for many Brisbane City Council (BCC) properties as they became available, usually through a tender process. Over the years, Management Committee members developed and strengthened relationships with Councillors and council employees, as well as relevant state government members and employees.

In June this year, BCC offered QFHS the use of a council-owned building, without a competitive tender process. This building was too small for our needs, but another larger building became available shortly afterwards.

We successfully negotiated for the larger building to be offered to us without tender.


Where will we be moving to?

Our new home will be at 46 Delaware Street, Chermside, in the leafy surrounds of 7th Brigade Park.

Yes, we have checked - our building will not flood.

Delaware Road Qld Globe Map 

The red square in the image above shows the approximate location, it is not indicative of the site boundary.

Sometimes 46 Delaware Street is listed as Geebung, the official BCC suburb boundary is in the middle of Delaware Street, as on the Queensland Govermnent map above.

This expansive park offers lush green space with playgrounds, sports fields, hiking and biking paths and picnic sites. The park was the site of the Chermside Army Camp for the Australian Military Forces (the voluntary part-time militia) from 1940-1946 and was the largest of its kind in Brisbane. 

Other facilities in or adjoining the park include the BCC Chermside Library, the Kedron-Wavell Services Club, and the Chermside Historical Precinct. The former two contain possible venues for our larger meetings and education events. The latter includes the former Chermside State School (1900), the Sandgate Drill Hall (1915) and the Training Ship Voyager Centre Sea Scouts' hall. It is the home of the Chermside and Districts Historical Society.


What's our new premises like?

46 Delaware Street was built as a scout hall and, more recently, was a KALP disability respite and activity centre, part of HELP Disability Care.

The building is 240 square metres in size (plus garage of 18 sqm), slightly smaller than the 306 square metres (plus shed of 60 sqm) of our current premises.

Allana showed us floorplans and photos of the interior and surroundings in her presentation at the August members' meeting. There is a roomy central area allowing flexibility in how we use the space, avoiding room lost to hallways. It is in good condition with a modern kitchen, no stairs and good concreted access.

There is a pleasant outdoor garden area, ideal for informal gatherings, meetings, or just quietly relaxing.

Our neighbours will be a kindergarten, a cricket field, a bike path, and low density housing.

The annual rent will be about 2% of that to be charged by the new owners of our Gaythorne premises. Yes, that's 2%!

We will have a 'licence to occupy' the premises for a year, during which we demonstrate to BCC our value as good tenants. BCC will then offer us a lease. As good tenants, we can reasonably expect to remain in the leased premises for as long as the Society needs a home there.

There will be some changes and renovations needed to make the building suit our needs and a 'New Premises Team' is already investigating these.

There's existing internet access which we'll most likely upgrade to meet our data-heavy needs. Other considerations include air-conditioning and ventilation, insulation,  security, safety, acoustics, solar panels, a permanent set-up for hybrid meetings, and more.


Access and public transport

There is excellent bus transport. Bus routes 336 and 337 stop at the end of the street on Newman Road, 527 metres away. The express bus 325 also stops on Newman Road, a little further away (about 650 metres) near Geebung State School. Look up timetables for these buses here.

A walking and bike path passes the building, linking to the extensive network of such paths across Brisbane and providing a comfortable 30-minute walk from the transport hub at Westfield Chermside.

There is generous off-street parking and additional on-street parking is permitted.


Will the Society look and feel the same?

Our move provides an opportunity to refresh and update our premises and to think about what's important for QFHS in years to come.

While we have successfully added a significant online aspect to our Society, both in providing resources and in meetings and education opportunities, our physical home will always be our base and our "home away from home."

Many options are possible for the layout and use of our new Library and Resource Centre. At the August members' meeting Alex Daw provided views of some other libraries to get us thinking.

We'd like your input - what would you like most? Is there a particular activity that you see as a priority? What can we provide to make QFHS the best it can be? Should we introduce more colour? How can we best create a bright, vibrant space? Dream big and let us know! newpremises@qfhs.org.au 


When will we move?

The New Premises team is well advanced in planning our move, which will take several months to do carefully, safely and with minimal disruption.

 We expect to be established at 46 Delaware Street before Christmas 2022.


Must we downsize our collections?

The print library and TAG teams are well underway reviewing our physical collections and assessing them using the QFHS Collections Policy as a guide to relevance and significance. Some material may be deaccessioned following the QFHS policy, but, because we’ve been able to secure a larger-than-hoped-for building, such items are unlikely to be a significant proportion of our resources.

There is less space in the new building but more opportunity for efficient storage, such as the use of compactus for infrequently used resources or those to be digitised.


The Gaythorne shed

A small team has been hard at work auditing, assessing and, largely, deaccessioning material stored in the QFHS storage shed. This was in the industrial estate adjoining our Gaythorne building and was very dusty, damp, and hot in summer. Materials stored there have not aged well.

The shed contents have been assessed and, as appropriate, returned to the main premises, sold or given away, or disposed according to our deaccessioning policy.


How do I find out more, ask questions or give feedback?

We want to keep our whole community of members and supporters informed and connected to us throughout this important time.

Your views are valued. If you have questions, comments, or opinions to share, or need more information please email newpremises@qfhs.org.au

You can attend an information session - invitations to these will be emailed to members. Updates on our premises and the move will be discussed at each monthly Members’ Meeting. All members will be invited to have their say in a survey, to help the New Premises Team prioritise and select the best options for us all.

There’ll be updates in our monthly enewsletter Snippets. At any time, you can find up-to-date information about our new premises and our farewell to 58 Bellevue Avenue at this page.

We appreciate your patience as we work towards our historic transformation to our new home.