Transformation Of Surry Hills Children’s Court Is Now Complete

Transformation Of Surry Hills Children’s Court Is Now Complete

New South Wales Attorney General Mark Speakman

Historic Sydney Children’s Court Rebooted

Victor P Taffa

$38 Million transformation of one of New South Wales’s oldest children’s courts is complete, with the official opening of the state-of-the-art Surry Hills Children’s Court by Attorney General Mark Speakman.

“107-year-old building, which hasn’t operated as a court for almost 35 years, has been brought back to life in a stunning redevelopment that will improve how justice is delivered for young people. The project is a fine example of the New South Wales Government’s commitment to enhancing justice infrastructure across the state.” Attorney General Speakman said.

Behind the heritage façade on Albion Street is a high-tech and secure complex with 4 courtrooms and facilities for alternative dispute resolution.

Surry Hills Children’s Court building has a bright and comfortable atmosphere with natural light streaming through a glass roof and into the foyer.

“Attending court can be daunting, particularly for victims of crime and young people involved in care and protection proceedings, so it’s important we do all we can to make the court environment as stress-free as possible.” Attorney General Speakman said.

Other features include:

  • Audio visual link facilities for children appearing in court from juvenile justice centres and witnesses testifying from remote locations;
  • Private area for vulnerable witnesses to give evidence via closed circuit cameras;
  • Interview rooms for the legal profession, offices for key stakeholders and rooms for support agencies;
  • Holding cells complex.

Original cells have been preserved and will be used as a storeroom. An old ‘Sunday best’ children’s boot found during construction is on display in the foyer, along with other artefacts unearthed during excavation.

“Builders of the 1911 complex superstitiously hid the boot behind a fireplace to ward off evil. The centuries-old tradition continues with a modern workman’s boot containing time capsule information now secreted in the building.” Attorney General Speakman said.