The Redevelopment

m3269_7184_©Trevor Mein 2019

What are we doing?

Royal Far West is dedicated to supporting country kids to access the developmental care they need and has been delivering vital services from our beachfront home in Manly for nearly 100 years.

As the need for our services has never been greater, our aim is to create a new space that allows us to support both current and future generations of country kids.

This next stage will see the redevelopment of our beachfront land on South Steyne and, through the rejuvenation of our existing site, we will bring to life our vision of a vibrant environment that is mission-driven and that the whole community can enjoy – an iconic design for an iconic site.

The redevelopment will be inclusive and innovative, drawing different people and a mix of health and lifestyle-related functions and services together with high-end residential to support our work and create much-needed amenity for the community in which we reside.

This follows the first stage of our redevelopment, the Centre for Country Kids (CCK) in Wentworth Street, which opened in December 2018.

young girl sitting on the back of a cart

Why are we redeveloping?

Royal Far West exists to support ‘Children’s Health, Country Wide’ – and the need for our services has never been greater. We need to expand, both in size and in funding, in order to improve the health and wellbeing of many more country kids. Children in rural and remote regions are five times more likely than children in urban areas to have developmental health challenges. The growing prevalence of behavioural issues, speech and language delays, mental ill health and intellectual disability, coupled with a gross inequity of services between city and country, is driving unrelenting demand.

In the last decade we have grown tenfold in the people we have supported, and in the next decade we’ll have at least the same challenge again, with the impact of chronic drought, bushfires and COVID-19. Our redeveloped site will be the key to enable us to sustainably grow our services, both socially and financially, to help many more country kids and families.

Generous donors throughout our history have gifted us funds and land, and we feel a deep responsibility to utilise these priceless gifts to futureproof our charity’s services for the next 100 years. This includes creating revenue-producing opportunities, all of which will be used to support country kids in need, both today and tomorrow.

We also feel an inherent responsibility to the Manly community due to our deep historical roots; hence our new health and wellbeing-focused site will create much-needed amenities for the Northern Beaches community.

Emulating the community collaboration, care and attention to detail shown through the planning of our Centre for Country Kids, our aim is to create an architectural legacy on our iconic beachfront site.

For us at Royal Far West it’s all about the kids and as our dear friends, neighbours and partners we want to share this journey with you as we bring to life our dream of gifting country kids and families a brighter future in perpetuity.


How will we be doing it?

The redevelopment of our site physically represents our commitment to Manly. To that end, we’ve appointed two of Australia’s most lauded architects; Glenn Murcutt and Angelo Candalepas, who will help us ensure the new Royal Far West becomes a beacon for smart, modern and contemporary design that respects the context of its surrounds and its immediate proximity to the world-renowned Manly Beach.

Not only are they globally acclaimed architects, but Glenn, as a former local, intimately understands the micro-climate, light and landscape of Manly. Having grown up in Clontarf and attended the former Manly Boys’ High School, Glenn has an intimate knowledge of the area and of the service provided by Royal Far West.

For both Royal Far West and our esteemed architects, we see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to give back to Manly through a visionary, community-embracing development that supports local jobs and existing businesses and improves the overall public realm of Manly and its town centre.

“For every sound urban proposition, there is a need to understand the landscape first. The most memorable places connect people to their land and they do so with great subtlety and without complication……Manly is an ancient place of land meeting water and its archaic nature has been understood by its occupants for thousands of years….. We have sought to provide an example where there can be seen a connection between the everyday human uses of spaces to the landscape in which they are set. “ 

– Glenn Murcutt and Angelo Candalepas

This redevelopment will help secure the long-term future of Royal Far West through a mix of health and lifestyle-related services that are aligned to our mission and which contribute to the delivery of a place for the whole community to enjoy.

We’re also building upon what we’ve created in the first stage of our redevelopment; the CCK, a state-of-the-art paediatric centre that has already doubled our capacity to deliver telehealth speech, psychology and occupational therapy to country kids, while its contemporary appearance adds appeal and vibrancy to the Manly Beach precinct.


Amenities the community can enjoy

Not only are we aiming to design an integrated neighbourhood for country kids, but one that is also the pride and joy of the local Manly community.

At completion, we hope that the whole community will be able to utilise the site in varying ways. For example, we are endeavouring to include new facilities that local Northern Beaches and Royal Far West client families can attend and enjoy, as well as a flexible workspaces for local small businesses and entrepreneurs, and high-end residential apartments for people of all ages and stages in life.

The community will also be able to access well-considered landscaped public domain – a lush angophora forest, full of native Australian plants.


The future of Drummond House

Drummond House will be an integral part of the redevelopment. The building’s façade will remain in place on Wentworth Street, whilst its interiors will be revitalised to provide purpose-built accommodation facilities designed specifically to support country kids and their families who travel to Manly from all around Australia for respite and health care.

Drummond House will also continue to serve the community as a quality guest house, as it has done for many years in periods when it is not being utilised by country kids and their families.