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Media statements

Enthusiastic support for Flynn school and community plan

A community-led plan for a multi-use community hub at Flynn Primary School including one childcare provider and a community school was greeted with enthusiastic support at last night’s meeting of the Belconnen Community Council. Architect Enrico Taglietti also re-affirmed the high heritage value of the Flynn School.

Following more than three years of community development, the John Flynn Community Group presented a vision and specific plan for reconnecting the community through a multi-use community hub at Flynn called the John Flynn Community Centre. The plan includes initiatives to protect Enrico Taglietti open-plan 20th Century organic architecture and to renew longstanding links with the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the John Flynn legacy.

“The Baringa Childcare centre and a yet-to-be-named community school are the two key tenants that would provide much needed services, ensure social and financial sustainability and protect heritage in partnership with a range of community users,” according to spokesperson and JFCG Vice President, Roger Nicoll.

“Our vision for re-use of the school and grounds follows a three year journey of talking with almost every householder in Flynn, bringing together their ideas and the feedback from public consultations and Inquiries and feeding that into a plan that is going to be viable and sustainable, will protect the heritage value and re-connect the community.”

“The multi-use community facilities, Baringa childcare centre and school will create the critical mass of day and night use to restore community function and make it a viable concern,” according to Mr Nicoll. “Baringa has the capacity to duplicate its operations at Spence and add 60 to 80 new childcare places in response to urgent demand in the local community and would dovetail with a small community school that would encourage parent and community involvement.”

“With a motion to re-open Flynn school still before the Assembly it was too early to say whether the school would be a government or independent school, however a non-government school has registered its interest.”

Along with Baringa childcare and the school, multi-use early childhood and community facilities are a feature of the centre because this is Flynn’s only community facility, according to Mr Nicoll. The multi-use community facilities include the hall – suitable for sports, meetings, music and theatre, the John Flynn cultural and community centre – including library, IT centre and displays for John Flynn and the Royal Flying Doctors Service, and a community drop-in centre in the old infant health centre.

The community has taken the initiative to come up with a solution to a problem that arose through the closures according to Mr Nicoll . “We have done a thorough assessment of community needs and service gaps and met with various service providers who formally applied for space at Flynn, before nominating the providers who would best meet the needs of the community.”

Based on the character and needs of the local population it is now well established that the priority at Flynn is to restore a significant community centre as well as childcare, childhood and multi-use community services. “The community does not support filling most of the school with childcare as part of a ‘super’ childcare centre but rather we need to have a viable community centre with most of the space used day and night by more people from the community.”

The John Flynn Community Group was established in 2007 with wide support from residents and local community groups and has incorporated in February 2010. “The John Flynn Community Group looks forward to working closely with government to bring the vision to reality as well as having a continuing role in administering community use and matching services to community needs,” Mr Nicoll said.

Images from Flynn

Angles on the textured concrete walls


Flynn grounds

Landscape setting & grounds

Enrico Taglietti visting the school he designed

History and design

Memorial to John Flynn

Memorial to John Flynn