Lyttleton Terrace, Bendigo
Dja Dja Wurrung Country
Galkangu [pron: gull-kang-gooh] is a Dja Dja Wurrung word, meaning “build together, make things happen together, more connected to Country.”
The Victorian Government has invested in Bendigo with a new GovHub, Galkangu — a state of the art building to support the creation of jobs, boost the local economy and deliver a range of local and state government services.
The $133 million project is the third GovHub in Victoria, with Morwell in the Latrobe Valley and Ballarat already complete.
We are proud to have delivered this project in partnership with Regional Development Victoria.
Galkangu provides the community with a single point of access for government services, in the heart of the city.
Up to 1000 employees from the City of Greater Bendigo and the Victorian Government have been colocated in the new building, creating a stronger and collaborative public sector presence in central Bendigo.
Our collaborative partnership with the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation has seen the inclusion of Aboriginal design elements and language in the architecture, landscaping and spaces within the building.
The building features one of Victoria’s largest mass timber frames, helping to achieve sustainability outcomes by generating lower carbon emissions than traditional building materials such as steel and concrete. Other sustainability features include efficient indoor air quality systems, solar panels, water and energy monitoring systems.
Construction commenced in August 2021, and was completed in mid-2023. The development injected around $131 million into the regional economy.
What is a GovHub?
GovHubs are a new, centralised way of doing business in regional Victoria, with a focus on enhancing customer service, revitalising city centres and delivering economic benefits to the local community.
The GovHub will centralise the delivery of a range of government services, making it a one-stop-shop for customers and a hub for local activity.
200 jobs during construction
$131m boost to local economy
1,000 employees co-located
- Construction started
- Construction completed
- Building occupancy and operation
Galkangu includes efficient and accessible open spaces with awnings to provide shade and shelter along Lyttleton Terrace and St Andrews Avenue.
This ensures the ground floor can be enjoyed by staff and the community. A civic forecourt on Lyttleton Terrace and a pocket park on Mundy Street connects the building to its surrounds and act as a community meeting point. A strong landscape theme is consistent throughout the building with an internal courtyard and several strategic cut-outs creating space for daylight and views
The building features a 6-Star Green Star Rating for design and includes energy efficient indoor air-quality systems, solar panels, water and energy monitoring systems and a sustainable timber frame.
End of trip facilities include bicycle racks to promote the use of sustainable transport for workers.
The community can enjoy the ground floor area which includes customer service areas, a concierge, a cafe and spaces with ‘lookouts’ offering views of the GovHub’s landscaped gardens and beyond.
Galkangu offers high-quality, flexible working spaces, including the use of shared meeting spaces and rooms spaced throughout the building.
In February of 2019, the City of Greater Bendigo decided to sell its Lyttleton Terrace office to the Victorian Government and become an anchor tenant of the GovHub.
The building is being constructed on the parcel of land bordered by Lyttleton Terrace, Mundy Street, St Andrews Avenue and Market Street, and will connect with other major civic buildings including the town hall, library, central business area and nearby Australian Government offices such as Centrelink and Medicare.
The project is situated close to the Bendigo Law Courts Development, and the recently re-developed Bendigo TAFE site and Fire Rescue Victoria’s redevelopment of the Bendigo Fire Station.
Following community engagement in mid-2019 Galkangu’s concept design was finalised, making way for a thoughtfully designed building.
Galkangu – Bendigo GovHub is located at the site of the former City of Greater Bendigo office at 195-229 Lyttleton Terrace Bendigo in the heart of the Civic Precinct.
Development Victoria acknowledges the Dja Dja Wurrung people as the Traditional Custodians of the land.
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In 2019 local community members were invited to a public consultation session to provide feedback on concept designs for the Bendigo GovHub.
Community feedback was also received through an online survey, and a focus group session.
The following themes were considered important:
- A welcoming foyer area that provides customers with efficient service delivery and incorporates opportunities for heritage or local art exhibitions
- Weatherproof spaces outside the building, sculpture and artworks in the forecourt, landscaping around the building
- End of trip bike facilities, linkages to the surrounding bike network and pedestrian prioritisation on surrounding roads
- A sustainable design to enhance morale, performance and wellbeing of workers
- Universal access, well-designed lighting, community spaces within the building, and connection with the surrounding precinct and city centre.
Each of the tenant agencies moving to the GovHub are working with impacted staff to assess their relocation needs.
DJAARA (Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation) Galkangu partnership
We are proud of Galkangu’s significant design and sustainability features including its large mass timber frame, 6-star Green Star target (achieved already for Design) and the embedment of Dja Dja Wurrung design elements. These features affirm Dja Dja Wurrung’s rights as Traditional Owners and their responsibilities for the care and governance of Country and society.
Read the DJAARA and Victorian government Galkangu partnership fact sheet for more information on the design process and learn more about the talented artists whose works feature at Galkangu.
The co-design process and key features
Since 2017, we have been working with DJAARA (Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation) to deliver Bendigo’s new Govhub, named Galkangu.
DJANDAK, a Dja Dja Wurrung enterprise, formed a Traditional Owner Working Group (Wartaka) of Elders and knowledge holders who identified several cultural priorities for Galkangu, which combined the aspirations of respect, recognition, reconciliation and self-determination. The Wartaka prepared a brief which included the vision and story for the building and members of DJANDAK provided advice to Development Victoria regarding the selection process of the builder.
With all this this place, the co-design process could be realised. This process included several workshops and studio sessions between the Dja Dja Wurrung team (DJAARA, DJANDAK and DUMAWUL), Development Victoria, Regional Development Victoria, the architects and landscape designer (Lyons Architecture and GLAS Landscape Architects); and builder, Icon Fairbrother.
The key design elements and artworks included throughout Galkangu are rich in symbolism, messaging and narrative. They include:
- Architecture: a mass timber frame and 6-star Green Star target, reflecting Dja Dja Wurrung’s values of Caring for Country.
- Dja Dja Wurrung language: featured throughout - the building’s name itself, on the timber columns in the public customer service area and the naming of meeting rooms and other spaces, carrying thousands of years of traditions, customs and values.
- Interior design: granite and bluestone seamlines have been incorporated into the forecourt and foyer flooring representing a reflection on the two perspectives of the influence of the mining of bluestone, quartz and gold on Country. This narrative, of truth-telling and the reconciliation journey ahead, is echoed in the wall, ceiling and flooring design of the three Showcase Meeting Rooms. The interior design of the whole building reflects the layers of the Box Iron-Bark forest that would have stood at the site pre-colonisation.
- Artworks: include the façade, forecourt sculpture with an augmented reality experience, entranceway paintings with light and sound installation, and a meeting room table. Learn more about the artworks in the DJAARA and Victorian government Galkangu partnership fact sheet.
- Landscape design: includes a diverse native and predominately indigenous planting palette, as well as granite features in the internal courtyards- a water feature and a circular gathering place. Edible, medicinal, aromatic, fruiting and flowering plants are all included, symbolising the importance of keeping Country healthy.
- Multimedia: an Application (App) called ‘Galkangu – building with Djaara’ has been developed to explain the design features in detail. It includes a language learning game with pronunciations, artist interviews and an augmented reality experience.
Apple: Galkangu: building with Djaara
Through the use of glass, the GovHub mirrors the curve of Lyttleton Terrace delivering a strong civic presence connecting to the Civic Gardens, Bendigo Town Hall and the Bendigo Library.
The building reflects heritage and culture though the use of bluestone material which is commonly seen across Bendigo.
Opportunities to reflect Bendigo’s history are also being explored through the facade and landscaping including those of cultural significance.
- DJAARA and Victorian government Galkangu partnership PDF, 2.4 mb
- Galkangu - Bendigo GovHub - Community update - October 2022 PDF, 388.7 kb
- Galkangu - Bendigo GovHub - Community update - June 2022 PDF, 352.2 kb
- Galkangu - Bendigo GovHub fact sheet — November 2019 PDF, 2.0 mb
- Galkangu - Bendigo GovHub — Winter 2019 PDF, 197.9 kb
- Galkangu - Bendigo GovHub — Community Consultation fact sheet PDF, 2.3 mb
Updated on 30 January 2024