Project update

Council’s new Youth Hub is opening in mid-2023, therefore the current site, My Place, is available for the provision of new services for our community.

Council was due to consider the proposed lease of the My Place site on Main Street, Pakenham to Anchor for the construction and management of a Youth Foyer, Education and Employment facility with 20 onsite accommodation units, following their proposal to Council in 2022. Despite significant Community engagement and support for this type of development in the Shire, Anchor advised Council that they were not ready to proceed with the proposal.

In line with Council’s endorsed Property Policy an Expression of Interest, EOI, process has commenced to secure a tenant for this building.

The details of the EOI are as follows.

  • The EOI commencing mid-December 2022 is open to 16 February 2023. The EOI can be viewed at;
  • Public Notices have been advertised in local papers and The Age, as well as Council’s website
  • Public Inspections are available for interested parties. Please contact Peter Harris for further information regarding the public inspections.

  • Council remains committed to providing services to meet the community needs and looks forward to having the My Place facility activated with a suitable tenant by mid-2023. We would like to thank the community for their feedback during the engagement period.

    Anchor's proposal for a lease

    Anchor, an independent not-for-profit organisation supporting vulnerable community members, has approached Council with a proposal to lease 5-7 Main Street Pakenham (the current site of the My Place youth service, which is relocating to the new Youth Hub in James Street from early 2023).

    The lease would support Anchor’s current funding application to the state government for its proposal to construct an Education and Employment Youth Foyer facility with 20 onsite accommodation units.

    If both the funding application and lease proposal is accepted, Anchor will proceed with its proposal on this site.

    As part of Anchor's funding submission to Homes Victoria and Department Families Fairness Housing, Council is considering a 20-year lease with an option for an additional 10 years, at a value reduced from market in lieu of the significant community benefit and Anchor’s not-for-profit status.

    Council is seeking feedback on Anchor’s proposal to lease 5-7 Main Street, Pakenham for the purpose of creating a Youth Foyer at the site (subject to receiving the grant funding). A Council decision on the lease for the proposed project is scheduled for consideration at the 20 June Council Meeting.

    The survey is now closed. Thank you for your feedback which will be considered by Council at the Council Meeting on June 20th.

    Find out more and give feedback

    Anchor and Cardinia Shire Council will host a community information session where community members can hear more about the services and support Anchor are proposing to deliver through the establishment of this Youth Foyer if Anchor’s State Government funding application is successful, and if the lease is approved by Council.

    The session will be delivered by online webinar from 7pm on Thursday 7 April 2022. The webinar will be recorded and uploaded to this page for those who could not attend.

    Please register to attend online at or by calling 1300 787 624 before Wednesday 6 April 2022.

    Council will take all feedback into consideration before a decision is made at the 20 June 2022 Council Meeting. We will inform the community on the decision made by Council after the meeting date.

    For more information about Youth Foyers:

    More information about the Youth Foyer Model can also be found at

    You can also download a Youth Foyer Snapshot pdf from the document library on the right hand side of the screen.

    To hear more about a young person's experience of a Youth Foyer, please see this YouTube Clip.

    The site and building

    The new Youth Foyer building and existing My Place Youth Centre

    The current My Place Youth Centre, located at 5-7 Main Street in Pakenham, is set to be relocated to the new Cardinia Youth Hub on James Street in Pakenham and will officially open its doors next year.

    The site scored a high suitability score in considering an appropriate location for a Youth Foyer in Cardinia Shire. The site is suitably located within walking proximity to public transport, shops and community services. The site allows for the extension of Anchor’s ‘Transition from Care’ services, which have been operating adjacent to the proposed site since 2020 and provides a significant opportunity to enhance connections with services delivered from Council’s future Youth Hub.

    The site is also supported by existing land use zoning and access to the site. This proposal provides an opportunity to have a building of high-quality design on site in keeping with current land use within the Activity Centre Zone and the future vision of Pakenham Main Street outlined in the Pakenham Structure Plan.

    More details about the building design will be made available if there is a decision to move ahead with the proposed lease and the project progresses to design stage.

    Cardinia Youth

    Cardinia Shire area is currently home to more than 16,000 young people aged between 15-24 years old, and this is expected to increase to more than 26,000 young people by 2041.

    Young people who complete school or an equivalent qualification are much more likely to have stable employment and support themselves financially than those who do not. Approximately 1 in 5 young people who leave school early will continue to be disengaged with full-time work, study or training for most of their lives. Significantly, research indicates that this trajectory is largely locked in by the age of 25 – if young people do not have a Year 12 qualification or equivalent by then they are unlikely ever to do so

    In Cardinia Shire, young people experience significantly higher rates of early school leaving and significantly lower rates of engagement with university or other tertiary study when compared to city of Casey and Metropolitan Melbourne:

    • Cardinia Shire has an early school leaver rate of 19.4%, significantly higher when compared with 14% in our neighbouring council City of Casey and only 2.5% in Metro Melbourne
    • In Cardinia Shire we see 26.8% of 19 to 22 year olds engaging in further education, much lower than City of Casey at 33.3% and extremely low when compared to Metro Melbourne at 80.5%

    Online Information Session recording

    An online information webinar about the proposed Pakenham Youth Foyer was held on 7 April at 7 pm. There were presentations from:

    • Emma Firth – Team Leader, Youth Services at Cardinia Shire Council
    • Mark Carter – Team Leader, Community Development at Cardinia Shire Council
    • Peter Dinsdale – Manager, Youth and Housing at Anchor Services

    The presentations explored:

    • Cardinia's youth context and demand for services
    • The proposal to develop a new Pakenham Youth Foyer
    • Expected services at the Foyer
    • The benefits of the Foyer

    Questions and answers from the webinar have been added to the FAQ section on the right hand panel.