In the last Bulletin, we talked about the sale of the Bidura site at 357 Glebe Point Rd. The sale encompassed both the historic buildings and the large concrete building at the back of the site. The new owners intend to retain the heritage buildings and to demolish the concrete building and replace it with a ‘more modern, nicer block of apartments’ that is ‘respectful to the area’.
Inside the concrete building is the Bidura Children’s Court, one of three buildings in NSW specifically designed for the Children’s Court. (The others are located in Parramatta and Broadmeadow). Children’s Courts have a wide range of functions: as well as dealing with criminal cases, they process applications for apprehended violence orders (AVOs) and compulsory schooling orders. These courts also deal with cases involving the care and protection of children. Bidura Children’s Court opened in April 1983, and replaced the Metropolitan Children’s Court which was then situated at Albion Street Surry Hills (see image).
A number of people have asked the Society what will happen to the Children’s Court as a result of the sale. I visited the Children’s Court on 23 March and had a chat with one of the Court Officers. She told me that the Children’s Court is being relocated to the Albion St Children’s Court site, which was closed in 1983 when Bidura Children’s Court opened. The Albion St Court was the first purpose built Children’s Court; replacing the Children’s Court which was sitting in Ormond House, Paddington from 1905 until 1911. At present, the former Albion Street Court site is used by a number of community organisations.
The transfer of the Children’s Court operations is expected to take place over a two year period.