As one of Australia's leading fully integrated property investment and funds management groups, we know the importance of close collaboration to create enduing impact. That's why we work with our customers across their businesses, from head office and distribution, right through to retail point of sale.
Regardless of their size, whether they're a big franchise or a small bar, our focus always remains the same: to build lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.
Stories of Collective Ambitions is a series of videos that showcase how we've helped our customers realise their ambitions, because at Charter Hall, the ultimate measure of success is shared success – theirs and ours.
Whilst developing our landmark office precinct Wesley Place in Melbourne, we were on the lookout for retailers. There was one space, which we thought had untapped potential: Caretaker’s Cottage, a former caretaker’s quarters tucked away in the middle of town since 1914. Three friends – Matt Stirling, Ryan Noreiks and Rob Libecans – shared that vision. And decided to turn a heritage building into what is ‘probably’ Victoria’s smallest bar.
When construction started, it was the height of the pandemic. Bars were closing and the hospitality industry was in flux. It was clear from the outset this wouldn’t be easy. That’s why we made it our mission to be there every step of the way; providing options and flexibility, to enable the trio to get their bar up and running, without the stress. In early 2022, doors opened for the first time.
"Charter Hall supported our vision. And gave us time. We probably changed the lightbulbs 300 times but fine-tuning everything paid off."
Matt Stirling, Caretaker’s Cottage
It didn’t take long for Caretaker’s Cottage to become a crowd favourite, a place for friends to gather and colleagues to unwind. In the first three months, Caretaker’s Cottage ranked 60th on the 2022 World's 50 Best Bars long-list, and the accolades have only continued, winning Bar of the Year in The Age’s 2023 Good Food Guide and Victoria’s Best Bar at the 2023 Australian Bar Awards. Excitingly, just this month, they ranked 23rd on the 2023 World's 50 Best Bars. A massive achievement for such a young bar.
“We’d be in a different position if we didn’t have Charter Hall supporting us throughout our journey. It’s an extremely collaborative and trusting relationship.’
Ryan Norekis, Caretaker’s Cottage
The trio already have their sights set on their next project, and we're very eager to partner with them again. Until then, watch this space.
Did you know, that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by the age of five? Quality early learning sets a child up for life. But too often, the children who stand to benefit most from attending, miss out because their parents simply can’t afford it.
That’s where not-for-profit social enterprise, Goodstart Early Learning (Goodstart), comes in. Goodstart is one of our largest tenant customers, occupying over 300 of our buildings. Location is everything, and we partner closely to ensure each childcare centre is close to transport nodes and support services like healthcare and community centres. It’s all about supporting a child’s entire ecosystem.
Goodstart is also a co-founder of the Early Learning Fund, which provides fee-relief to families experiencing vulnerability so their children can access early learning and care. To date, they have supported more than 3,000 children. These are children who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, have refugee and humanitarian backgrounds, are at risk of abuse or neglect, or their families are experiencing financial hardship.
“I remember a dad coming to us completely at a loss of how to care for his little boy after losing his wife. He wasn’t defined as “at risk”, so he didn’t meet the criteria for additional subsidies. Thanks to the Early Learning Fund we could get his child in care four days a week, instead of just two, while dad got the help he needed.”
Paula Seidel, Goodstart Smithfield Centre Director
The Early Learning Fund is life changing. So of course, we were keen to help.
In 2021 we invested in the Early Learning Fund, to provide fee-relief to 55 children to access two days of early learning each week at their local Goodstart early learning centre. This is the first time in Australia that an early learning provider and a landlord have worked together to improve early learning access for children experiencing vulnerability.
“Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, Layla’s dad and I both lost our jobs. It was do I pay for childcare today, or do we eat tomorrow – that’s how hard it had become. Without the Early Learning Fund, I honestly don’t know where we would be.”
The possibilities of this partnership are endless, and we will continue to work together to ensure more and more children get vital access to early learning before they start school.