Thursday, 30th September 2021

Following discussion at the Premier’s Round Table meeting on 1 July, the Veterans’ Advisory Council (VAC) proposed that the future of the Torrens Training Depot and Parade Ground be revisited. The benefits of a ‘re-imagined Torrens Precinct’ include:

  • providing for a more engaged and better serviced veteran community;
  • opportunities to raise community awareness of the unique nature of the site, its relevance and link to service;
  • Contributing to the ongoing fiscal sustainability of the Torrens Training Depot and Parade Ground to ensure its ongoing heritage preservation and
  • to engage with the community to develop context, understand and empathy for past, present and future defence service.

A Steering Committee was established to develop a vision for the site and examine opportunities that exist to meet the Premier’s intent for Torrens to become a vibrant precinct with veterans at its heart.

The Steering Committee, chaired by Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RAN (Ret’d), met for the first time in the Memorial Hall in the Torrens Training Depot on Monday 27 September 2021. The Terms of Reference governing the scope and focus of the Steering Committee, and the membership of the Steering Committee, are available here.

The Steering Committee received presentations from a number of representatives, to provide a foundational understanding of the past and current utilisation of the Drill Hall and Parade Ground. Presentations were provided by:

  • Department of Environment and Water Heritage section, including from one of the Principal Heritage Conservation Architects who identified the heritage preservation aspects, considerations and approvals processes that enable alterations to the site;
  • Australian War Memorial Commemorations and Education teams, with a focus on digital education opportunities; and
  • Current and future possible tenants at the Torrens Training Depot, including RSL-SA, Vietnam Veterans’ Association, Air Force Association, Legacy, Invictus Pathways Program, Virtual War Memorial of Australia and the Combined Ex-Services Mess.

A number of themes emerged from these briefings, and the Steering Committee is collating this feedback to inform community consultation in October and November 2021.

Consultation will be iterative and there will be opportunities for veterans and the broader community to provide input and feedback through face-to-face forums as well as through online surveys. You can register your interest to attend one of the initial face-to-face workshops, currently scheduled at the Combined Ex-Services Mess, Torrens Training Depot on:

  • Wednesday 13 October at 1pm
  • Wednesday 13 October at 3pm
  • Tuesday 9 November at 5:30pm

Information about the themes and focus areas will be provided to registrants before the session.

The Chair of the Steering Committee will also provide an update as part of the Premier’s Town Hall on Wednesday 20 October 2021 in the Drill Hall. This will be available face to face and also live streamed. You can register your interest to attend the Premier’s Town Hall here.

Further updates from the Steering Committee will be provided on the Veterans SA website.

The members of the Steering Committee are committed to ensuring all views are considered to inform a strong business case for a sustainable future for the Torrens Precinct.