From inducing a sense of well being to inspiring great thoughts, the spaces we inhabit have a vast impact on what we feel and how we act.

Built just over 80 years ago, the Main Cottage has welcomed many generations of children through its doors.  With the capital works currently underway, it will be here to welcome many more generations to come.  Work on the building has been made possible through generous donations from the community as well as funding from the Australian Government through the Building Better Regions Fund.  This one-time grant will be directed to the Major Capital Works project only. It does not contribute to funding children’s programs.


In 2016, Cottage by the Sea commissioned an Access Audit and a Safety Audit. Built in the 1930s, the old Cottage building has been well maintained, but the audits revealed a number of issues that needed to be addressed in order to bring it up to today’s standards. The works underway will also make vast improvements in the environmental impact of the building by introducing twenty-first century technology and innovation.

Key enhancements include a new foyer that will be bright and colourful. It has been designed to evoke immediate happiness, especially when the children see the multi-coloured spiral slide that will come down from the upstairs dormitory floor.  The new wide front entrance enables better accessibility for more children.  Other accessibility improvements include an internal lift, accessible toilets, bathrooms and modified beds.

The foyer then leads to a double storey deck, that will have floor to ceiling windows overlooking Port Philip Bay. As well as a spectacular place to eat, the new deck provides a multi-function space for indoor activities. Especially in the colder months, the views of the ocean will allow the children to continue to engage with the outdoors while staying warm and comfortable.

To continue Capital Works during the COVID-19 pandemic, building contractors on site have increased hygiene procedures and boosted their site safety procedures to comply with strict social distancing practices.


“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” – Winston Churchill

Read more about our Capital Works.


Cottage by the Sea thanks everyone who has contributed to fundraising for Capital Works. Some of our major donors for this project include:

Australian Government through the Building Better Regions Fund

David George (Bequest)

Portland House Foundation

John T Reid Charitable Trusts

Roseanne Grimke Drayton (Bequest)

Percy Baxter Charitable Trust

Gandel Foundation

Shine-On Foundation

Geelong Spiritual Church

Dr & Mrs Sam Howes

Smart Family (Indoor Slide)

Newman’s Own Foundation Fund at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors – via Patrick Dangerfield

The Flack Trust

Cottage by the Sea Combined Branches (Annual Fair)

Simply Energy

Australian Communities Foundation

APCO Foundation

The Dawn Wade Foundation

Anthony Costa Foundation

Campbell Edwards

Bull & Bears Golf Group

Michael Vickers-Willis

Rod Laver Dinner hosted by Frank Costa Patron AO

Deakin University

Gordon TAFE

Glynn Harvey

Cottage by the Sea Ambassador’s Race Day