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Case Study

Jack’s Reloaded, Heritage Buildings

  • Project type: Managed project transitioned to Affiliate project
  • Date: 2016-2019
  • Project: Jack’s Reloaded
  • Client: Partnership between Working Heritage and Renew Australia

Surrounded by leafy parks and based on the banks of the Maribyrnong River, the imposing bluestone walls, magazines and earth mounds of Jack’s Magazine have connections to turning points in Victoria’s history and industrial past.

The activation of historic Jack’s Magazine (Melbourne’s inner west) was an important first step in breathing new life into the Magazine, which had remained dormant since it was decommissioned in the early 1990s.

The Jack’s Reloaded project was the first step in bringing a new lease on life for this unique and challenging site. Jack’s Reloaded was supported by Working Heritage and transitioned from a Renew Australia project to an affiliate program managed by Working Heritage.


The project activated 10 spaces and hosted 11 groups working within the loading dock, shed and ammunitions store, including woodworkers, ceramists, fine artists and puppeteers.


  • Johnny Brixton

    Shayne Hood aka ‘Johnny Brixton’, has been variously
    involved in the Melbourne creative arts scene since 2011 as a photographer, filmmaker and poet, but through his role as a youth worker and lecturer has come into contact with those needing respite most from mental health issues – and hopes that his work will encourage others in similar situations to gain the confidence to share their own experiences through art.

    Renew Australia/Jack’s Magazine have created a brilliant platform for emerging artists. I am forever grateful for what they have done for me as an artist. They have been extremely supportive from day one and I think I am
    very lucky to be a part of the Jack’s Magazine program. – Johnny Brixton

    Hood was named as one of Australian Photography Magazine’s top-10 black and white photographers of 2016 and his recent exhibition ‘Comfort in Chaos’ was featured in Huffington Post, Daily Mail, Australian Photography Magazine and Capture Magazine.

  • Timber Shack

    Timber Shack: Makers of rustic furniture from timbers  otherwise destined for landfill.

    The programme is awesome! Repurposing and activating these old buildings and providing small business with workshops and spaces to operate from is an excellent way of utilising these great buildings. The support is fantastic and hugely appreciated! – Timber Shack

  • Sawdust Bureau

    Bryan Cush established a workshop as an ‘ideas testing lab’
    for developing concepts of sculptural, architectural  furniture. The informal ‘maker-lab’ eventually morphed into the award-winning furniture brand of the same name. Sawdust Bureau’s work has been recognised with a VIVID Design award, multiple Melbourne Design Awards and has been shortlisted for the Clarence Prize.

    Securing a tenancy as part of the Renew programme has allowed my business to grow organically in an inspiring space surrounded by other likeminded creative enterprises. – Sawdust Bureau

Collaborating closely with Renew Australia to activate a disused former industrial facility has been an incredibly valuable experience. We’ve seen great outcomes for our organisation, the site and creative practitioners. On a sometimes challenging and unusual project their expertise and enthusiasm has been absolutely key.’ Jack’s Reloaded