To our wonderful players, supporters and families,

As you may be aware, after more than 30 years as tenants of John Gardiner Reserve, in 2020 Auburn High School, the owners of the Reserve, decided to not renew our licence and cease all community use of the fields and pavilion.

The School has stated that the reasons for this decision are: 1) the cost of maintaining the field for community use was not met by the revenue received and 2) they have long term plans to construct teaching space on the Auburn Road side of the property.

We have spent ten months fighting this decision and despite the fact that we have offered to pay for the repair and maintenance of the fields, the School is yet to change its decision and we have no licence agreement with them for 2021.

While we will continue to fight for community access to what is community owned land, we cannot wait for the School, the ongoing uncertainty caused by their decision is unacceptable.

Where to from here?
The City of Boroondara has found us new digs and they are pretty good!

We move in April 1, but until then, training continues at Anderson Park.

We will have two home grounds for match day:
Lewin Reserve, just around the corner from John Gardiner Reserve (Seniors & Juniors)
Nettleton Reserve (for juniors and only if we need a second field), a little further east along Gardiner’s Creek

As neither of these grounds has lights, we will train at Highfield Reserve in Camberwell.

Lewin Reserve (match day) will be a homecoming, being our previous home ground up until the early 90s.  It is a beautiful, quiet reserve with a brand new grass surface, new drainage and a beautiful new Club house being built over winter, ready for us for next year.  Architect drawings here:

It will be a wonderful home for our Club.

Nettleton Reserve (match day, juniors, sometimes) is a good quality field, in a beautiful setting with modern change facilities, next to Gardiner’s Creek.

Highfield Reserve (training) is a very well maintained facility with lighting covering the whole park, so we will have plenty of space for training under lights, something we’ve struggled with in the past.

Unfortunately Highfield is not available on Thursday nights, so we are still looking for fields for the seniors for that night.

For many players and families, the new playing and training fields will be a little further from home than John Gardiner Reserve, but it should add only about five minutes to the usual trip.

We move in April 1, but until then, training continues at Anderson Park.

Thank you
As much as we love John Gardiner and our 30 years of history there, the School’s decision to take over maintenance of the field from the Council five years ago has now left it in sorry state of disrepair, with an uneven, often water-logged weed-infested surface.  The pavilion too is out-dated and inconveniently located for storage. 

We are truly sorry to go, but we are grateful to Council and the people of Boroondara for finding us such wonderful facilities at short notice.

The Committee would like to thank and acknowledge the wonderful support the Club has received over the past 10 months from Club members, the Rugby Community in Victoria and Rugby Victoria.  Your support has kept us going through the whole process.