Ross House

Ross House is a five-storey building centrally located at 247 - 251 Flinders Lane in the heart of Melbourne. Ross House offers resources to a diverse range of self-help and small community and environment groups. Ross House operates as a non profit and is wholly self-managed by its members, providing a dynamic working model of the community in action.

Ross House has the capacity to house over 60 organisations and offers office space at below market rates. An even larger number of groups use the building's other facilities, such as meeting rooms, mail boxes, photocopiers and fax machines.

By providing a stable environment and cheap resources, Ross House aims to reduce the insecurities and financial pressures that so often hamper the activities of small community organisations.

The Association

Ross House is managed by its members through the Ross House Association. The Ross House Association’s role is to maintain the building, develop the resources available and to encourage the development of the community within the building. All tenants are required to be members of the Association and many other users of the building's resources are also members.

All the members of the Ross House Association are small community and self-help groups who are collaborating towards a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. They wish to achieve social change through advocacy, campaigning, community education and the provision of resources and information.

To read our Constitution, visit our publications page.


Finding a place that small community organisations could call home captured the imagination of a diverse range of people, many of whom invested a tremendous amount of energy, time and creativity into the development of the Ross House project.

At a Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS) seminar in July 1980, self-help groups highlighted their need for reasonably priced, secure office space combined with access to essential physical resources such as photocopying and typing facilities.

Around the same time, the RE Ross Trust approached VCOSS for advice on how to allocate an amount of money for a special project. After much discussion, it was agreed to use the funds to purchase a building to resource small community organisations.

In April 1985, ANZ Trustees purchased the historic Royston House from the former State Electricity Commission, renaming it Ross House.

The Building

Ross House is heritage listed in Victoria and with the National Trust of Australia (Victoria)

The building is over 100 years old and is the remaining section of a warehouse owned by Frederick Thomas Sargood. The best known monument to his success is his house, Ripponlea, in Elsternwick. The original Sargood warehouse stretched from Flinders Street to Flinders Lane, the rest of the building was destroyed by fire.

You can read more about the history of the building here. Please note that this booklet was published in 2007. Information relating to current membership and tenancy, and the list of works and budget are no longer current.

You can contribute to the maintenance of this beautiful heritage building by making a tax deductible donation to the National Trust of Australia Ross House Heritage Appeal.