La Trobe University’s Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1967 and aims to restore and manage indigenous flora and fauna. La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary’s primary aim is to provide learning experiences for all ages, experiencing first-hand about the importance of indigenous plants and animals.  

Native Fish Australia is a not-for-profit, volunteer organisation concerned about the well-being of Australia’s native freshwater fish and the rivers, streams and other waterways that they inhabit. 

Native Fish Australia have been assisting La Trobe University for many years by breeding native and endangered fish for release into their wildlife sanctuary and other Victorian waterways. However, with development of the La Trobe University City of the Future, it has become necessary to relocate Native Fish Australia’s present operations. Siting the new facility adjacent to the University’s Wildlife Sanctuary offers tremendous opportunities for partnerships: in education, in research and in practical conservation works. 

The Native Fish Australia Fish Hatchery will be a purpose-built building to assist the long-term goals of Native Fish Australia to: 

  • Continue to lead research in new techniques in native fish breeding 
  • Become a leader in environmental education around native fish, recreational fishing and the aquatic environment 
  • Become more involved with La Trobe University, with greater sharing of information and resources, and involvement in academic research 

As a building which contributes to public education about native flora and fauna it is important that it also displays exemplar passive sustainability features. These include: 

  • Feature water tanks which capture rainwater. Tanks are used as thermal mass internally to help condition internal temperature 
  • Building form which allows winter sun but blocks summer sun 
  • Indirect sunlight for aquaculture tanks 
  • Natural ventilation through building by utilising a narrow floor plate and deliberately placed operable windows / hatches 
  • Solar panels to harness the solar energy 
  • Insulated walls and roofing 

Materials are chosen by considering their embodied energy, life-cycle, renewability and durability.