Organisations sharing expensive infrastructure. Co-location models of collaboration may be called “Service Hubs”, “Multi-Tenanted Service Centres”, “Service Clusters” and “one-stop-shops” and take a variety of forms.  A variety of collaboration models are well suited to also incorporate co-location into their approach. These include: co-governance, amalgamation, co-operatives and the lead agency model.

  • Co-governance – a sub-committee based on an agreed number of representatives from each partnering agency provides the management and governance structure under the strategic oversight of one of the organisations acting as the auspicing body.
  • Amalgamation -  partnering organisations merge to form a new entity which is made of an agreed number of representatives from the agencies involved.
  • The co-operative model – a legally register non-trading co-operative, managed by a board consisting of members from each individual incorporated association involved in the collaboration.
  • The lead agency model – the building lease is taken by a large organisation that then manages the premises with assistance from the management committees of the small organisations involved.  


  • Provide a one-stop-shop for service users and the community.
  • Enable organisations to minimise the budget allocation to premises.
  • Enable facilities such as training rooms to be shared.
  • Make it practical to share expensive resources such as data projectors. 
  • Reduce worker isolation and may increase security.
  • Enable services to afford better accommodation.
  • Enhance capacity to improve referral and provide a more holistic service delivery.


  • Lead agency carries high risk – lease/premises.
  • Very, specific and clear documented rules/protocols needed to address risk and define boundaries.
  • Risk of power imbalances.
  • If a service participating in the co-location closes, it can be difficult to find a replacement, particularly in rural communities.
  • Cost of building outfitting may be higher than expected.
  • Co-location in itself may not improve service delivery.  
  • Locating suitable buildings can be difficult in many rural and regional communities.
  • Legal advice is recommend if you are thinking about being involved in a co-location.

Case study

Mackay Women’s Centre - Amalgamated co-location

The Mackay Women’s Centre is an incorporated, non-government, community based organisation, managed by a local committee elected annually from the membership.  It services the city of Mackay and the surrounding region.

The Centre is the result of the amalgamation of two existing women specific services – the Mackay Women's Health and Information Centre Inc. and Pregnancy Help Mackay Inc. The Domestic Violence Resource Service is located within the new Centre as a co-tenant, and the Centre also works closely with a number of other local services and organisations to improve access to counselling, resources and practical assistance for women requiring support.

The women of Mackay are now able to access services from the newly refurbished, purpose-built facility located at 418 Shakespeare Street. The restructured organisation delivers a wide range of integrated services, with the ultimate future vision for the Centre to be a ‘one stop shop’ for women, offering various services across the areas of education and physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

The Mackay Women’s Centre is a welcoming place where women can receive services that provide emotional, practical and general support, crisis responses, advocacy, information and referral across a broad area of health and wellbeing issues. The service also provides assistance to establish, facilitate and accommodate support groups for women.  For further information see the Mackay Women's Centre website.

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