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History of our location

The old Blackburn dairy has changed

The face of Blackburn has changed beyond recognition since the early 1920s when it looked more like a quiet country town. It is hard to imagine that photos from the time don’t show any traffic on the streets. The transformation to a modern business centre in the heart of Melbourne’s eastern suburbs could not be more evident than at 20 Albert Street, site of Blackburn’s first dairy. The local milkman, operating from a small brick building, delivered milk to the surrounding district, originally by horse and cart. Later on, the original proprietor, Mr W. Skinner, was the first in Victoria to deliver milk by motorised transport.

The dairy at 20 Albert Street was eventually torn down and the site redeveloped. Vic Roads moved in and operated from the double storey office block. Many young, nervous drivers from the eastern suburbs sat their licence tests there until the mid 1990s.

Saward Dawson moves in

As most of our clients would be aware, 20 Albert Street is now the location of Saward Dawson. In 1999 we were a small, growing firm of Chartered Accountants located in Box Hill. We purchased and modernised 20 Albert Street and it has served us well for many years. But now we are pushing the building to its limits with about 60 staff.

This region is a great place to live and do business. Being fully committed to staying here for many more years, we also committed to extending our building to accommodate us well into the future.

After several years of planning, work began in May and is expected to be completed by July 2011. The existing building is being extended over the current car park which has been excavated to allow two levels of underground car parking. The extended building will enable Saward Dawson to occupy a single level and grow to 85 staff. Additional space will be available to sub-tenants and provide further growth opportunity into the future.

More services

Cliff Dawson says that, “Our role is to partner with people throughout their business journey and help them achieve their business and personal goals”. The additional space will enable us to grow into the future and remain on this site. It will be equipped with the latest in technology and communications; these facilities helping our staff to be at the forefront of change in the profession. In turn, as our clients require more services, we will be able to offer them.

Incidentally, a few people still pop in to 20 Albert Street to pay their licence fees because, “this is where we went last time.” In the nicest possible terms, they are told where to go. (The Vic Roads offices in East Burwood.) They are usually sent on their way with a Saward Dawson pen.

We look forward to being able to share our new facilities with clients in the future and appreciate your understanding whilst works are in progress.

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