Civic Centre Entrance steps

About the Civic Centre

The Civic Centre provides a central place for the Shellharbour community to gather, learn, communicate, celebrate and interact. As we move toward the future, it will become the heart of Shellharbour City.

The building is based on a 'wave' concept, incorporating a curved roof on the exterior. The interior enjoys maximum natural light and open spaces to deliver comfort and a welcoming space.

The Civic Centre was completed in January 2018 and features:

  • A 350-seat auditorium for functions, conferences and other events with views over the landscaped area at the rear of the centre
  • A 2000m2 civic square at the front of the building, including green space and a water feature - a place for people to meet and relax and caters for community events including concerts and market stalls
  • Large community lobby can be opened up onto the Civic Square in good weather for inside/outside feel
  • Meeting rooms for use by community groups, government and non-government agencies and visiting professionals to provide services to the Shellharbour community
  • A 2000m2 City library with over 40 000 books and 50 programs running per month
  • The new City Museum featuring changing exhibitions, artefacts, photographs, oral histories, maps, lithographs and historic documents to discover 
  • Council’s administration centre, customer service and Council Chambers

This 5 Star Green Star rated building was opened in January 2018


The Shellharbour Civic Centre has received a number of awards since opening in 2018. These awards were based around design and architecture and have been awarded to the Shellharbour Civic Centre and the Shellharbour City Library. The awards consist of:

New South Wales Architecture Awards - 2019

- The award for public architecture which was part of the NSW architecture awards in 2019. It was awarded to Design Inc in association with Lacoste + Stevenson for the Shellharbour Civic Centre by the jury nominated to select the most outstanding work of architecture in NSW from those projects meeting the conditions of the Australian Institute of architects in the year 2019. 


The International Good Designs Awards - 2020

 - The award in the architectural design urban design and public spaces categories of the international Good design awards in 2020. It was awarded to Turf Design Studio in collaboration with Design Inc and Lacoste + Stevenson, with public art by Kim Williams and Uncle Steven Russel for the Civic Square of the Shellharbour Civic Centre. The awards jury ruled this space gave the city centre ”an iconic heart that the community can be proud of – a green, welcoming hub that is soft, informal and offers a place of both activity and respite”. This is an internationally recognised award. 

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The Australian Library and Information Library Designs Awards - 2019

- The Australian Library and Information Association's Library design award that was presented to Shellharbour City Library. The build of the library was managed by Shellharbour City Council's Civic Centre Project Control Group in conjunction with Savills Project Management. The award was presented to joint architects Design Inc, Lacoste + Stevenson and Turf Design studio in the public category in 2019, for the design of the Shellharbour City Library. Shellharbour Library 3


Environmental Features

The design of the building ensured it met the highest environmental standards, including a 5-star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

The building is designed to reflect the coastal and escarpment setting of the city, including a wave-like roof spanning the majority of the building's form. The design allows for flexibility, with energy-efficient air conditioning for the hottest and coldest times of the year, and natural heating and cooling for the months in between.

The building’s many environmental initiatives decrease running costs, and help reduce Council’s ecological footprint.


The Civic Centre is an accessible building and includes designated accessible parking spaces, elevator access, accessible toilets and hearing loop.

For more information or to discuss specific access requirements, please contact us.


In the late 1970s Council developed a vision to create a commercial centre for the city with the support of the NSW Department of Planning. An Interim Development Order was put in place and Council planned and developed a city centre area almost 70 hectares in size. In 1993 Council adopted its plan for the City Centre.

Extensive community consultation in 2010 identified that the area lacked a "City Heart" - a place for people to meet, socialise, access services, exercise cultural and recreational pursuits and a place that people identify as the centre of Shellharbour City. The civic centre is intended to fulfil those needs.


Shellharbour Civic Centre Museum


Shellharbour City Museum is Shellharbour’s local history museum showcasing stories, past and present. Please contact the Museum to make a booking.
(02) 4221 6222
9.30am - 6pm
9.30am - 5pm
9am - 3pm
Civic Centre Customer Service 2


The concierge desk and customer service area provides services to Shellharbour customers and community members
(02) 4221 6111
M - F
8.30am - 4.30pm


The Civic Square Café is open 6 days for breakfast, lunch, coffee, cake and catering
0476 316 240
M - F
7.30am - 4pm
7.30am - 2.30pm
Shellharbour Civic Centre Library


The City Library combines 2000m2 of floor space with a collection of 40,000 items. The library offers a range of programs for everyone from babies and children to adults.
(02) 4221 6222
M - T
9:30am - 8pm
9:30am - 5pm
9am - 3pm
12pm - 3pm
20230103 233129647 iOS

Yirran muru playspace

From the escarpment to the sea, Yirran muru is designed to take you on a cultural journey following the historic seasonal movements of local Aboriginal people.

The playspace is designed educate people of all ages about the cultural and historical significance of landmarks in our area. You will notice these key natural features represented throughout the entire space!

Shellharbour City Council acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Dharawal Country and recognises their continued connection to the land.
We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and the contribution they make to the life of this City.