Communications agency Bastion Effect deliver a strategic communications strategy for Shayher Group’s Pentride Prison, transforming it into a vibrant community hub. 


Pentridge is an iconic landmark and its foundations are firmly rooted in Melbourne’s history. It was established in 1850. 

In 2015, Shayher Group was experiencing the impact of a community who were uninformed about the company’s vision to transform Pentridge Prison into a vibrant community hub.

The community was physically protesting, which drove negative media coverage. Shayher Group needed to educate the community and build positive relationships, in order to secure approvals, drive momentum for the project and sign tenancies.


Bastion Effect delivered a communications strategy tackling negative sentiment across community, government and media, commencing with an audit of the Coburg community to understand their needs, motivations and concerns.

In 12 months, Bastion turned the conversation around for Shayher Group, with Shayher attracting Adina and Palace Cinemas as cornerstone tenants. Engage has diffused negative sentiment via a purpose-driven community group, and encouraged and activated supporters of the project via community newsletters.

Effect has built strong relationships with the media, bringing them on the journey as a supporter. Positive stories about the precinct are now a reality and they garner tons of support on social media. A program of events has also activated the site prior to tenants moving in, with more than 3000 people engaging with Pentridge in 2016, prior to construction commencing.