It's not exactly where you would expect the high-tech, high-stakes decisions about Australia's vaccine rollout will be made.
At the end of a narrow lane, among the gum trees in Symonston on the edge of Canberra, Australia's best minds are working at top speed to ensure the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
In the laboratories and offices of the Therapeutic Goods Administration, staff are well aware that millions of Australians are relying on their work to give the vaccines the tick of approval, as well as advice about just who should get the vaccine, and who shouldn't.
Adjunct Professor John Skerritt, who leads the Therapeutic Goods Administration, estimates there are more than 50 staff working directly on the approval process for the COVID-19 vaccines, and even more staff who were called in for their specialist knowledge when needed.
When most Australians were on leave over Christmas, staff at the regulator were working through, knowing deadlines were fast approaching.
"We've done things like, for example, different teams for different vaccines. So when the Pfizer team hopefully finish their work in a week's time, if they do need to have some leave, they'll have some leave, or if they can just go back to normal work rate for a few weeks rather than crazy-busy hours, they'll do that. We're trying to look after our people," Professor Skerritt explained.
The current priority is the vaccine produced by American company Pfizer, which uses world-first mRNA technology and is already being rolled out in countries like the United Kingdom and United States. Then it is hoped the AstraZeneca vaccine will be approved in February. There is one other vaccine, by Janssen, already taking part in the provisional determination process, and a fourth will likely join the queue next week.
"We've got small samples of the Pfizer vaccine upstairs in our laboratories, and because it's the first of its type, we've actually had to develop new methods to test for its purity," Professor Skerritt said.
While there has been significant focus on ensuring the vaccines are safe and are effective at stopping people from getting ill from coronavirus, the TGA is also testing to make sure they are manufactured properly, and survive being shipped from the US.
"It's hard to make a biological thing the same way every time," Professor Skerritt said.
"Consistency and quality of manufacture is really important with vaccines, and harder to do. So it's not just about the safety and efficacy, although they're obviously, absolutely fundamental requirements. We've also got to make sure they can [be made] the same way, and it's made consistently at the same strength and purity."
That work will continue even once the initial approval is given.
Extra staff are being recruited, because once the initial approval push is complete, each batch will still be tested before being sent out - the same routine that applies to existing vaccines. With 25 million people to be vaccinated, Professor Skerritt estimates two dozen more people will be needed for the ongoing work. But they aren't easy to find.
"It hasn't just been a case of standing on Northbourne Avenue and saying, 'Hey, do you want a job?' because of the specialised nature of the work. And so, unfortunately, there are a few people who are among our very best [that] have also been extremely busy," Professor Skerritt said.
The regulator needs specialist staff across a wide range of skills - from medical doctors to manufacturing experts.
"It's a bit like training a concert pianist," Professor Skerritt said.
Of course, Australia is not alone in the race to assess and approve vaccines for coronavirus, with senior staff at the regulator consulting constantly with their counterparts overseas to swap data, particularly with countries that have already started their rollouts.
Professor Skerritt has worked into the early hours of the morning twice this week, and is set to do it again next week, dialling into conference calls with people across the globe.
"There's a lot of tired and grumpy people in this building, myself included," he joked.
"For the last two nights, I've been up past midnight on teleconferences with the head of the British regulator, the head of the European regulator, and number two at the FDA. So I just wish Australia was in a different time zone!"
Dr Lisa Kerr leads the 100 staff in the laboratories at the TGA, where her staff are working on testing each of the vaccines in a variety of ways as well as a range of other work - just some of which is related to the pandemic - and other business-as-usual functions.
Because while Australians are focused on the vaccine, other important work must continue. The regulator also assesses each batch of personal protective equipment that enters the country, to ensure Australia's medical professionals aren't vulnerable to infection through a faulty mask or weak hand sanitiser.
While the approval finish line is in sight, the work of the Therapeutic Goods Administration on the pandemic won't end with that sign-off, but is set to continue for years to come.