Neighbourhood Houses bring people together to connect, learn and contribute in their local community through social, educational, recreational and support activities, using a unique community development approach.
Community development is about enabling communities to identify and address their own needs. It starts from the assumption that communities have existing strengths and assets that make them part of the solution. Community development practice is about doing with, rather than doing for.
Neighbourhood Houses welcome people from all walks of life. This inclusive approach creates opportunities for individuals and groups to enrich their lives through connections they might not otherwise make.

"IF YOU'VE BEEN TO ONE NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSE, YOU'VE BEEN TO ONE NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSE."There are around 400 Neighbourhood Houses across Victoria. As they respond to locally identified needs and priorities, the program at a Neighbourhood Houses in metropolitan Melbourne is likely to be quite different from what's on offer in remote, rural Victoria. This diversity is reflected in the different names they are known by, which include:

Neighbourhood House
Community House
Learning Centre
Living and Learning Centre
Neighbourhood Centre
Community Centre

 

Neighbourhood House Sector Principles

Community Ownership

To set, manage and control the direction, resources, decision-making and processes of the Neighbourhood House or Centre in order that local volunteer members have a sense of ownership and intrinsic belonging.

Community Participation

To recognise that everyone has a valuable contribution to make and to facilitate community members to join in at any level. Volunteers and community members are integral to the decision-making, evaluation, provision, participation and direction setting at all levels of the organisation.

Empowerment:
To put into practice a process which respects, values and enhances people’s ability to have control of their lives. This process encourages people to meet their needs and aspirations in a self aware and informed way which takes advantage of their skills, experience and potential.

Access and Equity

To ensure fair and equitable access for all people. Striving to make accessible to individuals, groups and the community meaningful opportunities, programs, activities and services. To promote a fairer distribution of economic resources and power between people.

Life Long Learning

To build and support the personal skills, knowledge, abilities and resilience of people. To develop the health, wellbeing and connection of people and their families, through formal and informal pathways in education, employment and self- development.

Inclusion

To value the diverse contributions that people make and to be sensitive to their individual needs.

Networking

To link, form alliances, collaborate and work with individuals, groups, other agencies, government and business.

Advocacy

To act with and on behalf of community members to endeavour that their individual or group needs are met.

Self Help

To come together in a supportive group environment to share information, knowledge, skills and life experience in order that each participant can reach their own personal goals.

Social Action

To analyse internal and external factors that impact on the local community, to transform relationships between individuals, groups and organisations and within the community through collective action.

The Neighbourhood House and Learning Centre sector works in a community development framework with a membership-based governance model. This builds social connections and networks that are based on trust, respect and reciprocal interaction – known as social capital.

Find out more about what neigbourhood houses do and the background to our sector -  Neighbourhood House Sector Framework

 
Creeds Farm is a Community Governed Organisation 

Creeds Farm Living & Learning Centre had it's Annual General Meeting in  2015.  The 2014 meeting included a special resolution to accept a new set of rules for the organisation, as required by Community Affairs Victoria.  The membership also voted in a new Board, consisting of Venkat Narayanan, Upul Sarathusinghe, Karen Rosenberg. The Annual Report and our Rules can be found here.

 Annual Report 2014 - 2015      Annual Report  2015 - 2016           Annual Report 2016 - 2017         Rules      Strategic Plan 2016 - 2020

Community Development

One of the strengths of Creeds Farm Living & Learning Centre is its Community Development in program development and governance. The CFLLC's approach respects the diversity of participants and promotes social inclusion for the purpose of individual health & wellbeing, as well as community safety. Early engagement with community members has been on the agenda from the outset, and remains vital to the establishment of the Living & Learning Centre. The construction, design, programming and governance of the educational Centre have all been underpinned by CD principles.

Neighbourhood Houses bring people together to connect, learn and contribute in their local community through social, educational, recreational and support activities, using a unique community development approach.
Community development enables communities to identify and address their own needs. It starts from the assumption that communities have existing strengths and assets that make them part of the solution.
Neighbourhood Houses welcome people from all walks of life. This inclusive approach creates opportunities for individuals and groups to enrich their lives through connections they might not otherwise make, strengthening networks and building social capital.

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PRACTICE MODEL

These six steps enable Neighbourhood Houses to meet the needs of their local communities.

INVOLVING

Involving the community and encouraging participation and inclusion, and valuing diversity and difference at all levels of neighbourhood house operation

IDENTIFYING

Identifying community needs and aspirations

DETERMINING

Determining appropriate community programs, activities and services in response to those needs, ensuring that diversity and difference are valued

PARTNERING

Partnering with community organisations, businesses, government and philanthropic organisations to secure appropriate funding and support

DELIVERING

Delivering quality programs, activities and services

EVALUATING

Evaluating the effectiveness of all aspects of neighbourhood house operations, including programs, practice and governance.

 

Origins of Creeds Farm

Creeds Farm Living and Learning Centre was opened in 2011. The concept, design & implementation of Creeds Farm Living & Learning Centre incorporated the partnership of 5 different organisations:

City of Whittlesea
The City of Whittlesea Council values co-ordination and shared outcomes in order to achieve the best outcome for its communities. Council is preparing itself for significant development in a number of growth areas in the coming years including Epping North's Aurora, the largest sustainable master-planned community in Victoria.

Hornery Institute
The Hornery Institute is an independent, boutique agency specialising in community planning and development and offering a "people centred" approach to the development of places. The mission of The Hornery Institute articulates its broader purpose as "making communities better places to live, learn, work and play". The Hornery Institute aspire to create the best outcomes for the community by making connections and working in partnership with the appropriate stakeholders.

Melbourne Citymission
Melbourne Citymission are widely respected for their ability to broker and lead ground breaking collaborations between communities, government, business and the not-for-profit sectors, as well as addressing critical social and economic issues in neighbourhoods where poverty, unemployment, abuse and exclusion are entrenched and intergenerational.

North East Neighbourhood House Network
The North East Neighbourhood House Network facilitates co-ordination and linkages within the network membership and the wider community service system, provides support and resourcing to member houses, and advocates on behalf of the membership at a community, Local and State Government level.

VicUrban (now Places Victoria)
VicUrban was the Victorian Government's sustainable urban development agency committed to delivering prosperous and successful communities in regional and metropolitan Victoria. VicUrban works in partnership with the public and private sector and takes a leadership role in urban developments across metropolitan and regional Victoria.