Who we are

The North East Neighbourhood House Network (NENHN) is a network of 33 Neighbourhood Houses in the North East of Melbourne. Geographically the network covers five municipalities: Darebin, Whittlesea, Yarra, Nillumbik and Banyule.

Established in 1986 and incorporated in 1992, we are one of 16 regional networks for Neighbourhood Houses.

Our vision

Building communities where diversity is valued

Our aims

  • To provide professional development for co-ordinators and committees
  • To facilitate support and information sharing
  • To promote and advocate on behalf of houses, in general and individually
  • To develop projects addressing common issues

Our principles

NENHN operates within a social justice framework underpinned by 10 Community Development principles which are:

  • Community Ownership
  • Community Participation
  • Empowerment
  • Access and Equity
  • Life Long Learning
  • Inclusion
  • Networking
  • Advocacy
  • Self help
  • Social Action

The Network's principles and values are:

  • Work in partnership openly sharing ideas and resources
    • Communicate with all other network workers
    • Facilitate opportunities to learn from each other
    • Provide opportunities to build the capacity of individual houses
    • Facilitate sharing of ideas and lessons
  • Support and promote social justice, ethical and environmental sustainability principles in all our activities
    • Work towards environmental sustainability
    • Support an promote social justice principles in all our activities
    • Respect confidentiality
    • Work ethically
    • Encourage healthy debate
  • Provide advocacy on behalf of all members to our peak body and other organisations
    • Advocate for all houses
    • Inform and support ANHLC's advocacy role
    • Promote the NH sector
  • Work to achieve valuable outcomes
    • Use solution based – strength based approaches
    • Work with each other to achieve things

Our membership

Our members are all Neighbourhood Houses within our regional boundary.

How we are funded

The Department Health and Human Services (DHHS) provides core funding for network activity through the Neighbourhood House Coordination Program (NHCP). Additional funding is sought through grants for network projects.

Our members pay an annual member fee which is scaled according to their annual turnover.

What's a Neighbourhood House

Neighbourhood Houses have a vision to bring people together and enhance opportunities for people and communities.

They provide an informal, non-threatening and nurturing environment for supported individualised learning.

They are called by a variety of names, reflecting their varied historical beginnings, including Community House, Community Centre, Living and Learning Centre, Neighbourhood Centre and Learning Centre.

The common thread is that they are all not-for-profit organisations where available funds are combined with a strong volunteer input to ensure maximum benefit to each diverse community. Each House or Centre is a legal entity in its own right, or auspiced by a legal entity, and has a formal (and, in some cases, financial) membership base.

The community is defined primarily, but not exclusively, by the geographical neighbourhood in which the Houses are located.

Neighbourhood Houses and Learning Centres are community-owned generalist services; they are unequalled in their ability to provide a continuity of service to people through their changing life stages. The activities and programs provided have developed in response to the needs of the neighbourhood, other community infrastructure and resource constraints.

The Neighbourhood House sector in Australia includes more than 1,000 organisations. Its continued success is assured as individuals and communities discover the potential to connect and bring together divergent parts of each community.