Wednesday 2 March 2022

As Victoria opens up and people seek opportunities to re-connect with their community, over 30 Neighbourhood Houses have adopted the 'Chatty Cafe' concept.

Originating in the UK in 2017, Chatty Cafes provide an open invitation for community members from all walks of life to congregate at a local venue and have a chat over a cup of tea.

Neighbourhood Houses Victoria CEO Nicole Battle recently attended an official launch event in Bayside, with the Minister for Local Government, Suburban Development and Veterans, Shaun Leane, and Member for Northern Metropolitan Region, Fiona Patten (pictured above with Nicole and Managing Director Glenys Reid), among others.

"The concept is so simple, yet so effective,” Nicole said.

"Loneliness and social isolation are major issues in today's society, and this has only been exacerbated by the long periods of lockdown Victoria has experienced over the last two years. Not only could we not catch up with family and friends, we also missed out on a lot of those daily incidental interactions we experience, but don’t realise are also so important.

"Now that things are returning to as close to normal as they can in a post-COVID world, it's definitely the optimal time for Neighbourhood Houses to embrace this initiative.”

Nicole welcomes community members to Rosanna Fire Station Community House's very first Chatty Cafe.

Chatty Cafe Scheme Australia Manager Director Glenys Reid said Chatty Cafes were a simple way to encourage community connections and improve mental health outcomes in local communities.

"We are so happy to see so many Neighbourhood Houses in Victoria jump on board," Glenys said.

"This is going to have such a positive impact on the mental health and enjoyment of life for so many community members.

"Through chatty cafes, special connections are made. Strangers become friends. It gives people a social outlet; something they can look forward to."

"I hope we see even more Neighbourhood Houses join us in the future."

Highett and Hampton Community Centres were early adopters of the Chatty Cafe concept, which has been a successful way of drawing people to their centres and sparking connections: 

Neighbourhood Houses Victoria hosted an information session for the sector in August 2021. You can watch this here.

To sign up your organisation as a Chatty Cafe, register here.

List of Neighbourhood Houses running a Chatty Cafe

Click on the organisation name to find out more about when their Chatty Cafe meets.

Neighbourhood House Address
Alexandra Community Hub 38A Downey St, Alexandra
Ballarat East Neighbourhood House 39 Barkly St, Ballarat East 
Castlefield Community Centre 505 Bluff Rd, Hampton 
Caulfield South Community House 450 Kooyong Rd, Caulfield South
Chelsea Heights Community Centre 160 Thames Promenade, Chelsea Heights 
Cheltenham Community Centre 8 Chesterville Rd, Cheltenham 
Craigieburn Education & Community Centre 20 Selwyn Ave, Craigieburn 
Darley Neighbourhood House and Learning Centre 35 Jonathan Dr, Darley 
Dingley Village Neighbourhood Centre 31B Marcus Rd, Dingley Village 
Elwood St Kilda Neighbourhood Learning Centre 85-87 Tennyson St, Elwood 
Foundation Learning Centre 1 Malcolm Ct, Narre Warren 
Hamilton Community House 19 Sedgewick St, Hamilton 
Hampton Community Centre 14 Willis St, Hampton 
Highett Neighbourhood Community House 2 Livingston St, Highett 
Long Gully Neighbourhood Centre 52-54 Derwent Dr, Long Gully 
Mordialloc Community Centre 115A Warren Rd, Parkdale 
Mornington Community House 3/91 Wilsons Rd, Mornington 
North Carlton Railway Neighbourhood House 20 Solly Ave, Princes Hill 
Patterson Lakes Community Centre 54-70 Thompson Rd, Patterson Lakes 
Paynesville Neighbourhood Centre 55 Esplanade, Paynesville 
Port Fairy Community House 5 Railway Place, Port Fairy 
Red Cliffs Community Resource Centre 23 Indi Ave, Red Cliffs 
Rosanna Fire Station Community House 232 Lower Plenty Rd, Rosanna 
Seawinds Community Hub 11A Allambi Ave, Capel Sound 
Simpson & District Community Centre 11 Jayarra St, Simpson 
The Grange Community Centre 260-280 Hogans Rd, Hoppers Crossing 
Warragul Community House 138 Normanby St, Warragul 
West Footscray Neighbourhood House Level 1/539 Barkly St, West Footscray
Wonthaggi Neighbourhood Centre at Mitchell House 6 Murray St, Wonthaggi 
Woodend Neighbourhood house 47 Forest St, Woodend 
Yarraville Community Centre 59 Francis St, Yarraville