One of our largest pieces of research to date, the Connecting a Diverse Victoria Report analyses the who and why of over 46,000 neighbourhood house participants.


In October-November 2017, we conducted a survey of Victorian neighbourhood house participants in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Neighbourhood houses were asked to select one week during a six-week period to invite all participants, including volunteers and visitors, to complete a short, anonymous, self-administered questionnaire on paper or online. Participation was voluntary.

Ninety-nine per cent of all Neighbourhood House Coordination Program funded neighbourhood houses participated in the survey, producing a sample size of 46,458 participants, living in 97 per cent of Victoria’s postcodes.

A similar survey was conducted in 2013 with 46,720 participants, providing good comparative data.

Key findings 

  • Neighbourhood houses continue to play an important role in engaging and connecting disadvantaged people and those at risk of social isolation, including people with disability, older persons and concession cardholders.
  • The neighbourhood house sector continues to cater for a diverse group of participants with equally diverse reasons for participating and benefits being derived.
  • Participants still identify multiple reasons for attending their neighbourhood house and the average number of benefits has increased slightly from 2013.
  • The most commonly identified benefits across the whole sample are associated with community connection, participation and reducing social isolation. Fifty-seven percent of all participants identify ‘spend time with other people’ and/or ‘meet new people/make friends’ as benefits; these are even more significant for specific ages.

The report provides findings according to participant's:

  • gender
  • age
  • disability
  • primary language spoken at home
  • Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander background

Download the report