Neighbourhood houses are the heart of our communities. They bring people together to connect, learn and contribute to their local community through social, educational, recreational and support activities.

Also commonly known as community centres, learning centres, community houses or neighbourhood centres, these inclusive community-based organisations welcome people of all ages, abilities and walks of life, creating opportunities for people to enrich their lives through connections they might not otherwise make.


There are over 400 neighbourhood houses across Victoria, but no two neighbourhood houses are ever the same. Guided by a community development approach, they each engage and respond to the needs and priorities of the communities they serve. 

Activities you may find at your local neighbourhood house include:

  • Adult education (pre-accredited and accredited training)
  • Art and craft classes
  • Childcare
  • Community events
  • Community lunches / Social eating groups
  • Community gardens
  • Digital literacy training
  • Food banks
  • Government services such as Centrelink, Vic Roads
  • Job seeking support
  • Health and wellbeing activities such as exercise, walking groups, yoga and tai chi
  • Internet access
  • Library or book swap services
  • Maternal child health
  • Men's Sheds
  • Migrant support programs e.g. English classes
  • Playgroups
  • Room hire
  • Referrals 
  • Self help and support groups
  • Seniors' groups
  • Toy libraries
  • Visitor/tourist information
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • Youth programs

Community advocacy is also an important role of neighbourhood houses. Often they will advocate to their local council, MPs and other relevant bodies on issues of importance to their local communities.

They also play a key role assisting in emergency management and building community resilience during and in the aftermath of local emergencies such as bushfires, floods etc.


In a nutshell, neighbourhood houses are the key to your local community.