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How Houses Started?

The Neighbourhood House movement was born in the 1970’s, gaining strength in a Whitlam-era Australia that recognised that health and community services were a ‘social right’ rather than a charitable act. 

There are powerful parallels between the movement’s origins, and the story of the former Clunes Free Lending Library, where Clunes Neighbourhood House has now found a permanent home. 

In the Business of Welcoming Everyone

Neighbourhood Houses combat social isolation and loneliness by being accessible, non-threatening and inclusive spaces that welcome people from all walks of life, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, ability, religion or economic status. They provide the opportunity for people to mix, learn from each other, and support each other. 

About Connections at Every Level

Ironically, the very connections that Neighbourhood Houses seek to nurture are also a Neighbourhood House’s superpower. 

Delivering activities and services that are uniquely place-based, Neighbourhood Houses are intrinsically connected (via our funding structure and representative body) to a wider, state-wide and national network that is focused on sharing the skills, knowledge and capacity necessary for houses to have maximum impact locally. 

The advantage of these wider connections is that even little houses, like Clunes Neighbourhood House, are part of a bigger ecosystem that is constantly working to help us improve the impact we can have locally.

Did you know that?
  • Clunes Neighbourhood House is part of a Hepburn Shire Network of Neighbourhood Houses across Clunes, Creswick, Daylesford and Trentham

  • Clunes Neighbourhood House is part of the Central Highlands Association of Neighbourhood Houses ( and meets regularly with managers from these houses to share skills, resources, participate in training and advocate for issues important to the wellbeing and connection needs of people in our communities

  • Clunes Neighbourhood House is supported by a CHANH networker who regularly assists all of the houses in the network to address governance and operational opportunities

  • Clunes Neighbourhood House is one of 400+ houses supported by Neighbourhood Houses Victoria (

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