About Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania Inc
Here is a brief ABOUT NHT Flier available for download.
And here is a brief introductory video.
Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania (NHT) is the peak body for Neighbourhood and Community Houses and Centres across Tasmania.
The forerunner to NHT, the Tasmanian Association of Community Houses (TACH), was formed by a group of volunteers in 1985 to collectively represent and support the work of Houses within their communities and across the state. For fifteen years, TACH was governed and run by a volunteer management committee with no recurrent funding. In 2000, the State Government acknowledged the importance of Neighbourhood Houses by providing funding for an Executive Officer. This funding has increased in recent years and now provides the equivalent of two full time positions to work in support of the 33 DHHS funded Houses & Centres and also the Defence funded community centre at Dowsing Point.
On Monday 17 November 2014 TACH Inc changed its name to Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania Inc (NHT). Like TACH before it, NHT is governed by a Board made up of ten members elected by the three Regional Neighbourhood House Networks (South, North, and North-West). These representatives on the NHT Board must be staff, committee members or volunteers from their local House. Each House can nominate one of their financial members for the annual election to one of these regional representative positions. This ensures that NHT continues working on issues that are important to our members and that our services stay relevant.
Some of the services NHT provides are:
- An annual Conference which we highly subsidise for House delegates
- A newsletter published up to four times a year
- Regular news and information on funding opportunities, award changes, training opportunities (let us know if you‘d like to be included on our email list)
- Confidential assistance and information on House management issues
- A Management Committee Handbook available to Members on our website, along with associated tools and templates
- We coordinate joint marketing and promotion of the work of Neighbourhood Houses across the State, eg NHT through the promotion of Neighbourhood House Week, or the National Simultaneous Story Time projects
- Provide regular updates on changes to Awards, Government policy and legislative requirements
- Take the social issues common across most communities and lobby collectively as a united voice to State and Federal politicians and Departments – for instance,we are currently compiling information sheets on four Big Issue discussions we have been having – about Health and Wellbeing, Unemployment, Education and Cost of Living. These discussions focus on sharing our successes and looking for potential solutions
- Liaison with the Department of Health and Human Services, particularly the Community Partnership Teams and other Government agencies on issues affecting Houses and your communities
- Provide state-wide representation on committees and councils – e.g. the TasCOSS Social Policy Council; No Interest Loans Scheme Board (NILS)
- A website that contains great information, resources, policies and procedures and many other tools which are of value to our Members
- Regional networking and training opportunities
- Auspicing projects like Eating with Friends to support Houses to start their own social healthy eating groups for people who are socially isolated
- Partner with other organisations like Wellways on the Grassroots Mental Health project
- Source funds as a state-wide network and then broker those funds to Houses to deliver projects at a local level, as in our ten year $1.5 million grant for Everyday Literacy, and our current Get Healthy Project
The NHT team is made up of an Executive Officer – John Hooper, and staff including a Finance Officer – Nicole Green , Project and Development Officers Jonathan Bedloe (development) Karen Austen (Eating With Friends), Jo White (Results Based Accountability), and Steve Cooke (Everyday Literacy for Local Communities)
Neighbourhood and Community Houses and Centres bring local people together to look at what opportunities or needs exist in their community, and then more importantly, work together on doing something about it.
Over the last 30 years, the network of Houses and Centres in Tasmania has grown in response to the needs of the Tasmanian community.
This means that within Neighbourhood Houses on any given day you might see:
- a young parents’ playgroup;
- a community meeting to address a serious problem in their community;
- a volunteer gardening and home maintenance crew heading out to assist the elderly and people with a disability;
- planning for a community fun day;
- a community shed or garden full of people working away; or
- a group of people talking over a cup of tea.
A key strength of Neighbourhood Houses is that they must be governed by a volunteer management committee of people who live or work in their community. They are not run by an external board or agency; they are run by the local community for the local community.
This has given many Tasmanians a chance to build their community leadership skills and to step from there to do even more amazing things for their community and Tasmania.
The Neighbourhood House Program Strategic Framework is a living document, a practical tool, a celebration of the Program’s success, and a cornerstone for future growth.
The work first commenced in 2001 with the release of the In 2002- 2007 framework, followed by a further review in 2008 and a redesign in 2013. This framework provides a solid foundation for operation of the Community Houses and Neighbourhood Centres funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (Tas.)
Under the Framework the following purpose and goals provide a guide for house operations. (Click here to download a PDF copy of the Strategic Framework)
The vision for the Neighbourhood House program in Tasmania sets four goals to be achieved.
These goals are:
Support People and Their Families
Enhance Participation Choices
Local Governance and Management
Building Community refers to building and supporting community networks of inclusiveness, involvement, trust and mutual co-operation between people in the community and between them and the associations, institutions and businesses operating in the community. This develops community spirit and cohesion and builds community well being.
Support People And Their Families
Supporting people and their families is about building and supporting the personal skills, knowledge, abilities and resilience of people in the community, and develop the health and well being of people and their families.
Enhance Participation Choices
Enhancing choices is about supporting and extending training and employment readiness opportunities for individuals and/or groups to improve economic independence by increasing the options available to them.
Local Governance and Management
Neighbourhood Houses are community operated organisations, governed by a management committee or board of management consisting of volunteers living or working in the local community.
Neighbourhood House Funding
Funding comes from a variety of sources but predominantly from DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services).
The Dowsing Point Community Centre is unique as it is funded by the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
North West Region
Kate Beer—NHT President – Coordinator at Devonport Community House
Tracey Carter – Coordinator at East Devonport Community House
Simon Douglas – NHT Treasurer – Coordinator at Central Coast Community House
Graham Ryan – Committee member from Northern Suburbs Community Centres
Sue-Ellen Mills – Volunteer at St Helens Neighbourhood House
Lynette Burr – Manager at Ravenswood Neighbourhood House
Kristy Leishman, Coordinator Clarendon Vale Neighbourhood Centre
— President at Maranoa Heights Community Centre
Vacant general position
Michael Higgins – NHT Vice-President and Public Officer- Manager at Geeveston Community House
NHT is a proud member of ANHCA – the Australian Neighbourhood Houses and Centres Association
ANHCA represents nationally the one thousand (1,000) Neighbourhood Centres, Community Houses, Learning Centres, Neighbourhood Houses and Community Centres who are member organisations of their state and territory peak/representative bodies.
ANHCA’s Vision: Strengthening Local Communities
- To contribute to national policy and issues of common interest to Neighbourhood Houses and Centres
- To promote and strengthen the national identity of Neighbourhood Houses and Centres
- To enhance the quality, skills and knowledge of Neighbourhood Houses and Centres
Australian Neighbourhood Houses and Centres Association is governed by elected representatives from its member state and territory peak organisations and representative bodies.
Contact details for ANHCA