This week's highlight - Time Lapse Video Workshop - 11th/12th August - book in soon!
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News from the Network 

Birallee Park Neighbourhood House

Birallee Park Neighbourhood House is involved in the development of a community driven garden on the grounds of the Emmanuel Anglican & Uniting Church in Wodonga. Birallee conducts a very successful emergency food relief project called “Our Table to Yours” which cooks and distributes over 400 meals weekly to those in need in our community. We decided to link the new garden plots through food and gardening workshops delivered by the Neighbourhood House to inform the community about growing fresh food and its preparation into nutritious simple meals. Once they have worked in the garden beds, new gardeners will be encouraged to grow their own food at home, and will also be supported in cooking simple meals for themselves, as they learn from our experienced cooks who volunteer in our relief program.

Construction has commenced on 28 transportable wicking garden plots, together with construction of large fixed vegetable beds alongside the redevelopment of our existing vegetable plots, using poly barrels, old sleepers, and recycled pallets – all of which will be accessible to the public. We provide everything that individuals requires to commence growing their own food, as we lead by example with “Our Table to Yours”.  

Birallee is already working closely with local schools, health organisations and refugee and indigenous groups, and many community organisations have already adopted plots for their own use. We welcome everyone from the community to volunteer in our garden and grow food for themselves.

Birallee was highlighted at the recent Communities in Control conference by Dr Jim Diers in his keynote presentation about community building.

Ideas for income diversification

I recently asked other Networkers from across the state for any examples they had of neighbourhood houses in their Network that were doing interesting things to generate income. Here are some of the examples they provided:

  • Community Op Shops
  • Community Craft Shop and wifi Lounge
  • Running the local community market
  • Linking with local employment agencies to attract participants in fee for service programs (and potentially gaining new committee members in the long term)
  • Renting out meeting space with catering
  • Partnering with a community market, so some of the proceeds go to the neighbourhood house
  • Producing a community newspaper
  • Cafe and catering services
  • Social enterprise that develops grant applications
  • Birthday party hire venue
Let me know if you'd like more information about any of these ideas.

Yack Station

Yack Station is a unique place that has been created for artists in Yackandandah. The station has the capabilities and facilities, including a cafe, to accommodate buses/coaches, so if you are looking at opportunities for group activities they are happy to help in setting up a visit. They also offer workshops facilitated by their artists, some of which can be tailored for specific groups. They have artists who are prepared to run workshops outside of Yackandandah. For more information click here.

Spotlight on Network members

Don't forget - we are on the lookout for your stories to share. What are you doing at your House that you are really proud of? Why not share it with other members? Send an email to Trish at with a paragraph or two (and a photo if possible!)


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Coming up

Next UMRNHN Network meeting: 8th September at Yarrawonga Neighbourhood House.

Time Lapse Video Workshop
Training workshops have been organised for the afternoon of 11th August in Wangaratta and the morning of 12th August in Wodonga. Stay tuned for an email with more information.

In brief

Jobs Australia (JA) is the national peak body representing NFP organisations that help disadvantaged people find work. JA offer a range of services, including assistance with Industrial Relations and Human Resources advice. 
ANHLC has an agreement with JA that gives ANHLC members a discounted price, and strongly encourages houses to consider joining. Click here to find out more about JA.


Don't forget your ANHLC membership is up for renewal. As with last year, it will be an online renewal process. You should have received an email from ANHLC with instructions. If you haven't, contact the ANHLC office.


Don't Panic! An emergency planning kit for neighbourhood houses has been developed in Barwon Region. Click here to find out more.

Community development
Street by Street - do you know all the people in your street? What would your community - and the world! - be like if everyone was connected and helped one another, and made amazing things happen? This is the vision of Street by Street. Find out more here. They're currently looking for Community Connectors - maybe a role for you and your House?

Bank of I.D.E.A.S. - this organisation, run by Peter Kenyon, produces a really good newsletter, focusing on initiatives for the development of enterprising actions and strategies. Click here for more information and to sign up to the newsletter. 
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