48-50 Beattie Cres, Morwell VIC 3840


A Brief History of Morwell Neighbourhood House

Founding of the House

The Morwell Neighbourhood House Group began in September 1981. Running out of the Morwell Salvation Army Community Room, the first activities took the form of a play group held on Mondays of each week.

The need to initiate a Neighbourhood House arose out of the observation of the continued increase of isolation of people in the Morwell area by community workers from the Early Childhood Development Unit and concerned community members. It was hoped that a Neighbourhood House would provide people witha local place to meet, make new friends, and learn new skills.

It was soon realised that if the House was to operate effectively and provide programs and children's activities, then a suitable venue was needed.

Doolan Street Years

In March of 1982, the organisation's applicaton to the Ministry of Housing for a public house was successful, allowing the move to a new venue at 2 Doolan Street in Morwell.

Morwell Neighbourhood House was located at Doolan Street from March 1982–April 1986.

It was during these years that the House applied for and was successful in securing a small amount of funding for the first coordinator role at the House.

It was also from this venue that the Morwell Neighbourhood House was to become officially established–becoming incorporated in 1984.

In 1985, work was started towards getting a larger and more convenient venue for the House. Although Doolan Street was held in great affection by those who knew it, the size of the venue was far too small for the growing organisation and its location on a very steep block cause a number of logistical issues.

The Move to Symons Crescent

In 1986 the Ministry of Housing made available 17 Symons Crescent and, later on, number 19 Symons Crescent.

On 17 July, 1986 the House was officially opened by Victorian Premier John Cain MP. Mr Cain, through the Premier's Department, generously donated a photocopier and electronic typewriter.

During this time a Childcare Co-ordinator was employed and the House brought in a policy to pay its Tutors, who had previously worked on a voluntary basis.

At Symons Crescent the neighbourhood house continued to flourish under 3 coordinators, a child care worker, and many tutors and volunteers. There were, of course, some problems, such as insufficient funding.

On 21 December 1988, the second house at 19 Symons Crescent was officially opened by the Hon. P Spyker, Minister for Community Services. There was great anticipation as the second house opened.

This new addition meant that the House could now offer a more flexible program that catered for the community needs; it also meant that the participants could benefit from using the class 2 child care they were now able to offer.

The small venue meant child care was limited and only one program could operate at any time.

A New Home at Beattie Crescent

By the early 2000s, Morwell Neighbourhood House had out-grown both of these houses.

In April 2005, Morwell Neighbourhood House made the move to the present venue of 48-50 Beattie Crescent. It was officially opened on 1 June, 2005 by the then Minister for Housing, Candy Broad officiating the occasion.

Our Present

2012 saw the changing of the guard. The coordinator of 20 years Ann Robinson retired. Tracie Lund was employed to step into Ann’s shoes. With great enthusiasm, Tracie embraced the role and set about making some significant changes while maintaining a commitment to the legacy Ann had developed over the last 20 years.

Since July 2012, Tracie has actively embraced a new ‘family’ at Morwell Neighbourhood House. Tracie works alongside and for the Committee of Governance. Priority is always towards the community. The program has been completely revamped with a focus on community strengthening and engaging. Neighbourhood House members actively engage with the house Coordinator in projects and awareness days.

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