Sector Principles

Neighbourhood houses are guided by a unique community development approach.

Community development empowers communities to identify and address their own needs and aspirations. It then utilises the existing strengths and assets within that community to make the community part of the solution.

The principles for the neighbourhood house sector are:

Community ownership
To set, manage and control the neighbourhood house’s direction, resources, decision making and processes so that local volunteer members have a sense of ownership and intrinsic belonging.

Community participation
Recognising that everyone has a valuable contribution to make and facilitating community members to join in at any level. Volunteers and community members are integral to the decision-making, evaluation, provision, participation and direction setting at all levels of the organisation.

To put into practice a process that respects, values and enhances people’s ability to have control of their lives. This process encourages people to meet their needs and aspirations in a self-aware and informed way that takes advantage of their skills, experience and potential.

Access and equity
To ensure fair and equitable access for all people. Strive to make meaningful opportunities, programs, activities and services accessible to individuals, groups and the community. To promote a fairer distribution of economic resources and power between people.

Lifelong learning
To build and support the personal skills, knowledge, abilities and resilience of people. To develop the health, well-being and connection of people and their families through formal and informal pathways in education, employment and self-development.

To value the diverse contributions that people make and to be sensitive to their individual needs.

To link, form alliances, collaborate and work with individuals, groups, other agencies, government and businesses.

Act with and on behalf of community members to ensure their individual or group needs are met.

To come together in a supportive group environment to share information, knowledge, skills and life experience so that each participant can reach their personal goals.

Social action
To analyse internal and external factors that impact the local community and to transform relationships between individuals, groups and organisations within the community through collective action.