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  • Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre

    About Us

Our History

The Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre has been active since 1980. Formally known as the Ballarat East Community House (BECH), the Centre began as an Occasional Creche held in a church hall. It quickly became apparent many people were isolated from family, relatives and friends. The women had needs other than childcare, which could not be met by existing services. Efforts were made to obtain suitable premises and in 1982 the Ballarat East Community House officially opened.

During the following years the Centre has offered a wide variety of courses and activities for an ever increasing number of people living in and around Ballarat. In 2012 BECH merged with the Delacombe Neighbourhood House and local Work & Learning Centre, to become the Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre. Soon the Centre outgrew its premises and settled into the Ballarat South Community Hub in January of 2013.

Over the years as the organisation has grown, the Ballarat South Community Hub location at the back of Phoenix P12 Community College, has created opportunities for Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre to work closely with school staff and families. In late 2020, discussion with Regional Development Victoria started on a joint community garden project for Sebastopol. This large community garden also located on the school’s grounds will open in 2024. It will provide another training and community meeting space for Sebastopol residents and the wider Ballarat community to use and work together in as the garden grows.

Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre has not forgotten it’s Delacombe community connections, continuing to support its members by convening the Delacombe Chair’s Form of likeminded support organisations and running activities for this community.  Working with this community and the City of Ballarat saw Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre take over managing the Delacombe Community Hub in July 2023. After being closed for several Covid years, this additional facility has been embraced by locals with community activities commencing almost immediately. Over the next few years, there are plans to create a vibrant volunteer hub for small community group meetings,  organise community activities, reestablish the community garden and provide a range of services to help community members.

After 40 years, the Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre may have changed locations, activities and faces but we have never wavered from our core mission to help those in need where they need.

What is a Neighbourhood Centre?

Neighbourhood Centres, or Houses, bring people together to connect, learn and contribute in their local community through social, educational, recreational and support activities, using a unique community development approach.

Ballarat Neighbourhood Centre improves our local community by delivering skills and training, working with other community organisations to create employment, training and volunteering opportunities and by working together with residents and others to make our neighbourhoods the best they can be.

Our Success

2023 Awards

  • Winner City of Ballarat Community Event of the Year (Our Kitchen Social Enterprise)
  • Winner Mary Douglas, City of Ballarat Community Senior of the Year Award (Aging Well)
  • Heartbeat Victoria – Community Event of the Year
  • Victorian Training Awards

2022 Awards

  • Finalist City of Ballarat Community Event of the Year (Harmony Celebration)
  • Finalist Bill Reynolds, City of Ballarat Community Senior of the Year Award (Aging Well)

2021 Awards

  • Winner National Trust Ballarat Greg Binns Award (Mt Pleasant History Group
  • Finalist Victorian Learn Local Awards, Victorian Learn Local Pre-accredited Program Award (For large providers) (Our Kitchen Social Enterprise)
  • Finalist Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards, Ballarat Foundation Community Impact Award

2020 Awards

  • Finalist Keep Victoria Beautiful Sustainablle Cities Community Award (Mt Pleasant History Project)

2018 Awards

  • Finalist Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards, CGU Insurance Not for Profit Business Award
  • Finalist Victorian Learn Local Pre-Accredited Pathway Program Award

2017 Awards

  • Finalist Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards, CGU Insurance Community and Government category

2016 Awards

  • Winner AMES Australia Diversity & Innovation Learn Local Award
  • Winner City of Ballarat Community Safety Award Urban Design for safe and Healthy Environments
  • Finalist Federation Business School Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards, Not For Profit Category