Friday, 6 November 2015

50 Mile Farmers Market

This Saturday (Nov 7th) the 50 Mile Farmers Market Latrobe Valley will be on at The VRI between 8:00am and 1:00pm, Queens Parade Traralgon.

"The 50 Mile Farmers Market is an event drawing local producers within a 50 mile radius, gathering and maintaining a local fresh food network. The Market is planned to occur every 1st Saturday at The VRI and every 2nd Saturday at Tarwin Street, Morwell. Hopefully we will expand this to more locations in the Valley in the near future!

The ambition is to support sustainable agriculture, local food production, community supported agriculture, organic farming and slow food culture."

For more information you can visit the Facebook page or the official web site at

Friday, 9 May 2014

Latest News!

Time is running out to get your vote in for the Latrobe City Business Tourism Association.  It's time to vote in the 2014 People's Choice Awards! Vote for Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House in the 'Most Popular Community Service/Organisation' and 'Good Access is Good Business' categories. Vote online at or by phone 1800 621 409. Thanks everyone

We are participating in the Valley Art Festival Open Day tomorrow- Saturday 10th May 2014 -  Jim us for demonstrations of our classes, Devonshire tea and much more!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Crowd Funding Success!

Our crowd funding project with to raise money from the community to repair the VRI Hall roof has been successful. Over 70 people contributed to the fund and one major 'angel supporter' rescued the project toward the finish. This person wants to remain anonymous and as that was a condition of the pledge, we will be protecting that individual's identity.

We now begin our new projects. First order of the day is to finalise and sign off on the lease with the VRI. We expect work will start on the community garden as soon as that has been completed. The Traralgon College Hands on Learning students are ready to go and last term we received a grant from Latrobe City to support the garden and pizza oven that will go toward getting our garden flourishing.

The Digital Shed students will continue to operate from Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House on Fridays and Saturday mornings until we have the roof repairs finished and communications set up at the hall.

We intend to have an open day for our garden on the 29th October so more information will be forthcoming about that day.

This is an exciting time for us and we look to our community to continue the support through participation. If you would like to be involved in the Latrobe Valley Community Shed and Digital Shed, please contact us. There are opportunities to build this resource together. We are truly grateful for the affirmation that our crowd funding project has given us.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Brainfood Conference 2013

Jenny, Julie, Anne, Joh and I attended the Brainfood Conference last week. There were a smaller number of participants than usual and it made for a more intimate group and many stories were shared. We heard about the hardships faced by other communities as 'times are tough' everywhere. We had the opportunity to give feedback to the ACFE board about what would help.

Julie and Joh shared with a workshop the things we do at the Traralgon Neighbourhood House to keep our people coming back. We let them know how we only start a course if someone requests to either learn something or teach something and that way we know at least someone is interested;-).

This is the clip they made to show the kinds of things we do to stay interesting to our community:


Some of you are in it:). I know I feature in it. I loved the time out and put on quite an entertaining show at the dinner. Have a look at our facebook page photos to see some of the things I got up to!

Jenny and Joh shared a story about how we have drawn on our community support to overcome problems this last 12 months and they won a sewing machine from the lovely man from Toyota - which came just in time for the Red Cross ladies to use on Saturday morning! Don't you love it when that happens.

We really appreciated the enthusiasm and support from our friends in community education. Our crowd funding project received a donation from Springvale Neighbourhood House. At the end of the conference the Brainfood people also made a donation towards our project.

If you haven't had a chance to put your pledge in, click here now - only 13 days to go!

PS: Our Committee of Management will henceforth be known as a Board of Governance!

Monday, 9 September 2013

FAQ about VRI Hall Crowdfunding

Why is the Neighbourhood House fixing the roof? Shouldn't the VRI fix it?
The VRI is a not for profit social club. They have not been able to raise the funding to have the roof repaired. The hall is a great space, but the leakages from the roof are causing damage to the building. It's a major investment.

If the Neighbourhood House repairs the roof, our rent of the venue will be reduced on a sliding scale. If we remain tenants for 10 years, we will fully recover the expense of the roof repairs. The hall is a great venue and repairing it will make it available to be used for many great community purposes, including our own.

What if you don't get the $35,000?
Those who have made a pledge will keep their money. Money doesn't come out of anyone's account unless the target is met.

We will seek sponsorship from businesses and government and philanthropic grants. These things usually have strings attached. It would be great to have the community support the project.

We believe the crowd funding will raise awareness of what we are aiming for as well as funds.

Doesn't the Government already pay for things like this?
We receive recurrent funding from Department of Human Services(NHCP) and from ACFE (Adult, Community and Further Education) to subsidise a portion of our pre-accredited classes. Latrobe City provides a small amount for maintenance. We apply for and receive grants for special purposes, yet grant submissions are time consuming and not always successful. Government funding is only 49% of our income. The remainder of our income comes from class fees, interest, fundraising, room hire and donations.

For every dollar invested through the NHCP, NHs raise $5.29 (ANHLC data survey 2012). A good return for investment by anyone's standards.

Our Profit and Loss Statement is on the record in our Annual Report available at the Neighbourhood House.  I would encourage you to look at it if you have an interest.

Please keep asking questions. We are happy to answer them.


Tuesday, 3 September 2013

We are Crowd Funding!

We have launched our crowd funding project today with the helpful people from Pozible!

We need your support to share the message and make a donation! Even $1- will make a difference. There are over 70, 000 people in Latrobe Valley and if every person donated $1 we would have double what we need.

This space will allow the Neighbourhood House to do more to support the people of the Valley to learn, be together and be more resilient.

We are planning to put a Community Garden on the tennis courts. There is plenty of space for it. The LV Community Shed activities can start there, there is space for us to store and use tools and we envisage many hands on learning projects. The Digital Shed can move it's activities there and there will be plenty of room to expand our digital projects.

Have a look at the clip the students made in just a couple of days. Press play on the top photo of the project. We hope to support local small businesses and entrepreneurs to get an online presence. There are great opportunities online for learning and participating.

Ask questions - We'll write a FAQ about our project on Friday. Send questions to or leave a comment.

Take a look at these stats - Latrobe Valley - Highlights ( We have 8% unemployment when the national average is 6% and Victorian 5%. We need to do something different and become more enterprising and innovative. This is a great place to live so lets rethink how we live and work here and help create a resource to support our resilience.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Ministry of Food Comes to Town

We all love Jamie Oliver.

Come to Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House and enrol in a Ministry of Food course. Learn how to make beautiful, simple, healthy on skin....standing beside someone and cooking with them.

Jamie is excited. We are excited. Let's go.

Book in early through the Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House. We have some places for our people. Reserve your spot today, tickets will be released to the public Monday 12th. Avoid disappointment.

For more information: The Express: Ministry of Food on Schedule