Over 35 years ago workers within the Traralgon region saw a need for a community house where people without extended family could meet. Their vision saw the Traralgon Community Drop in Centre commence on 21st November 1977.
The Centre was originally housed in the Hall of the Uniting Church in Kay Street, which has undergone a huge transformation over the years and has housed several restaurants/night clubs. It is currently Sabrosa’s Spanish Restaurant.
The Centre had several other changes of venue. Firstly to a house in Hotham Street that was condemned. Then the local Council offered us an old house where Red Rooster is currently situated. Council then purchased 61 Breed Street as a permanent home for TNLH, where we managed to run many classes in addition to childcare, until we outgrew it.
We were then moved in to the Kath Teychenne Centre at 11-13 Breed Street, which is often referred to locally as the old Traralgon Library or Men’s Club. Council helped in the refurbishment and we now have a bright, welcoming Neighbourhood Learning House which accommodates over 60 classes each week, in addition to being a meeting place for many support and community groups.
TNLH has grown in response to community need from a small Drop in Centre to a Learn Local organisation offering the community access to a wide range of educational and recreational courses, encouragement in the sharing of skills, knowledge and resources and the provision of personal support and information.
We are very proud of our history of serving our community in providing a safe, supportive, inclusive and welcoming environment that assists people in their personal journeys in addition to promoting life-long learning.
We are also very grateful for the support our community gives us and would like to share with you some of their stories.
The Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House Inc prides itself on providing a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment where people come to learn new skills and meet new friends. We support people in developing skills to enter paid employment and further education, learn a hobby and encourage social participation and a higher quality of life for all in our community.
In 2011 we decided we wanted to know exactly what our community thought about our Neighbourhood House and what it means to them. We were overwhelmed by the positive response and eagerness in which everyone wished to express how important the House is to them.
It is often difficult to quantify the effect a Neighbourhood House has on a community and to explain to politicians and the government why it is so important to continue allocating funds to assist our survival. So we collected the stories and testimonials from our students and created ‘The Best Little Book of Appreciation for the Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House Inc’.
This little book is full of stories which demonstrate the unique capacity of our House to build social capital and actively create a safer, friendlier, more inclusive, vibrant community, where people feel pride in their achievements and a sense of belonging.
People come to our House for many reasons, but one irrefutable fact is readily apparent. Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House is upholding its commitment to enhancing the quality of life of our community and with your help we will continue to do so well into the future.
Here are just some of those stories…..Your Stories….
I have recently completed the Microsoft Office course offered by Traralgon Neighbourhood House. The main reason I wanted to complete this course was so I could build upon my computer skills and hopefully this would help me gain employment. I have thoroughly enjoyed this course and found it very helpful. Everyone was very friendly and I was able to learn in a safe and welcoming environment. This course has helped me gain employment which I am very happy with. I would recommend this course to anyone that wanted to gain or build upon their already existing computer skills. Jessica
I am a Mum first and wife looking for the chance to get back into the work force. Neighbourhood House has offered me a course enabling me to get my self confidence back before I start my new job in the future. Anonymous
The Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House has helped me to understand how many options are ‘out there’ for people to explore and learn about. It has helped myself confidence and communication skills both at home and in the community.
The friendship made here are many and I have learned so much from the course I am doing here (Increasing Women’s Options), it has set me on the right path for future employment and career choices. Riecky
I have been attending the Neighbourhood House for over ten years. I have made friends and created so many new items which I would not have enjoyed making on my own. These have been gifts for family and friends, my grand children and great grand children have all enjoyed and kept these items. I have now become an instructor and enjoy sharing my knowledge. Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House has had a big impact on my life and without Neighbourhood House I would have a big hole in my life. Kay
Neighbourhood House! What a wonderful place to learn and experience new ventures. I have been coming to the House for approximately 12 years. In that time I have done computer courses and embroidery. I have achieved so much, more confidence and expertise in these fields, enabling me to obtain many projects and friends. It has helped me to go out into the world and show off my new talents.Gwen
I love to come to my Neighbourhood House. It allows me to learn a valuable skill which I love. I have made many friends and enjoy the social outlet which is invaluable, especially when my children were young. It was my sanity. Krys
Due to my P.T.S.D. I have anxiety and panic attacks. Coming to Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House has helped me gain confidence that I can leave my house and feel confident, welcome and I achieve every time. I could finish a project without Neighbourhood House, but I would still feel trapped in my house looking at the world but not joining in. Anonymous
This is my 1st time at Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House. It has been a most rewarding exercise and will be doing more courses in future. This is a most useful class for beginners not to feel embarrassed against people of high knowledge. Peter
I can continue my education, my mind remains active (I am 84) learning Italian. The House is friendly and welcoming and I have made friends with my fellow students. Meg
I started coming to Traralgon Neighbourhood House because my daughter and I wanted to learn how to do mosaic and how to speak French. Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House was the only local place where we could learn these skills and that was affordable.
With four children at home, finances were very tight and it was great to be able to learn skills without having to spend a lot of money. I have since met and made friends with so many beautiful people. Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House has a really community / family feel about it. Jenny Poon is like a mother who runs around looking after us all and making sure we’re all happy.
The other girls in the office are very helpful and friendly and make people feel at home. I have recently started teaching here myself and so now have an income to help support my family as a result of the centre. I love this place, its value to the community goes largely unrecognised, but I’m sure the support and friendship that many people have found here has not only made their lives better but in some cases saved their lives. Jen
I find coming to Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House gives me the opportunity to meet people who are outgoing and very friendly and a boost to ones esteem and confidence. As you get older you need a place like Neighbourhood House which gives you an outlet to learn or volunteer and share your knowledge. This also goes for young people who need extra skills to find work and interact with young and older people. Alec
TNLH is my life saver, if not for here I would not see or talk to another adult and I am learning heaps of things as well. i.e. computers. Anonymous
I am a pensioner and retired person. Without the computer classes at Neighbourhood House, which are run at a very reasonable cost I would not be able to attend them. Most computer courses are very expensive and don’t seem to cater for “older” men. Long may Traralgon Neighbourhood Learning House be able to continue these courses at reasonable cost. Anonymous
In 1993 when I moved to Traralgon I took seven courses at Neighbourhood House to allow me to gain the computer skills to get a job. When I retired I returned to Neighbourhood House to take courses of interest and to make friends. With the assistance of Neighbourhood I have had a more productive and happier life. Heather