Kyneton Community House, formerly Kyneton Community Learning Centre, was established in 1988. A few residents wanted to give local groups and individuals the opportunity to gather and participate in activities. Situated on 34 Mollison Street, the repurposed domestic residence is a bustling hub which provides a range of services to meet the needs of its community. We spoke to Claire from the House administration team to find out more about this dynamic operation.
Kyneton Community House offers: general services, such as the hire and use of rooms and equipment; community initiatives which are usually of a low or no cost; and an extensive list of courses. Claire explained that two people choose the program based on what they sense the community wants and attempt to meet those needs.
The House collaborates with various organisations and businesses such as the council, Squishy Minnie, Cobaw Community Health as well as local clubs and schools. They run Skills For Life, a holistic program for youth; provide job skill training on farms and in the community; the local U3A host their meetings in the building; and they are running Lego robotics and art programs for school age students. This is just a small snapshot of what is on offer.
The centre also has a community garden on-site and hosts a weekly lunch every Wednesday at the Kyneton Mechanics Hall. The produce from the House garden and surplus fruit and veg donations are collected and cooked by volunteers to make this possible. In fact, whilst there are some paid staff, the House relies heavily on its pool of volunteers. Wherever possible, they place their volunteers in programs that best suit their talents and interests.
Another great initiative of the House is the occasional childcare program. This was put into place because many new community members who had made a tree change were away from extended family who normally assisted them with childcare. Consequently, parents taking courses within or out of the centre can used the childcare service to receive some well needed respite.
Claire says that the thing she loves most about working at the Kyneton Community House is being part of a solid collaborative team who all have the community’s needs at heart. She says that the House aims to provide connectivity in the community and that ‘Everyone is welcome’.
For more information on the Kyneton Community House visit: https://kynetoncommunityhouse.org.au/