Neighbourhood centres

Domain: 
Healthy, safe and inclusive communities
Sub-Domain: 
Service Availability
Measure: 
Number of funded community/neighbourhood centres
Rationale: 
1

Community and neighbourhood centres are generally small, not for profit organisations that have evolved through a ‘grass roots’ process in their local area. Each centre offers a unique range of services, activities and opportunities depending on community energy or need. Although diverse in size and focus, they share a common framework of community development which enables them to respond to local needs and demands as they arise (Rooney, 2011).

Community and neighbourhood centres have a key role to play in community capacity building and resilience as “research shows that neighbourhood centres form a key element of the social infrastructure of disadvantaged communities. The infrastructure provided by the centres can be quickly mobilized, expanded or readjusted to respond to local needs, emerging issues or opportunities” (Izmir, 2009).

There were many examples in the flooding and cyclone of the summer of 2010/11 where neighbourhood and community centres were able to draw upon their existing local knowledge and networks to respond to vulnerable community members, mobilize and manage volunteers, distribute emergency assistance and relief and provide a base for information. (Caniglia 2011).

Data Source: 
Department of Communities 2011
References: 
Caniglia, F. & Trotman, A. (2011). A Silver Lining: Community Development, crisis and belonging-Exploring the role of community development in Queensland’s recovery from the January 2011 floods. Under 1 Roof, Brisbane.
References: 
Rooney, D (2011) Centres ‘Down Under’: mapping Australia’s neighbourhood Centres and learning, Australian Journal of Adult Learning, Volume 51 (2), 203-255.
References: 
Izmir, G., Katz, I., Bruce, J. (2009) Neighbourhood and Community Centres: results for children, families and communities. Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney.


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