"'Stronger Together' People power on show during Neighbourhood House Week" - opinion piece in The Advocate, 16 May 2024

Community hubs open their doors, writes Simone Zell

Neighbourhood Houses are the north west and west coasts’ equivalent of Doctor Who’s TARDIS: They often look like modest buildings on the outside, but once you open the door and step inside these hives of activity contain more people, opportunities and personal rewards than you could ever have imagined.

This week (13-19 May) is national Neighbourhood House Week and a great time to drop by these community hubs to see the power of local people in action.

From opportunities to make new friends, learn new skills, and connect with services to the chance to give your own skills back to the place you love through volunteering, you will find a myriad of ways you can join in making your community an even better place.

That’s because Neighbourhood Houses are tireless at bringing local people together to build a strong future for communities in this beautiful part of Tasmania.

Every weekday, volunteers and workers connected to Neighbourhood Houses prove that we’re stronger together through activities ranging from growing food in community gardens, cooking and sharing meals, collaborating in community sheds, crafting creative artworks, and learning new skills.

We all know dispersed communities with small populations along the north west and west coasts can struggle to access services taken for granted in larger centres. Neighbourhood Houses provide a hub for community members to create the momentum needed to bring these supports to local people with efficiency and passion.

The theme of this year’s Neighbourhood House Week is ‘Stronger Together’, and there could not be a more apt description for the essential work of the north west and west coasts’ contribution to Tasmania’s 35-strong House network.

King Island, Rosebery, Zeehan, Devonport, East Devonport, Burnie and Ulverstone are all stronger because of the ways their Neighbourhood Houses bring the community together to create support and connection that makes real, positive change.

Find out what’s on at your local Neighbourhood House this week at www.nht.org.au or just drop by for a cuppa any time to get an eye-opening look at the power generated by local people working together for a better future.

Simone Zell is CEO of Neighbourhood Houses Tasmania (NHT). 

NHT acknowledges the traditional and original owners of the land on which we work and meet, the palawa / pakana of lutruwita / Tasmania. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and acknowledge that this land remains unceded.
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