Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

July 2011 Prepared by Anthony Cianflone 2011 Chairperson 2007-2010 Public Officer

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  Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011 July 2011 Prepared by Anthony Cianflone 2011 Chairperson 2007-2010 Public Officer TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Overview 2. Executive Summary 3. Survey Results 4. Local Community Demographics Review 5. Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Program Review 5.1 Childcare and Playgroup Programs 5.2 Educational, Professional Development and Cultural Programs 5.3 Computer Programs 5.4 Health, Social, Wellbeing and Fitness Classes 5.5 Employment, Training and Career Program Opportunities 5.6 Hospitality and Cooking Program Opportunities 5.7 Seniors Community Programs 5.8 Environmental Program Opportunities 5.9 Timetable and School Holiday Considerations 6. Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Funding and Financial Review 6.1 Core House Funding Agreement Review 6.2 House Financials Review- Income 6.3 House Financials Review- Expenditure 6.4 Staff Salaries 6.5 Program and Course Fees 7 8 9 House Staff, House User Policies & Volunteers House Infrastructure Community Engagement, Advertising and Promotion

10 Strategic Planning & Moving Forward 11 Recommendations 12 References 13 Attachments   Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

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  Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

July 2011 Prepared by Anthony Cianflone 2011 Chairperson 2007-2010 Public Officer 1. Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Overview The Management Committee of Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House resolved in December 2010 to undertake the most comprehensive ever Review of the Neighbourhood House during 2011. The establishment of this Review follows on from the successful modernising and updating of the House’s Constitution at the Annual General Meeting in November 2010. The Review is the most comprehensive undertaken of the Neighbourhood House and its operations. The purpose of the Review is to investigate and analyse the House’s programs, operations, employment and House user policies, funding streams, financials, membership, and engagement and links with the local community. The Review seeks to identify areas of the House’s operations that can be improved, for the purposes of enhancing access, patronage and participation at the house. The Review will also seek to identify key program areas the Management Committee should consider focusing on. The Review seeks to identify and analyse local demographics and how the House can tailor its programs to raise interest locally, and it to identify key areas of interest amongst local residents through the distribution of a local survey for residents to return and complete. The Review will also importantly investigate opportunities to further enhance the services it provides to the local community, and how the House can work with existing local service providers to link in and encourage further patronage. In gathering relevant information, the Review consulted extensively, as resolved by the Management Committee in 2010, with the House‘s Coordinator, Staff, Management Committee Members, House users, and local residents. Information was predominately collected through a survey and collated and analysed as part of the Final Report. The Review will make key note recommendations for the Committee of Management to consider implementing based on the data and information that was collated. This Report is intended to provide the Committee of Management and the House Coordinator with useful and detailed information as we head through 2011-12 and following years. It is designed to be a blueprint for securing the long term success of the House, by proving recommendations based on sound data, to help steer the management and direction of the House and its operations. This Review does not mandate the Management Committee to action each recommendation immediately, but rather seeks to provide a range of options for the Committee to consider in improving the House’s community services, operations and performance. The original Terms of Reference for this Review are attached (Attachment 1).   Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

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The preparation of this Report would not have been possible without the assistance of House Coordinator Barbara Ghiani, all Management Committee Members, particularly Mimi Tamburrino and Mark O’Brien, House Staff and Facilitators, House users, volunteers and the wider local community; all of whom contributed a great deal to the collection and preparation of survey feedback. I would like to make it clear that my work on this Review has been done voluntarily and in my own time as I want to help contribute to the House’s growth and long term future. I have sought advice from contacts who work in the consultancy industry, and who estimate that a Report of this nature costs in the tens of thousands of dollars. I am delighted to have been able to save the House this money, which we need to allocate to other areas of House operations. I would like this Report to be considered as a donation from me to the House. I encourage all Management Committee Members to consider this Report and its Recommendations in the context of further improving the House’s Programs, financial security and engagement with the community as we head into the future. I look forward to this Report being formally endorsed at the July 2011 Management Committee Meeting. Anthony Cianflone 2011 Chairperson 2007-2010 Public Officer

2. Executive Summary Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House is located in the heart of a thriving, growing and ever changing community in Coburg. Like any Neighbourhood House, Robinson Reserve’s success depends on its local neighbourhood support. This Review is a first step to helping the House better engage its local neighbourhood, by better understanding its community. RRNH provides a diverse range of service for local residents to access. However as we head into the future, the House needs to develop a stronger understanding of the services and issues that local residents require, express an interest in, and that residents will be responsive to. In the past, little work has been undertaken to gauge community expectation of what the House should be offering. This Review is the first attempt at this. This Review has undertaken a very detailed look at local demographic data in terms of age breakdowns, population growth, income distribution, languages spoken at home, employment status, education attainment rates and much more. All these figures, while tied to specific recommendations, will help inform Management Committee members better of the community the House is situated in, and how it can shape itself to better fit in and respond. This Review has found that RRNH has a range of opportunities to deliver new programs in relation to health and fitness, cooking, migrant and employment services, along with ways to better engage local residents through open community events and a stronger presence in people’s letterboxes and local newspapers.   Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

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The Review also looks at ways to better improve the House’s internal administrative and financial management process through the development of the House’s first comprehensive budget, more targeted campaigning for increased funding, and better ways of managing the House’s finances. The Review believes the recommendations and discussion in this report should form the basis for the Committee to determine the House’s strategic and financial direction. Each recommendation will help grow and reform the House to be able to better respond to community needs and requirements, and are fully informed and thoroughly researched. In total, this Review puts forward 53 recommendations that the Management Committee will ultimately consider implementing and actioning. 3. Survey Results In resolving to undertake this Review, the Management Committee was adamant that detailed research be undertaken to accurately gauge the views of those who currently access the House, and those who live in the community. The Committee wanted to ascertain whether or not we are delivering services and programs that are satisfactory for current users, and whether there were other programs we could consider to increase patronage. In doing so, three different surveys were devised to specifically cater for the three different stakeholders. These surveys included a Staff Member Group Facilitator Survey, a House User Survey and a Residents Survey. Copies of each of these surveys are attached (Attachments 2, 3 & 4). The Staff Member Group Facilitator Survey was designed to ascertain the views of staff on how things are operating from an internal perspective and how they think we could improve such operations. The House User Survey was designed to help gauge the views of members who currently access the house, whether the programs they are accessing are what the expected, whether their programs can be improved, and whether they may have any other hobbies or ideas we could tailor programs towards to increase their access of the House. The Local Resident Survey, which the Committee expected a great deal of information from, was written to uncover whether our presence in the local community is noticed, whether residents living in the vicinity of the House are aware of House, whether they have accessed the House, and for residents who were not aware of us, what could we do to generate interest for them to come and frequent the House. In total we distributed 6,149 surveys to local residents through volunteers who physically letterboxed homes throughout Coburg, and around the House. Combined with the surveys we sent to House Staff, Facilitators and House Members, we distributed a total of 6,300 surveys. Surveys were distributed between the beginning of December 2010 and early January 2011. Survey recipients were encouraged to return their survey by the end of January to the House in person, by post or by email. In terms of the response rate, we received virtually all the surveys back that we distributed to House Staff and House Members. However it is disappointing to note that more responses   Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

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  were not received from residents. In total, 9 responses were received from Staff, 38 responses were received from House Members, and only 15 from local residents. The combined survey response total received was 61. Despite the lower than expected returned surveys, we received a great deal of valuable information which the Committee should seriously consider, and which gives a good snapshot of some of the issues and areas that could potentially be improved. A number of positive key themes emerged from the surveys which included: 24 responses stated the House Computer classes were the main attraction to access the house and are very good. 23 responses stated the House should communicate more often with residents through newsletters, surveys, Moreland Leader advertising and more newsletters for house members and advertising more in community buildings/shops. 17 responses indicated that House program and course prices are reasonable and affordable. 15 responses stated the handy and convenient location was main reason some people first accessed the house. 12 responses stated that offering more Programs of interest and variety would attract people consider accessing the House more often. 10 responses stated that a new and upgraded kitchen is required to attract more people and people would consider attending the House if it offered cooking classes. 7 responses stated the Arcobaleno Bimbi Program & Italian classes were the main attraction to the House, are excellent programs and well run. 7 responses stated they access the Exercise class and are very happy with it. 4 responses suggested that Special Community days, open days, sausage sizzles, working bees, car boot sales and fundraiser gatherings should be organised to encourage local residents to access the House more frequently. More work should be undertaken with the local media and businesses on these events to get more publicity and increase patronage. 2 responses stated that day care places for children should be preferenced for parents accessing courses at the House & more courses for parents should be offered during these times. Responses also included some negative feedback which must also be considered:
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17 responses indicated that House program prices are a concerning matter or a considerable factor and should be kept low or reduced.

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5 responses suggested that storage is far too limited, more storage is needed. Too much stored in childcare area. 4 responses raised concern about the height of doorhandles, and stated that doorhandles are far too low. Children can reach them and possibly fall out or run out of the House. Children could open the handles to front door and run out. Handle height needs to be raised and fixed. 2 responses stated that it is far too hot in the front rooms (staff and house user OHS) and more air conditioning needed. 2 response said there is currently only one toilet and often gets messy. Another toilet at the least is needed. 2 responses stated that being a pensioner, program and course costs are a significant consideration.

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These key themes will help shape some of the recommendations and discussion throughout this Review, and Committee Members are encourage to keep them in mind throughout the consideration of this document. For more detail regarding the specific responses that from each of the 3 different surveys, I encourage you to see the raw data from the survey results which clearly illustrates the responses from House Staff, House Members and Residents to each of the questions they were asked (Attachment 5). 4. Local Community Demographics Review In undertaking this Review, the 2010 Management Committee indicated that more information was required on local demographics and community makeup. This section will give an up to date picture of local population numbers, age breakdowns, income breakdowns, employment rates, education qualifications, ethnic community information, and more. The data that will be discussed will mainly derive from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census (2006 & 2001) collections, and will focus on the suburb of Coburg, and also Moreland Local Government Area (LGA), where the House is situated. Given that 15 survey responses stated they access the House because of its convenient location to home, and that many of the House staff and users are from the Coburg area, it is appropriate for this Review to mainly focus on statistics from this area. This information will help the Committee better understand how House programs and courses should be designed and targeted, as to maximise patronage. Moreland can be characterised as a municipality with a growing and ageing population that is highly culturally and linguistically diverse. There are significant differences in socio economic advantage and disadvantage across the municipality (Moreland Council 2011D: 19). The estimated population of Moreland for June 2009 was 149,122 people. Since 2001 total population in Moreland has increased by over 12,741 people or 8.5%, from 136,381 people in 2001 to 149,122 in 2009. (Moreland Council 2011D:19)

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  Between 2001 and 2006 Coburg’s population increased by 1,276; from 22,446 in 2001 to 23,722 in 2006 (ABS 2006 & 2001). Since 2006, Coburg’s population has increased by a further 2,966 people, and is 26,688. Overall Moreland’s population is expected to rise by 13.57%, from 149,999 in 2010, to 170,349 by 2031. Two-thirds of this increase is predicted to occur between 2010 and 2021. Between the same period, Coburg’s population is expected to rise by 1.4%; 29,640 people by 2016, 32,474 people by 2021, 34,103 people by 2031; an increase of 9,905 people (Moreland Council 2010:5&27). In 2006 Moreland had 59,231 private dwellings, up from 56,450 in 2001 (Moreland Council 2011D:20).This growth in Coburg is estimated to generate the construction of approximately 4,994 new dwellings in the suburb (Moreland Council 2010:11). These figures show that more people are coming to live in Coburg, and as a result, will provide the House with more opportunity to increase its patronage through increased demand for services. However we must understand the demographic detail of this population growth, so that we as a House can then look at targeting programs to the appropriate needs. Recent demographic data clearly indicates the Moreland municipality is becoming increasingly popular for families with young children. This Review acknowledges the record local growth that has, and is envisaged to take place based on current trends in Coburg. The number of children of preschool age (0‐4) has increased twofold, over 2% in 2001 and more than 5% as a proportion of the total Moreland population in 2006 (ASR 2009:7). According to Census figures the 0-4 year old population of Moreland increased between from 7,954 in 2001 to 8,463 in 2006 (ABS 2010). More than 2000 babies have been born in Moreland each year since 2005. In 2008-09 financial year 2,308 babies were born, represeting a 21.3% increase from 2001 figures (Moreland Council 2011D:19). The number of young people living in Moreland is expected to continue significantly increasing. In 2006 there were 8,799 young people aged 0-4 years living in Moreland, and this is forecast to rise to 10,192 by 2021 (Moreland Council 2010:15). The increase in the number of young people living in the area is also placing pressure on local pre‐school services. Service user and waiting list data from early years services, including maternal and child health, show an increase of 12% since 2001 to over 2,200 birth notifications in 2006 (ASR 2009:7).The 30 Childcare Centres and 28 kindergartens throughout Moreland are already at their limit, with the situation set to worsen (Leader 2010). There has been a significant rise in the number of young people enrolling in local Primary Schools. Coburg North Primary has recorded an 11.8% increase in the number of enrolments between 2009-10, Moreland Primary has recorded a 10.4% increase and Pascoe Vale North Primary a 12.7% increase (HSC 2010). The Victorian department of Education (DEECD 2010:25) itself identifies that the Coburg area is expected to accommodate some 1,311 additional school aged persons by 2021; Coburg expected to have an additional 518 additional secondary students. There has been a 20% increase in the birth rate across Moreland in recent times (HSC 2009A), The number of 5-9 year olds is envisaged to rise from 7,341 in 2006 to 8,271 in 2021, 10-14 year olds to rise from 6,883 to 7,360 and 15 to 19 year olds from 7,406 to 8,558.The number of people

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  aged under 15 is forecast to increase by 2021 by 2,800 (12.2%), representing a rise in the proportion of the population to 15.7% (Moreland Council 2010:9&15). These figures clearly illustrate that the young population is expected to significantly rise in coming years. This will add further pressure and demand for places on the House’s Childcare, Occasional Care and children’s programs. Coupled with the Childcare Reforms that have been introduced by the Federal Government, the funding cuts to Occasional Childcare (OCC) by the Victorian Government which will have implications for the House’s 4 year old and 3 year old places, the House must seriously begin planning to secure the long term funding and resources so these vital children’s programs to meet future demand. This will be discussed further under Section 5 of this Review. The number of residents in Coburg aged between 25 to 54 years of age has increased from 45.3% of the population in 2001, to 46.8% of the population in 2006 (ABS 2006&2001). Moreland Council (2010:15) has envisaged that the number of 25-29 year olds between now and 2031 living in Moreland will rise by 8.9%, 30-34 year olds will rise by 8.9%, 35-39 year olds will increase by 8.2%, 40-44 year olds will increase by 7.4%, 45-49 year olds will rise by 6.7%, and 50-54 year olds will rise by 6%. Between now and 2031 it is forecast that the number of people living in Moreland aged between 55-59 year olds will rise by 5.4%, people aged between 60-64 will increase by 4.8%, residents aged between 65-69 will increase by 4.2%, residents aged between 70-74 will rise by 3.7%, and the number between 75-79 will rise by 3.1% (Moreland Council 2010:15). The life expectancy of women in Moreland is higher by approximately 5 years to that of men. The life expectancy of females born in Moreland between 2001 and 2005 is 83.8 years and 78.3 years for males (Moreland Council 2011D:19). These figures clearly show that our population locally will be ageing, and our House Programs should be able to adapt accordingly. Figures also show that the House is situated in a very high multicultural community. The number of Coburg residents born in Australia was recorded at 59.1% in 2006 (59.5% in 2001). However we do have a large number of ethnic communities living in the area, which our House and programs should seek to engage. In 2006 approximately one third of Moreland residents were born overseas. Of those residents born overseas 87% were born in non-English speaking countries and 13% were born in English speaking countries (Moreland Council 2011D:20). According to the ABS (2006) Census, 8.4% of Coburg residents were born in Italy, 4.1% were born in Greece, 3.1% were born in Lebanon and 1.7% born in China. 627 people in Moreland identify as indigenous (Moreland Council 2010A:16). Primary languages spoken at home are also reflective of these figures; 49.9% speak English at home, 13.4% speak Italian, 8.6% speak Arabic, 8.3% speak Greek, 2.5% speak Turkish and 1.8% speaks Mandarin. The proportion of residents from the traditional migrant countries who are aged over 50 years in Moreland is very high- Italy 79%, Greece 85% and Malta 89% (Moreland Council 2011D:20). According to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship data, 1,167 immigrants initially settled in Moreland between 1st July 2008 and 30th June 2009. The main countries of birth of   Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

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  new arrivals to Moreland differ to the traditional migrant groups in the area. A high proportion of new arrivals to Moreland are born in India, China, Pakistan, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Iraq. The majority (50.5%) of new arrivals to Moreland arrived under the skilled migration program (Moreland Council 2011D:20). These statistics will be discussed further in Section 5 in the context of House Programs. The Management Committee should consider Labour Force participation figures in the Coburg area in the context of opportunities for House programs and courses. The total numbers of residents in Coburg who are eligible to participate in the workforce as of the 2006 Census are 11,174, up from 10,150 in 2001. The number of residents employed full time as of the 2006 Census are 59.71%, down from 60.2% in 2001.The number of part time workers in Coburg has slightly increased from 27.8% in 2001 to 28% in 2006. The number of unemployed has decreased from 8.7% in 2001 to 5.8% in 2006 (ABS 2006 & 2001). However during the twelve months from June 2009 to June 2010 unemployment in Coburg and Pascoe Vale rose from 3.3% to 5.6%, unemployment in Brunswick rose from 3.2% to 5.5%, and unemployment in Fawkner, Hadfield and Glenroy rose from 5.1% to 8.3% (DEEWR 2010). Of significant concern are the latest figures from the ABS and Mission Australia on youth unemployment in the area. More than half of teenagers in northwest Melbourne are on the dole. In February 56% of 15 to 19 year olds in north-west Melbourne were unemployed. The northwest Melbourne region stretches from Brunswick to Broadmeadows, Sunbury and Kalkallo, and has the highest youth unemployment in the state (O’Brien 2011). These figures and opportunities to engage with this demographic will be discussed further in Section 5. In terms of those who are engaged in the workforce and labour market, there has been a significant increase in the number of professionals residing in Coburg. In 2001 it was reported that 12% of the workforce population of Coburg were working in professional white collar jobs. This has dramatically increased to 27.5% at the 2006 Census. The number of residents working in Administration, and clerical positions has risen from 8.7% in 2001 to 16.2% in 2006. The number of qualified tradespeople in Coburg has risen from 5.4% in 2001 to 12.3% in 2006, the number of labourers rose from 3.7% in 2001 to 8.1% in 2006, and the number of managers rose from 3.1% to 11% (ABS 2006 & 2001). Incomes throughout Moreland and Coburg should be a significant consideration for the Management Committee when considering House Programs and price structures. The median weekly income for residents in Moreland is $413 ($466 Australian median), Brunswick $503, Coburg $418 and Northern Moreland is $351). Approximately 20,000 residents receive aged pensions, 10,000 receive family payment, 7,000 receive rent assistance and 10,000 have health care cards (Moreland Council 2010A:22). This will be discussed further under Section 6 of this Report; Funding and Financial Review. Education attainment rates and level of education reached should be factors of consideration also for the Management Committee. According to the 2001 Census there were 3,281 residents who attended school until year 8 equivalent or below, 1,013 who attended school until year 9 or equivalent, 1,793 residents who attended until year 10, 1,811 who attended school until year 11 and 7,724 who attended until year 12. There were 674 students at the   Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

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  time recorded to still be at school and 637 who stated they never attended school. Figures for the 2006 Census could not be located unfortunately. However according to Moreland Council (2010A:16) 73% of Year 7 students at government schools in Moreland remain at school until Year 12. Across Melbourne this figure is 83%. At Pascoe Vale Girls School this figure is 90%. In 2007 45% of Year 12s at government schools and 33% at non-government schools had an ENTER Score below 50 for tertiary placement. This compares to 40% and 17% for the whole of Victoria. Moreland is however experiencing a steadily improving retention of students from Year 10 to Year 12, increasing slightly from 71% in 2005 to 74% in 2009. People in Moreland are becoming better educated, with the proportion of residents who have non-school qualifications increasing with many more residents in 2006 having completed a non-school qualification compared to 1991 data (22% compared to 40% in 2006). For the first time Moreland has recorded a higher proportion of residents who have completed postgraduate degrees, graduate diplomas or certificates and bachelor degrees than the MSD. 4% of the Moreland population has completed a post-graduate degree, 3% completed a graduate diploma or graduate certificate, 6% completed a diploma, 15% completed a bachelor degree and 12% completed a certificate (Moreland Council 2011D:21). Analysis of the type of internet connection of households in the City of Moreland compared to the Melbourne Statistical Division shows that there was a larger proportion of households with either no internet connection or a dial up connection, but a smaller proportion of households with broadband connectivity. Overall 55.9% of households in Moreland had no internet connection or a dial up connection, and 35.2% had broadband connectivity, compared with 49.2% and 42.8% respectively in the MSD. In Coburg there are 37.1% of residents reporting to have a broadband connection, 18% with dial up, a total of 55.5% of Coburg residents with internet access. A total of 36.9% of residents reported having no internet connection. These figures are based on the 2006 Census (Moreland City Council 2011E). Results from Council’s annual Community Indicators Survey 2009 indicate that people living in Moreland believe their local area has a sense of community and is a good place to live. The results show an increasing sense of community wellbeing with higher than previous results in a number of categories. In 2009, 81% of respondents agreed that there is a positive sense of community in Moreland, a decrease of 3% from the 2008 survey. A high 85% agreed that Moreland is a good place to raise a family (down 6% from 2008) and 82% agreed that it is a safe place to live. 83% of respondents agreed with the statement: ‘You can get to know your neighbours’ (a decrease of 4% from 2008), while 88% agreed they could get help from family and friends when needed (Moreland Council 2011D:21). This Review encourages Management Committee Members to consider these statistics in the context of lifting House patronage, and investigating opportunities to further expand and modernise House programs to better engage with residents needs now, and into the future. Relevant data from this section will be discussed further in respective sections of this Review to help inform Recommendations and discussions throughout the Report.

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  5. Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Program Review In assisting the Management Committee to consider options to lift House patronage through Program delivery, it is vital to understand the range of programs we are currently delivering, whether they are generating interest, and whether there are further opportunities to introduce new programs that the local community has indicated an interest in. The Review acknowledges that Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House is a small not-for-profit Incorporated Association with limited resources and funding. The Review does not expect the Management Committee to action and immediately pursue each of the recommendations, but rather provide a range of options for consideration on how to further lift the House’s services to the community. The Review acknowledges that the Management Committee will determine the final recommendations that are pursued. This Section will go through each of the Programs the House currently offers, discuss any survey feedback that was received in relation to specific programs, and also outline any relevant local demographic data that links with the program. All financial and user guidelines relating to programs will be discussed under Sections 6, 7 and 8 respectively. 5.1 Childcare and Playgroup Programs The House provides Children’s Services for local families and parents which include an Occasional Childcare Program and Playgroups. The Occasional Childcare Program is for children aged 0-6 years of age, and allows children to develop social and learning skills in a fun, creative, supervised and caring environment. The Program runs four days a week, Monday through to Thursday between 9:30am to 12:30pm in the Occasional Care Room, and is in very high demand. The Childcare Program is run by Yvonne Beeching who has been working at the House for a great deal of time, has a lot of experience and is well known to local families. Roberta Darminin also delivers the program and is very well regarded based on the positive feedback the Review received. The Coordinator has advised this Review and the Management Committee of the range of external changes that have occurred that will impact the program in both the short term and longer term. Firstly, legislative changes mean that each licensed service needs to have a person with a Diploma of Children’s services as a lead teacher. All other staff must hold a Certificate III in Children’s Services. Volunteers will no longer be used to assist the House meet the adult:child ratio equation. New childcare guidelines are due to be introduced by the Federal Government, which will require our service to expand to 3 staff. The funding cuts by the Victorian Government to ‘Take a Break’ has meant that the House has lost between $5,000 and $6,000 per year in funding for this vital service. The House continues to receive $500 in ACFE funding that goes towards childcare costs. This in effect means the childcare service will have to become financially self-sustainable. The House currently charges $20 per 3 hour childcare session and siblings are charges at $16 per 3 hour session. The rates were raised in January 2010 and have not changed since. The House’s service has a capacity to hold 14 children per session, of those 5 can be babies (staff:child ratio). The Department considers children up to the age of 3 as babies. To hold more babies the House would need more staff and given we are no longer able to utilize volunteers, this could lead to an increase in House costs for wages.

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  The House’s present childcare format means that it loses most children as parents take up kindergarten offers. As part of the legislative changes coming into effect in 2014, 4 year old kindergarten placements will be compulsory before school. The Coordinator advises this Review that in the long run this will assist Occasional childcare services. With more parents having to enrol their children in kindergarten programs, kindergartens will prefer to offer more 4 year old funded places as opposed to 3 year old non funded spots. Parents will need to find alternatives for their 3 year olds, and the flow on effect should be that Occasional care is one of the alternatives they look for. The Coordinator has also advised this Review that some kindergartens have however begun to offer 3 year old places outside of traditional kinder hours, ie 3 to 5 pm spots as a means of maintaining an income stream. The Coordinator and this Review believe that an Occasional Childcare Program at Robinson Reserve with a solid curriculum and stand out program will be well placed to capitalise on this market. To help further develop the standard of these programs, the Management Committee have already resolved to assist current childcare staff by freeing up their time from dealing with childcare administrative related tasks. The Committee has been working with the Coordinator and the Childcare staff to reform these administrative tasks, and to pass these duties onto the House’s administrative officers. This means that childcare staff will now be able to develop a great deal more time to improving childcare curriculum and programs. As outlined in Section 4 of this Review, recent demographic data clearly indicates the Moreland municipality is becoming increasingly popular for families with young children. The number of children of preschool age (0‐4) has increased twofold, over 2% in 2001 and more than 5% as a proportion of the total Moreland population in 2006 (ASR 2009:7). According to Census figures the 0-4 year old population of Moreland increased between from 7,954 in 2001 to 8,463 in 2006 (ABS 2010). In 2006 there were 8,799 young people aged 0-4 years living in Moreland, and this is forecast to rise to 10,192 by 2021 (Moreland Council 2010:15). The increase in the number of young people living in the area is also placing pressure on local pre‐school services. Service user and waiting list data from early years services, including maternal and child health, show an increase of 12% since 2001 to over 2,200 birth notifications in 2006 (ASR 2009:7).The 30 Childcare Centres and 28 kindergartens throughout Moreland are already at their limit, with the situation set to worsen (Leader 2010). The Review received feedback in relation to the childcare program. A Staff Member Survey stated that childcare fees need reviewing, and that price setting would need to be considered in the context of supporting staff wages. A House User Survey we received stated that childcare fees required reviewing. A Resident Survey stated that costs generally at the House for courses are reasonable, except for childcare. Two resident Surveys stated that programs of interest for parents should be run simultaneously during the day to childcare programs, and that places for children should be preference for parents accessing courses at the House. The Playgroups provide a great opportunity for children aged 1-5 years (and carers) to participate in a range of social and creative activities. Playgroups run Monday afternoons from 1pm to 3pm and 3pm to 5pm, Wednesday afternoons between 3pm to 5pm, and Thursdays from 1pm to 3pm and 3pm to 5pm (RRNH 2011:2 & 3).

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Childcare and Playgroups are clearly service which the House receives a great deal of demand for from residents and House users. Statistics also show that Moreland and Coburg are becoming increasingly popular for young families, and that demand for childcare will only grow in coming years. This provides the House with an ongoing opportunity to attract children and parents to access the House by utilising this program. However the House’s physical and infrastructure constraints mean that we are very limited in being able to expand the size of the program to take in more children. This however allows the Management Committee to better focus on delivering a more tailored, affordable and realistic program which the House can physically and financially support. All financial and user guidelines relating to programs will be discussed in detail under Sections 6, 7 and 8 respectively. Recommendation 1: The Management Committee should support the ongoing retention of the House Childcare and Playgroup Programs. Recommendation 2: Then Management Committee should review childcare and playgroup prices in the lead up to 2012. Recommednation3: The Management Committee should explore opportunities to encourage parents who access the childcare program, to also access House Programs simultaneously. Parents from the childcare program should be specifically surveyed and asked what programs would interest them. Recommendation 4: The Chairperson should write to the High School for Coburg Campaign to support the call for a Coburg High School to be established in the context of the increasing number of young people in Coburg, and the increasing demand on the House’s childcare program. 5.2 Educational, Professional Development and Cultural Programs The House offers Educational and Professional Development Programs to the local community. The Certificate in Spoken and Written English (CSWEI) Program is designed to cater for adults of a non-English speaking background, who have some basic skills in spoken and written English. CSWEI runs between 9:30am to 12:30pm on a Tuesday (RRNH 2011:3). The House currently has 5 people enrolled, which is to drop in term 2 to 4 people. The Coordinator states the House is working to increase enrolments as advertising is currently taking place for this program. The ideal number of students for this class is 10 students. The House is funded for this Program, and receives $7.00 per student contact hour. The Review received Survey feedback in relation to this program. One staff responses stated that low cost, easily accessible courses for non-English speaking residents should be provided on an ongoing basis by the House. Two House User Survey responses stated they attend these English classes and enjoy them thoroughly. One response from a resident who previously attended the House said that the English classes were very good. Local demographics indicate the importance of maintaining and working to grow this program. Figures show that the House is situated in a very high multicultural community. The number of Coburg residents born in Australia was recorded at 59.1% in 2006 (59.5% in 2001). In   Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

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  2006 approximately one third of Moreland residents were born overseas. Of those residents born overseas 87% were born in non-English speaking countries and 13% were born in English speaking countries (Moreland Council 2011D:20). We have a large number of ethnic communities living in the area, which our House and programs should seek to engage, and which this program can target. According to the ABS (2006) Census, 8.4% of Coburg residents were born in Italy, 4.1% were born in Greece, 3.1% were born in Lebanon and 1.7% born in China. Primary languages spoken at home are also reflective of these figures; 49.9% speak English at home, 13.4% speak Italian, 8.6% speak Arabic, 8.3% speak Greek, 2.5% speak Turkish and 1.8% speaks Mandarin. There is potential for this program to be better promoted and targeted to the non-English speaking households and communities in Coburg, in order to increase the program’s enrolment, participation and revenue stream. In order to do this the House should consider building stronger links with existing migrant and non-English speaking community services that are situated throughout Moreland. The Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre (2011) is located in Munro Street Coburg, and works with migrants and refugees to successfully settle and participate in all aspects of community life. Spectrum provides training and courses in a range of areas including hospitality, retail, business, children’s services, home and community care and more. Resettling in Australia means newly arrived migrants require training and preparation in English, and the Management Committee could consider ways to engage and work with Spectrum through our English and other Programs. INCA (2011) has been situated in Sydney Road Coburg for over the last half a century, and provides an essential migrant welfare service to re-settled Italian migrants who make up 8.4% of the Coburg population (ABS 2006). They provide advice and assistance to residents, and also have a record of developing links and working with other community groups. One recent example of the announcement in February that the re-named Australian Pensioners Voice (formerly known as Moreland Seniors Action Group), would be working from INCA to continue their campaign for a better deal for pensioners (Thomson 2011). The House could work with INCA to proactively to cross promote and link services between the clients of the two agencies. The Australian Greek Welfare Society (AGWS) based in Union Street Brunswick, has been working to serve the needs of Australian-Greek community for the last 38 years. 4.1% of the Coburg population were born in Greece (ABS 2006). AGWS (2011) prove a range of educational, community services, children’s services and elderly services. The House could look to engage AGWS to investigate ways our English and other Programs could possibly link with existing AGWS services. The Australian Lebanese Welfare Association (2011) is an Arabic welfare association which provides services to newly arrived and established Arabic communities. 3.1% of the Coburg population were born in Lebanon (ABS 2006), and opportunity may exist for residents to take up the House’s English Program through this agency.

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  These are only 4 of many other cultural community agencies throughout Moreland and Coburg that the Management Committee can consider working with in increasing the take up of its English class enrolments and other programs. Recommendation 5: The Management Committee should support the ongoing retention of the CSWEI and English Program for adults of non-English speaking backgrounds. Recommendation 6: The Management Committee should seek to actively engage with local existing migrant and non-English speaking community services that are situated throughout Moreland, to proactively cross promote and link services between clients and agencies. The Management Committee should determine which agencies the House would prefer working with, and the Chairperson to then write to respective agencies as a first step to pursuing a working relationship. Recommendation 20: The Management Committee and Coordinator should proactively engage with Senior Citizens Groups throughout Moreland, and advise them of the range of services and programs the House offers, encourage their members to come along and participate, and also invite appropriate groups to consider utilising the House. Recommendation 21: The Committee should engage in a strong promotional campaign of House services through ethnic media outlets. The House does also offers a range of language and cultural programs that cater for existing local demand. The Arcobaleno Italian Language Immersion Program has arguably been the House’s most successfully introduced and patronised program. However it should be made clear that this is a privately run program which hires our House space to run. This creative program helps children learn Italian in an activity based program. Ages include from 6 months to 5, pre school. Arcobaleno Bimbi offers an Italian immersion environment. Qualified and experienced native-Italian teachers run classes, and focus on small groups, games, songs, dance and drama in a very friendly environment. Classes run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am to 12:30pm in the front room of the House, and 1pm to 3pm on Fridays in the Occasional Care room. The Program has been so successful, that the Coordinators of this Program have approached the Chairperson of the Committee to discuss ways to further expand its services at the House. These discussion are also occurring in the context of the recent changes to OCC and ‘Take a Break’ funding and legislative requirements. The House also runs Italian Conversational Classes for anyone wanting to practise and learn to speak Italian. The House has received a great response to these programs both in terms of enrolments and Survey feedback (RRNH 2011:4). Seven Survey responses from House Users stated the Arcobaleno Bimbi Program and Italian classes were the main attraction to the House, and that they are excellent programs and very well run. Two responses stated they would like to see more sessions for the Arcobaleno Class run during the week. One House User stated the price for the Italian class has risen from $120 to $150 which is a sharp increase. Further consideration will be given to class prices in Section 6.

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  Opportunities do exist for these two respective Italian Language Programs to be further promoted. The Management Committee should consider building stronger links with local primary schools in the area including Coburg West Primary, Coburg Primary, Pascoe Vale South Primary, Moreland Primary, and St Fidelis Primary Schools, and look at advertising in their respective newsletters, particularly to attract parents to the Italian Conversational class. Having strong links for example with INCA, and other community groups, will again provide further opportunity for promotion through a wider range of agencies. Recommendation 7: The Management Committee should support the ongoing retention of the Arcobaleno Italian Language Immersion Program and Italian Conversational Classes. Recommendation 8: The Management Committee should explore opportunities to encourage parents who’s children access the Arcobaleno Italian Program, to also access other House Programs simultaneously. Parents from the Arcobaleno Program should be specifically surveyed and asked what programs would interest them, and whether they would be interested in participating in the Italian Conversational Classes. 5.3 Computer Programs The House also provides a range of Computer Programs and Classes to the local community which this Review has considered. Our Computer classes cater for different levels and abilities. All prospective students are encouraged to attend an interview before enrolling in a class. These classes include Social Networking, which teach people how to connect online by learning to navigate the internet. Basics are taught such as starting an email account, using online forms, exploring facebook and twitter. The Web Design course teaches people how they can build their own webpage and understanding the internet. 24 responses stated the House Computer classes were the main attraction to access the house and are very good. We also provide a Computers 1: Foundation Skills Program, which helps students build the foundations and gain the hands on experience and confidence with basic Microsoft programs. The Computers 2: Core Skills Course is slightly more advanced and the Computers 3: Complete Skills Course is a comprehensive advanced course designed to investigate the many intricate functions of Microsoft Programs. The House has also recently established a MYOB Class which has generated a great deal of interest. This course teaches people basic accounting skills and how to maintain basic home and small business financials in a friendly environment. Excel specific programs are also run, as are Internet for Seniors Classes thanks to the Telstra Connected Grant, which has now unfortunately finished (RRNH 2011). This Telstra Connect Class was established following the securing of funding for the Moreland Seniors Action Group through Telstra, and provided seniors with fantastic classes on how to use and become familiar with computers. This course was highly popular, it increased House patronage from senior citizens, increased our profile amongst the community, and also built a strong relationship with the Moreland Seniors Action Group (now Australian pensioners Voice). This funding has unfortunately ended from Telstra, however the Group has expressed an interest in obtaining further funding to continue classes. These course generally mean that the Computer room is basically always in use, with this Review only able to determine the room as being free during Wednesday 1pm to 3pm,

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  Fridays 9am to 3pm (depending on if the Seniors Computer Program is permanently finished), Weekends and School Holidays when the house in closed anyway. This Review received very good feedback in relation to these computer classes. Twenty-four House User Survey responses stated that the Computer classes were the main attraction to them accessing the House in the first instance, are very well delivered and enjoyable classes, and the current teacher is very good and personable. Two Responses stated they believe the computer room and infrastructure was good, 3 resident surveys stated they had previously accessed the House because of its computer courses, and one resident stated the former computer teacher was unprofessional. One Staff Member suggested that computer courses and hardware could be better utilised and promoted to attract more people. Analysis of the type of internet connection of households in the City of Moreland compared to the Melbourne Statistical Division shows that there was a larger proportion of households with either no internet connection or a dial up connection, but a smaller proportion of households with broadband connectivity. Overall 55.9% of households in Moreland had no internet connection or a dial up connection, and 35.2% had broadband connectivity, compared with 49.2% and 42.8% respectively in the MSD. In Coburg there are 37.1% of residents reporting to have a broadband connection, 18% with dial up, a total of 55.5% of Coburg residents with internet access. A total of 36.9% of residents reported having no internet connection. These figures are based on the 2006 Census (Moreland City Council 2011E). The Coordinator has advised the Review the House is struggling to attract more enrolments across the Computer Programs. We currently only have 3 people enrolled in Social Networking, none enrolled in Web Design, 5 enrolled in MYOB,3 enrolled in Computers 1, and 3 enrolled in the Computers 2-3 Program. The maximum number we can take in for any one computer class is 10 students. The median age of the program seems to be 60 years of age plus, which is outside the eligibility criteria. Despite the good feedback received on the Computer Classes, there is potential for the House to further increase patronage within its Computer Programs. Where capacity in classes exists, the Management Committee could undertake a substantial advertising and promotional campaign throughout the local community to engage and generate interest amongst residents. Computers for general web surfing are provided at all of Moreland’s local libraries, and are generally very popular. The House could work with local libraries, provide them with advertising material to advise of the times during the week when computers could be made available for general use at the House. This way residents who are unable to book in to access library computers can be referred to our House. A fee can be charged for using a computer per half hour, and will also help generate a new stream of income. Making this service clear directly out the front of the House for residents who pass by, is also a basic way of generating interest about this service. Operational, Health and Safety (OH&S) may need to be considered in opening the computer room for residents to web surf without supervision. However this may be overcome with a staff presence or safety camera being placed in the computer room and linked back to a monitor in the staff office.

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  Overall it seems that the feedback and the response to the House computer courses are very positive. The Management Committee should look at ways to further maximise computer use and hire amongst local residents, given that it is a key reason why so many users currently access the house. Recommendation 9: The Management Committee should support the ongoing retention of the Computer Classes. Recommendation 10: The Management Committee should undertake an advertising and promotional campaign to further increase patronage within House Computer programs. Recommendation 11: The Management Committee and Coordinator should work with Australian Pensioners Voice to investigate alternative streams of funding to continue supporting the Seniors Computer Program. Recommendation 12: The Management Committee should consider making the computer room available for residents to drop in and use when no computer classes are being run. Recommendation 20: The Management Committee and Coordinator should proactively engage with Senior Citizens Groups throughout Moreland, and advise them of the range of services and programs the House offers, encourage their members to come along and participate, and also invite appropriate groups to consider utilising the House. Recommendation 21: The Committee should engage in a strong promotional campaign of House services through ethnic media outlets. 5.4 Health, Social, Wellbeing and Fitness Classes The House also offers Health and Wellbeing classes, which include Pilates for beginners to intermediates. This course involves a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises to rebalance muscles, improve posture, realign and tone the body. Pilates classes run on Mondays between 6:30pm-7:30pm. There are currently 8 enrolments in the Pilates class, and the House has capacity for up to 10. The House also offers a Seniors Women’s Exercise Group which is run privately, which meets on Tuesdays between 1pm to 2pm, and engages in gentle exercise programs with a trained facilitator (RRNH 2011). Given this is a private class, the House does not monitor enrolments. Survey responses for this program were also received. Seven Survey responses stated they access the Exercise class and and are very happy with it. Three local Residents stated they would be interested in attending the House because of its Pilates and exercise classes. Two responses stated that more space for the exercise group would be useful. One House User stated that prices for Pilates are expensive. Two residents stated they would be interested in coming to the House if it offered exercise programs in the park itself next door to the House. The Committee should look at ways of building further patronage around health classes at the House. However given the timetable and physical constraints of the House, such classes

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  could actually be run in the park next door. Consideration for any such exercise program in the park, would obviously bring with it Council and OH&S considerations. In recent times we have seen a proliferation of television health and exercise reality shows that we could take advantage of by implementing appropriate programs. Nearly one in three Australians, 29%, play sport or exercise twice a week or more. The most popular sport or physical recreation activities amongst Australians include walking (25%), aerobics (13%), swimming (9%) and cycling (6%) (ABS 2006A). Nearly half of the Australian population, some 10 million people, exercise or play sport at least once a month, with more than half (54%) reporting ‘health and fitness’ as their main reason for exercising. This was followed by enjoyment (22%), well-being (7%) and social or family reasons (7%) (ABS 2006A). Walking is the most commonly reported sport and physical recreation activity amongst Australians, with a participation rate of 25%. People aged 55-64 years reported the highest participation rates for walking (35%), followed by those aged 45-54 (31%) and those aged 65 years and over (29%) (ABS 2006A:10). The Committee could consider establishing a House walking group, which could then also assist in letterboxing house material on a regular basis in the neighbourhood. Coburg has a somewhat aged population compared with the rest of Moreland. Residents aged between 55-64 years make up 8.2% of the Moreland population and those of 65 and over make up 16.6% (ABS 2007). The North Coburg area has 9% of the population aged between 55-64 years old and 19.1% aged over 65 (ABS 2007). Walking is the most popular exercising activity undertaken by seniors across Australia. According to the ABS (2006A:7) there were over 1.0 million (6%) people aged 15 years and over who had been cycling between 2005-06, with more than twice as many males reporting to have cycled than females. Running, which is another popular activity undertaken and has a high volume of participation according to the ABS (2006A:8). There were an estimated 681,300 Australians who participated in running between 2005-06, with Victoria recording the second highest participation rate (171,000). The Committee could consider these exercise statistics in the context of not only helping to keep local residents fit, but as a means of breathing new life into Robinson Reserve park, and a possible new means of income. The City of Darebin is actively considering ways to increase local residents health and fitness through group fitness session in local parks (Robson 2011), and local group fitness classes conducted outdoors are becoming increasingly popular. Recommendation 13: The Management Committee should consider engaging a personal trainer to run exercise programs such as boxing classes, pump classes, or spin classes in the Robinson Reserve Park itself. This program should be heavily promoted amongst the local community.

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  Recommendation 14: The House should consider establishing a walking and or running group amongst existing members, and invite local residents to participate. Recommendation 15: The Management Committee should consider engaging local gyms, YMCA’s, sporting clubs and fitness stores, as a means of cross promoting fitness programs and services, and to also possibly offer special discounts to house users who may have been referred to a particular House fitness program and vicar versa. The House also offers a Girls Experience Life Group (GEL), which is run by Merri Community Health, who approached the House about 6 years ago. GEL meets fortnightly on Fridays between 12:30pm and 2:30pm. The group brings together mums with mental health issues to share ideas, experiences and information, with the class covering parenting combined with a range of developmental learning activities. This Program is an example of a fantastic partnership our House has developed. The House should continually work to support these forms of social programs, which bring together residents experiencing issues, and encourage facilitation and engagement. The House also hires its space out for private bookings and functions. These are usually held on Saturdays or Sundays. On average the House has 3 out of the 4 weekends each month booked for a private function. 5.5 Employment, Training and Career Program Opportunities The Management Committee should consider Labour Force participation figures in the Coburg area in the context of opportunities for House programs and courses. The total numbers of residents in Coburg who are eligible to participate in the workforce as of the 2006 Census are 11,174, up from 10,150 in 2001. The number of residents employed full time as of the 2006 Census are 59.71%, down from 60.2% in 2001.The number of part time workers in Coburg has slightly increased from 27.8% in 2001 to 28% in 2006. The number of unemployed has decreased from 8.7% in 2001 to 5.8% in 2006 (ABS 2006&2001). However during the twelve months from June 2009 to June 2010 unemployment in Coburg and Pascoe Vale rose from 3.3% to 5.6%, unemployment in Brunswick rose from 3.2% to 5.5%, and unemployment in Fawkner, Hadfield and Glenroy rose from 5.1% to 8.3% (DEEWR 2010). What is of significant concern is that more than half of teenagers in northwest Melbourne are on the dole and many have expressed little ambition of wanting to find a job. In February 56% of 15 to 19 year olds in north-west Melbourne were unemployed. The northwest Melbourne region stretches from Brunswick to Broadmeadows, Sunbury and Kalkallo, and has the highest youth unemployment in the state (O’Brien 2011). Given that unemployment in Melbourne’s northern suburbs is an issue of concern, the House has an opportunity to introduce and develop programs to encourage and prepare people to re-enter the workforce. One option worthy of consideration includes working with the local Moreland Centrelink Office, to collaborate and work constructively to hold seminars and employment information sessions through the House. Currently Centrelink officers work with a range of service providers to deliver relevant information and training sessions. Once example is the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS), which is a commonwealth program to help eligible social security recipients into self-employment. The program includes training in small business management. Upon investigating this course, I noticed that the Kangan Institute (2010) of TAFE on Sydney Road Coburg, was once a deliverer of this program.   Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

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  Given the TAFE is due to close its Coburg campus soon, it may provide an opportunity for the House to continue delivering the program in the area, which the Review understand is one session per week. There are also a large number of employment and job agencies that are situated in Moreland. These agencies are all in the business of working to place people in jobs, and by actively engaging them to see whether their courses at our House, then it will again help increase our patronage and revenue stream. Alternatively we could offer these agencies the opportunity for their clients to undertake volunteer or work experience roles to assist our busy Coordinator. This would give job seekers valuable experience, a sense of civic duty, a referee, and lessen the workload on House staff. Some of the agencies we could make contact with include the Brunswick Employment Agency, Ausgrads Graduate Job Agency, Matchworks Brunswick, AIMES Coburg and others (True Local 2011). Another option where the House could help address to some degree the youth unemployment issue, is to hold an annual Careers Expo at the House for local young people and secondary schools. Currently the Broadmeadows Town Hall hosts a regular annual event that brings together representatives from various industries and sectors, to encourage young people to think about what career path they would like to take when they finish school. Bearing in mind the physical constraints of the House, the Committee could consider hosting a smaller scale trade expo that focus on one sector at a time, or per annum. For example, given the Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House is located on a former Australian Army Reserve Defence Force Barracks, we could hold a Defence Force Expo and invite representatives from the Navy, Army and Air Force to host and man stalls, while we invite local students to come along in hourly sessions. The Defence Force offer a wide variety of professions which allow young people to get fully skilled and qualified, while getting paid. We could also hold a trade expo with representatives from the building, construction, electrical and plumbing industries. This will help local youth consider the various career options available to them, while also helping keep the House’s strong link with the historical significance of the Robinson Reserve site, which was formerly home to Australian Army Barracks. Recommendation 16: The Management Committee should proactively engage the local Moreland Centrelink Office and other employment agencies to consider opportunities for the House to run and host training and employment seminars. Recommendation 17: The Management Committee should consider hosting an annual Career Expo for young people, with a different trade or employment theme each year.

5.6 Hospitality and Cooking Program Opportunities This Review has found the House has a fantastic opportunity for the House to carve out a local niche market with respect to cooking classes. This opportunity arises from the unique blend of the increasing popularity of food television programs, and local cultural food traditions amongst first generation migrants and the first and second generations of their families.

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  Research shows that students at Victorian Government School are flocking to kitchens in record numbers, inspired by the popularity of Master Chef-style TV Programs. About 600 more males were reported to be studying Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Hospitality in 2010 compared to 2008. Enrolment figures for 2010 show there were 2,200 male VCE VET Hospitality students, up from 1,600 in 2008, and female enrolments have increased from over 3,300 in 2008 to more than 3,600 last year (AFN 2010). The William Angliss Institute has reported a 30% increase in students attending its short courses from last year, and enrolments in patisserie and bakery speciality courses for the year are substantially higher than for all of 2009. The Gordon in Geelong is also reporting an increase in short cookery courses, with almost no interest in early 2009 such courses, compared with 220 enrolments by the end of the year (Mawby 20010). The 2010 Master Chef Program finale on Channel 10 entered the record books after a national average audience 3.9 million viewers tuned in to watch it over the course of the show, with viewers peaking at more than 5.7 million at one point (ABC 2010). The Survey results also show a great deal of feedback and support for cooking classes to be considered at the House. Ten overall responses stated that a new and upgraded kitchen is required to attract more people and people would consider attending the House if it offered cooking classes. Seven House Users stated the House’s kitchen should be upgraded and modernised. Three House Users stated they would consider accessing the House more often if Cooking classes were introduced. Three Local residents stated they have hobbies and interests in cooking, and they would consider accessing the House if cooking classes were introduced. One Staff member said that the kitchen should be upgraded to provide cooking courses and training opportunities. In considering the introduction of a food cooking program, the Management Committee should firstly decide the course model it would prefer implementing. Questions such as should classes offer recognised qualifications, should they be run in partnership with an existing educational provider, should they instead be run by a House hired teacher who focuses on certain dishes, themes or cooking styles on a term by term basis? The Committee would obviously have to consider these options in the context of the House’s RTO status. The Committee should also recognise that in and around Moreland there is an ever growing and emerging culinary culture, with the proliferation of restaurants along Sydney Road Brunswick and Lygon Street Brunswick. One of the most popular celebrity chefs on television, George Colombaris, runs and owns the Hellenic Republic Restaurant in Lygon Street Brunswick, which is very well known and popular. The House could consider approaching such local restaurants in the context of cross promotion, and offer hiring the upgraded House kitchen space for classes run by local restaurateurs. OH&S questions would also need to be considered and worked through. In considering these various options, the Committee should also work with Moreland Council to secure funding to significantly upgrade its kitchen with new and modern equipment, which better utilises the kitchen space, and expands our capacity to provide cooking courses. The Management Committee had previously been made aware of opportunities to work with local employment agencies to engage local and unemployed tradespeople to undertake the House’s kitchen upgrading works, however Council tender arrangements prevented this from   Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

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  happening. If this offer is still available, the Committee should seek an exemption from Council’s tenders process given the fact that local qualified, in training and unemployed tradespeople would be engaged. The Review can report that the Chairperson has written to Council’s Budget Submission process in June 2011 requesting Council assistance for the House’s kitchen upgrade. Recommendation 18: The Management Committee should consider introducing cooking courses, and approach Moreland Council to seek assistance to significantly upgrade the House’s kitchen facilities and infrastructure. 5.7 Seniors Community Programs The Moreland and Coburg community are made up of an aged population. Between now and 2031 it is forecast that the number of people living in Moreland aged between 55-59 year olds will rise by 5.4%, people aged between 60-64 will increase by 4.8%, residents aged between 65-69 will increase by 4.2%, residents aged between 70-74 will rise by 3.7%, and the number between 75-79 will rise by 3.1% (Moreland Council 2010:15). The House already offers a range of programs for the local seniors community, and always seeks to make special provision for pensioners income when determining course fees. The CSWEI Program is designed to cater for adults of a non-English speaking background, who have some basic skills in spoken and written English. The House has traditionally had a senior number of students enrol in this course. The Seniors Ladies Exercise Class is also an example of the House’s engagement to local senior citizens, and is working well. The range of computer courses also attracts and encourages senior citizens to learn and become familiar with computers. The median age of the computer programs seems to be 60 years of age plus, which is outside the eligibility criteria. The Telstra Community Grant was a fantastic example of our Computer room being made available specifically for senior residents, but unfortunately because Telstra funding program is on hold, the program at the House has not been able to continue on at this stage. However the funding and subsidy structure in place by ACFE, is designed to target a younger demographic of workforce age. This has been an ongoing issue the House has been experiencing, as a great deal of our clientele is elderly residents. The Committee has previously made it clear that it is of the view that Neighbourhood Houses should not be forced to compete with larger accredited higher education institutions. Instead Neighbourhood Houses should be encouraging community participation by as many residents as possible, regardless of age, without being penalised for it. Given the high number of overseas born residents who reside in Coburg, it is important that any approach adopted by the Management Committee to further engage local senior citizens, include a strong advertisement and promotional campaign through ethnic media outlets. The Italian community can be further enaged through the Il Globo Community Newspaper, La Fiamma and radio station Rete Italia. The Greek Community can be enaged through the Neos Kosmos Newspaper and 3XY Radio Station, while the Arabic community can be mainly communicated with through the popular El-Telegraph Arabic Newspaper.

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  Recommendation 5: The Management Committee should support the ongoing retention of the CSWEI and English Program for adults of non-English speaking backgrounds. Recommendation 6: The Management Committee should seek to actively engage with local existing migrant and non-English speaking community services that are situated throughout Moreland, to proactively cross promote and link services between clients and agencies. The Management Committee should determine which agencies the House would prefer working with, and the Chairperson to then write to respective agencies as a first step to pursuing a working relationship. Recommendation 10: The Management Committee should undertake an advertising and promotional campaign to further increase patronage within House Computer programs. Recommendation 11: The Management Committee and Coordinator should work with Australian Pensioners Voice to investigate alternative streams of funding to continue supporting the Seniors Computer Program. Recommendation 14: The House should consider establishing a walking and or running group amongst existing members, and invite local residents to participate. Recommendation 19: The Management Committee should continue to explore on an ongoing basis the introduction of programs that will further increase participation and patronage by senior citizens and pensioners at the House. Recommendation 20: The Management Committee and Coordinator should proactively engage with Senior Citizens Groups throughout Moreland, and advise them of the range of services and programs the House offers, encourage their members to come along and participate, and also invite appropriate groups to consider utilising the House. Recommendation 21: The Committee should engage in a strong promotional campaign of House services through ethnic media outlets. 5.8 Environmental Program Opportunities The City of Moreland is home to a number of environmental community groups and local residents who have a strong interest in environmental issues. The House has opportunities to engage this demographic as a means of again increasing patronage and securing revenue to support House programs. A recent Moreland Leader Community Survey listed environmental issues as one of the high priorities of local residents, and a great deal of residents are becoming increasingly interested in domestic energy conservation measures that they can adopt to reduce the cost of utility bills, and save energy. The Moreland Energy Foundation (MEFL) has been undertaking great local work for many years on energy and environmental conservation. MEFL regularly engage with the community through public notices but more importantly community meetings and forums, to teach people how to conserve energy, better collect water, reduce energy costs, and to encourage the take up of domestic renewable energy sources.

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  The Australian Government announced in 2007 and 2008 that it would deliver almost $5 million in funding to Coburg to turn it into one of only a few of Australia’s only Solar Cities. This project is being delivered in partnership with MEFL and Moreland Council, and is working to reduce Coburg’s carbon footprint by installing solar panels and renewable energy sources on local community facilities, and assisting low income households (GarrettThomson 2007). This project is consistent with Moreland Council’s plan to become carbon neutral by next year (Moreland Council 2011). Along with providing residents with programs and information on energy conservation, the House also has an opportunity to upgrade its own energy measures. The Committee could look at applying for consideration to have solar panels and other energy efficient fittings installed through the Coburg Solar City Program. This could reduce our electricity bill, and possibly even provide the House with a new stream of revenue as additional electricity generated from solar panels could be fed back into the grid. Given the House is a Council owned building, the Committee would be more than entitled to request being considered for funding for these upgrades. Robinson Reserve has the potential to set the benchmark locally as being an environmentally friendly and efficient facility. Recommendation 22: The Management Committee and Coordinator should consider building a relationship with the Moreland Energy Foundation, and work with them to deliver household energy conservation information sessions and other environmental programs through the House. Recommendation 23: The Management Committee and Coordinator should approach Moreland Council and the Moreland Energy Foundation to work towards improving the House’s energy efficiency, by requesting an energy audit, and through the installation of solar panels and other appropriate measures, under the Coburg Solar City Initiative. 5.9 Timetable and School Holiday Considerations Any adjustments to existing programs, or introduction of additional programs would have to be considered in the context of House infrastructure, operation and timetable space. This Review determined in march 2011 that the only free and available time at the House during business hours and school terms currently are Monday evenings in the front room, Wednesday afternoons between 1pm-3pm in the computer room, Thursday afternoons in the front room, Friday evening sessions in the computer room, weekends (depending on private function bookings). However the Coordinator has since advised the Review that these times are no longer available and are booked. In terms of utilising the Robinson Reserve itself for possible fitness classes, the times of possible use would need to be considered in conjunction with advice from the Moreland Council. However opportunity also exists for the Management Committee to look at running some programs and community seminar events during school holiday periods. Currently the House does not deliver programs during these school holiday weeks, which can be considered a lost opportunity for revenue and increasing community participation. Recommendation 24: The Management Committee to work with the Coordinator to prioritise House Program Recommendations from this Review.   Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

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Recommendation 25: The Management Committee to work with the Coordinator to determine suitable times for existing and new programs to be accommodated at the House. Due consideration should be given to opportunities for Programs to be run during school holidays. Recommendation 26: The Management Committee and Coordinator should consider existing programs and possible new programs in the context of Departmental and Council funding requirements and progress reporting, to ensure the House is offering services to a wide range of community members. 6 Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Funding and Financial Review One of the key tasks required by the Management Committee in determining to undertake this Review, was to discuss and provide options on how the financial income and viability of the House could be secured. In considering this question, the Review will look at the key funding streams the House currently relies on, whether these funding streams can and should be increased, the financial responsibility of the Committee, the prices and fees set for House Programs and House Users. This Section will also look at the costs to the House budget, and how these costs could be mitigated and possibly reduced. Options to generate new forms of income will also be discussed. 6.1 Core House Funding Agreement Review Recent changes were made by the Department of Human Services (2011) to the House’s core departmental and management. Firstly, these changes include the Neighbourhood House Coordination Program (NHCP) transitioning from the Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) and Department of Victorian Communities (DVC), to the Department of Human Services (DHS). In the short term the NHCP will be administered in the Industry, Workforce and Strategy Division in DHS. The specific funding arrangements for Neighbourhood Houses remain unchanged. Secondly, the Progress Reports that are required to be completed by the House on a regular basis remain a requirement. These Progress Reports require the House to provide the Department with up to date information on House programs, contact hours, house user age groups, volunteers and more. It is vital the Committee consider programs and financial positions in the context of Department requirements. These core funding arrangements are tied in directly with the services the House provides, so it is vital that our strategic planning for house programs and services factor these fundamental funding requirements in. The House was last year in 2010 allocated $75,967 in funding from the Department of Victorian Communities (DVC), and $72,661 in 2009. This represents an increase of $3,306 in Departmental funding. The Coordinator has advised the Review that this funding is tied to delivering the House’s activities and planning of activities, and that it is mainly used to fund House Staff. The House also received funding from the DHS, which rose from $5,052 in 2009 to $12,250 in 2010, an increase of $7,198. The House received funding from ACFE, which assists in subsidising and proving house educational and accredited courses, which decreased from $39,621 in 2009 to $34,522, a decrease of $5,099 (RRNH 2010).

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  Thirdly, the Moreland City Council (2011A) has recently released a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Council and the Neighbourhood Houses and Learning Centres in Moreland. The MOU’s purpose is to formalise the shared vision of Council and Moreland’s Neighbourhood Houses, as part of Council’s work to strengthen local communities in Moreland. The MOU will give Council a clear understanding of their’s and House’s mutual expectations, commitments and responsibilities. The MOU states on page 3 that it is designed to accompany and complement the individual Funding and Service Agreements between Council and Neighbourhood Houses, and that the MOU will be reviewed every 3 years concurrent with the renewal of Council Funding Agreements. Page 6 of the MOU states that accountability of Neighbourhood Houses will be measured by the transparency, professionalism and democracy of the House’s communication and processes, including reporting, information and liaison. Undertaking this very Review and surveying our Staff, House Users and local residents is a clear example of the House meeting this expectation, and should be used to also inform Council of the genuine work we are undertaking internally to enhance our services. The MOU identifies a key obligation of Council, which is that Council is to commit to providing financial and practical support that is consistent with the Funding and Service Agreements and the recommendations of the Moreland council Neighbourhood House Review 2009. However no mention is made of increasing funding as part of this agreement, nor is any indication given that House performance could affect funding security. The House has a Funding and Service Agreement that it has signed with Moreland Council (2011C). In accordance with this Agreement, the House is required to report on expenditure and outcomes achieved. Council’s first instalment of funding each year to the House is tied to the signing of the Agreement, and the second instalment, the balance, is delivered in the second half of the financial year. The Agreement obliges the House to demonstrate we are operating properly, governed ethically and legally, and providing appropriate services that are responsive to community needs, which this Review is helping achieve. The RRNH Review found that Moreland City Council’s core annual funding to the House should be increased. Below are the figures for the Moreland City Council Operational and Program funding provided to Neighbourhood Houses: 2005 -06 Operational Grant $25, 000.00 plus $2,500.00 GST total $ 27,500.00 2006 -07 Operational Grant $25, 000.00 plus $2,500.00 GST total $ 27,500.00 2007 - 08 Operational Grant $25,000 plus $2,500.00 GST plus Program Funding $5,000 plus $500.00 GST total $33,000.00 2008 -09 Operational Grant $25,000 plus $2,500.00 GST plus Program Funding $5,000 plus $500.00 GST total $33,000.00 2009 - 10 Operational Grant $25,000 plus $2,500.00 GST plus Program Funding $5,000   Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

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  plus $500.00 GST total $33,000.00 2010 -2011 Operational Grant $ 26, 429 plus $ 2,643 GST plus Program Funding $5000 plus $500 GST total $34, 572.00 This last amount includes a 3% CPI increase for the year 2010-2011. This Review was advised that funding from Moreland City Council has remained relatively stable since 2005-06, with the House having received on average $30,000 per annum. Concern has been raised that Council’s funding has not been tied to CPI or inflationary increases, and that it is not reflective of the growing financial pressures facing the House, from staff wages, house user services, and ongoing operational and upgrading costs. The Management Committee is of the view that Council should investigate its capacity to provide increased funding to RRNH. Moreland Council (2010B) has been raising increasingly higher amounts through rates revenue as a comparison to CPI rises over the last ten years. In 1999 Council raised on average property rates 4.3% higher than the rate of CPI. In 2000 rates were increased 1.4% higher than CPI, in 2002 rates rose 5% more than CPI, in 2003 rates rose by a record 10.3% more than CPI, in 2004 rates rose by 4.8% more, in 2005 rates went up 5.2%, in 2006 4.8%, 2007 rates increased by 5.7%, in 2008 they went up 3.9% more than CPI, and in 2009 they rose by 3.8% higher on average than CPI rate. During this period, Council’s total revenue generated from rates went up from $36.1 million in 1999 to over $72.2 million in 2009. This equate to an 80% increase in Council rate generate revenue over a ten year period. Over this same amount of time, the CPI increased by only 33%. Despite Council’s increased revenue, and consistently higher than CPI property rate rises, the House has received virtually no significant increase in its annual core funding from Council. To compensate for the last ten years of missed revenue, the Management Committee is of the view that Council should consider a one off 33% increase in its annual funding to RRNH for next financial year, consistent with the rise in cost of living and CPI. This will provide the House with a one off grant to help it meet current and immediate financial pressures generated from CPI, Inflationary and wage rises, and also assist with some infrastructure modernising. In addition to this, the Management Committee requests Council to consider tying future funding agreements and allocation to annual rises in the CPI. This will ensure that core funding is reflective of annual rises in the economy, help secure the House’s ongoing financial viability, and assist future Management Committees in their financial planning. In receiving Council funding, the Council prevents the House from being able to apply for Community Development Grants, which are provided for local community groups to implement and support community building programs and initiatives. This is because Council claims the $5,000 allocated as part of their annual core funding, should be sufficient to deliver House programs. Community Development Grants offer a range of funding opportunities that include project grants, operational grants, quick response grants, community facilitator grants, senior membership activity grants, achievement grants, partnership grants and more (Moreland Council 2011B). The House could utilise the range of

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  these grants that are on offer for the range of current programs we deliver, and for the range of community groups that access the House. In receiving Council funding, Council prevents the House from being able to apply for Community Development Grants, which are provided for local community groups to implement and support community building programs and initiatives. This is because Council claims the $5,000 allocated as part of their annual core funding, should be sufficient to deliver House programs. Community Development Grants offer a range of funding opportunities that include project grants, operational grants, quick response grants, community facilitator grants, senior membership activity grants, achievement grants, partnership grants and more (Moreland Council 2011B). The House could utilise the range of these grants that are on offer for the range of current programs we deliver, and even for the new programs we may be considering. Two Management Committee Members recently attended a Moreland Council seminar, which provided an overview of recent changes to the Corporations Act which impact on the responsibility and work of the House’s Committee. The implications of these changes are that Committee members now have an increased responsibility and increased accountability over the outcome of the House’s operations, and the committee’s management direction. This Review considers that these changes should be clearly outlined to the Committee. Recommendation 26: The Management Committee and Coordinator should consider existing programs and possible new programs in the context of Departmental and Council funding requirements and progress reporting, to ensure the House is offering services to a wide range of community members and meeting its funding agreement expectations. Recommendation 27: The Chairperson should write to the Department of Human Services requesting that future core annual funding from the Victorian Government be tied as a minimum to the annual increases in the Consumer Price Index. Recommendation 28: The Chairperson should write to Moreland City Council requesting information regarding Council’s specific core funding allocations to Robinson Reserve over the last ten years. The Management Committee should advocate Council for a one off 33% increase in its annual funding for next financial year, consistent with the rise in cost of living and CPI over the last 10 years. Recommendation 29: The Management Committee should request that Moreland Council’s Memorandum of Understanding with local Neighbourhood Houses make specific provision for core Council funding to be tied in with as a minimum, the annual increases in the Consumer Price Index. Recommendation 30: The Management Committee should write to and negotiate with Moreland Council to request that the Neighbourhood House be allowed to apply for Community Development Grants. Recommendation 31: The Coordinator and relevant Management Committee Members should work to fully brief and explain the recent changes to the Corporations Act, and the

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  implications they will have on the House’s Committee in terms of accountability and responsibility. 6.2 House Financials Review- Income This Review into the House’s (RRNH 2010) finances will primarily be deriving information from the Houses Financial Statement ending last financial year, June 30 2010, and will seek to give the Management Committee an understanding of the House’s current financial standing. This section will not look at individual course fees, this will be discussed in the remainder of Section 6. Rather this section will focus on the profitable and solid streams of incomes for the House, and the areas which could be financially improved, with Section 6.1 having already considered the House’s core funding streams. The House’s total income from 2009 to 2010 unfortunately declined by $15,693; ($222,584 in 2009 and $206,891 in 2010 respectively). It is important to understand where the decline in this revenue came from in order to plan ahead. The most concerning decline in revenue came from ACFE fees; $2,968 generated in 2009 compared to $36 in 2010, a $2,932 decrease. It is acknowledged that the Management Committee had previously reconsidered remaining an accredited training agency which may have effected the House’s eligibility to remain subsidised for certain courses, and thus effected income from ACFE. At the same time attracting eligible enrolments for ACFE subsidised courses has been an ongoing issue. Revenue from childcare fees declined from $17,558 in 2009 to $13,226 in 2010, a $4,332 decrease. Fees from Pilates courses decreased from $2,111 in 2009 to $1,599 in 2010, a $512 decrease. These areas that recorded declines in income will be discussed further down in Section 6. However there were income streams which recorded an increase. Fee for Service recorded a $3,294 increase from 2009, House Hire and Playgroup fees rose from $6,704 to $7,541, Membership fees rose from $102 to $223, and Program and Course fees rose by a huge $10,544 ($7,998 in 2009 and $18,542 in 2010). Overall the House did find itself in a better position at the end of 2010. The retained earnings at the end of the financial year were recorded at $139,059; which is $7,398 higher than 2009. Although without appropriate information, the Committee is unable to determine what the final financial position will be for 2011, 2012 and beyond. The Review has found that the House does not currently have a clear Budget to indicate where House funding should be focused on. Establishing a budget will be a key first step in developing a clear financial direction for the House and Management Committee. Further financial information should be provided to the Management Committee at its monthly committee meetings regarding the financial position of the house for respective months. Changes to the Corporations Act have resulted in increased responsibility for the committee members both individually and collectively, and require committees to be provided with more information on forward estimates of financial statements. It has been suggested to the Review from numerous Committee members that consistent with these changes to the Act, committee members would appreciate forward estimates being included   Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

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  in monthly statements; that is information which shows if the House remains on a current financial trend, where will it place the finances in 12 or 24 months time? This Review has been advised that this information is easily available in the MYOB Program which calculates monthly statements, and should not add additional red tape or work for the bookkeeper or Treasurer. Providing such information will better assist the Committee in forward planning, and to consider monthly decisions in a long term context. Recommendation 32: The Coordinator, Bookkeeper and Treasurer to provide forward estimates in the House’s monthly financial statements to better inform decisions of the Committee. Recommendation 33: The Management Committee should appoint the Coordinator, Bookkeeper and Treasurer to form a Review 2011Income and Expenditure Review Working Group to investigate how House expenditure can be minimised, clear savings made, and increased income generated, with recommendations to be presented to the Committee and considered prior to the end of this financial year. Recommendation 52: As a matter of priority, the Expenditure and Income Review Committee and Management Committee should work to develop the House’s first comprehensive Budget prior to the start of 2012.

6.3 House Financials Review- Expenditure This Review was also instructed by the Committee to look at the House’s expenditure, and to consider opportunities to minimise costs. The Review mainly looked at the House’s expenditure between the 2009 and 2010 AGM’s. There are a number of areas of concern this Review raises, which the Management Committee should seriously consider in order to secure the future long term financial viability of the House. This Review found there was a $3,617 increase in expenditure on administration and utilities payments, $15,094 in 2009 and $18,711 in 2010. The House recorded a $108 increase in bank fees and charges, $513 in 2009 and $622 in 2010. The House recorded a $816 increase in expenditure on the committee, $1,024 in 2010 and $208 in 2009. The Review has been advised by the Coordinator that the increase in these forms of expenditure has occurred as a result of the increased enrolment and demand for particular House programs. The Review also found there was a $6,405 increase in staff salaries between 2009 and 2010; $132,619 in 2009 and $139,024 in 2010. As indicated in Section 6.1 of this Review, the House received a combined core funding total of approximately $145,964 through DHS, ACFE and Council for 2011, the bulk of which is to be allocated to staff wages. This represents $6,940 extra funding than current staff salary requirements. Having said that, around $5,000 of Council’s funding is tied to Program delivery (not staff wages), leaving the House with only $1,940 extra in core funding than salary requirements. Again, the Coordinator has advised the Review that an increase in programs, increase in House enrolments for certain programs and demand for certain House services has resulted in these increased forms of expenditure.

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  This Review has not been advised of the precise funding that will be allocated to the House over the coming financial year from the Department, ACFE or Council, and whether this will be increased to meet salary and operation price rises. This Review has not been advised of the exact increases that are due to occur through the staff enterprise agreement and award. The Review is also not been advised of whether the House’s expenditure will record increased savings or further losses as a comparison to 2010, as mentioned in the previous section, forward estimates through the MYOB software are currently not provided in monthly Management Committee financial reports. Recommendation 32: The Coordinator, Bookkeeper and Treasurer to provide forward estimates in the House’s monthly financial statements to better inform decisions of the Committee. Recommendation 33: The Management Committee should appoint the Coordinator, Bookkeeper and Treasurer to form a 2011Income and Expenditure Review Working Group to investigate how House expenditure can be minimised, clear savings made, and increased income generated, with recommendations to be presented to the Committee and considered prior to the end of this financial year. Recommendation 52: As a matter of priority, the Expenditure and Income Review Committee and Management Committee should work to develop the House’s first comprehensive Budget prior to the start of 2012. 6.4 Staff Salaries In Reviewing the House’s financial status, this Review was also asked to consider staff salaries in the context of the House’s income and expenditure. The Review makes it clear that it supports all staff in their current capacity employed at the House. As indicated in Section 6.3 of this Report, the Review found there was a $6,405 increase in staff salaries between 2009 and 2010; $132,619 in 2009 and $139,024 in 2010. As indicated in Section 6.1 of this Review, the House received a combined core funding total of approximately $145,964 through DHS, ACFE and Council for 2011, the bulk of which is to be allocated to staff wages. This represents $6,940 extra funding than current staff salary requirements. Having said that, around $5,000 of Council’s funding is tied to Program delivery (not staff wages), leaving the House with only $1,940 extra in core funding than salary requirements. The Coordinator has advised the Review that these increases and costs associated with Staff wages relate to increased demand for House services and programs. In order to make informed decisions about the House’s financial position, the Management Committee should be provided with the details associated with future staff wage increases as outlined in respective staff contracts. Given the Management Committee is ultimately liable under the relevant legislation for the position and viability of the House, it is a matter of importance that such information is made easily and readily accessible to the Chairperson and Treasurer in particular. This Review was not advised of the precise funding that will be allocated to the House over the coming financial year from the Department, ACFE or Council, and whether this will be

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  increased to meet salary and operation price rises. This Review was not advised of the exact increases that are due to occur through the staff enterprise agreement and award. The Review is also not aware of whether the House’s expenditure will record increased savings or further losses as a comparison to 2010, as mentioned in the previous section, forward estimates through the MYOB software are currently not provided in monthly Management Committee financial reports. Up until now the Management Committee has been relatively removed from the staff hiring process. While this Review respects the right of the House Coordinator to manage and work with staff on a day to day basis, it is important the Management Committee are made aware of and included in the decision making process when interviewing and hiring staff, and drafting position descriptions. To help the Coordinator make informed decisions about future staff hiring and position allocations as they arise, Management Committee representatives should be involved in these processes. This is not only important in the context of ensuring the right person is selected for the right job at the House, but it is also important in the context of House finances. That is if a staff member resigns or moves onto another organisation, discussion should take place with the Coordinator at the Management Committee level to consider whether the vacant position requires replacing, whether a reallocation of staff resources is an option, but most importantly whether financially the House can afford to hire a replacement staff member given core funding constraints. This process is consistent with the Houses ‘Accountability Statement’ page1, which was drafted in accordance with the relevant laws. The Statement states clearly that the Committee “is the ultimate responsibility for the organisation. It sets the strategic direction of the House, develops policies and makes employment decisions…”. In hiring new staff, this Review would like to draw the Committee’s attention to the House’s Constitution which makes it clear that Member’s of the Management Committee or any staff at the House are not to use their positions to financially favour or advantage family members or relatives through House staff positions, contracts or other means. The House promotes opportunity and fairness for the community, where nepotism has no place. The Review draws the attention of Committee members to the recent departure of a House employee, and the subsequent process to consider and fill the vacancy. This was a collaborative approach between the Coordinator and the Committee which the House should continue adopting in future. Further to this, up until now the Management Committee has not been involved in the staff salary decision making process. This Review would like to make it clear that it supports paying staff at the appropriate Industry Award and Enterprise Agreement rates. However in finalising any staff agreement for a new position, the Coordinator should work with the Management Committee to ensure any new agreement is financially affordable in the context of core funding and house income. Recommendation 34: The departures by any existing staff should be reported by the Coordinator to the Management Committee, who should then collectively decide whether or not to refill the position. Any subsequent hiring and interview process for replacement, new or additional staff should consist of at least 2 members of the Management Committee and

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  the Coordinator. All new Staff Agreements, including proposed payment arrangements must be put before monthly Management Committee meetings for consideration and approval. Recommendation 35: The Coordinator should advise the Management Committee within a month of this report being finalised, the financial effects on the House’s budget of staff salary increases over the life of the existing Staff Enterprise Agreement.

Recommendation 52: As a matter of priority, the Expenditure and Income Review Committee and Management Committee should work to develop the House’s first comprehensive Budget prior to the start of 2012.

6.5 Program and Course Fees In considering options to improve the Houses financial viability, the Management Committee should review existing program and course fees in the context of improving service delivery, meeting demand and community expectations. The survey responses were split 50% evenly on the question of House program affordability; 17 responses indicated that House program and course prices are reasonable and affordable while another 17 responses indicated that House program prices are a concerning matter or a considerable factor and should be kept low or reduced. Two responses stated that being a pensioner, program and course costs are a significant consideration. The Committee should also consider the incomes of local residents when thinking of program prices. As discussed in Section 4 of this Review, the median weekly income for residents in Moreland is $413 ($466 Australian median), Brunswick $503, Coburg $418 and Northern Moreland is $351). Approximately 20,000 residents receive aged pensions, 10,000 receive family payment, 7,000 receive rent assistance and 10,000 have health care cards (Moreland Council 2010A:22). From the outset, this Review is supportive of special price consideration being given to pensioners, concession card holders and low income earners who access the House. Although prices for full time income earners should be kept to a minimum, scope for any price increases should be considered in this area. The House’s Occasional Childcare Program is under a great deal of demand, however could be financially doing better. Revenue from childcare fees declined from $17,558 in 2009 to $13,226 in 2010, a $4,332 decrease. This Review has been advised by the Coordinator that a number of other House Programs are currently supporting the ongoing operations of the Childcare, and scope should exist to consider increase prices for full time income earners that is consistent with community expectations. One example could include pegging future price rises with increases in the Consumer Price Index, that way rises are consistent and affordable for residents. This will also help the House meet its ongoing and increasing operational costs. Cost of living increases has been a major cause of concern amongst the community in recent times with grocery prices, utility prices, council rates, petrol prices and much more

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  increasing well in excess of inflation rates and CPI rates. Electricity prices for example in Melbourne have gone up over 50% in real terms over the last 10 years. Announcing that Robinson Reserve will peg program prices to quarterly CPI figures as a maximum increase, will help send a message that the House is concerned with cost of living increases, and is committed to keeping its programs affordable for residents. Former House Chairperson and current Management Committee Member, Mark O’Brien, has suggested that the House the Committee should investigate the childcare program being linked in with childcare based apprenticeships through a local secondary school or higher education provider. He states this would attract approximately a $4,000 government subsidy per student. Having 4 students engaged with the House Program could potential attract the House $16,000, which would help secure the financial viability of the Program. Mark has indicated that he is willing to further investigate this option. Mark has stated he will seek to present the details of his proposal to the Management Committee for consideration. House hire and Playgroup fees rose from $6,704 in 2009 to $7,541 in 2010. As indicated in Section 5.1 of this Report, local demographics clearly indicate that Coburg is becoming increasingly popular with young families and demand for these forms of programs are only bound to increase in popularity. The House’s original Childcare Policy adopted in July 2005, stated that the setting of childcare fees should be set annually by the Committee of Management to ensure that fees are kept low while ensuring the House’s financial viability, that provision be made for concession rates and that parents and carers be provided with any change in child care fees in writing. Scope should exist for childcare and playgroup fees to be reviewed, especially given the House is extremely competitive compared to other local services at the moment on these fronts. Fees for the House’s CSWEI Program should also be reviewed. The House currently charges $280 per semester for full fee students, and $180 concession rates. As indicated in Section 5.2 of this Report, consideration should be given to current low enrolments when reviewing prices for this Program. Encouraging increased enrolments for this program should be a priority when setting future fees. As Recommendation 5 and 6 of this Review state, building stronger partnerships and lifting our advertising with local ethnic communities, may further assist in increased participation in this program. A price Review should be undertaken for the House’s Italian Programs. As illustrated in Section 5.2 of this Report, the Arcobaleno and Adult Italian Conversational classes are proving to be very popular. The Arcobaleno Program is a private program for which the House hires its space out to the operator. The fee charged to the private operator should be reviewed given the success and demand for this program. The Adult Italian Conversational class currently charges $300 per semester, and enrolments should be a key consideration in the price setting for this course. The House as outlined in detail in Section 5.3 of this Report, also offers a variety of Computer courses which the House generates revenue from. The Social Networking   Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

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  Course, Web Design, Computers 1,2,3, MYOB, and Excel all charge $210 per semester for full paying students, and $140 for concession card holders. In considering future prices for these programs, a balance should be considered between securing increased revenue and encouraging more enrolments. Fees from Pilates courses decreased from $2,111 in 2009 to $1,599 in 2010, a $512 decrease. The cost for Pilates is currently $150 per term for full fee, $120 concession and $17 casual visit. The Senior Women’s exercise group only charges $4 per session plus a group membership. Consideration should be given to fees assisting the House to break even with this Program, while encouraging greater participation. The House Art of Drawing Program costs $180 per term and $160 for concession card holders. Enrolment numbers should be a prime consideration with fee setting. The Girls Life Experience Program is run by Merri Community Health, and room hire fee to MCH is charged, not individual enrolment fees. House Membership fees rose from $102 to $223. The House currently only charges users $2 each to become a member, valid for 12 months. There is scope to review this membership fee in the context of generating slightly increased revenue that could be used for other valuable programs. Up until now, the Management Committee has not played an active role in the setting of House user prices. However this is something which ought to change. The financial security of the House is of upmost importance, and changes in the relevant legislation make this even more important. The Coordinator should seek to provide the Committee to advise of possible fee changes as they emerge. In the shorter term and in the lead up to 2012 however, the Expenditure and Income Review Working Group should work on the question of future house fees as a priority, and report to the Management Committee for further discussions before final decisions are made. Although aside from the Course fees, there are a variety of opportunities that exist which the Management Committee and the Income and Expenditure Review Working Group should investigate to generate increased cash flow, to re-invest in House infrastructure and Programs such as fundraisers, local businesses and more. Further discussion will proceed in Section 8 of this Report. Recommendation 2: Then Management Committee should review childcare and playgroup prices in the lead up to 2012. Recommendation 32: The Coordinator, Bookkeeper and Treasurer to provide forward estimates in the House’s monthly financial statements to better inform decisions of the Committee. Recommendation 33: The Management Committee should appoint the Coordinator, Bookkeeper and Treasurer to form a 2011Income and Expenditure Review Working Group to investigate how House expenditure can be minimised, clear savings made, and increased income generated, with recommendations to be presented to the Committee and considered prior to the end of this financial year.   Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

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Recommendation 36: The 2011Income and Expenditure Review Working Group should review the fees for all house programs and report to the Management Committee with recommendations by the end of this year. Recommendation 37: The Management Committee should always make special consideration for keeping House Program, Course and access fees as low as possible for concession card holders, pensioners and low income earners. Recommendation 38: The Management Committee should make a commitment to peg any House Program, Course and access fee increases for 2013 and beyond, to rises in the Consumer Price Index or rise in the pension. Recommendation 39: Any decision to review Program, Course and House access fees should always be brought before the Management Committee by the Coordinator for consideration, discussion and approval. Recommendation 52: As a matter of priority, the Expenditure and Income Review Committee and Management Committee should work to develop the House’s first comprehensive Budget prior to the start of 2012.

7. House Staff, House User Policies & Volunteers This section of the Review will go through existing House User and Staff Policies which the Coordinator advised required modernising and updating. Recommendations will be put forward for the Management Committee to action to ensure all relevant policies are up to date and are in the best interests of the House Staff and Users. Up until now, no clear processes have been in place to ensure such policies are updated and monitored, and this Review is the first to identify and go through current policies. Many of the policies are well and truly over their review dates by more than 5 to 6 years in some cases which is of concern. The Robinson Reserve ‘Aims and Objectives’ Policy provides the community and House users with a general overview of our aims and objectives. This policy should be reviewed with consideration given to including a preamble, describing the House in slightly more details, what it offered, its diverse membership base, its community engagement; than just 12 short dot point forms, which should then be displayed in the House’s foyer. The House’s ‘Accountability Statement’ page1, was drafted in accordance with the relevant laws. The Statement states clearly that the Committee “is the ultimate responsibility for the organisation. It sets the strategic direction of the House, develops policies and makes employment decisions…”. The policy goes through all of the House’s legal requirements as an Incorporated Association, as a business, as an organisor of community events, as an employer, as a licensed children’s service operator, as a provider of Adult Education Services and as a Registered Training Organisation. The policy also states the House Coordinator and Chairperson meet fortnightly to discuss and prioritise House business. This policy was adopted at the June 2005 Committee meeting.

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  The ‘Code of Conduct for Committee Members Policy’ was adopted in July 2005 to outline the focus of committee work and decision processes. The policy encourages the committee to govern with an emphasis on strategic leadership and consultation and collaboration with the Coordinator, House staff and users. This Policy was originally due for review in July 2006. The House ‘Community Involvement Policy’ was drafted in 1998, but still manages to give the Committee a very good sense of the House’s direction and how it should engage with local residents. It provides clear guidelines for Management Committee decision making process, and also indicates that the Committee of Management should be elected for 2 yearly terms, which would involve half of the Committee being eligible for re-election annually. The House ‘Procedure for Continuous Improvement’ Policy was introduced in October 2002, and outlines ways the Management Committee should work to continually review and improve services through strong consultation. This very Review is consistent with the policy paper. The ‘Parent Information Booklet’ was recently drafted by the Coordinator and presented to the Management Committee for consideration and approval at the March meeting. The Booklet is intended to given parents accessing the House’s Occasional Care service a detailed understanding of the service’s hours of operations, staff qualifications, enrolment processes, payment requirements, program structure and more. During the consultation process in drafting this Booklet, the Chairperson made 6 recommendations for inclusion in the final document which the Coordinator has since included. This Booklet is provided to all parents upon enrolling of children to the House, and is up to date, and consistent with all necessary requirements. The Coordinator also provided this Review with 2 policies titled ‘Occasional Child Care Program Behaviour Management’ and ‘Occasional Childcare Settling in Procedure’. While these policies appear to be up do date and consistent with relevant requirements, they may actually be duplicating and doubling up with the new ‘Parent Information Booklet’, which contains details to parents on these policy areas. The Management Committee should consider integrating these polices within the one document. The House’s original ‘Childcare Policy’ was adopted in July 2005 stated that the setting of childcare fees should be set annually by the Committee of Management to ensure that fees are kept low while ensuring the House’s financial viability, that provision be made for concession rates and that parents and carers be provided with any change in child care fees in writing. This Review suggests that this policy should be integrated with the new Parent Information Booklet to again reduce duplication and streamline House policy. The ‘Child Care Grievance Policy’ details how grievances and complaints should be processed, and was adopted in July 2004, which an original scheduled review date of January 2006. This is an important policy area and its review should be of priority. The ‘Code of Conduct for Committee Members Policy’ was adopted in July 2005 by the Management Committee, and scheduled for Review in January 2007. However as far as this   Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

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  Review is aware, this is the first time the policy has been reviewed. As the title suggests, the policy is designed to provide committee members with a clear process on declaring any potential conflicts of interests relating the Committee and House discussions. Committee members are required to declare and personal or business conflicts prior to any relevant discussion, members are allowed to participate in discussion but are to remove themselves from the final decision making process. The Review strongly supports the retention of this policy, but suggests that in terms of modernising it as the House moves forward, the Management Committee should insert new clear provisions which relate to the Coordinator who is also a member of the committee. The ‘Selection and Recruitment of Committee of Management Members’ Policy was introduced in June 2003 and makes reference to the constitutional framework associated with committee selection, and outlines ways to encourage people to join and become involved. It encourages wide range of advertising and word of mouth methods to increase recruitment. This policy should be updated with consideration given to include the constitutional changes moved at the 2010 AGM relating to Committee elections and nominations. The ‘Archive of Student Assessment Policy’ was formally adopted by the Committee in November 2005 and due for review in October 2006. Again, as far as the Review is aware, this is the first time this policy has been reviewed. The purpose of this policy is to outline the House’s principals to protect personal privacy of House users and students in accordance with the relevant Privacy Acts. This is an important aspect of the House’s operations and means the policy must be modernised regularly and enforced to make sure we are complying with our information security requirements. The House also has an ‘Administration and Records Management Policy- Security of Records’, which lists clearly how records for certain areas should be secured and backed up. Consideration should be given as to whether this policy could be amalgamated with the ‘Archive of Student Assessment Policy’. Specific provision is made in relation to the Childcare records, which clearly state that the Coordinator and Childcare workers should have access to the locked cabinet in the childcare room to such records. The Committee has recently worked with the Coordinator and Childcare Staff to reform the process by which childcare places are considered and allocated. This process has now been centralised to the House’s main administrative officers, freeing up childcare staff to focus on developing their programs, while also streamlining the childcare administration as is consistent with all other House programs. The ‘Access Equity Policy’ underpins the House’s strong commitment to ensuring the House’s services and facilities are open to anyone. The policy was first introduced in August 2005 and cites relevant legislative requirements the House is bound by. The policy outlines how house users or prospective staff are not to be discriminated against based on age, race, gender. In terms of possible new policy areas, a clear document could be drafted regarding Strategic Planning Days between Staff and Committee of Management Members. This could be an engagement day which occurs at least once a year, and will help committee members gain a better understand of the views of staff regarding House operations and program   Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

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  development. The Coordinator is responsible for reporting on behalf of staff to committee meetings, and the Review would like to note the good detail and advice provided in her reports. However to help enhance committee decision processes and understandings, strategic planning days should be considered, and an appropriate policy drafted. The Review was also unable to locate a policy on volunteering. Part of the House’s core principals includes increasing community patronage and engagement, including through volunteering. However without a clear policy framework on how volunteers should be engaged, what appropriate roles should be, and how their duties should be managed, the House will be unable to effectively target appropriate and required volunteering skills and duties. The Review understands there is a current ad-hoc approach to engaging volunteers, which would be dramatically improved with a clear policy direction.

Recommendation 40: House User Policies be reviewed on a 12 month basis to ensure that house policy and processes are consistent with legislative changes and Management Committee expectations. A member of the Committee with experience in this area should be appointed to work with the Coordinator to review and provide recommendations to the Management Committee on updating existing policies and the possible introduction of new policies if required. Two areas of important focus should include developing policies for Committee of Management and Staff Strategic Planning Days and Volunteering. Advice should be provided prior to the end of 2011 to ensure House polices are prepared and in place for the start 2012. 8. House Infrastructure In preparing this Review, information and advice was sought through the various surveys on how House Infrastructure is currently being utilised and how it may be improved. The Review acknowledges that any infrastructure works recommended in this Section of the Report may require substantial capital funding, and should be considered in the context of operational health and safety, house financial position, and Council’s ability to assist through funding contributions. The Review received substantial feedback regarding how House infrastructure could be improved. 15 responses stated the handy and convenient location was the main reason some people first accessed the house. 5 responses suggested that storage is far too limited, more storage is needed; with too much is stored in childcare area. 4 responses raised concern about the height of doorhandles, and stated that doorhandles are far too low. Children can reach them and possibly fall out or run out of the House. Children could open the handles to front door and run out. Handle height needs to be raised and fixed. 2 responses stated that it is far too hot in the front rooms (staff and house user OHS) and more air conditioning needed. 2 response said there is currently only one toilet and often gets messy. Another toilet at the least is needed. All of this feedback warrants further investigation by the Management Committee, particularly given the OH&S implications and the doorhandle issue with children. The Review has also been advised that doorhandles are required to be at a disabled friendly height for these residents. This would obviously need to be considered by the Committee.

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  The Review also received feedback from staff regarding office space afforded to staff at the House. Currently the front office space of the house is extremely limited in terms of desk and computer space, with the Coordinator also experiencing issues associated with her very limited work space. The reception area is also virtually non-existent, with House users afforded no waiting room, and the staff reception desk and office space itself faced in a way which prevents staff being able to see who is coming in and out of the front door. The Review would like to acknowledge the Council’s assistance in completing recent renovation works but a great deal more needs to be done. Capacity exists in the House’s driveway to further expand the office and reception space into this under utilised area, while opening the front foyer area to improve the welcomeness and space within the house itself. Such an extension would also not effect any current open space or sensitive plantings. With regard to storage space, provision also exists in the current unused small side courtyard. Currently a great deal of tables, chairs and other resources are stored unfairly in the kitchen and other rooms, preventing full access diminishing the House’s capacity to operate. The Coordinator has reported that the current storage material in the kitchen prevent house users from sharing a cup of tea during class breaks in the supposed common space of the House, and creates congestion in the hallway and limited foyer area. Extending the House’s storage space into this unused courtyard space through the installation of either a permanent or temporary structure, would free up a great deal of space, and allowing the capacity of the House to substantially increase. Security is also an issue of concern given the numerous times the House has now been broken into. The Management Committee has discussed the installation of roller shutters, alarms, security cameras, safe deposit boxes and doorbells all as ways to lift House security. Again these measures would require the consultation and assistance of Council, but are all very much warranted. Operational, Health and Safety (OH&S) may need to be considered in opening the computer room for residents to web surf without supervision. However this may be overcome with a staff presence or safety camera being placed in the computer room and linked back to a monitor in the staff office. The House’s IT infrastructure has also been an ongoing issue. Last year to Committee worked with the House’s IT Officer to address the ongoing software issues, which were resolved by the purchase of 2 new staff computers. The Committee should continue to work on an ongoing basis to ensure these issues do not continue to arise as to inhibit the operations of computer programs and staff access to computers. Opportunity also exists to improve the House’s frontage, and to open it up to the community more generally. Some time ago the Committee discussed the installation of decking, chairs and umbrellas, and the introduction of possibly a coffee machine for passers by in the mornings and during the day. Currently on Munro Street which runs parallel to Reynard Street, a small Milk Bar has introduced tables and chairs which the Review can attest are constantly attracting residents. If the House could improve the frontage by making it more open and attractive to passers by to stop, some in for a tea or coffee, and maybe understand what the House offers, the Review is certain it will help increase patronage, revenue streams and the House’s community engagement. An opportunity could also exist to work with local employment agency’s to train hospitality staff through this means.

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  There is also more importantly an Operational Health and Safety component to address this issue. Currently the front section of the House, the learning space, has bi-fold doors that run the length of the House’s frontage. These bi-fold doors can easily be opened from the inside, and the House has had instances when any slight pressure that is applied to the doors leads them to open. The doors do not open onto a level surface in the House’s front yard, but rather a steep step of almost a meter to the garden bed below. This is potentially dangerous as a fall could lead to a house user being injured. It is vital Council work wit the House to help address this issue to prevent any potential accidents. This option warrants further work, but should be a priority for the Committee. The Chairperson has written a submission in June 2011 to the Council’s Budget Public Feedback process requesting further assistance around each of these infrastructure, OH&S and House frontage issues. Recommendation 41: The Management Committee as a matter of urgency, write to Council to seek funding and resources to help address House OH&S Infrastructure and security issues. Assistance should be sought in the following order; to help lift the height of doorhandles to prevent children from leaving the house unsupervised; to improve security arrangements, to improve heating and cooling circulation throughout the house, to improve access to toilets, to improve staff office space and reception area, to help provide increased storage space at the House, and to investigate the possibility of improving the House’s frontage and openness onto Reynard Street. 9. Community Engagement, Advertising and Promotion This Review has consulted and reviewed options extensively to help improve the House’s advertising and community engagement. According to the surveys, 15 responses stated the handy and convenient location was main reason some people first accessed the house. 23 responses stated the House should communicate more often with residents through newsletters, surveys, Moreland Leader advertising and more newsletters for house members and advertising more in community buildings/shops. 4 responses suggested that Special Community Days, open days, sausage sizzles, working bees, car boot sales and fundraiser gatherings should be organised to encourage local residents to access the House more frequently. More work should be undertaken with the local media and businesses on these events to get more publicity and increase patronage. All of this feedback warrants further investigation and consideration, with a great deal of discussion earlier in this Review raising opportunities on how advertising could be improved to target programs, with appropriate recommendations have been made below. However there are three areas the Committee should focus its efforts on the advertising front on. Firstly, the House should be looking at organising more community engagement and open days, through car boot sales, sausage sizzles, children’s holiday events, guest speaker days and more. The House currently holds its annual World’s Women’s Day event and AGM, but further opportunities do exist to hold more events. The most important aspect of any event however, is promotion and advertising, which help attract a bigger crowd, and which helps to generate local media coverage, all of which the House could very much do with.

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  Such events could be geared towards fundraising for House programs and services, or even for other charities which will help build further goodwill. The Second area the House should focus its advertising strategy on includes lifting its internet profile through its website and social media. Feedback through the surveys stated the House’s website is very professional and informative. Although more regular updates should be included to help encourage people to continue visiting it more regularly. One option could include a mailing list, which House Users and local residents can register to receive regular updates that have been uploaded online. The House should look at developing and compiling a detailed mailing list made up of local businesses, schools and other community groups so that it can send out material on a regular basis. A second option should include establishing a facebook page which itself could be a media opportunity. The page would allow the House to network its services through local residents through the social networks that are becoming increasingly popular. The House website should also be made ‘facebook’ and ‘twitter friendly’, so that House information can easily be shared socially online. A third option may include establishing a YouTube Channel, where house students, and events could be filmed, and uploaded, to again further enhance our presence online which other houses are currently not doing. The Review has also found that current signage both directly out the front of the House and along Sydney Rd and Melville Road are inadequate. Some survey responses indicated they did not even know where the House was let alone what it provided. The Management Committee should contact Moreland Council to install a high profile House sign visible both day and night out the front of the House on Reynard Street. The Committee should also seek to install signs on the intersection of Reynard Street and Sydney Rd, and Melville Rd and Reynard Street which direct residents towards the House, as is provided for other community facilities. This will greatly help lift the profile and familiarity amongst residents of the House. Recommendation 10: The Management Committee should undertake an advertising and promotional campaign to further increase patronage within House Computer programs. Recommendation 12: The Management Committee should consider engaging a personal trainer to run exercise programs in the Robinson Reserve Park itself. This program should be heavily promoted amongst the local community. Recommendation 14: The House should consider establishing a walking and or running group amongst existing members, and invite local residents to participate. Recommendation 15: The Management Committee should consider engaging local gyms, YMCA’s, sporting clubs and fitness stores, as a means of cross promoting fitness programs and services, and to also possibly offer special discounts to house users who may have been referred to a particular House fitness program and vicar versa. Recommendation 16: The Management Committee should proactively engage the local Moreland Centrelink Office and other employment agencies to consider opportunities for the House to run and host training and employment seminars.

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  Recommendation 17: The Management Committee should consider hosting an annual Career Expo for young people, with a different trade or employment theme each year. Recommendation 20: The Management Committee and Coordinator should proactively engage with Senior Citizens Groups throughout Moreland, and advise them of the range of services and programs the House offers, encourage their members to come along and participate, and also invite appropriate groups to consider utilising the House. The Committee should engage in a strong promotional campaign of House services through ethnic media outlets. Recommendation 21: The Committee should engage in a strong promotional campaign of House services through ethnic media outlets. Recommendation 22: The Management Committee and Coordinator should consider building a relationship with the Moreland Energy Foundation, and work with them to deliver household energy conservation information sessions and other environmental programs through the House. Recommendation 42: The Management Committee should investigate opportunities to hold community engagement days, with at least one key note event to be planned, promoted and held in 2012 to help increase the House’s profile and raise funding to improve House programs. Recommendation 43: The Management Committee should establish a House website email distribution list, a facebook page and a YouTube channel to help lift the Hosue’s profile online and amongst local residents. Recommendation 44: The Management Committee should contact Moreland Council to install a high profile House sign visible both day and night out the front of the House on Reynard Street. The Committee should also seek to install signs on the intersection of Reynard Street and Sydney Rd, and Melville Rd and Reynard Street which direct residents towards the House, as is provided for other community facilities. 10. Strategic Planning & Moving Forward As a first step, this Review needs to be formally adopted by the Management Committee at its July 2011 meeting. Once adopted, the Committee can then proceed to determine which recommendations it ought to prioritise for delivery, and which recommendations require further analysis and consideration. This Review forms a comprehensive basis for Strategic Planning for the House, as it allows the Committee to consider a wide range of options and recommendations on how it can further lift the House’s patronage and community engagement, based on thorough analysis and consultation.

Recommendation 53: The Management Committee should use the Recommendations contained in this Review to form the basis of the House’s first comprehensive Strategic Plan in the lead up to 2012.

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  11. Recommendations Based on the survey responses and evidence collated, this Review recommends the following: Recommendation 1: The Management Committee should support the ongoing retention of the House Childcare and Playgroup Programs. Recommendation 2: Then Management Committee should review childcare and playgroup prices in the lead up to 2012. Recommednation3: The Management Committee should explore opportunities to encourage parents who access the childcare program, to also access House Programs simultaneously. Parents from the childcare program should be specifically surveyed and asked what programs would interest them. Recommendation 4: The Chairperson should write to the High School for Coburg Campaign to support the call for a Coburg High School to be established in the context of the increasing number of young people in Coburg, and the increasing demand on the House’s childcare program. Recommendation 5: The Management Committee should support the ongoing retention of the CSWEI and English Program for adults of non-English speaking backgrounds. Recommendation 6: The Management Committee should seek to actively engage with local existing migrant and non-English speaking community services that are situated throughout Moreland, to proactively cross promote and link services between clients and agencies. The Management Committee should determine which agencies the House would prefer working with, and the Chairperson to then write to respective agencies as a first step to pursuing a working relationship. Recommendation 7: The Management Committee should support the ongoing retention of the Arcobaleno Italian Language Immersion Program and Italian Conversational Classes. Recommendation 8: The Management Committee should explore opportunities to encourage parents who’s children access the Arcobaleno Italian Program, to also access other House Programs simultaneously. Parents from the Arcobaleno Program should be specifically surveyed and asked what programs would interest them, and whether they would be interested in participating in the Italian Conversational Classes.  Recommendation 9: The Management Committee should support the ongoing retention of the Computer Classes.   Recommendation 10: The Management Committee should undertake an advertising and promotional campaign to further increase patronage within House Computer programs.

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  Recommendation 11: The Management Committee and Coordinator should work with Australian Pensioners Voice to investigate alternative streams of funding to continue supporting the Seniors Computer Program. Recommendation 12: The Management Committee should consider making the computer room available for residents to drop in and use when no computer classes are being run.  Recommendation 13: The Management Committee should consider engaging a personal trainer to run exercise programs in the Robinson Reserve Park itself. This program should be heavily promoted amongst the local community. Recommendation 14: The House should consider establishing a walking and or running group amongst existing members, and invite local residents to participate. Recommendation 15: The Management Committee should consider engaging local gyms, YMCA’s, sporting clubs and fitness stores, as a means of cross promoting fitness programs and services, and to also possibly offer special discounts to house users who may have been referred to a particular House fitness program and vicar versa. Recommendation 16: The Management Committee should proactively engage the local Moreland Centrelink Office and other employment agencies to consider opportunities for the House to run and host training and employment seminars. Recommendation 17: The Management Committee should consider hosting an annual Career Expo for young people, with a different trade or employment theme each year. Recommendation 18: The Management Committee should consider introducing cooking courses, and approach Moreland Council to seek assistance to significantly upgrade the House’s kitchen facilities and infrastructure. Recommendation 19: The Management Committee should continue to explore on an ongoing basis the introduction of programs that will further increase participation and patronage by senior citizens and pensioners at the House. Recommendation 20: The Management Committee and Coordinator should proactively engage with Senior Citizens Groups throughout Moreland, and advise them of the range of services and programs the House offers, encourage their members to come along and participate, and also invite appropriate groups to consider utilising the House. Recommendation 21: The Committee should engage in a strong promotional campaign of House services through ethnic media outlets. Recommendation 22: The Management Committee and Coordinator should consider building a relationship with the Moreland Energy Foundation, and work with them to deliver household energy conservation information sessions and other environmental programs through the House.

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  Recommendation 23: The Management Committee and Coordinator should approach Moreland Council and the Moreland Energy Foundation to work towards improving the House’s energy efficiency, by requesting an energy audit, and through the installation of solar panels and other appropriate measures, under the Coburg Solar City Initiative. Recommendation 24: The Management Committee to work with the Coordinator to prioritise House Program Recommendations from this Review. Recommendation 25: The Management Committee to work with the Coordinator to determine suitable times for existing and new programs to be accommodated at the House. Due consideration should be given to opportunities for Programs to be run during school holidays. Recommendation 26: The Management Committee and Coordinator should consider existing programs and possible new programs in the context of Departmental and Council funding requirements and progress reporting, to ensure the House is offering services to a wide range of community members and meeting its funding agreement expectations. Recommendation 27: The Chairperson should write to the Department of Human Services requesting that future core annual funding from the Victorian Government be tied as a minimum to the annual increases in the Consumer Price Index. Recommendation 28: The Chairperson should write to Moreland City Council requesting information regarding Council’s specific core funding allocations to Robinson Reserve over the last ten years. The Management Committee should advocate Council for a one off 33% increase in its annual funding for next financial year, consistent with the rise in cost of living and CPI over the last 10 years. Recommendation 29: The Management Committee should request that Moreland Council’s Memorandum of Understanding with local Neighbourhood Houses make specific provision for core Council funding to be tied in with as a minimum the annual increases in the Consumer Price Index. Recommendation 30: The Management Committee should write to and negotiate with Moreland Council to request that the Neighbourhood House be allowed to apply for Community Development Grants. Recommendation 31: The Coordinator and relevant Management Committee Members should work to fully brief and explain the recent changes to the Corporations Act, and the implications they will have on the House’s Committee in terms of accountability and responsibility. Recommendation 32: The Coordinator, Bookkeeper and Treasurer to provide forward estimates in the House’s monthly financial statements to better inform decisions of the Committee. Recommendation 33: The Management Committee should appoint the Coordinator, Bookkeeper and Treasurer to form a 2011Income and Expenditure Review Working Group   Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

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  to investigate how House expenditure can be minimised, clear savings made, and increased income generated, with recommendations to be presented to the Committee and considered prior to the end of this financial year. Recommendation 34: The departures by any existing staff should be reported by the Coordinator to the Management Committee, who should then collectively decide whether or not to refill the position. Any subsequent hiring and interview process for replacement, new or additional staff should consist of at least 2 members of the Management Committee and the Coordinator. All new Staff Agreements, including proposed payment arrangements must be put before monthly Management Committee meetings for consideration and approval. Recommendation 35: The Coordinator should advise the Management Committee within a month of this report being finalised, the financial effects on the House’s budget of staff salary increases over the life of the existing Staff Enterprise Agreement. Recommendation 36: The 2011Income and Expenditure Review Working Group should review the fees for all house programs and report to the Management Committee with recommendations by the end of this year. Recommendation 37: The Management Committee should always make special consideration for keeping House Program, Course and access fees as low as possible for concession card holders, pensioners and low income earners. Recommendation 38: The Management Committee should make a commitment to peg any House Program, Course and access fee increases for 2013 and beyond, to rises in the Consumer Price Index or rise in the pension. Recommendation 39: Any decision to review Program, Course and House access fees should always be brought before the Management Committee by the Coordinator for consideration, discussion and approval. Recommendation 40: House User Policies be reviewed on a 12 month basis to ensure that house policy and processes are consistent with legislative changes and Management Committee expectations. A member of the Committee with experience in this area should be appointed to work with the Coordinator to review and provide recommendations to the Management Committee on updating existing policies and the possible introduction of new policies if required. Two areas of important focus should include developing policies for Committee of Management and Staff Strategic Planning Days and Volunteering. Advice should be provided prior to the end of 2011 to ensure House polices are prepared and in place for the start 2012. Recommendation 41: The Management Committee as a matter of urgency, write to Council to seek funding and resources to help address House OH&S Infrastructure and security issues. Assistance should be sought in the following order; to help lift the height of doorhandles to prevent children from leaving the house unsupervised; to improve security arrangements, to improve heating and cooling circulation throughout the house, to improve access to toilets, to improve staff office space and reception area, to help provide increased

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  storage space at the House, and to investigate the possibility of improving the House’s frontage and openness onto Reynard Street. Recommendation 42: The Management Committee should investigate opportunities to hold community engagement days, with at least one key note event to be planned, promoted and held in 2012 to help increase the House’s profile and raise funding to improve House programs. Recommendation 43: The Management Committee should establish a House website email distribution list, a facebook page and a YouTube channel to help lift the Hosue’s profile online and amongst local residents. Recommendation 44: The Management Committee should contact Moreland Council to install a high profile House sign visible both day and night out the front of the House on Reynard Street. The Committee should also seek to install signs on the intersection of Reynard Street and Sydney Rd, and Melville Rd and Reynard Street which direct residents towards the House, as is provided for other community facilities. Recommendation 45: The Chairperson write to the House Staff, House Members and local residents who participated in the Study to thank them for their contribution, and to provide a basic overview of how the Survey information has assisted in the Report and Management Committee’s recommendations. Recommendation 46: Once endorsed by the Management Committee, the Report should be uploaded to the House website and community feedback and responses to the recommendations should be encouraged and sought. Recommendation 47: The Management Committee should draft a Media Release for the local Leader Newspaper thanking local residents who participated in the Survey, and giving a brief overview of some of the findings and key recommendations that local residents may be interested in. Recommendation 48: The Chairperson should write to the Mayor and Councillors of Moreland City Council, local Federal and State Representatives of Parliament, advising them of the 2011 House Review, enclosing a copy of the Review, and encouraging them to work with us to support the recommendations put forward. Recommendation 49: The Chairperson should write to the Minister responsible for Neighbourhood Houses, The Hon Mary Wooldridge, enclosing a copy of the Review, and encouraging her and the Department to work with us to support the recommendations put forward. Recommendation 50: The Management Committee should undertake a similar Review to this one every 4 to 5 years to correlate with the release of new Australian Bureau of Statistics Census data. The next Review should be undertaken following the release of the next Census Report. Recommendation 51: The Management Committee should establish a Review 2011 Working Group consisting of the Coordinator, and at least 2 members from to Management

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  Committee, to ensure the recommendations from this Review are pursued and delivered, as prioritised by the Management Committee. The Management Committee should collectively prioritise the importance of each of the recommendations that the Working Group will be commissioned to pursue. The Review 2011 Working Group including the Coordinator, should report on the progress of the Review recommendations at the Monthly Committee of Management Meetings. Recommendation 52: As a matter of priority, the Expenditure and Income Review Committee and Management Committee should work to develop the House’s first comprehensive Budget prior to the start of 2012. Recommendation 53: The Management Committee should use the Recommendations contained in this Review to form the basis of the House’s first comprehensive Strategic Plan in the lead up to 2012. Prepared by Anthony Cianflone 2011 Chairperson of RRNH

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12. References
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Australian Broadcasting Corporation (2010) ‘MasterChef smashes ratings record’ [online] http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/07/26/2963984.htm [Accessed 12/4/2011] Australian Bureau of Statistics (2010) Figures obtained via Census Profile [Online] www.abs.gov.au [Accessed 3/09/2010] Australian Bureau of Statistics (2007) 2006 Census Quick Stats: Coburg North (State Suburb). Released 25/10/07 [Online] www.abs.gov.au [Accessed 13/02/2009] Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006) 2006 Census Quick Stats: Coburg (State Suburb) [Online] www.abs.gov.au [Accessed 3/4/2011] Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006A) 4177.0 Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation Australia 2005-06 [Online] http://abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/ProductsbyCatalogue/9FD67668EE42A738 CA2568A9001393AC?OpenDocument [Accessed 12/02/2009] Australian Bureau of Statistics (2001) Census Quick Stats: Coburg (State Suburb) [Online] www.abs.gov.au [Accessed 3/4/2011] AFN (2010) ‘TV Chefs send young Aussie men into school kitchens’ [Online] http://www.ausfoodnews.com.au/2010/05/17/tv-chefs-send-young-aussie-men-intoschool-kitchens.html [Accessed 12/4/2011] Australian Greek Welfare Society (2011) ‘Responding with Innovation, Services and Advocacy’ [Online] http://www.agws.com.au/ [Accessed 9/4/2011] Australian Lebanese Welfare Association (2011) ‘Multicultural Directory; Department of Justice’ [Online] http://www.justice.vic.gov.au/CA256DB80025241B/page/EthnoSpecific+Organisations-ArabicAustralian+Lebanese+Welfare?OpenDocument&1=40-EthnoSpecific+Organisations~&2=20-Arabic~&3=10-Australian+Lebanese+Welfare~ [Accessed 9/4/2011] ASR Research (2009) Vision for Community Infrastructure & Open Space 173-199 Elizabeth Street North Coburg [Online] http://www.land.vic.gov.au/CA256F310024B628/0/1CA4870262DD10BBCA2576B20 01EBDD4/$File/Community+Infrastructure+and+Open+Space.pdf [Accessed 19/02/2010] Department Education & Early Childhood Development (2010) Secondary School Provision Plan for the Coburg Schools Network: Demographic Analyses Report.

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Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations (2010) Small Area Labour Markets Australia [Online] http://www.workplace.gov.au/workplace/Publications/LabourMarketAnalysis/SmallAre aLabourMarkets-Australia.htm [Accessed 3/4/2011] Department of Human Services (2011) ‘NHCP Program transition to the DHS FAQ’. Emailed on 28/2/11 by the Manager of Community Investment Delivery. Garrett, P., & Thomson, K. (2007) ‘Coburg to become Australia’s 7th Solar City’ [Online] http://www.petergarrett.com.au/497.aspx?print=Y [Accessed 12/4/2011] High School for Coburg (2009) ‘The numbers stack up so where is the planning for a High School for Coburg’. Press Release published October 2009 [Online] http://www.scribd.com/doc/21044967/The-Numbers-Stack-Up-High-School-ForCoburg [Accessed 6/09/2010] High School for Coburg (2009A) ‘Where will you send your kids to school?’ Press Release published in April 2009 [Online] http://www.scribd.com/doc/14971545/Where-will-you-send-your-kids-to-school [Accessed 6/09/2010] INCA (2011) ‘INCA Italian Migrant Welfare’ [Online] http://www.truelocal.com.au/business/inca-italian-migrant-welfare/coburg [Accessed 9/4/2011] Kangan Batman TAFE (2010) ‘New Enterprise Incentive Scheme’ [Online] http://www.kangan.edu.au/industry/bec/neis/ [Accessed 9/4/2011] Mawby, N. (2010) ‘Cooking Classes boil over’ [Online] http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/cooking-classes-boil-over/story-e6frf7kx1225887750798 [Accessed 12/4/2011] Moreland Council (2011) ‘Carbon Management Strategy Plan’ [Online] http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/environment-and-waste/climate-change/carbonmanagement-strategy.html [Accessed 13/4/2011] Moreland council (2011A) ‘Memorandum of Understanding between Moreland council and The Neighbourhood Houses and Learning Centres in Moreland’. Emailed by RRNH Coordinator on 1/3/2011. Moreland Council (2011B) ‘Community Development Grant Program’ [Online] http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/about-council/grants-and-awards/communitydevelopment-grants-program.html?s=1001 [Accessed 13/4/2011] Moreland Council (2011C) ‘Neighbourhood House Funding and Service Agreement 1841 from 1st July 2010 and 30th June 2011.

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Moreland City Council (2011D) Moreland City Council Draft Budget 2011-12. Moreland City Council (2011E) ‘City of Moreland: What type of internet connection do you have?’ [Online] http://profile.id.com.au/Default.aspx?id=220&pg=136&gid=10&type=enum [Accessed 16/7/11] Moreland Council (2010) City of Moreland Population & Household Forecasts (updated on 26/08/10) [Online] http://forecast2.id.com.au/templates/forecast2/Clients/220More/PDF/10.pdf [Accessed 3/09/2010] Moreland Council (2010A) Moreland Health & Wellbeing Plan 2010-14; A Health Connected Community [Online] http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/mccwr/publications/policies-strategiesplans/moreland%20health%20wellbeing%20plan%202010-2014.pdf [Accessed 3/4/2011] Moreland Council (2010B) Moreland Council Annual Report; Rates. Moreland Leader (2010) ‘Baby boom squeeze; parents queue for kinder places’. Published in the Moreland Leader 6/09/2010. O’Brien, S. (2011) ‘Wasted generation must be rescued before it’s too late; Jobless youth losing hope’. Published in the Herald Sun 5/4/2011. Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House (2011) Classes & Program Semester 1; 7th February to 1st July. Printed and Published by the RRNH, Coburg. Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House (2010) Income Statement for the year ended 30th June 2010. Statement tabled at the Annual General Meeting November 2010. Robson, S. (2011) ‘Breathing new life into Darebin Parks with free fitness sessions’ [Online] http://northcote-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/breathing-life-intoparks/ [Accessed 16/7/11] Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre (2011) ‘Our mission and vision’ [Online] http://www.spectrumvic.org.au/About-us/Our-Mission-and-Vision2 [Accessed 9/4/2011] Thomson, K. (2011) ‘Speech at the launch of Australian Pensioners Voice at INCA’. [Online] http://www.kelvinthomson.com.au/editor/assets/FLASH_STORIES/aug1101.pdf [Accessed 9/4/2011]

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True Local (2011) ‘Find a Recruitment Agency’ [Online] http://www.truelocal.com.au/find/recruitment-agency/vic/melbourne-greatermetro/moreland/ [Accessed 9/4/2011]

13. Attachments

  Robinson Reserve Neighbourhood House Review 2011

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