A Little History About Us

Posted By Carol  

Neighbourhood houses belong to the community. They are run by a volunteer Committee of Management or volunteer Board and are incorporated, not-for-profit legal entities. They exist to meet the needs of their local communities, strengthen neighbourhoods, grow and develop into whatever is needed locally. That is why they are your community assets, you, us, we the community, own them.


This neighbourhood house was established in 1986 by the City of Box Hill. At the time, Box Hill South Neighbourhood House had been up and running for a while and the City Councillors liked what they saw and tried to replicate it within the City of Box Hill. The prevailing thought at the time was that all citizens living in Box Hill should have walking access to a neighbourhood house.

First they purchased Clota Cottage and engaged a community development worker for six months to get the house going.


Then they purchased a house in Strabane Street, North Box Hill and Kerrimuir Neighbourhood House in Linda Avenue, also North Box Hill.

Not many neighbourhood houses thrive without some staffing. This was true for Clota Cottage, although the inaugural committee did a terrific job caring for the house and keeping the doors open.

For a couple of years, Clota did not even have a phone and it took some convincing with Council staff to allow an amount in the budget for a phone.

Eventually the first Manager (or Coordinator in those days) was employed, the child care centre was registered and staffed and Clota continued to develop. We have been running programs, child-care, activities, classes and events for over 30 years.

We are small, there’s no doubt about that. Our rooms hold up to 15 people sitting at a squeeze. That leads to some difficulties in economies of scale.

A yoga tutor costs the same regardless of the size of a class. We could only offer seven to eight places in the space we have whereas another facility may be able to cater for 20 people, at less than half the price we would have to charge. That can make it difficult for us.

Here is our point of difference though, and why you should consider coming to our programs or using our meeting spaces, we are small!

We have:

  • Child Care - 9 places only, nice and small for children who don’t like large groups and a great program including music with Merran on a Monday, at no extra cost
  • Computer Lab - 6 computers, 6 students, a lot more time for individual help
  • Registered kitchen - you can hire this space if you need a registered kitchen to cook in
  • Our Kelso Room - self-contained with audio visual equipment, coffee station, toilet facility
  • The Grigg Room - a double room that can be closed in half if needed, also with audio visual equipment
  • Children’s Parties can be held on available Saturdays
  • A budding Community Garden space
  • Great meeting spaces for small groups meeting on a regular basis or for the casual hirer
  • We offer educational programs that are funded by the government Adult, Community and Further Education (ACFE) and are very low-cost designed to help people develop their skills to move into work or further study
  • We offer Home and Community Care (HACC) programs for older people that support, educate, entertain and keep people connected to one another
  • We are unique in offering a language course in Finnish
  • We have a licence to show 12 movies per year, our next movie coming up is Women in Black


We are open from 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday during school terms. We are also quite short staffed, so a phone call before coming to see us is recommended. It only takes one meeting on a day when there’s only one staff member rostered on to leave the office empty.

We are always on the lookout for people to volunteer at the House. Currently we have someone helping with the movie days, someone collating a big box of our history, someone else helping out with our computers, and a little office administration.

We are under-utilised currently, so there are plenty of opportunities for new ideas to flourish. Do hurry though, it’s our intention to have this place jumping with activities, and soon, so get in quickly!


Email admin@clotacottage.org.au

Phone 9899 0062

Website www.clotacottage.org.au