Selby House arose from the exciting and ground-breaking People’s Movement of the early 1970’s, and it was the first Neighbourhood House to form in the area in 1975. After a public meeting of 60 Selby residents and shire representatives in June 1975, a playgroup of 30 parents and children moved into old Minak House in August 1975, and gave birth to the development of Selby Community House, its philosophy and activities.
A year later, Kallista and Coonara followed, then Emerald in 1978, and the “Sherbrook Houses” soon gained a reputation for solidarity and shared community participation philosophy – giving a voice to the local community members who had previously struggled to be heard.
In 1976 Selby Community House was instrumental in developing ‘SCRAG”- Sherbrooke Community Resource and Action Group – which involved people throughout the shire in social planning and underpinned the shire council’s social planning infrastructure for Aged Care, Family Day Care, youth and recreation programs, children’s services and other initiatives.
Selby Community House was also a pioneer in advocating for and exploring new ways of delivering Early Childhood programs. In fact, the entire concept of Family Day Care began here –and as a result of this initiative, many local women were able to transition from motherhood to a career in Children’s Services.
In the late 1970’s, Selby House became synonymous with Creative Arts, known for the success of its Selby Folk Club and The Pottery Co-operative, and this remains a very important part of our organization to this day – witnessed by thousands of visitors who make the trip to our Selby Fest every year!
The building at Selby Community House has undergone multiple extensions and renovations since the 1970’s, but it still retains a welcoming home-like atmosphere and is alive with community involvement representing our area’s love of the environment, support of families and desire to keep our community connected and thriving.
Today, Selby Community House is part of a coalition of 12 Yarra Ranges Neighbourhood Houses, all striving to provide valuable learning and social participation opportunities to their diverse communities. We have a proud history and will continue to build strong community connections as we look towards our next 40 years being the welcoming heart of the hills community.