About Us

Both centres provide social, educational and recreational activities for all the community in a warm welcoming environment.

Encourages learning at all ages for employment, interest and self-fulfilment. In participating in learning experiences individuals will meet new people and form new connections with their community. Both Centre is open and flexible in its curriculum and will respond readily to the community as needs change and new interests develop. We aim to provide low cost activities thereby enabling the whole community to participate. We value Learning / Inclusion / Integrity / Innovation / Commitment


Highett Neighbourhood Community House began as Highett Community Association over 30 years ago. Its original purpose was to provide programs and activities for the residents of a local government housing estate. Later the direction of the group changed to a broader community focus and the group was relocated to the old Scout Hall in Livingston Street. A new constitution, policies and procedures were adopted, along with a name change to represent its now wider community base. In 2010 HNCH joined forces with Highett Seniors Club and Highett Greek Seniors in the refurbished Seniors Club across from the old scout hall.


In the 1950‘s Miss May Ivison, together with other community-minded people formed the Hampton Advancement Society that subsequently became the Hampton Community Welfare Society, fore runners of what would become the Hampton Community Centre. Concerned at the lack of recognition of community needs in Hampton, Miss Ivison stood for, and was elected to the Sandringham Council. She was the first woman to be elected to the Sandringham Council and the first to be appointed Mayor during 1967/68 and 1973/74. She successfully campaigned for the construction of a Community Hall in Hampton and in 1966 the Community Centre was opened. While Council provided funds for the building, it was left to the Committee of Management under the dynamic leadership of May Ivison to raise the necessary funds for fitting it out.  This started an extensive program of fundraising through street stalls, a Community Arts Festival and many craft shows, exhibitions.  READ MORE 




Marlene and her family have lived in Highett since 1991. She moved here from Queensland with a young son who went to local schools. Her family have participated in community activities including school committees and sports coaching. Her grandchildren are now growing up here and have attended local kindergartens and schools. Professionally, Marlene has worked in education and training for the past forty years, and has had a wide range of roles from class room teacher, management and administration, through to policy development at both state and federal levels. Marlene brings a skill set of stakeholder engagement and planning, and a good knowledge of governance systems and processes to her role on the board.



Adrian is the Founder and Director of Learning at Intuyu Consulting – an innovative bespoke educational consultancy. Whilst he is a Mechanical Engineer by training and even taught Aerospace Engineering at RMIT University, Adrian is passionate about people being empowered to grow and learn. He has worked across Australia and New Zealand with students and teachers in primary, secondary and tertiary environments. He redeveloped the ruMAD? (aRe yoU Making A Difference) program which came to be acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent inquiry-based learning models in the country. He led leadership programs for 10 years at Landmark Education which resulted in initiatives such as the Good Samaritan Laws in Australia and rise of food sharing programs in Melbourne. He has a BSc, BEng and PhD from Monash University and lives with his wife and 2 children in Hampton East.



Melanie Tighe, our manager, has university qualifications in both Community Development (MSc) and Economics (BEc). Her effective and friendly communication skills allow her to facilitate the operations of HNCH while promoting our brand and presence within the community. Outside of HNCH Melanie is a member on the Board of the The Side Door Social Justice Hub which is a community initiative that promotes social justice causes and community development through sharing, networking, events, community organising, and activism.


Board Member

Nigel has been a bayside resident and contributor to Bayside community life since 1974. From being President of the Highett Youth group to volunteering and now serving on the HNCH board, Nigel has always looked out for the interests of those in need in the local area. Nigel is a retired IT professional where he held senior executive management positions in both commercial, private and NFP companies. His strengths lie in creative solutions and people management with an eye to the bigger strategic picture.


Board Member

As a resident and community member, I have lived in Highett for the majority of my lifetime and take an active interest in community events and activities. As a Board member I strive to promote community engagement and inclusion, whilst supporting governance activities. I am a HR Professional with over 20 years experience across many HR and Finance functions, specialising in Remuneration and Benefits and delivering company-wide employee Remuneration programs. I have demonstrated ability to work consultatively across internal teams and external providers to deliver global employee benefits programs, and in meeting associated legislative and tax compliance requirements and hope to bring my governance lens and community passion in my role as a HNCH board member.


Board Member

Dora is a marketing strategist who brings an extensive international background in full lifecycle marketing solutions. She has ten years of experience in product management, business development, events, and sales & marketing. This complements her strong brand development skills, honed by her experience helping small to medium-sized companies to successfully rebrand. Dora’s passion for making an impact on the bottom line has shifted her focus to digital marketing, for start ups and small businesses. Her expertise helps HNCH to effectively reach the local neighbourhood and reposition its brand.



Ryan Zhou has lived in Australia since 2009. He and his family moved to Highett in 2016 and have been blessed to have their first boy in 2018. Professionally Ryan is a member of CPA Australia and holds double master’s degrees from Monash University. He has worked in several challenging positions where he honed his professional skills. He has a passion in finance and business management and keen to contribute to the community. Ryan’s expertise assists the board to gain insights from finances of the house and provides financial analysis to support the board and management with decision making.


We do not offer refunds for classes due to a change in your personal circumstances. If your class is impacted by Covid shutdowns we will reschedule your class or it will run via Zoom.


All visitors to our centre must respect all workers and volunteers. No inappropriate behaviour is accepted in our centres.