About RANCH

RANCH is one of 16 Neighbourhood House Networks (NHN) across Victoria.

Our network consists of 29 Neighbourhood Houses located in the:

  • Central Goldfields Shire

  • City of Greater Bendigo

  • Loddon Shire

  • Macedon Ranges Shire

  • Mount Alexander Shire

  • Shire of Campaspe.

Neighbourhood House Networks link Neighbourhood Houses and their communities to:

  • Other Neighbourhood Houses and communities within the region

  • Other Neighbourhood House Networks

  • The Neighbourhood House’s peak body, Neighbourhood Houses Victoria (NHV)

  • Local Governments

  • State Government.

Our extensive knowledge of the Neighbourhood Houses in our region allows us to advocate for our members to the various layers of Government and to work collaboratively with NHV to develop strategies for the whole sector.

We facilitate:

  • Individual support to our members

  • Regional collaboration among our members on issues, needs and projects

  • Representation and advocacy on regional issues and needs to the NHV, Local and State Governments.


The range and priority of services undertaken by the RANCH is directed by the membership and includes:

  • Service and program planning and development

  • Community development practice

  • Governance and management

  • Resources and training

  • Community education.

Our Governance

RANCH Inc is an independent incorporated association managed by a volunteer committee of up to 10 members elected by RANCH members at the Annual General Meeting.

Nominations for the RANCH Committee of Management are called for prior to our Annual General meeting from our member Houses. The Executive committee consists of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer.

Responsibilities of the RANCH Committee of Management:


Management

The RANCH COM practices a Governance Model to ensure the Network is run in an efficient manner for the benefit of its members.

Legal
The COM is responsible for ensuring that the Network keeps up with and complies with all regulations under the Associations Act.  This includes keeping proper records and meeting legal requirements.

Financial Accountability

The COM is responsible for ensuring the proper management of all finances, that an external audit is carried out annually and that RANCH complies with the accountability requirements of all funding bodies.

Planning

The COM establishes and reviews long-range goals identified in the current Strategic Plan.  

The Strategic Plan is reviewed on a 3 yearly basis.

Employment

The COM employs all paid staff and is responsible for ensuring that all necessary obligations are met including informing staff of their employment entitlements and conditions.

Policy

The COM is responsible for establishing, recording and reviewing policies on all matters concerning the Network.

Evaluation

The COM is responsible for monitoring all aspects of the services provided by RANCH Inc. including progression of strategies to implement the Strategic Plan.

Current Committee of Management

  • President/Chairperson:                Monica Smyrek (MRFEC)

  • Vice President/Chairperson:        Vacant

  • Secretary:                                      Bronwyn Machin (Castlemaine)

  • Treasurer:                                      Claire Rawlinson (Kyneton)

Ordinary Members

  • Marg van Deen Wedderburn

  • Sheridan Clarke Crossenvale 

  • Faye Arnold Donnolly 

  • Fiona Moon Pyramid Hill 

Our Funding

Department of Health and Human Services

NH Networks receive recurrent funding from the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) through the Neighbourhood House Coordination Program (NHCP

DHHS provides coordination funding to Neighbourhood House Networks to facilitate governance and management support, advice on programs & service development, training & training resources to Neighbourhood Houses within their Network and to provide capacity building and effective linkages with and between Neighbourhood Houses and other community organisations at the local and regional level.

The level of this funding is determined by the number of Neighbourhood Houses in each Network, although the challenges of distance and the costs of travel are not factored in.

Membership Fees

Our members pay a nominal annual membership fee which is determined according to their DHHS funding.

Grants

Additional funding is sought through grants for network projects.

Our Resources

RANCH works to empower Community and Neighbourhood Houses & Learning Centres.   Here you can find a wide range of tools and resources that can support member Houses to effectively manage and govern their Community and Neighbourhood House or Learning Centre.

Our RANCH Policies & Procedures