The Griffith Neighbourhood House began in 1976 by actions of a group of visionaries. The steering committee prepared a submission that was successful.
It resulted in a grant of $30,000 from the Australian Assistance Plan (AAP) – through the Riverina Council for Social Development.
A public meeting in November 1976 replaced the interim Neighbourhood House Committee which was to serve the community until February 1978 when a new committee was elected.
As the grant from AAP was considerably less than that requested, it was not possible to purchase specific premises which would have enabled a diversity of childcare programmes to be developed alongside the other services envisaged to be established in a home type atmosphere.
Griffith City Council offered the use of the ‘Old Hospital’ in Banna Ave (the site presently occupied by the new State Office Block). The doors of this original Neighbourhood House opened in January 1977.
In October 1978 the service moved to 18 Probert Avenue, where more modern surroundings greatly enhanced the activities. The move proved very successful and the centre and the rooms were used daily by a great number of organisations. In 1980 a cut in funding meant that the service could no longer operate from the current premises and operated from the Shalimar room in Banna Avenue.
In 1984 the Waide Room was completed for the purpose of small group activities and a meeting place for a number of support groups in the town. Many of the services that are in Griffith today started from Griffith Neighbourhood House; Riverina Children’s Activity Van, Youth services with a Youth Worker, Bilingual Aged Care Service, Early Intervention Service for children 0-5yrs, Home Care, Griffith Regional Family Services, Community Transport, Respite Care, Griffith Interagency and Alcoholics Anonymous.
At the end of March 1982 the service moved to 80 Benerembah Street, which used to be the Old Police Station with lock-up and all. The premises are owned by the Land & Property Management Authority and are made available to the Griffith Neighbourhood House Community Centre Inc, now renamed the Griffith Community Centre, at a low rent through the Griffith City Council.