YNH Services began as Yarrawonga Neighbourhood House in 1989, with the support of Yarrawonga Tenants Group. In 1996, we became an incorporated association and as a community-based committee of management, gained responsibility for all activities. In those days, we provided a range of services, including information and referral, support groups, visiting services, social activities and limited adult education – mainly short courses and hobby and interest classes.
In late-2000, The Pathway (key provider of adult education in Yarrawonga at the time) closed its doors, encouraging YNH to change its strategic direction to focus on its adult education services.
In 2002, a challenging weekend workshop for staff and committee members introduced new ideas and concepts such as adopting ‘real’ business principles. This was a turning point for YNH. By 2004, YNH had a suite of policies and procedures in place, developed an operations manual for staff and volunteers and adopted a five-year strategic plan. Under this plan, the organization was positioned as a leading provider of a broader range of services and accredited programs to meet local needs.
A name change to YNH Services Inc. was made to better reflect the increasing diversity of operations and new logo was launched in 2005.
In 2006, YNH became a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in Victoria. In 2012, registration was transferred from VRQA to ASQA, which enabled the organisation to deliver it’s services interstate and online.
In 2008, YNH built its Adult Learning Centre in the grounds of Yarrawonga College P-12 Secondary Campus. Today the building is the focal point for delivery of adult education and vocational training. This innovative partnership between the College and YNH has led to YNH now being included in the master plan for development of a community education precinct, which will also incorporate other community services and facilities. Discussions are underway to extend this partnership to deliver several VET in Schools certificate courses.
Furthermore, YNH entered a partnership with Wodonga TAFE to become an outreach Skills Store. This program provided assistance and support to people wanting to upgrade their qualifications through recognition of prior learning. Funding for this Victorian Government initiative ceased in September 2010.
YNH entered a contract in 2002 to provide Centrelink Agency services. This contract has been renewed annually and has been increased to 22.5 hours per week.
In 1996, YNH became a registered Tax Help Centre. In 2012 YNH had three trained Tax Help volunteers who completed 149 returns and had consultations relating to tax with another 46 people.
YNH has a history of sustained growth. To accommodate growing demand, YNH has undergone two extensions to the original building (1995 and 2002), as well as the development of the Adult Learning Centre described above. Early 2011 the interior was modified to maximise use of existing space and develop an efficient welcoming inquiry, information and enrolment point, and larger more comfortable Centrelink self service and waiting area.