Escaping the cold at community houses

Learn to paint at the Lilydale Community House while here in the region. Picture: LILYDALE COMMUNITY HOUSE.

By Mikayla van Loon

Whether spending time in the region for a few days or visiting family and friends, community houses offer a great array of art and craft activities to get involved in.

Lilydale Community House (LCH) and Japara Neighbourhood House in Kilsyth both launched their term three programs with an array of activities to sooth your arts soul.

With basket weaving, yoga for mental wellbeing, photography and art classes, LCH coordinator Suyin Chan said there is a diverse selection.

“Playing with Paint has been very popular. So people come along and they can paint whatever they like. There’s no judgement, we leave judgement at the door and just come and have a go at painting,” she said.

New to the creative offerings in the program are photography classes with a professional photographer who will show the basics for both a DSLR and a phone camera.

Over at Japara, board chairperson and acting executive officer Mark Doubleday said there is something for everyone to get involved in.

“The program is the most diverse we have produced,” he said.

From classes for beginners to intermediates, escape the cold and take a class in the warming company of locals.

If brave enough to be out in the elements and rejuvenate your artistic nature, join the Japara Hikers and explore the beauty of the area on foot to cleanse the mind and soul.

This might give you the best opportunity to be inspired and find a spot that’s perfect for a landscape painting or for photography.

“We are looking to encourage participation in a safe environment and re-establish ourselves as a valuable part of people reconnecting,” Mr Doubleday said.

Most classes at both community houses cost just a small fee and can be attended on a once off basis.

Find Lilydale Community House at 7 Hardy Street Lilydale. To contact or enquire about any programs call 7036 6813 or email

To find Japara’s full program, go to or visit in person at 54-58 Durham Road Kilsyth. To contact Japara call 9728 3587 or email