Who we are


  • Inclusive – We foster a welcoming and safe environment for all.
  • Respectful – We value and respect each other and our diverse community.
  • Social justice – We commit to social justice, ensuring equity, fairness and inclusivity.
  • Integrity – We are professional, transparent and accountable.
  • Quality – We uphold quality as a fundamental value, guiding our actions and decisions to deliver excellent services.


A community that connects people, creates opportunities and challenges disadvantage and inequity.


Successfully work with the community of Carlton and surrounding areas to connect people, create opportunity, promote equity and challenge disadvantage.


The purposes of the Association are to provide relief of poverty, helplessness, misfortune, suffering and distress to economically or socially disadvantaged people in the community, particularly the people located in Carlton and surrounding areas. The Association aims to provide assistance including, but not limited to, by:

  • providing access to cooked food and pantry staples for those facing extreme distress, hardship and poverty;
  • providing support and pathways to basic adult education and training, employment and community participation;
  • providing opportunities for those with intellectual, physical and other disabilities to develop basic adult literacy skills; and
  • providing a broad range of personal and social support programs and services.


The Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre Inc (CNLC) was established in 2002 by merging the Carlton Contact Neighbourhood House, established in 1973, with a co-located adult community education organisation called Carlton Adult Reading and Writing. It is a Neighbourhood House, RTO and Learn Local. It has two centres, one based in the City of Yarra and one in the City of Melbourne.

In the City of Melbourne we have a migrant and refugee centre, Open Door, which is located on the Carlton public housing estate. Through this centre we deliver social work and employment services as well as run community development activities such as sewing classes, free food relief and English conversation groups. In the City of Yarra, where our main centre is located, we deliver English as an Additional Language courses and pre-accredited courses such as computer skills and catering for work.

Who we serve and why

CNLC provides a broad range of personal and social support programs and services, predominantly to individuals suffering from conditions requiring benevolent relief. Our services are primarily targeted at and delivered to those who are experiencing poverty, financial stress, or misfortune, including migrants, refugees and people with disability.

CNLC supports the community of Carlton to minimise waste through a circular economy, to reduce carbon emissions and to be resilient to climate change. CNLC believes climate literacy is important given the current state of the world, and wants to empower and educate those facing distress, hardship and poverty.

Over 21% of our enrolled students have a disability, 39.7% of our enrolled students have a refugee or asylum-seeker background, and 37% of our enrolled students have experienced material deprivation and live below the poverty line.

In 2022 54% of people enrolled in CNLC’s EAL programs experienced poverty or long-term unemployment and lived at the Carlton Housing Estate. A further 9% were from Scape (Afghan & Ukrainian refugees with humanitarian visa). Of the students supported by CNLC in 2022, 28% have a disability and 82% are not employed.


The Committee of Governance for CNLC is made up of members from the local community with diverse skills and knowledge. They govern the organization’s direction, mission and values, and ensure compliance with legal and ethical standards. Meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of the month at 6pm. Interested in volunteering? Submit an expression of interest form to info@cnlc.org.au.


Operating under the Neighbourhood House framework, we have several government funding models available – ensuring nobody misses out on the fantastic opportunities to create, learn and connect.

CNLC acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government. CNLC supporters include members of the CNLC Association, neighbours, volunteers and past students. There are many ways to engage with the Carlton community and we welcome your interest and support.

To become a Member of the CNLC Association, please complete and return this application form

ACNC Governance Information.

ABN: 25 717 084 481 Reg No. A0042620C TOID 21228