Nambour Community Centre – A Place of Difference

After 4.5 years in social worker roles at Nambour Community Centre (NCC) I am very excited to kick start 2019 as Community Centre Manager.  Community centres hold a special place in my heart.  I see these community organisations, often grown from radical grassroots social actions and dreams, as the creators of conditions within the community that foster social connection, positive social change and justice.

In 2018 the Nambour Community Centre became the custodian of a beautiful community mural that welcomes community into our 20 year old building. Central to this mural is the message ‘a place for everyone’. As a social propose organisation we have recently had to think deeply about what ‘a place for everyone’ means as we work on the ground. Through reflection and shared community experiences we have developed a better understanding that holding a place for everyone, is an action orientated commitment to upholding the rights of all; meaning, when ‘behaviour or actions inhibit the care, well-being and the empowerment of others it will be challenged and not welcome on this common ground’.

As NCC manager I will lead a clear and progressive path that positions the centre well for a sustainable and innovative future. As we strive to uphold our community mandate around social change, we as a team must ensure we are courageous enough to attend to the necessary structural and organisational changes that will ensure the centres sustainability. I welcome this opportunity and am inspired by the awesome team of professionals and community members that will be working alongside me in this work. While we have operational goals to attend to in 2019; we are also looking at developing some new actions and offerings in 2019.

As manager, my aspiration is to develop a placed based support for gender violence in our community; explore options to develop an identified Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community worker position at NCC; and explore ways in which the centre can support local youth, youth identified needs and challenges, and for youth to have a voice and effective advocacy in the Nambour community.

NCC is also seeking to grow its community member-ship in 2019. Currently membership is $5.00 per year ($2.00 concession). We are often asked ‘what do we get’ for our membership. This raises the question, when did we lose our commitment to civic participation and contribution and become a community of ‘what do we get’, rather than ‘what can we bring’? So I challenge you, if you have not before made your way down to NCC come in and check out our inspiring centre. Become a member and look for ways to participate in your community. We all have something of value to contribute (when we are doing well, and when we are not, it never changes); and uplifting contribution and participation looks different for different people.  I look forward to meeting many new community members in my role as manager and hearing about the opportunities there are in this community.

Carey Shaw – Manager