Nambour Community Centre Open Day a flaming success

Story & Photos by Fiona Croft

New look NCC building

MURAL ARTISTS: Robbie Peters and Indigorose (Debra) Buchannan and Robbie’s children Vanessa and Zeus were excited to present this new artwork and facelift to the people of Nambour Community Centre Where anything is possible . Photo by FIONA CROFT

This year’s winter solstice brought An air of Change celebrating the Nambour Community Centre’s 20th anniversary on Friday 22nd of June 2018, with a new mural, food, fun, song, dance and ritual and it’s fires of friendships theme certainly warmed the hearts of our community.

Manager of the NCC (Nambour Community Centre), Michael Jones said it was a great celebration for the community and exceeded all expectations.

“There was inclusive leadership where everybody rose to make it a success,” Michael said.

Our Event Coordinator Ana Greenfield (Community Development Worker) pulled all the teams together with a nice soft start and in the spirit of the original meeting place it was brought together as a grass roots supportive movement,” Michael said.

The crowd of over 200 people arrived to hear the sound of the didgeridoo played by Robbie Peters, a Sunshine Coast Indigenous cultural representative, beside the campfire at the entrance of the Centre.  Robbie welcomed the community giving acknowledgement of the traditional owners and Elders of the land – past, present and emerging and invited the community to join in the smoking ceremony and enjoy the evening’s events.

Pastor and NCC Chair person Lawrence Seiuli, one of the eight Board Members, blessed the Centre and the night.

“I was so proud to be here, “said Michael who has been the Manager since March 2018.

“I fell in love with the place in the first few weeks and the energy of the night was felt from the original custodians of 20 years prior carrying this through a long line of leaders in this group,” he said.

The Meeting place began in the early 80’s and as a young man Michael could remember the ‘little hippy building’ in Howard Street and the work of Gail Perry and the founding members began.

“They gave a voice locally to the feminist movement, the Green movements, the movement for Peace, the Maleny Folk Festival and the importance of looking after country. They introduced perma-culture to the district and were part of the team that began the Eumundi markets and many other organic, self-help movements which has evolved into the work we do today.”

Indigo – (Debra Buchannan), our Artist in Residence led a very inclusive and quality process to create a distinctive work of art and grant writing supported by ex NCC Coordinator: Mark Wischnat and many volunteers team work helped to make it happen. Plus it was wonderful having Robbie Peters add his depth to the experience with his unique 3D art piece to the mural.

It was more than all right on the night

Artist Robbie Peters explains his artwork to art lover and community member Matt Gillis

In the lead-up to the 20th anniversary event, the community members and volunteers promised a lot and like any party you can never be too certain on who will turn up and deliver.

Ana Greenfield was delighted with the participation and talent at the event.

“There is great empowerment and pride that comes from contribution and seeing such a great event happen filled my heart with joy seeing everyone involved,” Ana said.

“Lots of volunteers contributed. They prepared food, painted messages and artworks on bunting, setup the space, cleaned up and most of all made people feel very welcome.”

Joint leadership is about the sharing to be leaders, and taking initiative.

“One of our feedback forms said: ‘The diversity of the crowd and the entertainment was awesome it was like a variety show.”

Story tellers: Romanian violinists and singers in traditional costume Helen Brereton and daughter Maria Cygylea are congratulated on their performance by NCC’s Multicultural worker Shine Jang and Community Development worker Anna Greenfield

Ana said there was no pressure to perform from the public – there was lots of spontaneity including the multicultural flavor of music, singing and dancing including Romanian storytelling and Tongan performances.

“I loved the display of talent in all of its forms and particularly the courage that young Caleb had when he performed This is me: the song from The Greatest Showman and Joe Rolston, a senior NCC member who volunteers for suicide prevention sang You make me feel so young made popular by Frank Sinatra,” she said.

“We create opportunities for people here at the Nambour Community Centre – as the sign out front says: ‘Where Anything is Possible’. It’s great that we can facilitate opportunities to take risks and help push their personal boundaries.”

Mr Kevin Roy Bryant (Kevie) the Chief Spruiker and unofficial Nambour town crier distributed NCC Posters and brought the people in including The Bobby Sox Dancers.

Other activities included Japanese Kimono dressing, a beautiful chill out zone for kids to create and play and fabulous free food prepared and cooked in the NCC kitchen plus the BBQ, pizza and the 20th Birthday cakes.

Fire of friendship warms the hearts of our community

Susie Scrimshaw along with Nicky and Russell closed the night with a fabulous fire dancing show out the back of the Centre.

“It was one of those special nights where being around the fire with community, we hope to continue to create intentional and deeper relationships that can only come from feeling safe and welcome,” said Ana.

Operations Tour informed the public about our community & wellbeing services

Volunteer Roshell ‘V’ has an front office administrative role and is very much an ‘allrounder’ with work and life-skills that made her an informative tour guide for the Open Day. Roshell introduced visitors to NCC facilitators so people could find out more about our programs.

“People were surprised at how much information and resources we have on offer,” Roshell said.

“Some people didn’t even know that the Centre was here.  Being an open day it gave them a more interactive view.”

Roshell said the programs included: Thriving Families whose overall goal is for family support, KEIHS  (Keys to early intervention for homelessness)  Community Development – community involvement and connection, Multicultural Programs that assists people from multicultural backgrounds in connecting with the broader community and sharing interests. Plus The Settlement Program that helps people who are newly arrived in Australia to find their way in our community.

“I love being involved here at the NCC.  Experience has shown me that people need a hand up sometimes and advocates to help them step up and help themselves,” Roshell said.

David Probert is one of the Frontline workers who assists the community members with Computer access and enquiries.

“It’s more to do with information and referral and assisting community members with all enquiries that they may have,” said David.

“I know that all staff and volunteers worked hard as a team to make this event happen and it was really good to see the amount of people that turned out. The whole idea of the open day was to introduce new people to the Centre and celebrate the people from past and present and the people we will meet in the future.”

NCC Manager Michael Jones’ speech included more information about some of our current NCC priorities, including working beside the traditional owners, families, women, dads, mums and bubs, youth and youth at risk – especially those disengaged from mainstream education. (If you know youth at risk we have a letter seeking community support with Shine and Sindu at the NCC).  It would be great to have more signatures – we’re hoping to kick start a Flexi School for disengaged teenagers.

“We work beside the homeless, itinerant and those living rough, we’re developing a suicide prevention network, we have begun a couple of small men’s talking circles and are hosts to many quality providers in the community such as Community Solutions, Anglicare, and Lifestyle Solutions as well as a host of small self-help groups.  We’re working beside those of cultural and linguistic diversity, woman in business and seeking new ways to support senior citizens and those having difficulties in the digital age,” said David.

David reminds you to drop by and see the new mural and new look and find out more about how we may assist you in getting involved with your community. Keep up to date with what’s happening by liking our facebook page or go to for further updates.

The State, and Federal Government and the Sunshine Coast Council provide 90% of the resources that allow us to do our work. A big thank you to the mural project sponsors: Sunshine Coast Council, JC Hire, The Mens Shed, Mitre 10 & Bunnings.