Tell us about your experience in the sector?

From 2014 to 2021, I was Manager of Surrey Hills Neighbourhood Centre - I very much enjoyed helping to lift its profile and steer the organisation towards more of a community building focus with greater community engagement. As well as running the usual courses and activities, we also auspiced an annual music festival, supported a historical society, ran the annual Surrey Hills ANZAC Dawn Service, and auspiced a charity called You Matter until it could run independently. I helped establish a partnership with the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre so there was a Foodbank drop off point in the eastern suburbs. During COVID I really enjoyed working with volunteers to establish a community care program and a mask making initiative called the Make And Spead Kindness Collective.

From 2018 to 2021, I was also President of Network of Inner East Community Houses - As President I really enjoyed supporting and learning about other neighbourhood houses in Monash, Whitehorse and Boroondara.

In 2021, I took on a Project Coordinator role with Alamein Neighbourhood and Learning Centre, coordinating a project that focused on residents living on five public housing estates in Whitehorse, Monash and Boroondara, and in 2022, I became the Interim Principal Executive Officer at Prahran Community Learning Centre.

What makes being part of the Neighbourhood House sector so special?

We are such a diverse sector and the services and types of support we offer across the board is incredible! We are also very nimble and responsive so with our expertise in knowing how to work with community, we get things up and running very quickly and effectively. Our open door policy means we find ways to welcome and support people who find it hard to navigate other types of funded services. I also love the types of people who are attracted into our sector, many of whom are incredibly talented and have transitioned from other careers.

What do you hope to achieve in your time on the NHVic Board?

I hope to accurately represent the interests of many Neighbourhood Houses in Board discussions so that the decisions and the strategic direction we take will resonate and will be of real support to members. I also want to ensure the staff at NHVic feel validated and appreciated - they work so hard and the change of the organisation in the past few years has been so positive and impactful. I would like to contribute as a reasonable, constructive and hardworking board member.

What passions or interests take up your spare time?

I have so many! I am a developing ceramicist - you can look at my work on Instagram. It's becoming a bit of an obsession! I also write professionally but also have that 'novel' waiting to come out. I play tennis and have been accused of having a bit of white line fever. I also have three gorgeous kids aged from 20 to 14. And cooking - I love cooking (and eating).

Tell us a quote that inspires the work you do?

Maybe my old school had more of an influence than I realised! Its motto was 'Non nobis sed omnibus': 'Not for one but for all.' I've found the most rewarding aspects of my work has been in experiencing the collective power to achieve - through collaboration, partnerships, by listening to others, by trusting other people's skills and abilities, and by being open to ideas and opportunities around us.