Chita Bodmer was surprised by her team with flowers, gifts, cake and a plaque to celebrate her 12 years of service.
Chita Bodmer was surprised by her team with flowers, gifts, cake and a plaque to celebrate her 12 years of service. Valerie Horton

Blossoming with help of Chita

FOR CHITA Bodmer, the most rewarding part of her 12-year career at the Maryborough Neighbourhood Centre has not been receiving three highly-regarded awards.

It hasn’t been moving the centre to a new $1.2 million building on Ellena Street and it hasn’t been securing numerous government grants to help improve community support services.

For the executive director, the most significant part of her career has been watching MNC grow into a popular community meeting spot where everybody feels welcome and included.

“Before my time, the centre was not very inclusive,” Ms Bodmer said.

“A lot of people thought it was just for the elderly.

“Now it is so different. It’s a place where everybody can visit and plan community events.”

Last week, the team at MNC threw a surprise party for Ms Bodmer to mark her twelfth year.

“Chita really puts into the community,” said Fraser Coast councillor Gerard O’Connell.

“From a management and committee point of view we really appreciate her leadership and contribution to the community. She’s a terrific ambassador.”

In her time, Ms Bodmer has formed numerous groups within the centre such as Asian women development, migrant support, the welcome program for new Fraser Coast residents and a computer club.

She said one of the biggest challenges she had overcome over the years was working with a limited budget and fighting for funding with bigger organisations.

Times might get tough but she says she’s still got a few years, at least, left in her.

“After that it will be good to see some new blood with new ideas.”



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