Powerhouse Community Centre managers Kevin and Josie Roe, Jon Fordham from Community Solutions, Pastor and MP Chris Foley and the ‘Get set for work’ participants make plans to refurbish the centre.
Powerhouse Community Centre managers Kevin and Josie Roe, Jon Fordham from Community Solutions, Pastor and MP Chris Foley and the ‘Get set for work’ participants make plans to refurbish the centre. Valerie Horton

Sense of community flourishing

THE NEST showed Australia that Fraser Coast families are the happiest in the country and now it seems we're also one of the most community-minded regions in the state.

The findings of an NRMA survey were no surprise to Powerhouse Community Centre manager Kevin Roe, who said there could be a link between our happiness and our community involvement.

“It gives people a sense of belonging, being part of their community,” he said.

“There's a lot of things happening within this community and a lot of people who volunteer their time for different organisations who help people in need.

“Community-mindedness is a willingness of people to come out and give of themselves, to donate their time to help people.”

The Powerhouse, on Kent Street in Maryborough, is home to Grace Community Church and is used by AA, martial arts and tai chi groups, a computer class and various social groups.

Community Solutions is currently using the Powerhouse as part of their Get Set For Work program, which is funded under the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation's Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.

Program co-ordinator Jon Fordham said the young participants would refurbish the building by doing painting, landscaping and flooring.

The course will teach the participants new skills as well as personal development and teamwork while doing something positive for the community.

“Part of what we want to see is community involvement, networking and getting youth involved in their community,” Mr Fordham said.

“The goal of the program is to get them ready for work or further training or education.”

Hervey Bay's Susan Lewis has lived on the Fraser Coast for 30 years and said she loved the sense of being able to do something to improve her community.

She volunteers on the management committee of the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre.

“We build on the energy of the people who were here before us,” she said.

“We are good at identifying our needs and rolling up our sleeves to figure out how to address those needs.

“One of our hallmarks is that we have a lot of organisations that are willing to collaborate well and work together for the good of the community.”



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