New manager at The Hub

New Centre Manager at the Hub Sarah Hunt with committee President Dorothy Vickery OAM and staff member Sonya Shipman
16th Feb 2021

There has been a changing of the guard at Guyra’s Neighbourhood Centre (The Hub), with Sarah Hunt taking over as Centre Manager. Sarah steps in to the position vacated by Chris Hietbrink who retired at the end of January after spending 8 years at the helm.
While she has big shoes to fill, plans for the transition were laid 9 months ago with Sarah joining the team as part of the centre’s succession plan. She brings with her a wealth of experiences in the community service sector with more than 15 years’ in similar roles. Sarah previously worked at the Neighbourhood Centre in Nambucca Heads, before relocating to Guyra where she moved into employment services and disability support. This experience means she was already familiar with many of the programs and community based support services available in the community.
Sarah takes over at a time when there are many positive changes taking place, and she would like to see more groups take advantage of the facility.
Services that currently operate out of The Hub are the North West community legal service, Guyra Family Support, Octec, Joblink Plus, Justice Correction Service, NA and AA.
Sarah said that the new building will make it easier and is more user friendly for people using the available services. With the reorganisation of the space nearing completion, they are ready to begin the rebuilding of the Community Garden, with work expected to start work within the month. They are also planning to recommence youth activities in the near future.
“We now have more space to spread out which allows us to treat people with dignity and assist them to get the help they need,” she said.
“Quite often people are not fully aware of what we do and I want them to come in and see that our services are not only for people in crisis, but for everybody.”
“It is somewhere they can feel ownership and a place to connect with services, to find out information or simply somewhere they can drop into for a chat or some time out.
“Our clients range from older people who need help to connect with government services to younger families who are looking for information and referral to services in the community.
“During the drought and following the bushfires we were also able to help a lot of rural people connecting them with the help and support that was available. We are hoping to expand our reach and would like to see more community groups and outreach services make use of this great facility.”
“I would like to acknowledge Chris and wish her well in whatever the future holds - I will miss her knowledge and the level of familiarity that she has fostered within the
community. On behalf of the management committee, the community and especially
myself, I would like to thank her for the dedication and support she has provided.”
“Going forward I would like to see more people become involved and bring their ideas forward about how the service will operate, because the centre is here for the community as a whole.”