Port Macquarie Neighbourhood Centre’s new manager has 30 years’ experience in the human services field.
Leesa-Rae Harrison stepped into the manager’s position after Lindy Peck’s retirement.
“They are beautiful people to work with and the volunteers are amazing,” she said about the neighbourhood centre team.
Ms Harrison’s experience covers a gamut of areas from working with youth to refugees and isolated communities.
“My first taste of neighbourhood centres was at Reynard Street Neighbourhood House in Brunswick,” she said.
“I just loved it.”
Ms Harrison most recently supervised a team of case managers at Uniting.
Ms Harrison, in her new role, draws on her skills and experience to support the community.
I’m looking forward to growing into the position, meeting more of the community and learning more about what the community feels the neighbourhood centre could be doing for them.Leesa-Rae Harrison
“My focus in this role is to use my skills to develop programs that meet the needs where there are currently gaps in our community for early intervention and prevention services for families facing adversity,” she said.
Attracting funding to develop programs is important too.
Decisions around programs involve listening to the community, considering gaps and needs and working with partnership organisations.
“I’m looking forward to growing into the position, meeting more of the community and learning more about what the community feels the neighbourhood centre could be doing for them,” Ms Harrison said.
The L to P program is one of the many services available at the neighbourhood centre.
The program harnesses the skills of trained mentors to assist learner drivers with their required driving hours to gain their licence.
“In a regional area, there aren’t the transport options to get to and from work, and get shift work, if they can’t drive themselves there,” Ms Harrison said.
“This program is really exciting because it breaks cycle of depending on the public welfare system.
“That is just one of the many programs to try to break the cycle.”
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