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History

The conception of a Neighbourhood Centre for Bundaberg originated from the Women's Crisis Centre in April 1988.It was felt there was a need in the community for a place where support groups could meet. Lifeline was approached by the Department of Family Services to assess the need for a Neighbourhood Centre in Bundaberg. A building was available and the Department was anxious to fulfill a community desire to have a Centre open to all. 

The building was given to the community by the State Government. The aims were to meet the requirements of the community, so it was a matter of finding out what was needed.

The Centre started under the sponsorship of Lifeline and Kenalwyn was born. Family Care Service, a branch of Lifeline began at the Centre with one Counsellor and an Admin Officer taking care of both the Neighbourhood Centre operations and Family Care Service. Within six months a small group of volunteers joined and a part time Co-ordinator was employed. 

On 23 July 1992 the Neighbourhood Centre became incorporated, no longer requiring the generous sponsorship and support of Lifeline. 

The Centre started with nine groups using the Centre and has grown to over forty groups using the Centre with over 15,000 people attending the Centre over a 12 month period. The groups using the Centre range from Community Organisations, Government Departments, Support groups, playgroups and Centre Workshops and programs. The Centre facilitates community workshops in Stress Management, Self Esteem, Financial information, craft classes, social groups, Free Tax Help, Free Literacy/ Numeracy, Speech Therapy Program to Non-Government Schools, Multicultural Community Engagement Program Worker the auspice of the Bundaberg Child and Family Centre Program just to name a few. 

The Centre receives funding from Department of Communities for wages, currently, for Co-ordinator and Admin Officer and some operational expenses. We also receive funding for our programs from Multicultural Affairs Queensland, Queensland Department Employment and Training, Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services, Commonwealth Department of Education through Non-Government Schools funding program. Funding is also sought through other channels including Queensland Gambling Community Benefit Fund and Jupiters Casino Benefit Fund.

The management committee is made up of volunteers from the Centre, from the Users of the Centre, members of Organisations and the general community members. The Committee currently employs a Co-ordinator and Admin Officer to look after the day to day administration of the Centre. They are aided by a group of volunteers who assist with a very full programme. The Centre is open 9 am to 3 pm each day Monday to Friday. Our volunteers receive training so that they are confident and at ease helping others in any situation. 

We continue to rely heavily on the contributions and energy of volunteers. Not only have they offered their assistance in three hour shifts at the Centre, but also have assisted with facilitating Programs, and joined as Committee Members. 

Bundaberg Neighbourhood Centre is currently experiencing a period of growth in the community after having the downstairs section of the building renovated in 2004 and a concerted effort by staff, and volunteers to promote the Centre in the community.
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