Connect and learn at The Neighbourhood Hive

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

These timeless words from Chinese Confucian philosopher, Xun Kuang still resonate today. They also cut right to the heart of what HBNC hopes to achieve through its new community hub, The Neighbourhood Hive.

This hub was designed to give Wide Bay-Burnett residents a place to explore, learn new skills and make a few mistakes in a supportive, collaborative environment. It is our hope this environment of sharing skills will help more Fraser Coast locals get ready for the workforce.

The Neighbourhood Hive is located in the original home of Hervey Bay business, Bradnam’s Windows and Doors. Just like this iconic homegrown company, we want this new community hub to grow into a true local success story.

So how will we know The Neighbourhood Hive has been successful? It comes down to a simple question – does it help our community connect and learn?

While schools and the internet offer abundant learning opportunities, The Neighbourhood Hive fills a gap in the community. It’s a space where inter-generational collaboration and skills sharing are encouraged. It's a place where community members of all ages and backgrounds can try something new and learn from each other. That’s why we call it our Learning and Innovation Hub – part of our new Neighbourhood Collective approach.

The Neighbourhood Hive has quickly become the official home of our highly successful Local Learning Network program, through which passionate volunteers deliver workshops on a range of topics.

Businesses and organisations, too, are taking note of the potential of this vast space. Recently, a local college hired this venue to run a Certificate III course in Individual Support to help students start their careers in the support services industry.

The Neighbourhood Hive will also allow our beloved Play With Your Kids programs to expand, with playgroups now moving into the space. This will help build the hub’s reputation as a safe and family-friendly space, adding to the new Hervey Bay RSL Bub Hub and Stockland Hervey Bay-sponsored indoor playground.

Sure to become a community favourite, the Boat Club-sponsored Sound Hive gives aspiring musicians a space to explore their artistic side. This facility was recently hired by the Australian Red Cross to run their ‘Poetry Reading’ program, helping local youth tap into their creative abilities.

Similarly, the CLS Tech Hub gives residents a platform to hone their IT skills - much-needed in today’s world. This facility will soon boast of a full-sized 3D printer to help locals develop their technical and professional skills needed for the future of work.

The latest initiative we’re proud to partner with at The Neighbourhood Hive is the Night at Bay Alley. It is a community event created by local youth, for local youth to help tackle loneliness in Hervey Bay. At this event, young people get to make new connections with each other, listen to live music and socialise in a supportive environment.

Remember – the biggest tree started as a tiny seed. In the same way, we can become more by building and honing our skills to write a different story for ourselves. Ultimately, the goal of this learning and innovation hub is to give all Fraser Coast residents a chance to find their unique path and help break the cycle of inter-generational unemployment.

Of course, this is not a goal we can achieve on our own. Already, The Neighbourhood Hive has been an incredible story of teamwork and collaboration. Without the support of partners like Bradnam’s Windows and Doors, Hervey Bay Sunrise Rotary Club, Stockland Hervey Bay, Adrian Tantari MP, Fraser Coast Regional Council, CLS and so many others, we simply could not have made this dream a reality.

We look forward to collaborating with many other local partners as this community hub progresses.


By Tanya Stevenson

CEO, Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre