A little over four years ago Danny Mattsson (HBNC Treasurer) and I visited the Hackerspace in Brisbane. Since this time, our community has had many conversations about opening such a facility however it has been difficult to find the right space.

In the last 6 months, the HBNC has been working on a project to deliver a Local Learning Network (not based at a particular facility but utilising all community assets eg: Volunteers, Community Centres, Men’s Sheds, etc) to deliver short workshops and come and try sessions to encourage community skills sharing and social cohesion while also supporting our small community groups to find new members.

This project is being delivered by Local Learning Network Team Leader Karla Steen and the first round of workshops will begin next month. You can register via our website for the workshops including 4WD enthusiasts, Self-Defence, Art, Cooking, How to Become an Influencer (podcasting) and many more.

If you know of anyone who has a specialised skill they would like to share, Karla will support them to develop, deliver and market their workshop. Or if you would like to learn something, let Karla know on [email protected] and she will work on finding someone in the community to deliver the workshop.

We have since (as of last Thursday) been able to find a suitable space and sign a lease for the large industrial building next to the Youth Centre, thanks to the generosity of Bradnams.

This site will become our ‘hackerspace’ or ‘messy community centre’ where we would like to establish a number of co-located. projects dedicated to promoting: 

  • Sharing of skills – cross-generational
  • Skills development – employment opportunities
  • Empowering the local community to share resources
  • Community cohesion & re-socialisation
  • Community engagement to reduce mental health, isolation, depression, etc
  • Create linkages with other local community organisations to maximise community connections and use the hub as social infrastructure
  • Support innovative service delivery targeting hard to reach groups
  • Encourage community participation through volunteering

We are currently establishing a community working group as well as continuing to gather community feedback on what our greatest needs are, to ensure the space is accessible and responsive for community members, especially given the current outlook of post-Covid recovery.

We will be hosting a community forum on Thursday December 3rd, however, the feedback from the community so far has included the need for the centre to be child friendly, so Stockland has kindly donated its 3 storey playground, which Rotary has already removed from the shopping centre and will install in our new facility.

We are still looking for an official name for the building (The Neighbourhood Hive is currently a favourite) and potential project ideas.

I have attached some potential projects that could be included however if you have other ideas, please let me know or bring them to the community forum. 

Thank you.

Tanya Stevenson
Chief Executive Officer
Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre