Community connection and strengthening partnerships will be at the heart of HBNC’s new Strategic Plan for 2023-2026.

The launch of a new initiative supporting community-led ideas, and the establishment of a collective of community hubs are just some of the highlights of HBNC’s three-year strategic plan.

As the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan comes to a spectacular close, the HBNC team is proud to reflect on the positive impact the organisation has made on the community over this time.

Now, as the 2023-2026 Strategic Plan launches, the team is excited to renew its focus on creating connected communities.

View the new Strategic Plan

Why connection matters

The past three years have reinforced the importance of working together. HBNC is committed to advocating and delivering outcomes for community members who need it most. The greatest impact has been achieved when we work in partnership with other services, businesses and community groups.

In addition, recent research shows that people could be happier and healthier if we made more of an effort to connect and care for our places and communities.

Our disconnection from people and place diminishes our quality of life. Social Isolation and loneliness can lead to illness of the body and mind equal to 15 cigarettes per day (Parliamentary Inquiry: Social Isolation and Loneliness – Brigham Young University).

When we are connected, our potential to renew and improve local health and economic outcomes grows.

That’s why HBNC has chosen Creating Connected Communities as the theme for its 2023-2026 Strategic Plan, CEO Tanya Stevenson said.

“We are inspired every day by the resilience, hope and resourcefulness of our community and we are passionate about strengthening our community, empowering our clients, and evolving our organisation to improve our practices,” Tanya said.

“The new Strategic Plan reflects the needs and aspirations of our communities and outlines strategies and actions to respond to these identified issues that emerged through community consultation sessions.”

Bernard Whebell, HBNC President, added his reflections on the strategic goals.

“Community change is challenging, and we are often better at deploying program-based strategies to solve problems than we are at shifting the systems which are holding the problem in place,” Bernard said.

“Achieving more robust systems change, especially within communities, requires a new set of skills and mindsets that result in a different way of approaching and working through community challenges. HBNC has committed to developing a social innovation mindset and will support the wider social services sector to evolve service frameworks.”


HBNC staff and volunteers with the new Meet The Neighbours outreach trailer

A new way to connect

For centuries, social transformation has always involved local communities finding new ways to pool and invest their gifts for a common cause to overcome hardship.

When we gather together to build a better life, we build collective confidence in our capacity to restore wellbeing.

Neighbours and friends are the people who can positively affect the most important aspects of our lives, laying the foundation for better health, increased safety and overall community pride, among other things.

To this end, HBNC will be launching Meet the Neighbours in your local community park over the next few months from 3pm – 4:30pm at the sites listed below.

This will be an opportunity to meet the HBNC staff and other services while also enjoying some outdoor games from the new Community Trailer.

This includes giant Jenga, Chess, Play Parachute, Connect 4, Twister and many more, while meeting your neighbours and connecting with your community.

Meet the Neighbours schedule

Venue Date
Dayman Park, Urangan 2/08/2023
Pialba Downs, Eli Waters 16/08/2023
Bill Fraser Park Torquay 30/08/2023
Queens Park, Maryborough 13/09/2023
Margaret Lin, Park Kawungan 27/09/2023
River Heads, Community Park 11/10/2023
The Pines, Park Pialba 25/10/2023
Esa Park, Point Vernon 8/11/2023
Botanic Gardens, Urangan 22/11/2023
Lions Park, Burrum Heads 6/12/2023
Howard Reserve, Howard 20/12/2023
Apex Park, Pialba 10/01/2024
Anzac Park, Maryborough 24/01/2024
Pulgul Street Reserve, Urangan 7/02/2024
Seafront Oval, Pialba 21/02/2024

Highlights and achievements of 2020-2023

The recent announcement of The Social Shift - a project funded by the Department of Social Services Local Services Plans - Community-Led Support Fund – caps off an incredible three years for the organisation.

Other highlights include the finalisation of The Neighbourhood Collective – a network safe spaces and community hubs throughout Hervey Bay. The establishment of The Neighbourhood Hive and the Urangan Community Wellness Centre, in addition to the Hervey Bay Community Centre and Reconnect Youth Centre, have supported HBNC to evolve its approach to meeting the emerging needs of the community.

Thank you to the volunteer Management Committee of the HBNC: Bernard Whebell, President; Kirsti Kee, Past-president; Ivan Mapp, Vice-president; Danny Mattsson, Treasurer; Ross Zelow, Secretary and committee members Shani Mitchell, Miesha Baumann, Stephen Bell and Fiona Terrell.