Regularly, we will feature a member of the HBNC team, giving you a chance to Meet the Neighbours. The goal is to highlight and celebrate the people at the heart of our organisation, who work tirelessly to make the Wide Bay Burnett community a stronger and more resilient one.

This week, we'd like you to meet Gena Davis - Wellness Centre Coordinator

Tell us a bit about yourself. 

My name is pronounced “Jenna” and I am originally from Chicago Illinois USA. I have 3 children and I love to workout and do anything crafty or sewing-related. I am also completely soccer mad! I play ladies premier league soccer for the KSS Jets, coach youth soccer throughout the year and am the current Vice President of the KSS Futbol Club. I have lived in Australia since 2006 and have lived in both NSW and QLD, but I much prefer QLD.

What is a quick summary of your professional background?

I have worked in many industries since earning my degrees and qualifications. I have a bachelor degree in Public Affairs Finance, a Masters of Education (in business studies) and a Cert III of Fitness Instruction. In my past careers I have been an investment specialist, a business, marketing and economics teacher (secondary education), technical writer, Learning and Development consultant, and group fitness instructor.

What drew you to work with the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre?

I first found the HBNC when I moved to Hervey Bay and the family fun day was on. I couldn’t believe all the support and services they had and what a great asset it was to the local community. I love to help people and I applied for a different position within the HBNC but I wasn’t suitable. Luckily Tanya knew where I’d fit and I interviewed for my current position and I got the gig.

How do you see your role making a difference in the lives of the community’s most vulnerable?

My role is really just to improve the wellbeing of the Urangan and surrounding communities by providing social activities and friendly face. There are a lot of elderly people who are on their own on this side of town and if we can provide them with just one interaction a week to keep them going, I’m happy to do that! And sometimes lending a sympathetic ear on the phone is all people need, along with a phone number or group who can support them if we are unable to.

What’s one thing you hope to see happen or change for our community?

I hope that people begin to have more compassion and empathy for others. We all tackle our own issues and some are not great at asking for help. You never truly know what someone is going through so whatever help you can offer is usually appreciated whether it’s accepted or not. Be kind!