Each week, 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 Lesa Stagg, Skilling Queenslanders for Work Project Officer.

Tell us a bit about yourself.  

I am a proud Aboriginal/South Sea Island Woman. My Island Home is from the Vanuatu Island Group of Oba and Malo Islands.

My grandfather was an Aboriginal man born at Warra (near Chinchilla/Dalby). My mob are from The Burunggam Language Group - Cobble Cobble Clan.

I have been married for 26 years to my hero and best friend. We have two amazing children aged 23 and 22 and we are so incredibly proud of the people they have become. No grandchildren yet….wait, I have a 75kg, four-legged, hairy grandchild named Bronson. Does that count?

I love spending time with my family. I love painting and creating and although I am super shy (true story) I love singing, dancing and performing.

Quirky fact…….when at work and you hear the distant rumbling of thunder, you may find me in one of the Mindfulness Pods or under my desk. Not a fan of storms at all!

What is a quick summary of your professional background?

I am a qualified hairdresser and have worked in the hospitality industry. I began my love for working in the community sector in 2009 when I started working at Central QLD Veterans Support Centre, where I trained as a welfare officer and in administration. I also worked for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service. In 2011 I started my role as Parental and Community Engagement Officer at UCC under the management of Tanya Stevenson. I have also worked at USC as Indigenous Student Support  Officer. I have been working at HBNC for about six years and I love it.

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

Tanya Stevenson – Tanya was our CEO at UCC and I really learnt so much and admired her leadership. I couldn’t believe it when I was told that I landed the role at HBNC as Co-Ordinator for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families for IFS. I was so excited to be given the opportunity to work in the area I’m most passionate about - working within my community, with families, under the leadership, guidance and support of an amazing team.

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

Working in the centre gives me the  amazing opportunity to be able to link families and community to services that are available to them that they may not necessarily know about. Sharing knowledge and building rapport creates confidence to empower families to a better, healthier future.

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

There are a few but I think the stand out for me would be a solution to our homelessness issues here on the Fraser Coast.