A highly respected HBNC team member has been named this year's NAIDOC Community Person of the Year.

Lesa Stagg received the honour at a flag-raising ceremony held to kick off NAIDOC Week 2022.

"I’d like to thank the NAIDOC committee. I feel very humbled to receive the award," Lesa said.

"I love what I do, I love my community and I’ll continue to do it and work hard."

A proud Indigenous woman, Lesa was nominated by her HBNC colleagues in recognition of her professional and community efforts.

HBNC CEO, Tanya Stevenson, said Lesa was more than deserving of the community recognition.

"Lesa is an outstanding and highly-respected member of the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre team, as well as the broader Fraser Coast community," Tanya said.

"She has spearheaded HBNC’s highly-successful Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) program, mentoring and supporting jobseekers to undertake vital job training in Individual Support and Hospitality.

"Lesa recently supported 11 students to complete a Certificate II in Hospitality, including 9 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Tanya said Lesa had recently worked in a cultural consultant role for HBNC’s Intensive Family Support (IFS) and LIFT programs, ensuring culturally-appropriate support is offered.

Lesa also regularly volunteers her time at HBNC, including offering free haircuts at Comfort Kitchen events.

In the broader community, Lesa has been involved with a range of community groups and advisory councils, including the Local Community Education Body for Hervey Bay High School, and the USC Advisory Group.

She has attended and helped facilitate a range of community events, including:

  • NAIDOC Family Fun Day 2021
  • NAIDOC Golf Day 2021
  • Take a Step Campaign with Headspace
  • Promotional Roadshow with Galangoor D’Walami Primary Health
  • Strengthing Partnerships with Galangoor, Headspace, Redcross and Wide Bay Women’s Health
  • Healing Camp at Susan River –  presenting Tree of Change workshop , providing support to facilitators and offering free haircuts to the women
  • Youth Week Festival

"Lesa is a highly positive, energetic and enthusiastic community member who HBNC is proud to call a member of our team," Tanya said.

"She is a familiar face at community events and her dedication to strengthening our community and creating opportunities for all is inspiring. All this makes her a worthy recipient of the Community Member of the Year Award."