FROM THE CEO: Unveiling a new chapter for HBNC

For all its natural beauty, tourism drawcards and idyllic lifestyle opportunities, the region we call home still has significant social issues impacting the community.

The Wide Bay-Burnett region, of which the Fraser Coast is a part, is home to some of Australia’s best beaches, whale watching sites, heritage buildings and family-friendly experiences. But it is also home to crippling unemployment rates, crushing loneliness and everyday struggles to connect and just get by.

All local government areas within this region have higher rates of socio-economic disadvantage than the Queensland average[ii]. One study estimates roughly two-thirds of its residents are disadvantaged.  

We have an ageing population[iii], while a third of our five-year-olds are developmentally vulnerable. The region has one of the highest rates of youth unemployment in Queensland, and intergenerational welfare dependency[iv] is a well-documented concern.

But as the great scientist Albert Einstein said, “In the midst of difficulty lies opportunities”. We, at Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre (HBNC), have embedded this philosophy in all our service offerings, programs and projects throughout our 30-year history.

Since 1989, we have been here to support the people in our community who need it most. We have fed the hungry, connected the lonely and given community members a chance to find somewhere they belong.

From humble beginnings in a small Taylor St Queenslander, we have grown to deliver innovative programs across our region through our four community spaces. Our mission, however, has never changed, and it never will. But now, it is time for the next chapter.

Many of you may have heard about the recent launch of the Neighbourhood Hive and the upcoming launch of the new Tree House Urangan Community Wellness Centre. These exciting new projects are not just buildings. They are ‘community hubs’ designed to address the challenges our residents face, through collaboration with other service providers and community groups.

Our community has changed dramatically since 1989. We must now continue to redesign and adapt to the ever-evolving time. To that end, I am excited to outline how HBNC will operate as an organisation moving forward and how our ‘Neighbourhood Collective’ approach will address these local challenges.

We will deliver services in partnership with other community providers from these four locations or ‘hubs’ as we call - each with a unique purpose of its own. All these hubs, however, will be connected by HBNC’s mission statement i.e. to build a strong, cohesive, and healthy community by developing and providing programs, activities, and services that respond to the needs of the most disadvantaged and isolated people in the community.

These hubs are namely: 

  • The Hervey Bay Community Centre (22 Charles St, Pialba): Social services hub
  • The Neighbourhood Hive (184 Boat Harbour Dr, Pialba): Learning and innovation hub
  • Reconnect Youth Centre (80 Main St, Pialba): Youth services hub
  • Tree House Urangan Community Wellness Centre (Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens): Health and wellbeing hub




Throughout these four hubs, HBNC will deliver 30 programs that benefit residents of all age groups and also support other services to provide wrap-around programs. These four spaces are like the wheels of an all-wheel-drive – independent yet interconnected. Each hub addresses one or more of our 10 key focus areas outlined in our Strategic Plan 2020-2023[v]

The road ahead for us at HBNC and for the Wide Bay-Burnett region looks challenging but thrilling at the same time. If your organisation or community group would like to co-locate at any of these hubs please contact our team at HBNC. 

Tanya Stevenson

CEO, Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre