Carolyn’s legacy turns Queenscliffe Neighbourhood House into a home

March 5, 2020 BY

Queenscliffe Neighbourhood House co-ordinator Carolyn Williams is retiring after two decades in the role, she is pictured here with Bill Hall from the local Men’s Shed.

FOR 20 years, Carolyn Williams has been the Queenscliffe Neighbourhood House co-ordinator, opening the doors to facilitate and develop an array of community interests.

After two decades at the helm, Carolyn is retiring at the end of Term One, handing Greg Thorpe the reins, and said she was grateful for a fulfilling career.

“I’ve been with the neighbourhood house for 20 years in the role of coordinator. When I first took over, we were located in a really small building.

“It only had two rooms and they were tiny, that really limited the programs and the number of programs that we could run. Ten years ago, we moved to our current location and it was amazing what we could do; we inherited a large shed which has been developed into a thriving Men’s Shed.”

Ms Williams said having worked in neighbourhood houses in Melbourne, every house was different.

“A neighbourhood house can be the focal point of the community, and every house is different because every community is different; in order to be successful, you have to respond to the interest and needs of your community members.

“It’s our job to establish a relationship with the community to find out what those interests are. We have an aging population now, so we offer a lot of art classes and activities.

“It’s a lovely place to be, you get all sorts of people coming in. A neighbourhood house plays a strong role in connecting people, but also connecting different groups.”

Ms Williams said while travel and her grandchildren are on the horizon, the house will always hold a special place in her heart.

“The community has really grown, it’s grown as a part of me, I feel I’ve become part of the community now. One of the great things about a neighbourhood house is people often come to us with an idea, and we facilitate the development of that idea.”

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