More than 110,000 calls and visits are made to the Dubbo Neighbourhood Centre every year.
It’s now Michelle Redden’s job to oversee all the reasons residents may visit the centre from the Indigenous youth programs to seniors who need transport.
“It’s been a pleasure to be here because you’re giving back. And you’re getting paid to do what I would have been doing anyway. It’s very fulfilling and the group of people we work with are just selfless, they inspire you to want to do more,” she said.
Ms Redden has been the CEO for three weeks. However, for the past three years she has been a member on the DNC board.
“I love the opportunity to get involved in the community and to strategically work and grow the services we have here. Same as what the tradies do here. Dubbo is the hub but they go out and do work there,” she said.
One of the services Ms Redden is looking to grow in Dubbo and expand into the neighbouring towns is the counselling service. The centre currently has three domestic counsellors and has just introduced more clinically based psychologists for trauma support.
Between July and December, the Domestic Violence Counselling was accessed more than 2300 times.
“I think for what we’ve seen the need for intensive support for individuals and families is growing. The need for building resilience in such changing times has increased. The incidents of stress, anxiety and bulling, they seem to be on the increase and it’s not just with children and youth is a broad age scale,” Ms Redden said.
“All of our case workers acre fully booked. That’s why we’ve started to increase with more clinic based specialists so we can continue to meet the demand.”
There were already people travelling from regional towns to access the counsellors, Ms Redden said, but the centre wanted to make it easier on those people by going to them. Ms Redden said the vision of the Dubbo Neighbourhood Centre’s board was to continue to grow its services and not become complacent.
The DNC caters directly to the needs of the individuals who need help, the CEO said. Without it, life would be far more difficult for them to get the support they need.