Our team is committed to social justice and sustainability, delivering on a diverse program of work from disaster resilience to community development. We welcome collaborations for the benefit of the sector & the community.
CEOView DetailsEm James
Em leads Neighbourhood Centres Queensland and is dedicated to growing the impact, resourcing, and recognition of our sector. Having worked in and alongside NCCs for over 15 years, Em is passionate about the vital role of NCCs in place-based, community-led change. Em takes a collaborative, strengths-based and systems-level approach to working with NCCs and strategic partners.
Em is currently the Vice Chair of the Australian Neighbourhood Houses and Centres Association (ANHCA). They have worked as coordinator of Community Plus+ across 3 sites in inner city Brisbane/Meanjin, and have kickstarted new projects, centres and services as part of previous roles with New Farm Neighbourhood Centre, The Exchange in Kelvin Grove, and Wynnum Community Hub. Em’s long-term community development work in Annerley has led to the success of ongoing local projects such as the Annerley History Group, Junction Fest and the Community Connection and Belonging Project. Em has also enjoyed researching and convening at universities and peak bodies to explore place-based approaches across Queensland.
Em holds an undergraduate degree in Social Science (International Development), a Masters of Community Development and is in the final stages of a Masters of Business Administration (Social Impact). They are a Deans Scholar and in 2020 was awarded the Anton Mischewski Design for Social Innovation prize.
Em’s knowledge, skills and expertise covers; organisational development; facilitation; community development and codesign; partnership brokering; strategy; applied research; integrated service design and delivery; project management; systems improvement; writing and editing.
Sector Regional Development (North QLD)View DetailsGeoff Roberson
Sector Regional Development (North QLD)
Geoff is the Sector Regional Development Lead for North QLD. Being based in Cairns, Geoff maintains close links with centres in the North and Far North of the State.
He has worked for the organisation for over a decade, keeping in close contact with people in the sector to encourage participation, seeing the membership grow to include almost all funded centres. He was integral to the delivery of the Results-Based Accountability trial, which saw the then Department of Communities introduce the premise of actual measured outcomes for participants into statistical recording.
Geoff is midway through an MBA at Deakin University. He is currently the President of the Marlin Coast Neighbourhood Centre Management Committee and has been a relieving Centre Manager in two centres.
Geoff welcomes calls from centres on membership issues, regional contacts, Incorporated Associations Act Constitution and HSQF questions.
Sector Development Lead – Policy, Research & NetworksView DetailsChris Mundy
Sector Development Lead – Policy, Research & Networks
Chris has worked with NCQ in a variety of areas and now leads the sector in forwarding Neighbourhood Centre data and research, social policy influence and developing sector networks.
Chris has over 20 years of experience in community work in a wide variety of contexts including both individual support and community programs. He spent 10 years working with teenagers, community groups and stakeholders in a high school context, using Community Development methods to address issues of mental health, self-harm, social justice and youth crime. His experience in Neighbourhood Centres entailed further Community Development experience as well as Volunteer Management, Consortium Work and Financial Resilience. Chris has also supported individuals and groups affected by Past Forced Adoption practices as well as conducted research and advocacy in this area.
Chris has studied a Bachelor of Ministries from the Australian College of Theology, Graduate Diploma of Psychology at QUT and a Master of International and Community Development (PhD Pathway) at Deakin University. His multidisciplinary background brings a variety of research, practice and systems perspectives to his work which is ideal to demonstrate the diverse nature and value of Neighbourhood Centres across the state.
His multidisciplinary background brings a variety of research, practice and systems perspectives to his work which is ideal to demonstrate the diverse nature and value of Neighbourhood Centres across the state.
Sector Development Lead – Communications & Digital EngagementView DetailsMelanie Maher
Sector Development Lead – Communications & Digital Engagement
Melanie leads the design and delivery of communications and digital engagement projects to develop the impact of the peak body and our members. Projects include the strategic rebranding of NCQ, the design of a new website and members online learning platform, and the creation and implementation of the communications strategy.
Melanie has spent the last 12 years working as a communications designer, particularly focused on helping not-for-profit (NFP) and for-purpose organisations to amplify their social and environmental impact.
She has a range of skills and experience, developed from a diverse portfolio of projects that include her work in political campaigning (including leading state-wide communications in Federal Election Campaigns in Tasmania), designing fundraising campaigns (including those for poverty in Hong Kong and environmental protection in Tasmania), and collaborated with researchers to adapt communications to more effectively influence policy change.
Melanie is also a design lecturer, with 8 years experience in lecturing, course writing, workshop creation and learning facilitation of Bachelor of Design students. She teaches a range of courses such as Design Thinking and Business by Design. She has also worked with for-purpose organisations to design and implement online learning systems and experiences.
Melanie holds a Bachelor of Visual Communications Design and a Masters in Digital Design majoring in Education. Her research work has focused primarily on increasing sustainability literacy (skills, values and behaviours) with communication and design methods.
Disaster Resilience Co-LeadView DetailsNatasha Odgers
Disaster Resilience Co-Lead
Natasha is co-leading the development and implementation of the Queensland Neighbourhood Centres Strategies for Disaster Resilience. This includes the pre-existing strategies for Drought, Monsoon and Bushfire Resilience.
Natasha has been with Queensland Neighbourhood Centres peak body since late 2019 working on disaster resilience. In 2020, Natasha also worked for Griffith University with esteemed colleagues in the sector on the development on the ‘Enhancing Community Development in Neighbourhood Centres’ research report and webinar series. Another hat Natasha wears, is Community Development Worker with Caloundra Community Centre, focused in the Glasshouse Country area. Prior to this, Natasha worked at national, state, regional and local levels in the community-based natural resource management sector.
Natasha holds a Bachelor of Social Science (Community Development) with Honours (Class 1) and completed an honours thesis on what makes community-environmental groups most effective. This led into working with Volunteering Queensland, contributing to the development of a Leadership Program for catchment managers of community organisations. Natasha has also always been deeply embedded in volunteering and supporting local communities.
Disaster Resilience Co-LeadView DetailsLaurelle Muir
Disaster Resilience Co-Lead
Laurelle is coordinating the implementation of the Neighbourhood Centres Bushfire Resilience Strategy and co-developing the Qld Neighbourhood Centres Strategy for Disaster Resilience.
Laurelle has 25 years experience in community engagement, social planning and community development. As Manager of Brisbane City Council’s Community Engagement team for seven years, Laurelle was involved in the design and delivery of major projects, including City Plan 2014, over 25 neighbourhood plans, and many other community projects. Coordinating a major Council evacuation centre during the 2011 flood event, and the management of community development recovery projects, inspired a strong interest in the development of community disaster resilience.
Laurelle holds a Masters Degree in Social Planning, and a Master of Philosophy researching the role of place-based community organisations, such as Neighbourhood Centres, in the operationalisation of community disaster resilience. She currently co-chairs Encircle Ltd, a multi-service not-for-profit organisation, including Neighbourhood Centres, delivering human service programs and community legal services in the Moreton Bay Region and the northern suburbs of Brisbane.
As a for-purpose incorporated association, NCQ is governed by an elected board.
Our board is a powerhouse of experience and expertise, comprised of representatives from Neighbourhood Centres
in regional, rural and SE Queensland.
NCQ Chair, SEQ
Caloundra Community Centre
Board Member, SEQ
Deception Bay Neighbourhood Centre
Board Member, SEQ
Board Member, Regional QLD
Laidley Community Centre
Treasurer, Regional QLD
Chinchilla Community Centre
Secretary, Regional QLD
Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre
Board Member, Regional QLD
The Neighbourhood Hub Mackay
NCQ represents a membership of over 130 community-based organisations. Walk into a Neighbourhood Centre, and you’ll meet committed, caring and resourceful people. Whether volunteers, staff or board members, they care about their communities and work hard to deliver extraordinary outcomes every day.