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 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.
Sector Support - Communications & Digital EngagementView DetailsTaylor Bast
Sector Support - Communications & Digital Engagement
Taylor began working with NCQ as part of her Social Work student placement in January 2022. Since then, she has been supporting the organisation’s Communications to build relationships and connect with Neighbourhood and Community Centres through the Stories of Impact and Local Community Hero Projects alongside social media and NCQ’s monthly Sector and Members Newsletters.
Currently Taylor is in her 4th year of a Bachelor of Social Work with Deakin University where she is working towards writing her honours thesis on the role of Neighbourhood Houses in supporting the social and emotional wellbeing needs of their culturally diverse community members.
Taylor spent over 2 years volunteering at the Emmanuel City Mission, a not-for-profit homeless day centre in South Brisbane.
Following her studies, Taylor hopes to continue promoting the value of place-based organisations in responding to the needs of their local communities.
Sector Development Lead - Learning and DevelopmentView DetailsSian Finn
Sector Development Lead - Learning and Development
Sian leads the design and delivery of learning and development projects to support the work of staff employed within Queensland’s 149 Neighbourhood and Community Centres. Projects include workforce strengths and needs analysis, the facilitation of Community Connect Worker and Service Navigator Learning Circles, Neighbourhood Centre Regional Network development, resource creation and implementation of the learning and development strategy.
Sian has many years of experience working across the social services sector including roles in Community Development and Engagement, NDIS Business Development and Stakeholder Engagement, effective implementation of early intervention mental health awareness education and strategies to support Frontline Services. Each of these roles has helped work toward Sian’s goals of improving the outcomes, social connection, inclusion and overall wellbeing of people and their communities.
Sian’s most recent role was as Local Level Alliance Facilitator (within Family and Child Connect services) working with a range of key stakeholder across the Ipswich and West Moreton Region to identify key issues and service gaps, strengthen information and referral pathways and advocate for place-based funding in an early intervention child protection context.
Prior to this, she held roles at various Council’s, including: Community Development & Engagement Officer for Children, Young People and Families, (with a focus on Access and Inclusion for vulnerable populations: LGBTQIA+, People living with a disability, CALD and First Nations Peoples), Disaster Response and Recovery and community funding programs, strategic stakeholder engagement activities at Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Youth Community Development Officer at Townsville City Council and Youth Centre and Services Coordinator at Moora Shire Council (regional WA).
Sian has a passion for engaging with people and learning about their diverse lived experiences. She has a personal and professional interest in community development, mental health and early intervention approaches and how these improve outcomes for individuals, their carers, families and communities.
Operations LeadView DetailsJacob Amos
Jacob leads NCQ’s operations, primarily focusing on organisational maturity, facilitating operational excellence and creating sustainable and fit-for-purpose processes and procedures to support the ongoing growth of the organisation. Jacob also manages HR and member experience. Jacob has almost a decade of experience in both large-scale consulting work (big business) and operationally-focused small business management. Jacob has worked across a multiple industries and organisations, engaging with diverse range of individuals, each requiring unique support and solutions.
Jacob is purpose driven, and has long sought to contribute to social causes in each of his roles; including employment equity initiatives for First Nations peoples, Inclusion and Diversity programs and, outside of work, assisting with Domestic and Family Violence campaigns.
Jacob holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Management, Marketing, and related Support Services.
Vi Van Le
Finance OfficerView DetailsVi Van Le
Vi Van Le’s bio is to come.
Sector Development Lead - Disaster ResilienceView DetailsNatasha Odgers
Sector Development Lead - Disaster Resilience
Natasha leads NCQ’s disaster resilience projects, consulting with Centres in areas impacted by disasters, developing and implementing disaster resilience strategies, developing stakeholder relationships and designing resources to support the resilience of Neighbourhood and Community Centres and their communities.
Natasha has over thirteen years of experience working in community development, mainly with local communities across Glasshouse Country, through a program of the Caloundra Community Centre. Prior to this, Natasha worked in communications and community engagement roles with the Landcare sector with natural resource management bodies at the local, regional, state and national levels.
Natasha is also currently an affiliate with Community Praxis Cooperative working on a community development project called ‘We Recover Better Together’ with community members across Glasshouse Country focused on disaster recovery.
Natasha holds a Bachelor of Social Science, majoring in Community Development.
As a member-based incorporated association, NCQ is governed by an elected Management Committee.
Our Management Committee is a powerhouse of experience and expertise, comprised of representatives from Neighbourhood Centres
in Rural, Regional and Metropolitan zones in Queensland.
NCQ President, Rural/Regional QLD
Laidley Neighbourhood Centre
NCQ Secretary, Metropolitan QLD
Deception Bay Neighbourhood Centre
NCQ Treasurer, Rural/Regional QLD
Chinchilla Community Centre
Board Member, Metropolitan QLD
Caloundra Community Centre
Board Member, Metropolitan QLD
Community Plus+ Yeronga
Board Member, Rural/Regional QLD
Board Member, Rural/Regional QLD
Better Together Community Support
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.