In 1989 we came together for the first time as a community collective.

Prior to then, although there were many groups in Deception Bay providing support, they were all doing their own thing and were generally disconnected. There was minimal government funding, services were generally poor, and there was very little local work available.

The first step was a local community meeting where we were able to voice our concerns. We discussed what we had, what was missing and what was needed to go from a community that was largely ignored, to one that had a real presence.

We realised that the only way to bring about change was to become the change. We wanted to create a sense of bonding, to give hope to our most vulnerable people, and to change the perception around our neighbourhood.

In visiting other local community centres, we learnt a lot about the set-up of a community/neighbourhood centre, but a key learning was that every centre is different because our communities are all different. In Deception Bay we had our own needs and ways of going about fulfilling these.

We are good at looking after each other in this community because it has always been tough. We have a great sense of care but at the same time we don’t want to be told what to do but rather be allowed to find our own solutions. And this is exactly how DBNC was established – by the community for the community.

We knew that we needed to concentrate initially on family support, public housing support and youth support. We had to spend the little money we had wisely to best reach out to those in most need. We needed a common vision and a shared connection with community led goals.

DBNC was officially opened in July 1992 and incorporated by November of that year. Today, 30 years’ on, we continue to be there for the people in the community who have the greatest need. We celebrate the good times and are there for the hard times.

I truly believe that our community and our centre stand out from the others – we are important, valuable and special.