I've been deeply involved in personal and community development and project management for a long time now and in many different ways. For the last decade I've had the privilege of being Director of Victory Community Centre and working in Victory, a neighbourhood of wide cultural diversity in Nelson. I've finished in this role now, which leaves me free to work with projects, communities, agencies and people interested in advancing the strength and capacity of their work. That might be you.
When I first began working in Victory (2005), I worked in a little space above the staff room of the Victory Primary School. Then the centre was created within the school hall complex. By 2010 VCC became famous for winning the inaugural NZ Community of the Year Award.
I'm proud of the work we put in to create VCC as a hub of a wide range of activities and services which improve the lives and the connectedness of the people who live here. The neighbourhood has grown into a community - a place where people care about each other, support ongoing learning and ways to be victorious in their lives.
The journey hasn't been easy. The community has faced many challenges and set-backs, and also celebrated triumphs and successes.
If you work in a school, an agency or community organisation you're probably very familiar with the challenges.
Victory has developed through perseverance and hard work, trial and error, baby steps, as well as sometimes great leaps.
If Victory can do it - so can you! I'm now making it my mission to empower people, projects and places become the best they can be.
"A true community is not just about being geographically close to someone or part of the same social web network. It's about feeling connected and responsible for what happens. Humanity is our ultimate community, and everyone plays a crucial role." Yehuda Berg - international author and speaker.