For the past 40 years Neighbourhood Central has played a pivotal role in the Parkes community. During that time many people have benefited from the services provided. Starting in March 1977 as the Parkes and District Neighbourhood and Community Information Centre Inc, this not-for-profit, incorporated, community-based organisation was formed to provide a variety of support services to people living in the Central West.
From the very first days, there has been a clear focus on the needs of the residents of Parkes and the surrounding areas. Initially, a band of volunteers, under the direction of Wendy Orr, a Parkes Health Commission Social Worker, allowed the centre to expand quickly. A successful funding grant of $7,000 enabled Ivy Rooke to be appointed as the first Coordinator in 1978.
During the 1980’s the centre continued to expand with services such as Aged Support, Housebound Library and a community bus.
In November 1986, Parkes Shire Council provided the permanent, and present-day premises at the old Goobang Shire Building at 80-82 Currajong Street. The centre continued to evolve into the 1990’s with the addition of the Home and Community Care programs. In 1995 a $400,000 expansion to the building was completed.
The past 20 years has seen many more changes, including the opening of offices in Forbes and Condobolin, as well as a community hub at Peak Hill. A re-branding of the organisation occurred in 2015 to reflect the expanding area of service.
“Over the past 40 years we have been dedicated to providing quality services in a professional and consistent manner to meet the needs of our clients,” said Executive Officer, Pam Symonds. Our services now cover the Parkes, Lachlan and Forbes local government areas with two of our current programs covering the whole Central West region.”
From a voluntary management committee in 1977, Neighbourhood Central is now governed by a voluntary board and a fulltime management team. Employing over 30 staff, 130 volunteers and providing over 25 different services, Neighbourhood Central has stamped its mark indelibly on the community of Parkes and beyond.