Our History

A LONG TRADITION OF CARING

Wyong Neighbourhood Centre is one of the longest running neighbourhood centre's on the Central Coast and has been providing services to the community since 1979.

 

It all started in the 1970’s. Wyong had many new families who, as a result of moving to the area, were isolated from their extended family. Wyong Neighbourhood Centre was founded in 1979 under the name of Marian's Place at Wyong shopping centre to give people a place to meet people and connect with their community.

 

Marian’s Place began providing a variety of services to the community, including chat groups and informative talks on various topics. Eventually needing a bigger space, Marian’s Place was moved into a small house. Shortly after that, hoping to provide more services to the community, an application was made for state government funding and Marian’s Place was renamed to Wyong Neighbourhood Centre and Bev, the first centre coordinator was appointed in 1983.


Eventually the building being used was torn down, and they moved to Wyong memorial hall. The centre was moved in 1985 one last time to where it’s current location at the old Wyong Primary School.

Wyong Neighbourhood Centre is one of the longest running neighbourhood centre's on the Central Coast and has been providing services to the community since 1979.

 

It all started in the 1970’s. Wyong had many new families who, as a result of moving to the area, were isolated from their extended family. Wyong Neighbourhood Centre was founded in 1979 under the name of Marian's Place at Wyong shopping centre to give people a place to meet people and connect with their community.

 

Marian’s Place began providing a variety of services to the community, including chat groups and informative talks on various topics. Eventually needing a bigger space, Marian’s Place was moved into a small house. Shortly after that, hoping to provide more services to the community, an application was made for state government funding and Marian’s Place was renamed to Wyong Neighbourhood Centre and Bev, the first centre coordinator was appointed in 1983.


Eventually the building being used was torn down, and they moved to Wyong memorial hall. The centre was moved in 1985 one last time to where it’s current location at the old Wyong Primary School.

A DETAILED TIMELINE
  • 1979 - The beginning; Vera Brown and some other women from the Delta Club (the wives of Apex members) were offered an empty shop in the Wyong Plaza to run a coffee and chat group. Over time there were craft sessions and talks on health topics, and the group was named “Marian’s Place” after a nurse from Area Health, and the number of regulars grew and volunteers assisted.

  • 1982 - The group moved into a house in Margaret Street, allowing more room for child minding and other free services.

  • 1983 - A small grant enabled Bev Baldwin as Co-Ordinator to be employed part-time to structure more services.

 

  • 1984 - The house Marian's Place occupied was being dismantled for new buildings to be constructed. Once again Marian’s Place moved. This time to the Memorial Hall in Anzac Avenue Wyong. The office was the small cloak room at the front of the building. Many new services were being run in the foyer and the hall. The Wyong Old Primary School on the corner of Alison Road and Rankens Court was vacant and was proposed as the new site for the services offered by Marian's Place.

  • 1985 - Marian’s Place moved to where is operates today, and the name was changed to Wyong Neighbourhood Centre. It became an associated incorporation and other funding was successful to establish an occasional child care group and a men’s health group with other paid staff. Ms Baldwin worked with the Magistrate of Wyong Court to offer a first offenders program, and also formed a multicultural group. Over the next 19 years Ms Baldwin established other services and attended meetings, both locally, and regionally.

 

  • 2002 - The organisation continued to grow to enable other services to be provided in several locations in the Wyong Shire including Watanobbi Community Centre, Lake haven etc.

  • 2017 - The organisation employed Kylie Hopkins to mange the diverse programs and several staff. Ms Hopkins began the process of modernising the operations of the service, introducing new technologies and embarking on several building projects to improve access and safety at the Old School site. Ms Hopkins attracted over $150,000 in funding to create a new covered deck area with access ramp, incorporating new fencing and access to the Community Garden. The garden also got a facelift with new timber garden beds installed and a timber deck area with seating gave the space a new life and purpose.

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  • 2018 - Phoenix Youth Support Service, a project of Wyong Neighbourhood Centre, operating out of the Gravity Youth Centre at Lake Haven for many years, moved to join the main team at Wyong on the Old Primary School site.

  • 2019 - Because We Care Boutique was launched on March 5 to assist women on the Central Coast with clothing and styling for Interviews, Work and Court. The project was the first of its kind on the Central Coast and is a social enterprise supported by our wonderful community, Employment Service Providers and Disability Employment Service Providers across the Coast.

  • 2019 - Wyong Neighbourhood Centre celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a "Birthday Party", open day and special guests and speakers, including our very own founder Vera Brown. The Neighbourhood Centre shared its anniversary with the Old Wyong Public School site which has achieved 130 wonderful years.

  • 2020 - The Department of Communities & Justice directed Wyong Neighbourhood Centre to close the Watanobbi Hub and open a brand new service in Gosford CBD. A location for the Gosford CBD Community Hub was found in the old Waterfall Arcade in Mann Street. Opposite the Gosford railway station and next to the Gateway Building, the ground floor location offers great access from public transport with parking available at the Imperial Centre and the old Marketplace building. Kim Anderson, hub co-ordinator, negotiated many obstacles to open the new service in March 2021, including COVID-19, which interrupted (or forced adaptation of) services for months during 2020. A food co-op was established at the site in April 2021.