Council’s Community Development team supports and empowers youth, seniors and groups throughout the region and retiring Community Development Officer Bev Devlin shares some highlights as she prepares to pass the torch.
After nine years supporting the community in her current Council role and a career dedicated to helping others, Bev is a familiar face to many in the Bundaberg Region.
As self-described ‘have-a-chat’ Bev said her job required her to be out and about in the community, talking to people, listening to their needs, and finding ideas to effect positive change.
Bev said she draws on a vast network of people, resources and supports that she had developed over the years to help her in her work.
“I call them champions because they are champions in the community to me,” Bev said.
“They're those key people that seem to know other key people.
“I can ask them a question and they'll be able to give me another pathway to take up if something's not right, because it's all about community change and empowering community to make the change.”
While affecting change is a part of Bev’s every day, she said it was important that in the community development sphere, Council supported the community to make the change community members wanted to see.
“You always walk beside people, never lead,” she said.
“I think that in any local government, we walk a very fine line about how to make change.
“And there are key ways of doing it that we follow, e.g. we walk with the community to empower them.
“If they need skills or resources or anything to help them get there, then that's what we do.”
Bev said among the many highlights from her time in community development there had been the hugely successful Flourish Family Fun Day.
“This event fills a big gap in the community, helping people be aware of community services and service providers that are out there,” she said.
“The community comes out in a very safe, non-judgmental environment as the event is held outdoors at Boreham Park.
“We also have the Welcome Baby Celebration, so that attracts an inter-generational audience.”
When it comes to finding the right person to join the community development team, Bev said having some formal education was mandatory, along with being adaptable and organised.
“I think someone who's kind, compassionate, and can talk to anybody,” she said.
“Sometimes you need a different brush to bring people around, to share with you what's going on for them.
“Every day is different, no two days the same, and no two requests are ever the same time either.
“It's made for someone who's pretty organised and self-motivated.
“It's a very enjoyable role, very fulfilling, very rewarding, I've really enjoyed it.
“Probably another have-a-chat might be good!”
Council is actively recruiting for the position of Community Development Officer.
Interested, qualified candidates can find out more about the role and how to apply here.