Written by Nathan Koroi
Meet one of the Community Navigators, Tara Duerkop – a kind, selfless and motivated individual, with a positive attitude and a servant heart who is fiercely passionate about serving her local community as part of the Hervey Bay Neighborhood Centre (HBNC) team.
To date, Tara has successfully supported over 600 clients in the duration of her role, which sees about 30 clients a month. The work that Tara does is needed like ever before.
You can find Tara serving the community and at the Comfort Kitchen every Wednesday evening, or working in the community to link people in with much needed services such as financials, educating on budgeting and basic domestic skills, linking mental health services, assistance with short term accommodation and housing, facing poverty and domestic and family violence and personal crisis.
I was fortunate enough to meet and spend time with Tara recently to talk about her role and how she is positively impacting locals to help bring hope, connection, inclusivity, and joy into the community’s hearts.
Tara and I spoke of the issues our local community is facing. Today, we are seeing the cost of living rising, unemployment soaring, family instability, and increasing mental health issues. It is people like Tara and the services of HBNC that provide support, networking, and opportunities to the less fortunate, Isolated and the vulnerable.
Tara says “I see people on all levels, they may be struggling with their rent increases or they may come and see me if their car has broken down and registration is due or facing homelessness and in need of accommodation. It could be 10 different things at once, and they need some to help reorganising and unpacking how to manage it all, but mostly I see a lot of people in crisis, and it is my job to offer them support and link them into supporting services.”
Her clients are mainly referred from other service, or sometimes they come to the community centre looking for help.
Tara has so much love for her job, “I am so happy in the present. I could not imagine doing anything else now because this work is just so rewarding. It also helps me have a very grateful heart at the end of each day.”
Helping people achieve their goals and making a positive difference in their lives is her focus.
Finding yourself in crisis? Connect with Tara at HBNC. She will meet you with a smile and will do everything in her power to help.
Thanks to Tara and the whole HBNC team. Keep doing amazing work in the community.