Our Story

History of the Ravenshoe Community Centre, Inc.

by Dane Frick, founding member.

The Ravenshoe Community Centre was established in 1990 by a group of Ravenshoe people who were concerned about local family hardship and the stresses on people in harsh economic times.

An early submission for government funding was unsuccessful, but the people involved decided to go ahead with the provision of an information & support, referral and education service on a voluntary basis.

 The Herberton Shire Council kindly donated the use of a room under the Town Hall in Ravenshoe, which the volunteer staff painted. A training program was conducted for people interested in working in the Centre and it opened for business in November, 1990.

Following extensive community use of the service over the next three years, which demonstrated the community need for such a service, and after numerous submissions, government funding was granted to the Management Committee commencing in 1994, to consolidate and expand the well-established service.

 The funding was for 5 Community Support Workers working a 5 hour day each per week, a Community Development Worker for 15 hours per week, a Clerical Worker (5 hours per week) and a Financial worker (5 hours per week). This was referred to as the CISP (Community and Individual Support Program) which has always been the main contact to the Centre.

Soon after, we became incorporated which opened up doors to protection via insurance and better opportunities for funding.

Limited Hours Child Care was conceived of around the same time as the RCC support program by three members of the original group and funding was sought for a building for both, but mainly for Child Care. 5 Moore St. was bought and extended by the Qld Department of Families for the use of Child Care and the CISP program who were happy to move in.

Other programs that the RCC took under its umbrella were MATES (a HACC funded program of home maintenance at affordable prices for those who cold not afford regular prices) and Friends of the Fluffy Gliders (a research project involved in building and monitoring houses high up in large trees to see if people could help these endangered species survive harsher times). The Youth Shed was also conceived and commenced around this time utilising unused funds from Radical (a police support group). Again years went by before unpaid workers became paid. Eventually the Department of Families funded the staffing of an "Outside School Hours Program".

1995 -- Respite (caring for the elderly and the infirm and giving their carers some respite) was formed under HACC funding and under the RCC umbrella). Community Aged Care Packages (CACP/Radcare) was also formed around this time, which provided services to disadvantaged people which includes a variety of services tailored to each clients needs.

Rural and Remote Home Care (something like the CACP but administering aid to people in a much larger geographical area) coming under the Centre's incorporation basically doubled the amount of money, staff, and clients that the organisation was accountable for.

2000 Queensland Health provided funds to the RCC for a Mental Health Worker who works both in Ravenshoe and in Mount Garnet.

2001 -- The CSWs moved to Herbert St (a Herberton Shire Building) as it was felt they needed more space and confidentiality for their clients. At this same time several other things happened. The Family Support Program (FSP) was created, funded by the Department of Families and was originally located at the Lydia & Moore St. Building. The FSP program employs a social worker and has a growing list of clients. Also around this time CACP left the centre and became incorporated on their own (The change was without antagonism on anyone's part and there are still good relations between the two organisations). At this time the Ravenshoe Community Centre, Inc. changed their constitution to reflect the management model that has been used so successfully throughout the years ... the Collective/Consensus model. Also in this year, funding for a large building which is co-habited by the RCC and Yabu Mija (an Aboriginal Women's group) was granted. In December 2003 the plans were approved and throughout 2004 was being completed. 7 April 2005 was set for the official opening of this new building (The Community Hub). Both Yabu Mija and The Ravenshoe Community Centre, Inc. are running most of their programs from this building and the Youth Shed next to it. All seem to be very pleased with the new site and buildings.

The Youth Shed has been extended to nearly double it's size as at July 2010.

We have gone from a group of 30 volunteers with virtually no budget to a group of many programs which include many services, many paid workers and currently receive funding from a variety sources, predominately government and a range of philanthropic organisations.

The needs of the community in the future do not look to be decreasing. The growth and economic status of subdivisions outside of town are continuing to increase the need for support and help groups/programmes. So I think we can expect expansion of the Community Centre to continue for some time yet.