The heart of the victory community has a new fearless leader who is determined to honour its mission statement – ‘this is a place that belongs to all’.
Rebecca Greig has been appointed as the new manager of the Victory Community Centre.
After the departure of long-standing staff members, Kindra Douglas and Penny Molnar, Rebecca is now leading the centre into a new era.
But it wasn’t a job that was on her radar.
After resigning from her job as mental health manager for Nelson Bays Primary Health to spend more time with her two children, Rebecca got an unexpected call.
“In February 2018, I was asked to manage the Victory Community Centre for 8 – 10 weeks, because the person they had appointed to take over from Kindra fell through last minute.”
Rebecca agreed to help temporarily, but that changed when the centre lost more staff over the year.
“The board were doing wonderful work trying to get a new manager, but there was no one there and change just kept happening. I got to a point where I realised I was actually part of the change and needed to stay and keep leading the ship.”
She signed the permanent agreement at the beginning of this year and hasn’t looked back.
“This is my passion. It’s the collision of primary care, secondary care and community work – all in one place. From talking to the general managers at the DHB to serving cups of tea,” she says.
“Victory is an amazing place. There’s a real feeling of warmth and community here. The lovely rainbow of colours in the school yard. The different languages. I love it.”
Rebecca is a trained social worker, specialising in mental health and addiction. She has also worked as a youth alcohol and drug clinician.
Born in Kenya, she spent her childhood in Seddon, Picton and Nelson. She then settled in Christchurch for 17 years before returning to Nelson.
Rebecca says the centre has welcomed many new staff over the past year, as well as a community navigator for refugees and migrants and a primary care adult drug and alcohol clinician.
“The staff here are stunning. We’re all settling into our places and gathering that relationship with the community again.”
She says she won’t be making many changes to centre, with all the same services and programmes continuing, such as Victory on the Move, counselling, playgroup and food parcels.
“I want to applaud the work that Kindra and Penny did, as well as the board and Helen Watson. To be able to go to her is an absolute privilege.”
Rebecca says she is looking forward to meeting new faces in the community.
“One of the things I say to the staff is that I expect everyone to be greeted as they walk through the door with a smile and a cup of tea and an offer of ‘how can we help?’ – this place is theirs.”