On 30th March 1987 a public meeting was called to address the lack of government agencies in Pine Rivers. The turnout was impressive, with eighty-eight citizens attending. The meeting agreed a centre was urgently needed. The majority of welfare, church and government agencies in the area were represented at that meeting.
Temporary steering committees of eleven people set out to explore what was required, and establish a formal organisation. They served for several months. In June of 1987 the steering committee was dissolved, and the first Management Committee of the Pine Rivers Welfare Association was elected. The mission of the Centre at this time was to contribute to the relief of poverty, sickness and other misfortune, and to the promotion of the well being of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.
By August of this start-up year, a house on the corner of Gympie and Francis Roads was obtained.
This is still in use today for the Neighbourhood Centre’s operations. The Centre was officially opened on 15th September 1987. The Management Committee employed its first social worker as Coordinator to establish the Information and Referral Service and to provide some limited counselling services. In 2003, the Committee decided to change the name of the Association to ”The Pine Rivers Neighbourhood Association”, which reflected more accurately its vision and avoided the negative and outdated implications of the term “welfare”.
The staff and volunteers continue to endeavour to look for ways to improve the service to the community, check whether community needs are matched by the services offered, and struggle with the ongoing challenges of obtaining sufficient funding, space and time to provide those services.
The Shire of Pine Rivers can be justifiably proud of the history of the Pine Rivers Neighbourhood Centre, which will continue to strive to enrich the community in years to come.