A changing of the guard in Margaret River, as founding coordinator moves on
The Margaret River Community Centre will face 2021 under new leadership, after colleagues, friends, parents and children gathered together late in 2020 to celebrate the retirement of founding coordinator Lynda Green.
Ms Green was first employed by the Margaret River Community Centre in 2001 to provide occasional childcare, and oversaw a number of changes and transitions in the life of the service throughout her 19 year tenure.
The community centre evolved with the needs of local families, operating as a long day care service to meet local demand, shifting to the Margaret Cecil building, which previously housed a TAFE service.
Speaking with local publication Margaret River Mail, chairperson of the Community Centre, Sally Hays, outlined the significance of the shift.
“There was a lovely connection with the child care vision tying into the building’s roots: in 1926-27, Lady Alice Cecil and her daughter Margaret toured South West settlements, then rallied the ‘Margarets’ of Great Britain to fund a Rest Home in Margaret River,” she explained.
“What became known as the Margaret Cecil Rest Home was built so the women of the district who came in for medical treatment, the birth of their children or leaving the hospital would have a safe and comfortable place to stay.”
Given the building’s history, Ms Hays said it was “very exciting” to see the space return to being used for children and families.
Ms Green also oversaw the expansion of the service in 2014, with the support of funding from LotteryWest.
“Not only is Lynda an excellent early learning educator, she has also managed the operations and development of the Community Centre for Children and the myriad of associated challenges of each chapter,” Ms Hays said.
While operating an early childhood education and care (ECEC) service in a heritage listed building proffers unique challenges, “Lynda has always committed to the values of the site,” Ms Hays said, adding that the connections and community associated with the Community Centre for Children, “is what makes the place special”.
For many staff at the service, Ms Green has been a valuable mentor, something new coordinator Amber Fairbrass will strive to continue as she takes the Centre for Children into the future.
Having worked under Lynda when she was 17 years old, before leaving to have a family, travel, and work in different services, Ms Fairbrass acknowledges that she has “big shoes to fill” at the exceeding rated service, one of the top five in Western Australia.
To learn more about the Margaret River Community Centre, please see here.