Who we are

Our aim is to encourage the development of a sense of community and enhance the quality of life for families and individuals residing in Newman.

The Newman Neighbourhood Centre is one of several Community and Neighbourhood Development service entities funded by the Government of Western Australia Department of Communities to develop and coordinate service with and for members of the local community. We seek to build capacity and respond to the unique and diverse needs of individuals and families living in our community.

This is achieved by engaging and working in partnership with individuals, families and other community groups. In doing so, it provides opportunities for local people to develop skills and knowledge, build on their strengths to manage their own lives, improve personal development and enhance community interactions.

Our service model is grounded in the statement of requirements as set out by the Department of Communities, and built upon:

  • a strengths-based approach (including strategies that are designed to build on people’s skills and capabilities rather than focusing on problems);
  • community development approach to help identify and build individual, family and community strengths and capacities;
  • strategies that are sufficiently flexible to cater for the interests and needs of a diverse range of people;
  • the premise that people are an active participant in the process rather than just a recipient of the service; and
  • developing integrate responses to providing services in communities.

The service level outcomes of the Department of Communities is central to our Strategic Plan (insert document hyperlink here), and embeds principles of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD), a bottom-up approach to community development which seeks to mobilise people, organisations and resources to come together and develop their strengths.

The NNC Strategic Vision is ‘a connected and inclusive community where people feel they belong, are valued and able to contribute.’

Our Committee

Kelly Watson


Kelly Watson was appointed Chair since the 2018 AGM. Of New Zealand, she has chosen to make Australia home for the past 22 years. Kelly holds a Diploma in Children’s Services, is currently enrolled in the Diploma in Community Services and also embarked on a Certificate IV in Mental Health.

Kelly has resided in Newman for the last four years with her two young children and partner, opting for a residential arrangement for good work and family life balance. Her working career has been predominately in the field of Early Childhood Education and she also managed the Newman Neighbourhood Centre also for two consecutive years which prompted her to continue her support for a critical service from the executive committee level.

“Newman has its own challenges of lack of family support, remoteness and services just to touch on some. The Newman Neighbourhood Centre is the hub of the town and we are working hard for this to reflect in what support or services we offer to the community as a whole, most importantly making it sustainable.”

Marissa O'Hanlon

Vice Chair

Marissa O’Hanlon was appointed Vice Chair with the Centre since the 2018 AGM. She and her family moved to Newman in 2017, after the birth of their first child, seeking worklife balance after both her and her husband working FIFO for three years.

Marissa brings 15 years Human Resources experience and leadership capabilities from roles within the resources industry. She has a Masters in Human Resource Management majoring in Change Management from Charles Sturt University and has a professional interest in leadership and human psychology.

Susan Townsend


Susan was appointed Treasurer at the 2019 AGM and contributes knowledge in this area from her experiences as a Finance Officer with local government, the Shire of East Pilbara.

She moved to Newman in 2017 accompanied by her husband and three young boys. They can often be found exploring nearby waterholes and enjoying other features of the Pilbara outdoors. Her other hobbies include yoga and crocheting.

Susan is enthusiastic about enhancing the Centre’s financial profile required to support considerable transformation and change outlined in the Strategic Plan.

Natalie Iannaci-Mejia

Natalie relocated to Newman in 2016 following dynamic Public Affairs and Communication roles in Perth and Kalgoorlie. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Natalie moved to Australia in 2012 with her now husband for working holiday opportunities; soon after she fell in love with regional living.

Newman offers Natalie and her young family their desired lifestyle, as well as meaningful work opportunities.

Natalie holds a Bachelors degree in International Studies and Masters in Communication. A self-confessed word nerd with a passion for community development, she is enthusiastic about further supporting the Centre with strategic comms, events, grant writing and reporting activities and looks forward to continue an important role in further diversifying the Centre's services since her appointment in 2018.

Tania Tucker

General Committee Member

Ana Rae

General Committee Member

Georgie McInerney

General Committee Member

Lee Temoannaui-ugle

General Committee Member

Shaha Bin Sulaiman

Shaha has been a resident of Newman for almost six years. During this time, she has worked in various community roles in Newman and the Western Desert. She currently works for the Department of Communities as the Regional Intensive Support Coordinator. In 2018 she became a first-time mum to a little girl and learnt about the value and lasting friendships a neighbourhood centre could bring to a small community.

Our Staff

Deb Barry


Deb brings a wealth of experience from executive roles previously as the Base Manager for Larrakeyah Barracks, and the Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council’s Regional Manager in Darwin. Her qualifications include Aged Care and Anthropology, with a focus on women’s issues.

Deb considers Newman home after spending two years travelling Australia in a motor home.

She is passionate about the work the Neighbourhood Centre currently does as well as the possibilities and vision for the Centre in grass roots community development, in serving and expanding services to the people of Newman.

Racheal Catsicas

Creche Coordinator

Racheal has lived in Newman for nine years, relocating from the east coast where her family and friends still reside. Being a part of the Newman Neighbourhood Centre has been a life line for Racheal, helping her to combat the isolation and feelings of loneliness. Since becoming involved in the Centre, she has run regular craft sessions with her daughter met other mothers with children of the same age; she also ran a school holiday program.

She holds a Certificate II in Retail Operations and Certificate III in Business with the intent to study further.

Racheal has served on the committee in several capacities in the past. “Given my interest in Administration and my intent to study further, holding the position of Secretary has given me on-the-job training in an area that I am passionate about. Being a part of the Neighbourhood Centre and volunteering across a broad spectrum of areas has given me a great sense of purpose. I enjoy giving back to our community that I have since come to call my home, and being a part of such a hub for the community makes the rewards even more fulfilling.”

Creche Staff

Our creche staff provide a valuable service for parents and carers attending the Centre for programs, workshops and events. The creche is available for children from 6 months for a fee. Bookings are essential; contact us for more information.

Our Facility

Located across the town square and major retail, the Newman Neighbourhood Centre is a modern facility generously provided by BHP for community use, including a large, open plan meeting area and kitchen, and a separate creche area leading out to a soft fall surface playground and adjacent gabled outdoor recreation area.

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