The primary goal was to explore and implement strategies that would empower Neighbourhood Centres to better serve their communities in times of drought, emphasizing the development of drought resilience capabilities. This was achieved through in-depth research, including interviewing key stakeholders across the region to gather insights into their lived experiences, needs, and potential areas for growth.


BlueWren Connections conducted a comprehensive study involving site visits and virtual interviews at 11 Neighbourhood Centres across Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, and Victoria. The research focused on thematic areas such as staff recruitment, education, policy development, networking, and community-based issues related to drought resilience.

Key Recommendations

The project culminated in five strategic recommendations for NCQ, aimed at strengthening the network and resources of Neighbourhood Centres:

  1. Network Development: Establishing a support network among remote Neighbourhood and Community Centres to facilitate best practice sharing and collaboration on community resilience.
  2. Local Place-Based Approach: Emphasizing localized responses to drought and recovery efforts to leverage the Centres’ deep understanding of their communities.
  3. Community Development Training: Providing face-to-face training for staff and volunteers in community development, disaster resilience, and leadership.
  4. Resource Library Creation: Developing a shared library of organizational documents to streamline processes and share knowledge.
  5. Digital Capacity Enhancement: Improving the digital presence and communication tools of Neighbourhood Centres to better serve their communities.

Impact and Implementation

This project has significantly contributed to the empowerment of Neighbourhood Centres in drought-affected areas, with the first two recommendations already being actively implemented. The insights gained have informed NCQ’s strategic planning, leading to a more interconnected and resilient network of Neighbourhood Centres capable of responding effectively to community needs during drought and natural disasters.


The Strengthening Remote Neighbourhood Centres in Drought-Affected Queensland project by BlueWren Connections has laid a solid foundation for future growth and resilience in the face of environmental challenges. Through targeted research, community engagement, and strategic recommendations, this initiative has paved the way for a more adaptive and supportive network of Neighbourhood Centres across Queensland, ensuring they remain vital hubs of support and connection in their communities.