The manager of Community Law Marlborough has made the bittersweet decision to give up her role at the centre, to take on a new challenge in Papua New Guinea.
After 14 months on the job, Raewyn Tretheway will pack her bags and leave for Bougainville early next month, to work as a programme manager for Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA).
The three-year stint in Papua New Guinea would not be her first, having lived there for 3 years in the past. She also spent time in the Solomon Islands in 2008 as a volunteer for VSA.
Her new job would involve working with volunteers and making sure their health, housing and social needs were met.
During her time in Marlborough, the centre had made huge progress, Tretheway said, adding that the decision to leave had not been an easy one. "It would have been good to be able to continue with that but I can't turn down this opportunity either."
When she first took her role last year, the future of the centre was uncertain. But Tretheway was proud of how far it had come during the past 12 to 14 months. "When I got the job, there was talk about us going to Nelson or being closed down, so the highlight, I think, is that we have made really positive moves to say ‘we can't shut down' . . . the community relies on us," she said.
Moving into new premises in Market St, as well as more self-promotion, and making staff available on a drop-in basis had contributed to the success, she said.
"I think that the work that we have put in, the outcomes have been so positive . . . we can't help everybody, of course, but we are getting really good feedback and positive reviews from the community."
The next step was to develop stronger networks with Maori and Pasifika communities, and Tretheway felt confident the new manager, Stephanie Moses, would succeed in doing that.
"We have been working really closely together and we have both been on the same page. It's good to see that that will be continued through to ensure that [the centre] continues to meet the needs of the community," she said.
Moses had been a case worker at the centre since 1999.
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