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Norman

Director, Community Engagement
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What do you do in your role at The Salvation Army?

My role as Director, Community Engagement at Camberwell involves providing oversight for all of the community outreach activities and community service at our church in Camberwell.

As well as ensuring the operation of the various activities, my role involves planning, determining how best to respond to community needs, what activities fit with the objectives, and matches the mission of, the church.  It also involves connecting with local council, other agencies, as well as groups such as Rotary and other churches.

I manage six part-time staff and am responsible for the more than 100 community volunteers engaged with the Corps (the latter being via the various group leaders involved in community service).

How long have you been involved with The Salvation Army?

I have been a member of the Salvation Army all of my life, but I have been working in this role of community engagement for the past eleven years.

What is the most rewarding part of working in community support services for The Salvation Army?

The most rewarding part of this work is seeing the way lives are being changed and impacted in a positive way.

We see the work in community service as breaking the chains that bind people to negative outcomes in their lives.  It is fantastic to see people actually having their chains broken and being freed to live a more productive life.

The three areas I find particularly satisfying are the work of our Financial Counsellor, the implementation of a Positive Lifestyle Program and the amazing work done in our Doorways Program where workers are assisting people with complex needs, facing domestic violence, financial distress, drug and alcohol issues and struggles with the negative impact of gambling, and lack of safe housing.

Why do you do what you do for work?

This work is a total change of direction for my life.  My working life has been in technology, marketing, and senior management. When the opportunity presented itself to work for the Salvation Army in this role I grabbed it enthusiastically. I have always found The Salvation Army provides a sound platform for addressing human needs – be it physical, economic or spiritual. The ethos of The Salvation Army is to stand with the dispossessed and marginalised.

To be a voice for those who are in need of strength and support. To actually see this ethos being put into practice by the people working in our local community is extremely satisfying and inspiring.