After moving west five years ago, Bettina Twyman of Newport has become a vital member of the local community. Working as a project coordinator at the Yarraville Community Center, she and her family loved the warm and welcoming nature of the area and its people, as she tells Matthew Sims.

What is your connection to Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay?

I am proud to have worked for the Yarraville Community Center since 2017, first coordinating the Reconnect program and now coordinating various projects. Our current projects include our Nourish food assistance program, the launch of our community food pantry, a family learning program at Western English Language School, a program called Connecting Carers, which supports unpaid carers on the pathways to employment and other volunteer and training opportunities. The Yarraville Community Center is a vibrant and meaningful place to work and I enjoy every day.

What do you like where you live?

Living in Newport, I enjoyed the sense of community and working together before, during, and during the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our local businesses are always warm and welcoming. Our local parks, libraries and waterfronts provide families and individuals with wide open spaces for recreation and connection to the outdoors.

How has your passion for the west influenced your life and work?

I moved from New South Wales to the west five years ago. Living and working in Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay I learned about the history and character of the area and its people. Working in a community center means engaging with a wide range of community members and offering programs that best meet their needs. To do this, you need to be part of the community and someone who listens and applies community consultation to all programs. By making the decision to be an active part of the community, you create meaningful results for others.

What’s your favorite local place to hang out?

My favorite local places to hang out include Yarraville Village, Hall Street in Newport for coffee, Williamstown Waterfront for lunch, and the park. I also like going to Footscray for noodles and dumplings.

Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you.

I think Labyrinth is the best movie ever made.