THIS IS EDEN... with Carina Severs of Eden Community Access Centre

How long have you lived/worked in Eden?

My family first came from Pericoe to Eden when I was eight, to work in the timber industry. It was quite a culture shock coming to the big smoke.

After attending Towamba Primary I went to Eden Primary and then Eden High. When I first left school (seems like yesterday), I was employed at the Bank of New South Wales in Eden (where Kellow Parbery are now) then later on in Canberra, Queanbeyan, Narooma and Braidwood. I moved back to Eden and worked for Harris-Daishowa for over 10 years and after my three children were born, I worked for ELITT (Eden Logging Investigation and Training Team) and Nullica Lodge. I then helped to set up a Registered Training Organisation for Anglicare and delivered vocational courses in Disability, Aged Care and Community all over NSW. It's great to be back working at the Eden Community Access Centre where I have been for around 18 months and I am proud to call myself a local.

What do you like most about your job?

I really enjoy working with volunteers who selflessly give so much of their time to support our community. I have come to realise that working in community is my dream job. Eden is made up of so many interesting people with differing backgrounds, life experiences and circumstances - there is never a dull moment. I love hearing stories about how they have gotten to where they are and what I can do to help make things better, even if it is just a friendly ear. The Centre not only helps people with tech and admin services, access to computers and WIFI, but referral services and support for people experiencing homelessness, financial crisis and mental health issues. We continue to play a major role assisting the community following the fires and, in conjunction with Eden Chamber of Commerce, the Recovery and Resilience Committee has been developed. The committee aims to bring our community, including Wonboyn, Kiah, Towamba and Burragate together to build long term sustainability and resilience for the area.

What do you like least about your job?

Well I suppose everyone would say their pay...yep OK I'm with them, pay me more I say... Oh and less workdays while I'm at it please!!

What's your favourite place in Eden and/or the Bega Valley?

Nethercote (aka paradise).

If you won $1miillion what would you do first?

Pay off our children's mortgages, then become a blue nomad and sail around this beautiful country (whilst sipping pina coladas and reading a good book).

What is one thing you cannot live without?

My kids, they are my world.

What are three words that describe Eden best?

Friendly, hard-working, community

What do you think Eden needs the most as a community?

Diversified employment which is not so reliant on tourism. Both the fires and COVID have demonstrated our economy needs a diversified industry base. We need to be creative and innovative to become resilient and self-reliant.