Back to our roots

Our connection to community is something we value extremely highly at NACC, so it was a truly enriching experience for the entire NACC team this week when we converged on Perenjori for our annual Culture and Values Retreat.

For those who don’t know, Perenjori was NACC’s home office when it was first established in 1997 – and we were largely based there until around 2005 when a range of admin roles were gradually relocated to a second office in Geraldton. Despite this move, NACC has always retained the office, and a number of staff, in “PJ” – our spiritual home out amongst the Yarra Yarra lakes.

Not surprisingly then, it felt a bit like getting back to our roots when the whole team immersed itself in Perenjori spirit during our retreat. We all enjoyed the hospitality of the caravan park, the culinary delights of the PJ Roadhouse and Wheat Bean Café, the ambiance and dinner menu of the Perenjori Hotel, and shared in the pride and history of the town that is on display in artwork and tourist interpretation signage up-and-down the main street.

We also got to spend a fulfilling morning getting our hands dirty with the Friends of the Perenjori Community Garden. Armed with shovels, rakes, pitchforks, watering-cans, and a couple of trays of seedlings, the entire NACC team pitched-in for a busy-bee in the gardens. Epitomising the old cliché of “many hands make light work”, the team swept and raked-away the fallen leaves and tumble-weeds of last summer, turned-over the garden beds with new compost and hay, and planted a variety of seedlings to get the community gardens all set-up for a productive year ahead.

Community First

“Community” is the second word in NACC’s Mission, and recurs throughout our Vision, Purpose, and Values. Our roots are in the community, our members are in communities, our partner groups are in communities, and all of our work is done in and with communities. We’re proud of that.

The value that we put on being connected to our communities is paramount in our strategy, history and on-going work. Our annual Culture and Values Retreat provides us with an opportunity to reinforce that value, as well as the eight organisational values that we try to encompass in all of our work: Passion, Collaboration, Professionalism, Leadership, Respect, Accountability, Excellence and Impartiality.

We had a fabulous session in PJ interpreting each of these eight values in a competition developed and led by Coastal and Marine Officer Vanessa McGuiness. Four teams, each with two values to interpret and champion, were put through a series of team-building activities – the finale of which involved designing and building a structure that would ensure the fresh egg they’d been given (along with some newspaper, cardboard, string and masking tape), survived being thrown off the first-floor balcony of the PJ Hotel.

Not surprisingly, through an assortment of different technologies (from parachutes and sputniks, to spaceships and impact-resistant capsules), all four eggs easily survived the challenge. To me, this one exercise provided a great reflection of the amazing ingenuity, capacity, diligence, excellence, and commitment that I see being displayed by the NACC staff every day.

That’s my team.

Richard McLellan



Well done to the whole NACC team!

What an inspiration you all are great team building while supporting our local community

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