KAREN Boyde is no stranger to improving outcomes for community groups: for the past 17 years, she's worked in local government as a community development officer.
She took up the reins as manager of the Central West Women's Health Centre three weeks ago and says she is already impressed with the service and what it provides women in the region.
The Central West Women's Health Centre in William Street provides a unique, holistic, women-centred preventative and treatment approach to health and wellbeing to empower women and children of all ages, cultures, sexual orientation and gender identity to make informed choices.
Established back in October 1986, it provides services which include a GP, women's health nurse, child and adolescent trauma service, support services and wellbeing activities, with funding assistance from the Western NSW Local Health District, NSW Department of Planning and Community Services and donations from the community.
Ms Boyde has worked with all sectors of the community.
"I've spent the last 17 years in local government as a community development co-ordinator in Orange, which is a very diverse position providing support in aged care, youth work, migrant support and other areas," she said.
"Through that role, I worked with a wide range of groups providing care and services, as well as working with volunteers."
She said she decided to apply for the position at the Central West Women's Health Centre because its work appealed to her.
"It just seemed right for me," she said.
"In this role, there is just one target group, which is different to the diversity I've been used to. For me, it's exciting to be doing something different."
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Ms Boyde said she'd had the opportunity to see first-hand how the centre works in the three weeks since she started there.
"I've had an outward-looking view, and looked at the community projects and how we are involved."
She said she hopes to identity any gaps that might exist in the service and look at how it can better help women and children.
It's exciting to be doing something different.
She said she is more than impressed with the existing services, especially those working with children, and adolescents who have experienced trauma, and hopes the community continues to access the centre's services.
"This is a safe place for children and women and I want them to come here and feel secure," she said.
She thanked the staff and those affiliated with the centre for their support since she started, and said she looks forward to forging new relationships in the future.
"Even though I'm from Orange, I have established networks here in Bathurst; really, Orange and Bathurst are almost suburbs," she said.
"Having said that, Bathurst is a very distinct community and I don't come here thinking I know everything. I'm going to be calling on those existing networks for their input."
Bathurst Regional Councillor Monica Morse, who attended a recent welcome afternoon tea for Ms Boyde at the centre, said she looks forward to Ms Boyde introducing new programs and services for women in the Bathurst community.